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Siem Reap Cambodia Day 1 - Temple Run!

Hello 2014! It’s been a while since I last updated my blog but I got a whole new bag of experiences to share that is still fresh on my memory. It’s Siem Reap I Saw, baby!

Hotel: So I arrived in Siem Reap around 9pm with Jenny and her two lovely cousins Lavin and Kirsten. We were fetched by our hotel’s tuktuk driver Mr. Ly of Vimean Angkor Pich hotel for free! The hotel is a 15-minute tuktuk ride from the airport which only costs $15 per night. If you have someone to share the room with, the better… as you’ll save half the price of it!

Tour Package: Mr. Ly introduced us to his tour package. For $15 (sharing of 4) we will be able to tour Angkor Wat and its neighboring temples for the whole day. Sounds like a great deal, right? Certainly! So we booked a tour for the next day and rested early for my most anticipated Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider adventure. Teehee!

Philippines is one hour ahead of Siem Reap, Cambodia and so we decided to start our tour at 8am. We passed through a checkpoint and a crowded ticket booth for a one day ticket pass that costs $20 each.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat was our first stop which is 15 minutes away from our hotel. Since we had no breakfast yet, we decided to eat in a tiny food stall with a decent amount of red plastic chairs and tables just around the vicinity of the temple. For $1.5 we were served with rice topped with grilled pork and scrambled egg. Definitely tastes and looks like a pork teriyaki.

After a scrumptious meal, we were approached by salesy locals telling us that we can't get inside Angkor Wat in short pants and keeps on convincing us to buy long pants which is like a hippie casual boho dyed long pants. The price? $20 each!!! 

My companions bought one for themselves but I turned down the idea of buying because it's too expensive for a long pants. I have a shawl with me so I asked one tuktuk driver if I can get inside Angkor Wat by just making it a skirt and he answered YES. The lady seller behind me started yelling to the poor tuktuk driver in their local language, which I get the idea... she just lose a customer. Lols

The lady seller even ran after me on our tuktuk saying that since my companions made a purchase from them, I can now get it for only $15, but I think it's still too pricey so just I smiled and say no thanks!

Truth? You can get inside Angkor Wat wearing shorts, but it pays to wear long pants to protect your legs from the heat of the sun. You can also buy exactly what they offer in Siem Reap night market for as low as $3!!!........ and yeah, that was a tourist trap!

Snap Shots Around Angkor Wat:

The world's largest religious monument and a completely realised microcosm of the Hindu universe, culminating in the five peaks of Mount Meru. It is an architectural masterpiece in fine proportions and rich in detail; the apogee of classical Khmer construction. Some 600 m of narrative bas-relief and nearly 2,000 apsaras.

...and then we carried on to Angkor Thom.

Run! Temple Run! O_O

Around Angkor Thom, we found these lovely neighboring sites:

  1. Bayon (above picture)
  2. Baphuon (temple run like site)
  3. Elephant Terrace
  4. Leper King Terrace
Can't contain myself of too much excitement! ^_^

The complex of face-towers and the narrative bas-reliefs of daily life and Khmer history. The state temple of Jayavarman VII symbolic centre of the universe and empire.

After we toured around the vicinity of the Bayon Temple, we headed out for lunch and dined in front of Phimeanakas and the Royal Palace. After trying their popular Khmer dish named Loklak (sauteed pork or beef with ample amount of onions and lettuce), we went to the temple that was popularized by Angelina Jolie in her movie, Tomb Raider - The Ta Prohm temple.

Romantic atmosphere with opportunities to explore. Many hidden corners and strangler figs and silk-cotton trees entwined among ruins. From Ta Phrom we proceed to Banteay Kdei and Srah Srang. Last stop was in Prasat Kravan.

To sum it all, here are the temples we've visited:
  1. Angkor Wat
  2. Bayon
  3. Baphuon
  4. Elephant Terrace
  5. Leper King Terrace
  6. Phimeanakas and the Royal Palace
  7. Ta Prohm
  8. Bantay Kdei
  9. Srah Srang
  10. Prasat Kravan

That day was very satisfying for me but at some point, I wished I could have witnessed the scenic sunrise and sunsets with these magnificent temples. If I only have enough time in Siem Reap, I could have this 3-days itinerary:

  1. (First day) Pre-dawn to sunrise at Angkor Wat, followed by the South Gate of Angkor Thom and the summit of Phnom Bakheng. Late afternoon at Bayon.
  2. (Second day) Sunrise at Srah Srang, then Banteay Kdei and drive to Bantay Srei while the light is still good. Late afternoon to sunset Angkor Wat. If a full moon, the Bayon at night,
  3. (Third day) Sunrise at Rolous followed by early morning at Ta Prohm.

Meals: $5
One day temple pass: $20
Tour by tuktuk ($15 shared by 4): $4
Hotel: $7
Total: $36 or 1,620PHP

The tour ended in a timely manner and we celebrated our temple run adventure at the buzzling Pub Street for an al fresco dinner and Khmer foot spa.

Related Articles:
Cambodia Day 2 - Siem Reap Without The Temples


Athan of "ilovetansyong.com" said...

Busy ba miss gana? tnx sa new post po

Talinggaw said...

I wish to visit siem reap this year, still looking for promo fare though. Anyway, thanks for visiting and following my site Gana, followed you back just now. also liked your fb page. - Tal | ThePinayWanderer

Ganessa said...

Oo, ang tagal ko nakapag-update ng new blog post. Thanks for visiting again Athan :)

Ganessa said...

Thanks :)

chasingplaces said...

Thanks for this post ness! Excited na ko for Cambodia this year! ^_^

Ganessa said...

You're welcome Jo. I'm sure you'll enjoy Cambodia. Ako na pud magcheck sa itinerary nimo for my Sagada trip this Feb :)

Athan of "ilovetansyong.com" said...

wala yun, sana makapag travel tayo sabay

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