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Traveling Siem Reap, Cambodia

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

Instagram: @robs.hood @ryryohmy

Siem Reap – Cambodia

Spending 3 to 4 days in Siem Reap is adequate to ensure you see all the top attractions, but we found ourselves not wanting to leave by the third day. Of course there are many culturally and historically significant sites to visit, but we found there was a magnetism to the people we encountered, which inevitably led us to extend our stay for 1 more day. We stayed at Mane Village Suites, a five star resort in close proximity to the City Center. Mane had only been open for 5 or 6 months, and still had a few kinks to be worked out, but the property is beautiful and the staff went above and beyond to make our stay amazing. In fact, they were so nice that we did not want to leave and when we finally left, it felt like we had gained family members.

We were so lucky to have made a friend in Chiang Mai on our travels leading up to Siem Reap who couldn’t recommend her Siem Reap tuk tuk driver, Dara, enough. So when we were on our way to Siem Reap, we reached out to Dara, via Whats App, to arrange activities. Dara was extremely helpful in planning our excursions and even provided recommendations to suit our schedule and accommodate our indecisiveness.

Our first day, after arriving late night, we woke up at 4am to watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat. Excessively tired, it was hard at first to muster up the excitement that the beauty of the temples call for, however as soon as we exited the tuk tuk and made our way across the floating bridge, we quickly fixed our emotions as we looked upon the expansive complex. Yes, there were a lot of people there to also watch the sunrise, but not as many as you may expect. There was still enough room to move about on your own and capture different photo-ops, albeit some may have a few strangers in the background. Although monumental and fascinating, Angkor Wat was not our favorite temple. The other 5 to 6 smaller temples we visited afterward were somehow more dazzling, perhaps because they were more intimate and easily fully explored. There is no lack of wonder and awe as you traverse the stone built erections. After a good 6 hour day, be prepared to be drenched in sweat and exhausted. Fortunately, arranged for Dara to take us to all the temples (you will need transportation. The temples are spread out and you will not be able to visit all of them without at least a tuk tuk). Dara was stocked with beers and water, which helped us cool off between temples and after our day was complete.

3-4 days is Siem Reap? Do this:

  1. Temple Hopping; you only need half a day to see approx.. 6 temples, including Angkor Wat. Make sure to arrange transportation for the entire day. Using a tuk tuk for a day will cost, on average, $45. We paid our driver about $60, but we absolutely loved him, and made a friend for life. Get up at 4am to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat; it wasn’t as crowded as we had anticipated. Unless provided by your driver, bring lots of water; it’s sooo hot! You’ll have the evening to go out and eat dinner, only of course, after you’ve taken a nap. You’ll need it.

  1. Pub Street: This is the main center for tourists. Western food, drinks, shopping, music. This area isn’t as expansive as we had thought, but it has everything you need. And if so inclined, take a photo in front of one of the large “Pub Street” signs; everyone is doing it. It starts to get crowded as the sun goes down. It’s easy to find a ride home as tuk tuks are waiting at every exit.

  2. Angkor Silk Farm: Take a free tour of the entire silk process. Silk worms, mulberry trees, spinning, weaving, and at the end, a gift shop, of course. Keep in mind the guides work off of your tips. The tour, in total, only takes about 20-30 min, but if you are interested in the silk process (or even mildly curious), this will keep your attention the entire time. The gift shop is a bit higher priced than you would find at street stalls, but if it goes back into the business to support the workers, is it worth it? If you take a tuk tuk, ask to stop by the street stands to try some of the local delicacies; frog, silk worms, crickets.

  3. Dinner and a Show: While we were not too impressed by the location we chose, Koulen Restaurant, we were happy to have at least experienced the culturally significant and beautiful dance of Apsara; The dance is recognized by UNESCO. Although conveniently located to our hotel, the buffet selection, although wide-ranging, was just tolerable. The show was frequently interrupted by people standing to take photos, use the restroom, get more food, and just talk to one another.

  4. Eat Some Local Food: Cambodia’s local cuisine is known as Khmer cuisine. Try the Amok Fish, steamed in a banana leaf leaving a thick coconut cream. Yum! If you are feeling adventurous, there are many stands offering some local delicacies; crickets, frogs, silkworms, scorpions. Do not miss out on the peanut dish: kaffir lime, lemongrass, sugar, salt, chiles. So, So addictive!

Obviously this city and country has much more to offer, but in our very short stay, we absolutely fell in love with the #vibes, #food, #culture and #people. If you are ever looking for a place to add to you not sleep on Siem Reap, Cambodia. Truly a life changing experience.


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