It’s been a month since I left Siem Reap, Cambodia. For eight days, I considered it as my home and I had a hard time leaving.
Siem Reap exudes this unexplainable charm that makes almost every traveler stay for a few more days, weeks or even months. It is a simple town full of nice and hard working people. It is also perfect for those who wants to live in a laid-back setting during the day yet you are not deprived to enjoy a great nightlife. Siem Reap is full of cinematic angles that will definitely touch your heart. Most of the locals I met are nice conversationalists even if they can be very persistent especially when selling stuff or convincing you to avail their services.
This time, I would like to share Eight Reasons Why My Siem Reap Trip is Memorable:
1. ANGKOR WAT and other temples – Like what I mentioned in some entries, I wanted to go to Cambodia because of the Angkor Wat. Even if I find the three-day pass expensive ($40), I know that the experience will definitely be a good one – and it did exceeded my expectations… like too much! I didn’t really read much about it and I got temple-d out on our second day. At least I managed to do the Angkor Wat Temple Hopping while I’m still young. I am still overwhelmed with the amount of pictures and videos I took and recorded that’s why I haven’t really arranged it up to this date LOL.
2. PUB STREET and THE ALLEY WAY – The Pub Street can be tagged as the Khao San Road of Siem Reap since you will see most travelers here at night. I have to be honest though that I prefer Pub Street since there’s a noisy side, but there is also the cozy part The AlleyWay, where my favorite restaurant NYDC is located.
3. TONLE SAP and the Floating Village – The Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. We were able to take the Half Day Tour of Chong Khneas in Tonle Sap. It is an interesting place since we saw floating houses, markets, villages, schools – kids fighting in a banca, crocodiles that can be sold for $300 a piece and kids in planganas with their pet snake in their shoulders. Our tour guide speaks in Australian accent too!
4. CONVERSATIONS WITH LOCALS – When I travel, I make sure to talk to the locals especially if I want to know something about the place or if i’m bored. Here’s a picture of me talking to a painter and some souvenir vendors in Pre Rup. We talked about Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes, Katrina Halili, how the Filipino version of Marimar captured the hearts of the Khmers and the potential of earning more profit by painting Dyesebel.
5. MARKETS – Cambodians are truly creative and I can say that their items are worth buying. I am not really a shopper, but I was able to buy a pair of scarf, three bohemian bags and a few clothing items. The best thing here is you can haggle and at some point, they will be the one to voluntarily ask you on how much you’re willing to pay. Cool, ain’t it? It is good to haggle, but also keep in mind that these vendors need to earn a living too. Don’t be to stingy!
If you want to dine like a local and eat cheap food, you can also spot the area with chairs and food stalls within the night market area. Most stalls are selling Khmer BBQ and a good selection of Khmer Cuisine. It is also a perfect place to get drunk with Angkor, Anchor and Cambodia Beer 😛
6. KHMER FOOD – The Amok is the most recognized Khmer dish that’s why I didn’t let the opportunity pass to try one. I also tried the Khmer BBQ and some dish that I cannot remember what the name is 0_0. At times, I am confused if I am really eating a Khmer food or if it is Chinese or Thai LOL. Same Same! 😛
7. ACCOMMODATIONS – During my Siem Reap trip, I managed to stay in three different guesthouses – Bou Savy Guesthouse, Victory Guesthouse and Naga Guesthouse. Although I encountered minor problems in some of them (one guesthouse ran out of water supply the whole Wednesday afternoon 0_0) , the staff and crew were very sorry and most of them are really nice and sincere. If you’d ask me on which country did I experience the best accommodation in terms of the quality of service and how ‘homey’ I felt, I’d say Siem Reap! 😀
8. MEET UP WITH PTB MATES – Isn’t it funny on how seven Pinoy Travel Bloggers were in Siem Reap that time? It was my first time to meet Edgar of Eazy Traveler (of all places!) and we officially call our group the Toma Raiders. Figure out why LOL.
I can also say that February is really a love month because Edcel is now officially evicted from the SSB group! Finally, he took the risk not only by quitting his job, but for taking a plunge to the pool of love! Yihee <3
I also dedicated numerous nights talking to good friends about things that concerns me the most. I also became an orphan for a few nights, ate home-cooked meals and inspired me to continue doing things on my own. I am thankful 😀
I will try to blog about these highlights in the next few days. Siem Reap, you are missed! <3
Photo Credits: Drew, Edgar and Edcel