At the beginning of 2019, I took a round trip to South East Asia. ( Thailand, Cambodia , Angkor Wat)
I have every year an annual holiday with my family celebrating life and that we there for each other.
I usually don’t like to get too much involvement in the planning process of those holidays; however, I do pretend. ( To make sure everyone is chilled.) I don’t do any research and usually start packing the last minute and arrive at the airport at the very last minute.
My part begins once we arrive at our destination. I’m the one whos ordering everyone foods and speaking with cab drivers ( My parents always saying when I was a child they did all this and now they just enjoying the fact I doing it for them… )
So we had a holiday planned for Thailand and Cambodia. Unfortunately, we only got to stay just a few days in Siem Reap. But these few days got me so emotionally invested in Angkor Wat | Cambodia that I can’t even imagine.
Let me start with the first time I saw the city through the airplane window. It was already pretty dark, and instead of seeing flashing lights. I saw one street and the endless darkness around. As we started to land more and more tiny, not too strong lights appeared but were nothing I see before. I wasn’t even sure are we going to stay in a city or a little village. For a minute I do regret not doing any research. But we are landed, and I was ready to roll with whatever ever going to happen next.
After 2 hours sorting out our visas and getting through costume, we finally collected our luggage. And with the first driver, we were already on our wat to the hotel. Our driver started telling us about the history of the country and what we should try to visit during the few days.
As soon as we get off the main road wasn’t any lighting on the streets. It felt scary and really peacefull at the same time. When we got to our hotel as soon as we stepped in it as you walked into a different world. Beautiful old Villa that had a welcoming vibe. But at this time, all I can think of is a good night’s sleep.
The traditional Cambodian cuisine heavily influenced by Indian, China, and France. They have a lot of veggies, spices, and rice in their dishes and meet. I have chosen to do a bit more plant oriented meals as the fruits are so much more flavor full and fresh that I can get in the UK.
I have started my days with a massive plate of fresh fruit. During the day, as we wandered around the city, almost every corner had some local food vendors. With more freshly cut pineapple or mango.
(The one thing that has been so common on our table in the Western culture and I haven’t find or missed eating while I was there is bread. )
See some of my esy helthy breakfast ideas here!
If you are visiting Siem Reap, you can’t miss out on the markets. Tha Anm Khmer Market is a great place to wander around for hours, and if you’re looking to buy any souvenirs here, you can! However, this part of the town is touristy, and you can see this on the prices and the restaurant’s menus as well.
What To Do/See in Angkor Wat
The easiest way to get around the city and for visiting the old temples is by hiring a Tuk-tuk. Most of the drivers speak English.
Our driver not just show us some temples that only the locals visit but also told us so much abate the town/country history.
Siem Reap was little more than a village when French explorers discovered Angkor Wat in the 19th century. With the return of Angkor to Cambodian, Siem Reap began to grow, absorbing the first wave of tourists.
Gose without saying that one of the highlights of my few days was Angkor Wat. The once prosperous Khmer empire that stretches over 500 acres (200 hectares).
On the second day had an early start at 5 am. It was still dark outside, and the first half of the journey, I haven’t seen anyone on the roads. Then as we get closer to the ticket office, the rase begun between the Tuk Tuk drivers. Who gets there first.
Appropriate attire when visiting temples in Angkor Wat is long pants (covering the knee) and shirts that cover shoulders. Skirts, small shorts, tank tops, and other items of revealing clothing are not allowed within temple grounds.
Not like I haven’t known about it, but I still managed only to bring one scarf to cover my shoulders. So I had to buy a skirt nearby the ticket office to make sure I’m allowed inside the temples.
After was all sorted and I already both some souvenir for myself al it left to drive to Angkor Wat. We got there before the first lights. To get the central part of the complex is a bit of a mission. So many people coming every day to witness this magic, all we had to do is following the crowd.
Buy hiring a local tour guide / Tuk Tuk driver we were able to visit in just one day the same sides as the standard organized group tours offer in over three days.
The ancient city of Angkor Thom, ( Angkor Wat / Cambodia) the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. The city is surrounded by an 8-meter high wall. Creating a perfect square. Enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. On each side of the entrance path, a row of 54 gods or demons is holding the sacred Naga snake.
Ta Prohm is known for the magical huge trees and the massive roots growing out of its walls. The jungle temple also featured in the adventure movie “The tomb raider”.
Bayon is located in the exact center of the Angkor Thom complex. Unlike many of the other Angkor temples, Bayon has no moats or surrounding walls.
Banteay Srei is one of the few temples around Angkor to be commissioned not by a king but by a brahman, who may have been a tutor to Jayavarman V. The temple is square and has entrances at the east and west, with the east approached by a causeway.
Baphuon is a beautiful 11th-century “temple-mountain” with steep stairs leading visitors to a terrace which offers one of the best views in the Angkor Wat Archaeologic Park.
I hope you’re enjoying reading my adventure. I would love to know if you have ever been In Cambodia / Angkor Wat or planning to visit in the future. Stay tuned to read about some of my other adventures.