Saturday, August 12, 2017

Siem Reap Diaries


Pub Street was almost deserted if not for a handful of tourists who were enjoying their noontime beer sesh. That is expected as tourists were probably doing 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 have a downtime.

Me and my buddy were on the first city of our second stop in 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 and carried on with our trip to Cambodia as we bid farewell to them.

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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. 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 slumber for almost seven hours. That daytime siesta was a result of accumulated fatigue from the first part of the trip. Still groggy from too much sleep, we realized that haven’t had lunch that day 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 and those nights should all be spent nowhere but at 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 random temple tours, but we skipped the famous temples as 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 driver from the tour asked us to try their snack. I was totally blown away!
The ruined temples weren’t as famous as the other ones in the city because the area is not fully cleared with landmines (which were set up by the Khmer Rouge in 1970s).

That night, as expected, we went back to Pub Street and enjoyed 50-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 crazy partying on the bars.

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 the saltwater pool until check out time. We transferred to 1920 Hotel which is conveniently located in 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 nearby 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 long time plan to explore this side of town and because we had no plans prior the quick stroll, I was too happy that our feet led us here.

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 into the narrow alleys of stalls selling numerous knick-knacks that were sold for a bargain. 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 the leisure walk and ended up on a small park. It was around four in the afternoon and it was filled with locals who were enjoying the 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 in kicking.

What To Do In Siem Reap
Jianzi, a Khmer traditional game
Our lovely saunter ended in 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 all the time, we never miss to have a good time.


Day 4 | Friday | April 21

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

What To Do In Siem Reap
Our favorite street in Siem Reap





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