Cambodia…I love you. I love the people. I love the temples. I love the history. I love the buzz in the city. I love the food. Nothing but LOVE…
When preparing for this trip, I was slightly frustrated with figuring out what temples/sights to see (as there are countless) and in what order, so I thought I’d make an easy list for everyone to reference (see below).
Flight: Jetstar from Singapore- on a Friday afternoon and back on a Tuesday afternoon-4 nights, 3 full days total, which was perfect. http://www.jetstar.com/sg/en/home
Accommodation: Borei Angkor Resort & Spa. The service was OUTSTANDING. They even will pack you food for your early morning Angkor Wat sunrise excursion. The hotel was immaculate and modern. It’s located about 10 min. (tuk tuk) ride from downtown /Pub Street ($2USD). Breakfast buffet (really large and good!) and airport transport is included in room rate. It’s definitely a family friendly hotel. http://boreiangkor.com
Visa: We applied for our E-Visas 2 weeks prior to leaving. This allowed ample time for processing. Upon arrival, customs was very fast and easy. $30USDpp https://www.evisa.gov.kh
Transportation: After reading online, we found the MOST AMAZING tuk tuk driver ever! His name is Adam and he’s a local Cambodian. His rates were great compared to what the hotel was offering. He was very kind, considerate, punctual and knowledgable. He was really flexible as to what we wanted to do each day and his English is also great. I cannot recommend him enough…we just loved him! He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook (Name: Davuth Kang) https://www.facebook.com/davuth.kang.3?fref=ts
- Phare Circus—YOU MUST DO THIS! This was the highlight of our trip, besides the temples, of course. At first, I thought it’d be like Cirque du Soleil…boy was I wrong! It was even better than any Cirque show I’ve seen and much more kid friendly too (if you’re wondering if kiddos can go). You MUST pre-book tix, as the show fills up quickly and PAY EXTRA for the front row, it’s totally worth it…and you get an awesome free gift! We went early and had a glass of wine and an app too, which I’d totally recommend. http://pharecircus.org
- Pub Street—Our GO TO place every day/night after temple hopping all day. Here, you’ll find endless streets full of restaurants, bars, shopping and massages
- Night Market —Your typical night market full of shopping, souvenirs, etc. BE SURE to bargain.
- II Forno—pizza and bruschetta were perfect…and they even had Proseccco!
- Genevieve’s—we LOVED this restaurant SO much, we ate here 3 times during our stay in Siem Reap. You MUST go! Best dishes: Lok Lak, Amok Chicken, Khmer Curry, Fried Spring Rolls….all delicious. Service is outstanding and the owner is exceptionally friendly.
Massages: Pub Street is full of countless massage places, all at crazy cheap prices. A 30 minute foot massage will run about $4USD and a 60 min body massage, with oil, ran about $9. We liked Pura Vida, which had multiple locations all over town.
Day 1: This is the longest day…5am-3pm
Temple ticket purchase: $40 per person for a 3 day pass, $20 for a one day pass
- Angkor Wat at sunrise (4am wake up…bring on the coffee, but totally worth it).
- Ta Prohm-otherwise known as the Tomb Raider temple
- Ta Nei
- Ta Keo
- Angkor Thom Entrance
- Bayon-Temple of Many Faces- OUR FAVORITE..this one is just magical
- Phnom Bakheng-recommended for sunset. It’s a bit of a trek up a hill, so make sure you’re wearing proper footwear
Day 2: 10am-2pm
- Preah Khan
- Ta Som
- East Mebon
- Pre Rup and Banteay Kdei
- Banteay Syrei- This one takes about an hour to get to…it’s quite far away from town and all the other temples, but the color of the stone is amazing
- Phare Circus 8pm
Day 3: 11am-3pm
Floating Village: The journey to get to the floating village contributed to how amazing the day was. We traveled for nearly one hour down a dirt backroad and really were able to see real Cambodian villages. The road was very bumpy, but it was such a magnificent ride to be out in the countryside.
The floating village, in my opinion, is a must see, but you MUST know, it’s a bit of a tourist rip off. It seemed like every stop along the way, we had to pay more and more. Tickets were $25pp to take a small/long boat, which leads you to an even larger boat (where you tip the driver), which then drives you through the floating village. After coasting through the village, you end up being brought to another dock, where you transfer to a small rowboat (yes, we are on boat#3 by now). The rowboat, which costs $5pp, is steered by a local Cambodian woman, who takes you through a vast array of trees and wildlife. The unique part about this is is that the trees are all growing out of the water. It’s a beautiful, peaceful experience.
Floating Village: This was very emotional for us, as you really get to see the poverty that the locals in the village live in.
Temples we missed but worth considering: Being Mealea and Roluos Group (you can add this one onto the end of the Floating Village)
- Scarfs are not enough cover ups for some of the temples, so bring a long sleeved shirt
- Bring an umbrella, sunscreen, a hat, water, snacks, and wear comfortable shoes
- US Dollars are the primary currency, although they will give you Cambodian currency as small change after purchasing items
Overall, we had such an unforgettable experience in Cambodia. It is such a beautiful place, with beautiful, gentle people. We have never felt so humbled and grateful for all that we’ve been blessed with in this life. The temples are absolutely magical and the food is delicious as well! We definitely will be returning one day!
If you like what you’ve read, be sure to drop me a comment! Thanks for stopping by!
Stay tuned…our next trip is back to Thailand to stay on Phi Phi Island 🙂