22 Dic Siem Reap and it’s jewel Ankor.
Welcome back to all of you that follow my adventure around South Est Asia. In this post I’m going to tell you about the most important city in Cambodia, Siem Reap.
Well as you could read in my last post about the Poipet border, I had a very long day until I reached Seam Reap. It was 19h when I arrived there by bus, and just when I got of the bus, there were a lot of locals offering a tuk tuk to the hostel. It was crazy! So one of them offered me to take me to the hostel for 1$, so I jumped in and I was finally feeling so happy to be almost there, I could imagine the shower, and the bed. But suddenly the tuk tuk driver stopped, in the middle of nowhere, everything was dark and I was getting scared. It is true that I get scared quite easily in a darkness place, but there I was, in a country I didn’t know, in a dark place somewhere in Siem Reap and with a driver coming to me to talk to me. And there he was trying to cheat on me, I had had enough that day, but I looked like I had to go through one more. He asked me when I was going to go to the temples, and he said he will take me. When I said that I didn’t know and that I would probably would go with a guided tour to get some explanations, he said that the trip to the hostel was 3$. 3 times more than before!! I got really angry by then, but I had to control my self, I was in the middle of nowhere in total darkness. So politely and nicely I told him that I had taken the tuk tuk with no conditions about any other tour and that I would not pay more. He said to me that I could get off and take another tutk tuk, yeah right, in the middle of nowhere? So I told him that was not an option and I stayed in the tuk tuk, so after 5 minutes, he telling me to take another tuk tuk and me being stubborn and staying there, he offered to take me for 2$. Again I refused with the same argument, and after 2 more minutes he finally drove me to the hostel.
So as you can see, travelling is not only getting to know new places, new people, having fun, sharing cool pictures, it is also to fight with your fears, to learn to deal with other people in a awful situation, to have bad days…but still travelling is one of the best thing to do in life 🙂
After all that experience, the next day I could walk around in Siem Reap and check a few tours, the sim card for my phone and some other stuff. And now I can say that in my opinion, Siem Reap is a small city focused on the tourism. You can find a street called “Pub Street”, guess what can you find there? Exactly a lot of pubs for foreigners to go after dinner. Some buy the drinks in the pubs, others buy them on the super market, but all of them are hanging around during night in the pubs and in the street, parting. And obviously, the only locals you see there, are the ones that are working on the pubs.
Near this street, you have another one full of restaurants, again, almost no locals there having food.
You can also find the Old Market, where locals buy the food, and there are a lot of stand where to buy souvenirs. And after the sun set, you can go to the Night Market, again to buy some souvenir. For dinner, they put some food stands around the Old Market, so this is a good option, instead of a restaurant, to save some money. You will find a lot of places for massage during day and night also, and even you can find a Hard Rock café. But Siem Reap rules! Because the atmosphere is nice, the tuk tuk drivers following you all the time are funny at the end and it is nice to walk around, to stop in a nice café for a drink and just look the people.
What can you visit or do in Siem Reap?
- Ankor Temples: This is a huge complex of Temples and there are to recommended circuits to visit the most important. So you can choose what it suits you better. The entrance is not cheap, for one day you pay 20$, for a 3 days entrance you pay 40$.
You have the option to do the circuits by bike, by tuk tuk or with a guided tour. By bike or tuk tuk you don’t get any guide to explain you inside the temples, as the driver are not allowed to do so. My recommendation is to do a guided tour for the small circuit one day, with the sunset on the top of the hill. And for the next two days, you can go by a tuk tuk to see the other temples you would like to see.
Very important, there are a couple of places you cannot get in if you don’t wear trousers long to the knees and t-shirt with sleeves, can be short sleeves, but cannot be without and you cannot cover with a scarf, won’t let you in if you do.
- Tonle Sap and the floating villages: a tip for that is that you do this activity in the afternoon, as you would enjoy the sunset in the lake while you are in the boat. This was really an amazing moment!
It is nice and interesting to see how they live in the floating village and how are the houses. I visited during the dry season, so the lake was not to high and I had the chance to walk around the village as there was no water in that moment. You could see the houses, how they are build quite high, so when the lake gets more water they don’t get flooded. During the wet season I’ve read that you cannot walk on the village but you can see how all of them move around by boat for everything. The kids where really nice to us, saying hello all the time, even the two that were showering while we were passing by with our boat!
Those are the main things you can do in Siem Reap and that I recommend not to miss. But if you want to stay longer, you can check on the agencies around, they offer a lot of other activities, this kind of activities you can do almost everywhere, like zip line. Or activities in the surrounding areas.
Just be advised if you come from Thailand that food and transportation is more expensive in Cambodia.
Hope you liked the post!! Have a lovely day and keep enjoying your live!