Another South East Asian country ticked off my bucketlist : CAMBODIA
Everytime my aunt and uncle would visit the Philippines, they try to fit in their schedule a short trip to another south east asian country. This time, they decided they wanted to go to Cambodia. My mom and I went with them because we don’t get to travel a lot back when I was still studying and the must see temple Angkor Wat, is part of the 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site! It is all thanks to Travel Guru for setting up our itinerary in Siem Reap.
We booked our flight via Cebu Pacific since they are the only airline in Manila that has a direct flight to Cambodia. We left on March 21 and the only time that was available was 7:30pm and our expected time of arrival would be around 10:10pm. Upon arrival, Narong our tour guide picked us up in the airport and brought us to Tara Angkor Hotel. (Take note that there’s a time difference. Manila time is advanced by 1 hour.)
For people who want to find comfort despite the busy activities one will experience under the scorching heat, I really recommend this hotel. This is a 4 star hotel located along the streets of Siem Reap and it is an easy drive to go towards the temples. The staffs are very welcoming and friendly towards the guests. They always show a smile on their faces and they make sure they get to accommodate the needs of visitors.
So this is where our tour will officially start!
Our Day 1 tour consists mainly of the big temples found in Siem Reap. The big temples are where the kings and queens would stay before during the 10th century onwards. Before you can actually go through the temples, you will have to pass by the Angkor Archaeological Park Ticket Fee. This is where you will have to get your ticket and you can pick among the following : 1 day pass for US$20, 3 day pass for US$40 (tourists can view the sites for 3 days but it does not necessarily need to be consecutive. Just as long you are able to do it within the 1 week period of the ticket given) and 7 day pass for US$60 (tourists can view the sites for 7 days but it does not necessarily need to be consecutive. Just as long you are able to do it within the 1 month period of the ticket given).
The very first temple we went to was Angkor Thom. Since this temple has 5 gates, the gate that tourists would usually pass by first is the South Gate where you can see the statues of angry Buddhas.
Along the way, we saw these
cute monkeys. They may be cute but these are the ones you have to look out for while taking a walk. They can be pretty sneaky. We saw one baby monkey who sat by the motorcycle and the reason the monkey sat there was because he got the chopsticks! There were even stories that they would also get the cellphone of tourists.
We saved the best for last – Angkor Wat Temple! Many backpackers would usually wake up early & go to this temple before sunrise & see the silhouette of the temple on the lake. I wasn’t able to experience this event but I now have another reason to go back to Siem Reap!
Our Day 2 tour consists of temples again but this time, these were the smaller versions. These temples were made by the teachers during the 10th century. That was why it was smaller and easier to go up to compared to the first temples we went to.
On our way to the 2nd temple, we passed by this place where they sell local cambodian sweets. I actually forgot what it is called but this certain food (made out of sugar) can be found in the Philippines as well!To note, they also look like Filipinos!
For our 3rd day tour, we decided to cool it down by taking a good rest and just attend the Artisans Angkor since we were leaving Cambodia on that same day as well. Artisans Angkor is where you can see locals showcase their traditional skills in accordance with the Khmer culture. We found out that the one who started this organization is a European NGO company and their main reason of putting up this kind of business is to help young local people in the rural areas and for them to be closer to home. It is actually hard to be fully considered as a staff. One has to take classes and master the craft. Basically you are the creme de la creme.
Creme de la creme
TRIVIA : It takes more than 2 months to finish this whole work
Different kinds of sandstones located in Cambodia
The process on how they turned a stone into any kind of design
Aside from the places that Travel Guru gave us, you can opt to visit the other places in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The following places I placed here were the other places we visited. I do hope to visit museums when I plan to go back to Cambodia.
Night Market (it’s a mixture of Greenhills & Divisoria)
Pub Street (where you can find the nightlife and party with other people)
The next blog will all be about the restaurants that Travel Guru placed for our lunch and dinner + tips to fully enjoy Cambodia !