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Siem Reap - Gateway to Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap


Siem Reap - Gateway to Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap

This is the 2nd in a series of travelogue of short trips around Asia that readers might like to consider. Siem Reap is the tourism capital of Cambodia while Phnom Penh, the capital and largest city, is the business capital. But for most looking to partake in the Angkor Wat (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) , Siem Reap is the gateway. A visit to the Tonle Sap, A UNESCO Biosphere, is certainly another highlight of the trip here. Having experience the astounding wonder and scale that is Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap... you will begin wonder if S'pore's campaigning to get The Botanic Gardens to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site a far-fetched idea. Yes, our Botanic Gardens certainly has its charm and historical importance, but it's just that the magnitude of Angkor Wat alone is staggering...

It's said by many that "you must visit Angkor Wat at least once in your lifetime!"  But what I heard from friends and relatives when I asked for opinion when I was planning my trip were not encouraging - "lots of temples, nothing much to do, lots of climbing, not for kids,..." Good thing I trusted my wanderlust instinct and never ever regretted my decision to pay homage to this veritable heritage wonderland.

 

1) To sum up my feeling of the UNESCO World Heritage Site - "Wow !"
2) To get the most of Angkor Wat or a trip to Siem Reap - "Get a reliable tour guide" Try Mr. Sowanna Yun from www.cambodianguide.com .
3) Minimum number of days to cover the temples (some, not all) before you get confused & tired - 3 days.
4) Most useful currency in Siem Reap - USD and denomination -  USD1... yes, 1 USD !
5) Recommended transport in Siem Reap (short distance) - tuk tuk. Longer distance (aircon taxis or private cars)
6) Very important note : "Don't lose your temple pass" (it has your photo on it & non-transferable).
7) Best months to visit - "Dec -Feb" cool, relatively dry.. do bring a cardigan.
8) How to enjoy temples better - "Google for info & read Tripadvisor" before visiting.
9) Best place to chill out after Angkor Wat visit - "Pub Street. Local beer at USD50 cents/mug"
10) For a rounded trip- "Do a little humanitarian trip - some donation (rice, toothbrushes, etc) to an accredited orphanage off the beaten track.

 

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The best tour guide in Siem Reap one could possibly have... Mr. Sowanna Yun (www.cambodianguide.com)

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Stand straight, still...camera scanning our face to be printed on the temple pass....non-transferable , of course.

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The camera....but don't expect perfect makeover pic on the temple pass....

 

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Sowanna giving an animated story of Angkor Wat....

 

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 Gorgeously amazing face carved into the walls at Bayon Temple...

 

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A "must-do" pose at Bayon Temple (^___^)

 

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The power of Nature...seen and felt in Ta Phrom Temple...

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Shrine within temple....

 

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Unbelievably green lake around Ta Phrom....chokeful of algae...

 

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The writings...errr... carvings on the wall... everywhere amongst the temples compound..... each tells a story

 

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Temple security guard.....

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Resident nun at Ta Phrom Temple....

 

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Killing Fields Shriine in Siem Reap.....

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Snake girl on Tonle Sap... USD1 dollar to take a picture of her...and feel her pet snake... these "entertainers" will motor up close alongside your sunset cruise boat.....

 

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The floating village at Chong Kneas.... entire community living on water, mobile homes following the tides seasons at the lake...

 

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Amazing sunset at Tonle Sap...

 

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Returning to shore after a great sunset cruise...

 

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Cooking classes in Siem Reap.... take home authentic Cambodian recipes...here at Le Tigre Du Papier..

 

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Apsara dancers.... beauty and grace in motion...

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Typical roadside BBQ seafood dinner.....great fare at a great price...

 

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Great local beer to chill out & wash it down.... just USD0.50 -1.50 most places...

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Siem Reap main local wet market at Psa Leu...(pronounced Sar Le) ...

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The market is dimly lit at the fresh produce area...and due to no refrigeration, all produces are sold within the day, fresh...

 

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Busy Sunday at Psa Leu.....

 

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The vendors (invariably ladies) sit atop their stalls, with their wares in front of them.

 

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Common and popular pastime in Pub Street, the main night activity venue in Siem Reap....about USD1/15min (with 1 free beer/coke)...

 

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 A section of Pub Street with wide choice of pubs and eateries...

 

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Tour ambassador , Mr. Sowanna Yun...trip would have been much less enjoyable if not for him. He certainly know the inside out of Siem Reap, more so than most other guides. Getting us to venues earlier before the hordes come in, the best picture spots,.... and reliable and resourceful.

Note: This is purely a happy satisfied customer singing praise of a tour firm and sharing great moments. He have no business interest with or in the company. Opinions expressed in this blog is purely the writer's, not coerced nor solicited. Situation , pictures, etc conveyed are subject to change due to life dynamics.

Life's a journey.....have a great trip (^___^)//

 

 

 

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