Well I finally made it through the border to Cambodia and getting the e-visa in advance was definitely easier and I didn’t have to deal with the constant approach of people asking me for visa. I’d read a lot of about scams with the visa at the border so after my experience with the online visa it was a case of once bitten, twice shy !! After 8 hours travelling I arrived in Siem Reap which is the home of the famous Angkor Wat temple & of course the famous ‘pub street.’ I got settled into my hotel and decided on a day to relax before sightseeing and planed to do the sunrise tour so had a quick check of the weather to see which day looked best. It was a 4.30am pick up from the hotel in a tuk tuk to get to the place where you buy the tickets, the excitement was definitely building to see the wonder of Angkor Wat!!
Angkor Wat is located between the Tonle Sap lake and Kulen mountains and contains the magnificent remains of several capitals of the Khemr Empire. After the fall of the Khmer Empire the temples were abandoned but have now been restored and has millions of visitors each year. It’s also one of the ancient seven wonders of the world and has been on my bucket list for a long time. There were a lot of people there for sunrise but not too crowded and the energy was amazing while we eagerly awaited the sunrise….it was amazing and definitely worth the early start. I walked around the temple and then got approached by a 7 year old boy who was definitely an entrepreneur in the making. He made a deal with me that I could have breakfast for $3 instead of $5 so after pancakes and coffee with the backdrop of Angkor Wat I think he deserved a $1 tip !!
I then went on to visit Bayone temple and this impressed me as much as Angkr Wat and I found it amazing with over 200 stone faces looking in a different directions. Then it was on to Ta Phrom where ‘Tomb Raider was filmed and I think it’s one of the most atmospheric and photogenc ruins with trees growing out of the ruins.
The great thing about getting up so early is that you avoid the heat and I was back by 10am chilling in my pool. Siem Reap was really busy for me with the constant calling of ”tuk tuk madam” and I was staying in a hotel away from the hustle and bustle. I found a lovely family run restaurant on the way back to my hotel one day and I had the traditional Khmer dish called ‘fish amok’ served in a coconut shell. Cambodian food is not as spicy as Thai food but still very tasty.
I loved getting to know the Khmer people and learn about their lives. I made a new friend over lunch one day and he loved chatting away in Khmer while I nodded and smiled not really understanding what he was saying.
It was time to leave Siem Reap and the next stop would be Battambang to stay with a Cambodian family in the village so check in next time to see what I got up to. Have you been to Cambodia? I’d love to hear your experiences and also what places are on your bucket list??
Bye for now,