While we were in Thailand, we decided to cross the Cambodian border to reach Siem Reap. I wanted to visit Cambodia since few years and this was the perfect opportunity even if it was only for 1 week.
We left Bangkok around 8:30am (we missed the early morning train (6am)). Instead of a train we booked a minibus that drove us until the border. Before reaching the border, the bus stopped in a small restaurant which is in fact a place to make Cambodian visas. They charge 40 US$ per visa. Little bit reticent at the beginning, we finally ceded to do it there. We crossed the border and office without any problem and in the other side, another minibus was waiting for us.
We arrived in Siem reap around 7pm. It took us the all day to reach this town but so worth it. We took a tuk-tuk to go to our hotel and then went to Angkor Night Market to eat and have one drink. Ok…several drinks. We also booked a tuk-tuk driver for the next 3 days. We wanted to see as much as possible and our driver (recommended by a friend) took us to all the temple places of Angkok Wat site and also to a floating village for 40 US$ each. It was 30 at the beginning but because we choose to visit another place in the north he charged us 10 more. Still a good price tho.
First Day in Siem Reap: After purchasing our temple passes and entering into Angkor Wat, our driver suggest us to do the “small circuit”. We start with Angkor Wat itself, it was crowned but still nice and impressive. Then, even if I tried to remember the name and in wh/ich order I’m still not sure so I prefer to let you know by photos and then for historical information, I recommend you to read this website. We came back at the hotel around 4 pm. We rest a bit (it’s quite exhausting to visit temples, you walk a lot and climb stairs) and then went again to the Night Market to grab something to eat.
Second Day in Siem Reap: we woke up at 4:30 to be at 5:15 in Angkor Wat to see the sunrise. The lotus lac was already surrounded by people but we have been able to found a good place. We waited patiently 1 hour until the sunrise finally start. It was nice but to as nice as I was expected and really too crowded. After that we went back to our driver for the “grand circuit”. We saw and visited a lot of impressive temples again. We came back to our hotel around 3pm and took directly a shower. Climbing stairs when it’s 35 degrees and sunny is the best way to sweat (and burn calories).
Third Day in Siem Reap: During morning we visit monuments in the north of Angkor and also did a nice and easy hike to see a waterfall. Except that because it was during dry season, we couldn’t see anything else except a small trickle of water. After that, our tuk-tuk driver brought us to a floating village. The price ticket for the boat was 20$ per person, and we were the only 2 in the boat + a guide. He explained to us how many people were leaving there, from which country they were coming from and show us around. We stop in a kind of floating supermarket where we bought rice that we give to the school to feed the children. We visited the school, took pictures with them and to finish, the boat stop in a Koarean restaurant but we didn’t eat anything. It was really interesting to see this floating village and how people live there but I have to admit, it’s quite a tourist trap.
After our 4 days in Siem Reap we moved to Battambang. We arrived there in late afternoon and went for a tour. Our first impression was not really good, we were asking ourselves what we where doing in this town and if we should leave directly the next day. We finally found the riverside night market, eat a fried rice and went back to our hotel (First Hotel).
Next morning we woke up a little more motivated and rent a scoot for the day. First we visited Wat Banan Temple with its 359 steps, Pagoda and then we drove and got lost trying to find the Bamboo Train Station that we finally found after 1 hour. If you go to Battambang you’ll have to try this bamboo train but I still think it’s not really worth it to come to this town. After this small tour we went to Phnom Sampeau and visit its the Killing caves where during the Pol Pot regime, Kmher Rouge threw victims to their death. Then, as the sky grew darker, we had the chance to watch thousands and thousands of bas flying out of the caves. It was beautiful.
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