Saturday, August 12, 2017

Siem Reap Diaries

http://www.blissfulguro.com/2017/08/what-to-do-in-siem-reap.html

Pub Street was almost deserted except for a handful of tourists who were enjoying their noontime beer sesh. Quite expected, as they're probably on their temple runs at that time. But not for us, we’ve been to Siem Reap twice already and did almost every temple hopping tour we could. This time around, we wanted to take it slow.

Me and my buddy were on the first city of our second stop in our Same Same Summer Trip 2017, our annual two-month summer backpacking trip. So far, we've covered our favorite spots in Malaysia with our moms, bidding them farewell as we moved with our trip to Cambodia.

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Day 1 | Tuesday | April 18

Our early morning flight to Siem Reap made us camp out on our favorite sleeping spot in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2. We arrived at around eight in the morning and were collected by a gracious driver from Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa, our home for three days.

What To Do In Siem Reap
A Shrine in the Middle of the City
I fell into a deep seven-hour slumber. That siesta was a result of accumulated fatigue from the first part of our trip. Still groggy from too much sleep, we realized that haven’t had lunch yet, so we went for a walk that night to grab something to eat.

We wanted to rest some more but realized that we only have three nights in Siem Reap. And those nights should all be spent, nowhere else but Pub Street--one of our favorite party strips in the whole of Southeast Asia.

What To Do In Siem Reap
Traditionl Khmer Beef Lok Lak

Day 2 | Wednesday | April 19

Today, we decided to have a random temple tour, but skipping the famous temples--we’ve done almost every Angkor Circuit Tour. We had an amazing day exploring the forgotten ancient cities of Koh Ker and Beng Melea on the outskirts of Siem Reap (check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Siem Reap).

What To Do In Siem Reap
Our Tour Driver Asked Us to Try Their Snack. I was Totally Blown Away!
The ruined temples weren’t as famous as the ones in the city because the area is not fully cleared with landmines (which were set up by the Khmer Rouge in 1970's).

That night, as expected, we went back to Pub Street and enjoyed fifty-cent beers (US Dollar is mainly used in Cambodia) until wee hours. I love the party crowd that night; a mix of locals and tourists who were quite crazy.

What To Do In Siem Reap
Angkor What? Bar in Pub Street

Day 3 | Thursday | April 20

It was our last day in Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa, so we lounged at their saltwater pool until check out time. We transferred to 1920 Hotel, which is conveniently located at the heart of downtown Siem Reap. That afternoon, we walked around the neighborhood and found ourselves inside the premises of Preah Prom Rath Pagoda, a temple near our hotel.

What To Do In Siem Reap
Preah Prom Rath Pagoda
We walked further to the riverside where we had afternoon snacks of fried noodles and baguette. It was our plan ever since to explore this side of town, and because we had no prior itinerary to visit it, I was happy our feet led us there.

What To Do In Siem Reap
Fried Noodles and Baguette Along the River
We went to the famous Night Market and Old Market and got lost along its narrow alleys of stalls selling bargain-priced knick-knacks. I ain’t into shopping but I found a one-dollar wooden elephant to add to my mom’s collection back home. My buddy bought a cutesy elephant pants for his toddler nephew as well.

What To Do In Siem Reap
Old Market
We continued our leisurely walk and ended up on a small park. It was around four in the afternoon and it was filled with locals enjoying their lull time. We saw some guys who were playing a traditional game of jianzi (which is very similar to the game sipa in the Philippines) and watched for a while, getting absorbed with their amazing skills.

What To Do In Siem Reap
Jianzi, a Khmer Traditional Game
Our lovely walk ended at Pub Street at sundown. And as expected that night--our last--we reveled like we were paid to (like teeners with raging hormones). Pub Street is one of our favorite party streets in Asia and almost always, we had a good time.


Day 4 | Friday | April 21

The early morning scene in Siem Reap was serene and charming. It was our last day in town before we travel to our next destination, Phnom Penh. We were having our breakfast at the foyer of 1920 Hotel while having a nice morning conversation about our four-day stay. It is, by far, the most relaxed trip we've had in this ancient city. And I know that this won’t be our last.

What To Do In Siem Reap
Our Favorite Street in Siem Reap

 





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