SIEM REAP IN A NUTSHELL

*This post is first published on my RIP Travel Blog, I apologize for some missing comments

After a 6 hour road trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap and arrived in the evening, I’d never thought before Siem Reap is more developed and cleaner than villages we passed along the journey from Poipet.

A touristy city , small and enough to get around on foot or bicycle, clean, tuk-tuks, markets and locals speak good English are my first impression in this Angkor Wat city. Then, The journey begins

Bicycle Rental

My primary transportation in Siem Reap was bicycle, trust me, why do we need to spend more money for tuk-tuks in limited time meanwhile we can rent a local bike costs US$ 1-2 per day, and we can even park our bike at our hostel for the whole night.

Siem Reap is super flat. It’s a great place to explore the city and Angkor complex by bike or on foot. Or, it might be a big deal if you’re a lazy bum tourist or just don’t want to spend energy and deal with the heat, the sun in Cambodia was fiercely hot.

What I like by riding bicycle even though it’s much more tiring than riding tuk-tuks is the freedom, this is what I’m looking for on my journey.

Hostel in Siem Reap

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I’d be lying if I don’t like Siem Reap if it is not because the ridiculous affordable hostel room, a US$ 8 room with one queen bed, single bed, fridge, TV, toilet attached and wardrobe. Yes, Cambodia, the land of less than 4 Dollar dorm, you can even find a US$ 1 dorm here.

What do you think about our room in these photos?? It’s my best one with the best price room during my Indochina road trip.

The girl who sells kro-lan

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I found out this traditional Khmer food is quite interesting, the way they present the food in bamboo is something familiar for me, because, we, West Sumatran and Malay in Malay Peninsula have this either, however, we called it Lemang. In Cambodia, they called Kro Lan. It’s still a mystery for me, to know the fact, Malay and Khmer have a little in common when it comes to traditional food.

Pub Street

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Pub street occupied by foreign visitors after dark, what a cool place to spend the nights with good music, restaurants, shops, cafe, massage parlors or spas. I love the atmosphere on this busy street and spent one night relaxing with coffee,- while sipping local coffee and people-watch whether they are tourists or locals, then massage and wandering around the street.It is the center of tourist life in Siem Reap, just do a walking tour and join the crowd.

Night Market

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Night market is nearby Pub Street. If you love shopping, handcrafts from stunning piece of Khmer art, or just want to relax and get a 20-minute long massage for Us$ 3, it is a place for you.

Opening Hours: From 4pm till midnight

Location: Conveniently located a few blocks away from the Old Market, off the Sivatha Blvd in Siem Reap

Angkor Wat ??

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And this is it!! Angkor Wat is amazing, the perfect way to visit this archaeological park is going for sunrise. If you’re not a morning person, it might be an inconvenient truth for you.

To tell you the truth, I’m neither a morning person, sad but true and sucks, I couldn’t make it. The sun rises just too early in Cambodia :/

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To enter Angkor Archaeological Complex, we have to purchase an admission pass and photo taken on the spot with free of charge is required at time of purchase. There are three kind of admission fees.

  • One-day pass  ($ 20)
  • Three-day pass ($ 40)
  • Seven-day pass ($ 60)

On this visit, I purchased a Us$ 20/day pass. And all I can say, IT’S NOT WORTH IT!!!! Wat or What??!!?  You don’t like this historical site?? NO!! We thought it’s your kind of thing.

Listen, what I’m trying to say is, one day pass for exploring this magical archaeological complex is not worth it, we need at least three days or more to hang out in this place. I promise, I have to come back to this place and  purchase at least three-day pass, then, explore this complex by bike.

Of course, you’d get bored easily and one day must be a tiring activity for you  if you think it’s just a bunch of old stones. My first impression of Angkor Archaeological complex, this place is like a time capsule. As if we’re brought into different dimension, the remnant of this temples just feel real, magical and sacred.

River in front of Angkor Wat

The Buddhist Monks’re taking pictures in Hindu temple. Angkor Wat is Hindu, where Indianisation started here,

Angkor Wat by Bike

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There are dozens of temple ruins in Angkor Archaeological park, for a serious temple explorer is totally not enough time if you purchased one day pass only, which means it’s not a one day for 24 hours but only less than 12 hours exploration.

Suggested temples to visit for one day pass;

  • Angkor Wat (Hinduism)
  • Angkor Thom (Buddhism)
  • Bayon (Buddhism)
  • Prasat Suor Prat
  • Ta Prohm (Buddhism) or The Tomb Raider Temple

Wow, wow… wow…. See, one day is not worth it for exploring this archaeological complex. I biked around 30 km and I couldn’t continue the exploration because the sun was about to set.

Angkor Wat used to be a sacred place for Hindu and Buddhist, as a sign of respect to the culture, wear modest attire which cover shoulders, upper arms and legs to the knee when visiting temples, avoid tank top and shorts.

Dancers in Bayon Temple

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The Remnant of Bayon Temple

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Ta Promh

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Disabled Musicians

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Exploring the Angkor complex I came across a group of no ordinary musician, the fact that they are the victim of land-mine during Red Khmer regime in Cambodia, not so long ago. To be honest, traveling to Cambodia has opened my eyes, lesson I learned on the road that traveling is not only for fun, relax, tasting local food, being pampered at a luxury hotel room and the likes. Or getting so excited with freaking cheap hostel room or stuff in Cambodia.

Cambodia has knocked my heart, touched my feeling to see people have to live legless or missing limbs because of civil war. They sold CDs for less than US$ 10 to tourists, and play the Cambodian instrument during day time.

Another lesson I learned here is, the children. I was once overheard other tourists from developed countries complained how come these kids don’t go to school, selling postcard aggressively to tourist instead. Oh c’mon buddies, they have to work at very early age to help their family financial, meanwhile, kids in the US or European countries spend their childhood with Barbie or watching Disney channel on TV, these kids have to sell Postcard and Souvenir on the road.

What I admire from this kids, they have little but they are happy. They are very talkative, speak good English and some other foreign languages, learning by doing from tourists around the world. They may never be traveled out of Cambodia, but they are very international for me with their ability to communicate in several foreign languages.

Travelmate I met on the road, Rani, took a cool video of a second grade Cambodian little girl named Sawin who talked pretty good English , and eloquently explained the pictures on the postcards she sold. Thanks Rani for this sweet video!!

Other Interesting things in Cambodia

Please remove your shoes before entering a home or hostel.

No Coins in Cambodia, all in notes.

Female tourist, locals called us ‘Lady’

Any else, people??

authorRahma loves writing & reading before she knows how to write and read. A geek who loves her spirit of individuality and has traveled solo since her early age.

 

6 Responses to “SIEM REAP IN A NUTSHELL

  • aduhh, sorry banget.. nyebelin ya kalau lagi temporary down gitu. Ntar, ntar aku upgrade hosting ku… hihi

    Thankkss, ayo.. ayo.. ke kamboja dan live report lalu ta’ tunggu foto2nya juga

  • Ayo, ayo.. siapin cuti ke Kamboja , orang2 nya wujudnya juga mirip orang Indonesia, dan harus ke Angkor Wat… kostum penari tradisionalnya juga mirip2 budaya Jawa, … sisa2 ekspansi kerajaan zaman dahulu.

  • Nggak nyangka kalau Kamboja ternyata punya kultur sekeren ini semoga bisa nyusul kesana..

  • Finally, I can open this blog! *kemarin-kemarin susah banget, banyak yang ng-akses kali ya

    Pengalamannya ruar biasa! foto-fotonya cakep-cakep abis! semoga suatu saat bisa ke Kamboja. Amin

  • Wow! What a nice writing Mba Rahma! It’s like bringing me back to that good ‘ol time, plus you captured your own point of view! Cool like a pool! And…. I could see me in one of the photos! hihi.. Bawa buntelan kaya mau minggat hahahahah

  • Thank you Rani for your visit and the video. Ha ha, I know I did it intentionally, love taking picture from the back because we can’t see that part. Hopefully, we’ll meet again on the road ….

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