Flat Stanley Tracker

Follow Flat Stanley as he travels around the world.

Cambodia

Posted by Flat Stanley in Posts on 01 29th, 2011

Sua s’dei, Trackers! Cambodia is AMAZING, and I am sure you will all agree when you see my pictures!

Cambodia is known for its ancient temples. I went to Angkor, a region of Cambodia that houses ancient ruins. They are certainly a sight to behold:

Angkor is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. That means it is declared for its physical significance. There are over 1000 temples in Angkor, and it was SO MUCH fun exploring a number of them! I felt like Indiana Jones!

The most famous, and best preserved, temple complex in the area is Angkor Wat, seen here:

It was built for a king named Suryavarman II about 900 years ago! Today it is a Buddhist temple (Remember all those temples in my Thailand post?), and it happens to be the largest religious building today.

Angkor Wat is the building featured on the Cambodian flag:

A French explorer who came upon Angkor Wat about 150 years ago wrote that the ruins were even grander than those in Greece and Rome! You may remember those from previous posts, and I am not sure if that is true, but they are really beautiful.

The monument is made out of an enormous amount of sandstone – 500 million tons (That’s about 1,350 TIMES MORE than the Empire State Building in New York)! That also happens to be the same amount that was used on the largest pyramid in Cairo!

I am off to Hong Kong to celebrate the Chinese New Year! It is the year of the Rabbit, and it should be filled with lots of adventure!



Laos

Posted by Flat Stanley in Posts on 01 24th, 2011

Sabaidee, Friends! I am in yet another magnificent country to explore. It is called Laos, and it just east of Thailand. You may never have heard of this country before, and that is OK because neither had I before I started traveling. Here are some facts about this small country in southeast Asia:

–          The government in Laos is communist. (The United States’ government is a democracy). There are only five countries with communist governments in the world. Besides Laos, they are China, Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea.

–          Laos gained its independence from France (just like the United States did in 1776 from England) in July of 1949.

–          There are 6.8 million people in the country. There are over 300,000,000 people living in the United States.

–          The people of Laos are some of the most generous in the world. They just don’t understand the concept of NOT sharing. In fact, in the Laos language, the word for “mine” is the same word for “yours.”

I got some great pictures of the Laos landscape:

Like Thailand, most of the citizens are Buddhist. There are some more beautiful Buddhist temples in Laos:

I only spent a few days in Laos, so I didn’t get to see as much of the country that I would have liked. Hopefully I can come back one day to explore a little more!



Thailand

Posted by Flat Stanley in Posts on 01 20th, 2011

Sawatdee, Trackers! Thailand is so beautiful, with its tropical islands to the south and its mountainous jungle to the north. It isn’t like any place I have been before!

Before heading south to the islands, I headed north to Chiang Mai. The first thing I noticed about Thailand is the beautiful temples. In the United States, you see a lot of churches. However, in Thailand, most of the citizens are Buddhist, so there are a lot of temples. Aren’t they striking?

That last picture is of a giant Buddha statue. I saw a whole lot of them!

I also went to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a sacred temple just outside of Chiang Mai. It was one of the most stunning buildings I have ever been to:

There were some really great views of Chiang Mai from here:

From  Chiang Mai I went to the small village of Pai. I saw some of the best scenery there:

I should also add that I ate a lot of Thai food, and it is so delicious! It is similar to Chinese food, with a lot of noodles and rice, but is definitely has its own flavor:

I was in Chiang Mai for New Year’s Eve, which ended up being so much fun! They had fireworks at midnight:

And the Thai have their own New Year’s tradition called Sky Lanterns! Sky Lanterns are constructed from rice paper and a wooden frame and a candle. When the candle is lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern , which lowers the density and causes the lantern to rise into the air. The effect is amazing:

Sky Lanterns are a symbol of good luck. If you light a lantern on New Year’s, you are supposed to have good luck all year round. I sure hope it works!

After Chiang Mai I headed down to the beaches. The beaches of Thailand are supposed to be some of the prettiest in the world. I went to two: Hua Hin, on the mainland, and Koh Phangan, and island just east of the coast. They were, indeed, some of the most beautiful beaches I had ever been to!


In Hua Hin, I even got to go on an elephant ride! Asian elephants were a lot different than the ones in Africa. They are hairier, that’s for sure…

I even got to see a baby tiger! He was so cute!

I am now off to Laos to discover new and interesting things!