GETTING TO KNOW SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA!
Who among here doesn’t love to see the wonders of the world? Of course, all of us love traveling. It is I guess the most better way to get rid of stress from work and toxic life.
I want to share my first out-of-the-country experience! YES! OUT OF THE COUNTRY! Meaning! Overseas! YEeey! Going overseas was just a dream. A dream that I never thought of giving up. Last May 28, 2019, my Cebu Pacific Family flew us to Cambodiaaaaaaaaaa! Fast and Easy Travel! You know why? There is a direct flight from Manila, Philippines to Siem Reap, Cambodia for a super affordable fare.
Okay! So much of my intro 😀 Let me share to you guys my list of “Where-To-Go” when you are in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The first thing to do is of course, book your ticket direct to Siem Reap, Cambodia here! http://bit.ly/CEB_SiemReap9
PLACES TO VISIT WHEN IN
SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
Our first stop! Angkor Thom. WOW! While our bus is fast approaching the gate of Angkor Thom, I cannot contain my feeling. “THIS WAS JUST A DREAM!” that line keeps on playing in my mind like for the entire tour.
Before entering the gate of Angkor Thom you will be welcomed with these huge sandstone balustrades of Devas (holding the tail of the “naga”) and Asuras (holding the head of the “naga”) placed each side of the causeway over the moat.
BAYON TEMPLE, ANGKOR THOM
Lying at the heart of Angkor Thom is the 12th century Bayon Temple. From the outside, you can see the 54 gothic towers carved with 216 smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara.
There are hundreds of passage inside that leads you to Bayon’s different quarters. There are altars, bathrooms, well, dining and more unexplored rooms inside. Do not explore the inside portions without a tour guide. You might lose your way back.
At the top of Bayon stand the towers where the carved-stone faces of King Jayavarman VII is very reachable.
Inside the Angkor Thom also lies the ruins of the Elephant Terrace and other little temples.
Second Stop! Angkor Wat! The Biggest among all temples. Also surrounded by a huge moat. At the entrance, before stepping on the bridge you will be welcomed by a perfectly carved 7 headed serpent statue or the “Naga” (Symbol of fertility) and the Khmer Lion (representing royalty, strength, and courage).
Before reaching the gate of Angkor Wat you have to cross over a huge causeway.
If you happen to see monkeys blocking the passage please do not disturb or shoo them away. Khmer has a deep respect for animals. Find another passage to get you inside the compound.
After the gateway awaits the wide garden of the temple where the north and south libraries are located (both placed on each side of the path). You have to walk like almost a kilometer to reach the Terrace of Honor (main entrance) to the Angkor Wat Temple. There are solid balusters that you can sit on whenever you feel tired walking. 😀 There are one-stop stores inside the compound that sells foods and souvs if you want to rest, eat or shop (located at the north side of the garden).
(Aside from the temple, you can also visit the Angkor Pagoda located at the North and South side of Angkor Wat).
Inside the Angkor Wat remains the amazing stories of the 12th Century. Each corner has a fruitful story to tell. Each path leads to unforgettable memories. When you reach the heart of the Temple. Do not forget to go to the very top of the temple and witness the breathtaking view of the garden of Angkor Wat.
Tip: If you want to have a good picture without lots of people photobombing! Go to the very end of the temple. There you can see the peace and harmony of the place. Relax there and think nothing but good memoirs. OWN THE PLACE! ♥
The last part of Angkor Wat is the Hindu Temple. Located at the end of the compound facing east that leads to the exit where the stunning moat (or the man-made lake) is waiting. If you have more time, have a moment to see the relaxing lake. It is very refreshing.
There are grocery stores at the end of the gate (Exit Gate).
SUNRISE at ANGKOR WAT
Sunrise viewing is a must see activity at Angkor Wat. As early as 4 am, lots of tourists gather at the south lake to witness and welcome the extremely stunning sunrise at the Angkor Wat. The reflection of the temple and sun on the water of the lake is incomparable. I can only see that on TV and in magazines! But I have seen it myself already! ♥
Third Stop! Ta Prohm!
This temple is one of the most visited temples in Angkor since it was the venue of the famous Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider. The big tree-roots that leaps out of the ruins are the stars. Ta Prohm has many little temples inside and it has more passage that seems like a maze. To avoid being lost just follow the wooden path that leads you to where you are exactly going. Do not stroll around alone, you might be lost. And there are also sacred and forbidden spots to enter for the tourists. There are also people praying inside the temple, so, just be prudent.
This temple is a gift to King’s mother.
The famous and intriguing Dinasour Carving can also be seen inside the Ta Prohm.
There are also lots of stores at the entrance and exit of Ta Prohm selling different goods and souvenirs. You have to be wise when buying souvenirs from the sidewalk vendors. The first offer might be 5times higher than the original retail price. 😊
The Temple of Women. Upon entering the entrance to Banteay Srei you will be welcomed with phallic symbols placed evenly on both sides of the path. Banteay Srei (maybe) has the smallest temples but the wall and foundation carvings are extremely jaw-dropping! Perfectly carved! It is a bit far from Angkor Thom, Angkor Wat, and Ta Prohm but this place must be on the top of the list.
TONLE SAP LAKE
Tonlé Sap Lake holds the title “The Largest Lake in Southeast Asia”. The massive lake is 250 km in length and 100 km across at its widest point. The lake is surprisingly shallow that it’s maximum depth is 10meters (high tide) and will drop down to 1meter when it’s low tide.
I cannot think of any words to describe this place. If only I have the power to provide wealth… I would list down this place to my priority lists. All my love for the people who live here. inspiring!
This is the Floating Village at Tonlé Sap Lake where the villagers who live here spend their day fishing for a living.
Pub Street is like a little world where you can encounter a lot of different nationalities. It is famous for its Night Life offers. They have Bars, Restaurants, Stores and a lot more. You might encounter people selling exotic foods like fried spider, scorpion, snake, worms and etc. Keep in mind that taking a photo of exotic foods is not allowed unless paid. $0.50 for picture taking. Pay another $1 dollar for each food.
WHERE WE STAYED...
Crown Angkor Hotel. Located just 8-10minute drive from the airport of Siem Reap and 15 minutes drive to Angkor’s Temples. A 3 storey building, heated pool, airconditioned rooms, wide function area, cafeteria, and Wi-Fi is also available.
WHERE TO EAT?
A boutique restaurant in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap combining an on-site café, bakery, and delicatessen. CLICK HERE
A restaurant that brought back the lost Cambodian Cuisine to life up to now and to the future. Aesthetically, the design of the building is stunning and relaxing. It introduces the culture of the Khmer people through its designs and ornaments. CLICK HERE
Asia Square Restaurant
Situated in the heart of Siem Reap town surrounded by commercial areas, night markets and bars, and, located within 3 minutes walking distance of the Old Market (Phsar Chas) and Pub Street, is ideally located for all of the lively nightlife. Asian Square restaurant is one of the more unique places, the design is a mixture of traditional Khmer and modern art styles. CLICK HERE
Blue Pumpkin Restaurant
Blue Pumpkin is a French bakery & patisserie, a restaurant and an ice cream parlor all summed into one. You can come here to refuel and relax. Blue Pumpkin has provided happiness by sharing with the community of food lovers, the best homemade and creative recipes using only wholesome ingredients. CLICK HERE
Usage of local good quality meats, vegetables, fish and ingredients are predominantly focused in this kitchen to be combined with new tastes and textures.
Neary Khmer is a black and white two-story building with a wide space for parking in the front. VIP rooms with air conditioners and large chairs create a special mealtime. The terrace is opened every evening to provide a delightful dinner under the moonlight.
The official currency of Cambodia is the Riel (KHR) but stores also accept dollars and some accept Philippine money but better use USD.
The power plugs and sockets are of type A, C, and G. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz (Similar to Ph).
The official language of Cambodia is Khmer, which is significantly influenced by Pali and Sanskrit. Most of the native population of Siem Reap speaks this language. Apart from Khmer, French is also spoken by the Cambodian people. English, nowadays, is regarded as the international language and is spoken by a significant amount of the population in Siem Reap.