SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
After arriving safely at the airport in Siem Reap, we had a complimentary tuk-tuk pick up from the airport to our hotel. We were starving when we arrived at the hotel since it was late in the evening, so after we checked in and left our luggages in our respective rooms we decided to head out to partake our first traditional Cambodian meal. We asked our tuk-tuk driver if he can take us to a very good authentic Cambodian restaurant. He brought us to the Night Market surrounded by different restaurants and pointed us to one that he usually goes to. Since we were only spending two nights here in Siem Reap, we wanted to make sure that we spend it wisely.
Since we have to get up early the following day to start a full day, best way to end the day is by trying their local beer, this way it will send me straight to sleep when I get back to the hotel
This temple was the primary reason why I wanted to go to Siem Reap. I highly advise everyone to read something about the history and importance of this temple beforehand. If not, you can hire a tour guide that will help you understand and make the temple come to life.
We hired a car driver that will bring us to Angkor Wat and some other temples nearby. They highly recommend to visit the temple during sunrise which is around 5 AM, unfortunately we were unable to wake up that early so we just went as soon as we can first thing in the morning. They also recommended to visit the place before 11 AM or before the peak of the heat because the temple has few or no place for shades to cool down.It was already very hot and humid mid-morning when we arrived. It also wouldn’t hurt to book a hotel with a pool if you have the extra cash for it, you will surely appreciate it at the end of the day, unfortunately I don’t have that budget so we settled for a decent hotel with good working air conditioning.
So we arrived at the place, purchased our entrance fee and off we go walking to a long walkway towards the temple. You definitely need to prepare yourself to walk a lot under the scorching heat and humidity. One mistake I made was I only brought one small bottled water, big mistake!. You have to equip yourself with enough hydration when trying to enjoy and learn the vicinity of the temple.
As a tourist, we have to be respectful of tradition and culture. We have to be cognizant in wearing a proper attire when going in on any sacred temples, while making sure your shoulders are covered or shorts long enough to cover the knees.
The area is huge, once you find a good spot to sit, under a shade or not, you should give yourself a time to just soak in the sacredness of the place, the beauty of the surroundings and just the overall aura that this majestic place gives you.
Ta Prohm (Tomb Raiders Temple)
If you are a big fan of the movie, Tomb Raiders, then this is a place for you to enjoy, as one of the filming set of the movie. Even if you are not a fan, the temple was worth visiting.
Once you are inside you will definitely observe right away that the nature somewhat took over the temple but it just added to the complexity and the beauty of the temple at the same time. Seeing a tree on top of a temple with roots traveling down the creases of the temple was just purely amazing, I was in an awe just staring at it.
It’s definitely one temple that you don’t want to miss out seeing.
OUT AND ABOUT
After a long day of walking under the heat, we came back to our hotel to cool off for few hours before we head out for dinner and explore more of the night market. Our cab driver brought us this this buffet style restaurant with traditional cultural show.
After dinner, we walked around town till we reached the night market. A lot of things going on in the town, many restaurants, they even have an art center where you can find sorts of artwork and souvenirs that you can buy. Since I don’t have extra space on my carry on luggage, I just settled for a massage……….fish massage that is.
The fish massage experience was totally different, you can actually feel the small bites around your feet, it was uncomfortable at first but then you get use to it. If you have not experienced it yet, I suggest to try it. It was a very short trip here in Siem Reap, just to see Angkor Wat, but we made our stay productive and enjoyable.