Monday, 13 July 2015

Siem Reap, Cambodia

The hubby and I had a very brief one night stop in Siem Reap in Cambodia so did everything we could to make the most of it. On landing you will need to fill out a visa on arrival form as well as bring with you the landing card from the plane. You will then queue up and hand over 30 USD, your passport, forms and a passport size photo. If you do not have a photo they will charge you 2 USD extra. The airport wasn't busy when we landed so the whole process took around 15 mins. You will then go through passport control with your visa and have your finger prints taken.

We chose to use the following company as our tour guides: Happy Angkor Tour. Everything was arranged in advance with a very friendly man named Mony. We were collected from the airport by our private driver and private tour guide Sopheap. We were taken to our hotel to check in, drop bags and freshen up before starting our adventure. We were taken to purchase temple passes (40 USD per person for three days), which you must show at the entrance to every temple.

On day one we visited Angkor Wat, Ta Promh and Banteay Srei. The sky was cloudy so we chose to skip sunset and instead head to the hotel for a pre dinner drink and some spring rolls! In the evening we took the hotels free tuk tuk service into town. We had a long wander around the fascinating night market before choosing a spot for dinner on Pub Street. I chose a traditional Khmer curry dish, which was delicious and for the total price of 6 USD. I can imagine there are loads of places to try away from the tourist areas but we only had one night so really wanted to soak up the atmosphere.

The following morning we were up early for sunrise. We were collected at 4:45am and driven to Angkor Wat with hundreds of other tourists. It felt like being on a pilgrimage and was an amazing experience. Unfortunately for us it was quite cloudy so the rise wasn't as spectacular as it could have been but we still loved every minute. Next it was onto Angkor Thom to visit Bayon, Baphoun, Elephant Terrace and the Liper King Terrace.

Our private driver and private tour guide for the entire trip cost 151 USD. We felt this was excellent value for money as we learnt a lot and always had a refreshing cold towel and iced water waiting for us. It also meant we could be more flexible on timings throughout the day.

The temples of Siem Reap are incredible and I gained such a euphoric feeling from standing in the middle of up to 1,000 years of history. Cambodia is a wicked country full of amazing people and I hope one day to come back and explore further. I think two nights in Siem Reap is plenty of time to see the temples, enjoy the night life and relax in the glorious hotels but longer would always be appreciated and you can definitely do it in a one night stay like we chose to.