Siem Reap, Cambodia
20 – 24 December 2016
20 December 2016
I arrived in Siem Reap at 2pm. Oh, I was so happy to see my luggage first on the belt! Haha Outside, I was so happy to see my name on a card. I had a free transfer from airport to the homestay, Advisor Angkor Villa Homestay. I would write a separate review on these affordable yet value for money accommodations on TA and booking.com. I was lucky to have found these places.
For 7USD a night, I was able to get a fan room (can be for 2), with complimentary airport to hotel transfer and free breakfasts and wifi. That was my home for 4days. I lied on the bed and rested. I walked to the Night Market, bought some souvenirs, had a 30-minute foot massage and had my first Cambodian dish, Amok with rice. Homie after that.
21 December 2016
First stop, of course was the complex that Siem Reap’s famous for, the Angkot Wat and other temples around it. I took the grand tour (surprisingly, didn’t include the famous Angkor Wat and Bayon Temples) with sunset. I hired a tuktuk for the day for the price of 15USD +5USD for 2extra temple +3USD for the sunset. Entrance ticket to the temple complex was 20USD for one full day.
First stop was the more famous Angkot Wat, then subsequently, were the remaining temples. I particularly liked the Neak Poan Temple, especially the long walk towards the temple pond. I was starting to become templed out by my 4th temple. I had been to similar complexes like Bagan, Ayuthaya, Burubodur. I was in awe when I saw the Indonesian temple. Maybe because it was among the firsts few that I’ve visited.
I had to stop at one restaurant by the complex to have Lunch. I had this Khmer Sour soup beef, which I liked so much. After lunch, we continued on visiting 2 more temples, where the last one was where I waited for sunset, Pre Rup.
I was so tired after this, I decided not to go out anymore for the night.
22 December 2016
I wanted to go on a hike. I’ve searched for hike groups going up to Phnom Kulen Mountain but there was none. Hike tours were to pricey for one person too. So, I had no choice but to hire a tuktuk, again to go up, instead of trekking in and out of the sights, I was brought there by motorbike (35USD + 20USD Ticket).
Heading up to Phnom Kulen National Park
First stop was the Reclining Buddha on top of ancient huge rocks. The bike driver treated me with meat balls and water. Coming down from here, he realised that out tire was flattened. We had to look for a vulcanizing shop and had it replaced. Was I that heavy?
From there, we walked by this small river, then to the 2tier waterfalls again. I didn’t swim anymore. I just checked it out. We went home after this. Riding the bike made me really sleepy. I was half awake, half asleep behind the driver. I knew it was dangerous but I couldn’t control it. Rural view was beautifuf but sleepiness was beyond my human control.
I arrived back home and rested. That night, I decided to be a little bit more adventurous. I ate by the street, Khmer noodle for 1USD and for the first time during my travels, I met up with someone from Tinder. S, French based in Quebec, yoga and massage instructor, who was only in Siem Reap because it was winter in his place of residence. We had desserts and coffee and we again, went for 1hour foot and leg massage.
We went home separately after that, 😉
23 December 2016
I didn’t do very much in the morning. I kept on searching for this 18USD group tour to Kampong Phluk by Ton Le Sap Lake online, but I couldn’t find it. I found this a little bit more posh package from Tara River Boat our at 36USD with sunset, unlimited drinks and a buffet dinner. I thought it was quite worth it.
Before that, I went for another T date, he’s a homestay-owner who was Egyptian in origin, based in CA too.He was shy, I was a little too. I asked the tour company to pick me up from his homestay.
We first stopped at a lotus field, had a few minutes of taking photos before we headed up to Port of Chong Khneas are located less than 15km from Siem Reap . We took a small boat to see the water village, then to the crocodile farm. Once the trip through Chong Khneas was complete, our boat entered the edge of the lake by the docking place of the Queen Tara, the Biggest boat on the Tonle Sap Lake with the views of the floating village and the sunset. We waited for the sunset there while we enjoyed the unlimited drinks (both alcoholic and non) and buffet dinner. I particularly liked the hammocks on the boat. I spent time relaxing on them while facing the soon-to-be setting sun.
At 7pm, we had to head back. Since there were complains of the smaller boat being unsafe, we were transferred to a bigger boat and the journey started. Half-way, heavy rain started to pour. It was scary because the wind was making the boat sway around. I decided I had to wear the life vest, just in case. After 10minutes, the rain stopped. Suddenly, there was smoke coming out of the tail of the boat. What? The engine was switched off and luckily, after being stranded there for a few minutes, another boat passed by and this boat towed us along with it to the port. It was indeed an adventure.
We drove back to Siem Reap. I had a full tummy and a high on the adventure that just came about. I wanted to take advantage of these cheap massages, I went for an hour of sports oil massage to conclude the night.
24 December 2016
My last day in Siem Reap. I thought, I should just take things lightly. I checked out at 12pm and decided to head back for a walk by the city center. I went for pedicure, foot scrub and massage (again). It was almost Christmas and they were preparing the Pub Street for the eve’s celebration. I walked and I had that feeling again, melancholic feeling of being alone in a foreign place on a festive season. So, I decided to find lunch. Maybe I was just hungry.
I had another Cambodian dish called Loc lack. The meal gave the courage to give in and meet up with S again for coffee and dessert. Yeah, he’s cute in my opinion and that accent when telling stories is attractive. Haha supeficial stuff.
After the meet-up, I went to look up for the Catholic church, St. John’s to attend the anticipated 6:30pm mass supposed to be. Unfortunately, at 7pm, mass still wasn’t starting. Because it’s Christmas eve, they started off with a program. I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue on because I had to be at the airport by 8something.
I bought dinner, headed back home and hired a tuktuk to the airport.