/ BECC4: Cambodia Diaries : Siem Reap

27.6.18

Cambodia Diaries : Siem Reap

So, it's been just over a year since I embarked on my first solo trip. I travelled to Cambodia for just under a month and it was an incredible experience - perhaps the best of my life thus far. For those of you haven't read my other Cambodia Diary (the link is here) I spent 3 and a half weeks volunteering at a street kitchen for children in Phnom Penh. We had the weekends off, so spent this time travelling to different parts of the country. I personally went to Siem Reap once, and then Koh Rong Samloem twice. 

Travel

We took the Mekong Express bus, which picked up at the Riverside, to Siem Reap and it took about 6 hours. We were given a complimentary bottle of water and a croissant (yum!!) when we got on, winner. The roof leaked and I got rained the whole way, not so much of a winner. But for $12 all in I'm not complaining, and would definitely recommend the service. 

Accommodation

Once we'd arrived we took a tuk-tuk straight to our hostel: One Stop Hostel. It was right next to Pub Street and had some really good reviews. After checking in, it became apparent that we'd made a good choice. The hostel was really clean, in a great location, had aircon, lockers and wifi, and the staff were really helpful and friendly. After dropping our bags off we headed for some food. The first place we spotted was a fast food place, so just dived straight in there (I'm sorry I can't remember the name). The hunger had completely taken over, and as we had to be up early the next morning, it was ideal. 

Back at the hostel, the girls I met on my trip and I were discussing our plans surrounding visiting Angkor Wat the next day. It was only when we decided to set an alarm for 4am, and heard a boy scoff in reaction to that, did we realise we weren't alone in the shared room. Long story short, I invited Eric along with us, and he became the fourth member of our Siem Reap gang. 

Angkor Wat

Our alarms went off at 4am and we all bundled into a tuk-tuk headed to Angkor Wat to catch the sunrise. Unsurprisingly, we weren't alone in this plan and joined the hundreds of other sleep-deprived tourists at the ticket office. The ticket to enter Angkor Wat and a number of other temples is $37 for one day - so it makes sense to hire a tuk-tuk and a driver for the day and see all of the ones you want to.

As for Angkor Wat, I was really impressed, but where we didn't opt to have a guide, we were sort of wandering around aimlessly. We also just missed the sunrise, so definitely head their earlier than you initially planned, as the queue for tickets is pretty long! The Jungle Temple (Ta Prohm) was a really cool place to visit - there are trees growing in and around the ruins of the temple, and is also included in the Angkor Wat ticket - it's definitely worth seeing. 

After exploring a few more temples we headed back to the hostel. Now, our hostel was a sister hostel to 'Onederz' which has a rooftop swimming pool, meaning we had free access to its facilities. So, we grabbed our bikinis and headed for an afternoon of chilling by the pool, after our early start and morning full of exploration. 

Food

For dinner we went to a restaurant called 'Pots and Pans' and the food was really good, I'd highly recommend. Then, we headed to the Hard Rock Cafe for drinks as it was one of the girls' birthdays! Following this, we of course had to hit up Pub Street. As the name suggests, it's essentially just a road absolutely crammed with bars and clubs, each offering dirt cheap drinks and lots of dancing. A great night was had and it's fair to say I don't remember an awful lot of it. We then grabbed some noodles from a street vendor for drunk food, and sat on the hostel's roof terrace eating them at 2am.

Massages

We woke up the next day feeling surprisingly perky, so went for massages at one of the nearby beauty salons. After walking into a few, and walking straight back out, it's fair to say you get a vibe of a place. Once we found a welcoming salon, I opted for a moisturising full body massage. It was genuinely amazing. I'd never had a massage prior to that, and I'm definitely a convert. It is a bit weird having a stranger poke you all over your oiled up naked body, but yanno, you get used it. Nothing like getting naked with your newfound travelling friends (that you've known a fortnight) to bond a friendship, hey.

After putting our clothes back on and restoring some dignity, we just about had time to squeeze in some more food. We popped to a nearby restaurant and had noodles before I caught the bus back to Phnom Penh ready for my volunteering placement the following day. I very much enjoyed my time in Siem Reap, but I'm not sure how much longer I could've stayed there. It was really good fun, but besides the temples and clubbing, I'm not sure what else there is to be done. There's much more to do, see and explore in Phnom Penh in my opinion - and definitely enjoyed my time more there. So, if you're planning a trip I'd definitely slot in more time in the capital!

3 comments:

  1. I have never been to Cambodia ���� but I would love to go! Great tips thanks for sharing ☺️

    abbiejadewanders.co.uk

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  2. I visited Vietnam last year and wish I'd made time to go to Cambodia too! Where did you stay while you were there?

    Poll x

    www.pollymaisiexo.com

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  3. 'Pots and Pans' is such a cute name for a restaurant. My first thought is that I could find there a great soup. Cambodia is still on my list of places to visit, I am sure one day! Love, Iga www.igaberry.com

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