Wandering in Cambodia

Hi there, I had a great adventure in Cambodia that I can’t stop thinking of writing about it here. I hope you get to like this blog and entice you to visit this small Kingdom where great wanderful escapades await.

This visit to Cambodia was a part of my 12-day solo travel to Indochina and the Malay Peninsula.  After Ho Chi Minh, I took a 12 hour ($24) bus-ride that passes through the laid-back Cambodian country-side and the capital city, Phnom Penh.  The road travel was spectacular.  I was able to see Cambodia from south going north on this solo escapade.

One day in Siem Reap is probably not enough to see the tourist spots and  enjoy cultural immersion.  Siem Reap has a lot to offer.  It may be a laid back city but it has all the comforts and amenities of a modern one.  So, for those who are into adventures, just make sure to put on your most comfortable shoes, dress properly, always be polite especially to the locals.  Local street vendors and peddlers can sometimes be pushy, and the most common words that you will hear is “one dollar only”, referring to the products they offer. Just try to be polite when declining. A  visit to the temples can be done in a day, but do not leave just yet.  Stay another day to enjoy the streets of Siem Reap.  Nightlife here is great, the food are sumptuous and the drinks are inexpensive!

The local tourist booklet about Siem Reap suggested 10 things that you can do while in here.  The owners of Oral D’ Angkor (amazing concierge service from this couple) gave me a copy.  However, here are the top 10 things I suggest you should do.

  1. Visit the Angkor Wat of course ! (click this link to see what I’m talking about!)
  2. Visit the Angkor National Museum – if you are into history like me, this one is a must for you.  It contains 8 galleries of artifacts from the Angkorean Era and the more recent periods.  Although you can see a lot of these in the actual setting when you visit the Angkor Wat.
  3. Visit the Local Markets -I’ve visited these places several times when I was here.  They can be hot and cramped in the middle of the day, but this is a great place for bargain hunters ! No pain, no gain 🙂
  4. Enjoy a Traditional Dance Performance- Dance is an integral part of Khmer culture, combining Apsara dances, folk dances and shadow puppetry.  I did not see these live but I saw a lot of these over and over again on TV on board the tourist bus on the way here !
  5. Visit the Angkor Night Market ! (open from 4:00PM-12:00MN) Don’t miss this or you’ll regret it.
  6. Visit the Old Market. This place is haven to food lovers.  Well, it was heaven for me!  I have tried local Cambodian cuisine and it was here where I met new friends from Germany and the Philippines.  Its nice to meet some new acquaintances along the way.  A meal for two can cost anywhere from $2-$10 here depending on your diet.  A beer starts at .50 cents.
  7. Buy some Silk !
  8. Ride a tuk-tuk, a moto and walk around the city and say hello to some locals. I had fun walking around the city submerged on a knee-deep flood waters.
  9. Rent a bike for a dollar a day and visit the temples.  (All of these information should be available in your hotel, motel or transient house.)
  10. Have a massage.  After a day or two of walking around Siem Reap, pamper yourself with a soothing foot or body massage Khmer style. You’ll definitely have a good night sleep after.

Some tips, as usual

  • When shopping – Not because it is purchased in Cambodia, its authentic Cambodian. Check out the labels, if it says made in China, for sure it is not Cambodian!
  • Best place to do the shopping is in the market.  You may barter, haggle but do not forget to flash your sweetest smiles.
  • US dollars is like the unofficial currency here, just make sure you have enough smaller bills or change all the time.
  • Don’t forget to tip waiters or servers especially when they’ve gone the extra mile in talking English with you.  They are charming people they deserve to be tipped.
  • Most of all have fun, enjoy the place but ensure to respect the environment and the local culture.  I’m sure you know exactly what I mean

See you again Siem Reap !

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21 thoughts on “Wandering in Cambodia

  1. $8 a night po ang accommodation, really nice.
    sir nandun pa po ba ung mga taga national geographic channel para irestore ung ibanh part ng anchor wat?

  2. sir mga locals po ba ang kramihang nagmamanage sa mga places na npunthan nyo???approachable po ba sila sir?

    • yes, the locals manage their own businesses. They are approachable especially to tourists. Though, they have difficulty in conveying themselves in English, you’d really appreciate their efforts :-)) they are charming.

  3. The Angkor Wat is really a pride of Cambodia. The massive structure is really amazing how the ancient Khmer people build this temple when there were no computer-aided design and heavy pieces of equipment to carry the heavy stones and put into place.

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