Angkor what did you say? Siem Reap...
Trip Start Aug 06, 2009
151Trip End Dec 01, 2011
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Where I stayed
Golden Fish Hostel
Sunday 13th February 2011
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Cambodia (By Danielle)
Siem Reap Highlight of Cambodia!
Another bus day! We got picked up from the hostel and brought to the bus station where we got on our local bus to Siem Reap. Nice trip – not too long, enough air con to make it comfy – what more can you ask for!
Arriving in Siem Reap we had sourced a few spots in town but the bus dropped us outside the main centre – so all the tuk tuks descended on us, we had no choice but to go with one of them – on one condition that we use him tomorrow for our trip to Angkor!
We found a nice cheapie hostel Golden Fish ($6) really close to Pub Street (the main strip of bars and restaurants). Once we had dropped off our bags and showered off for the second time today (so humid and sweaty here) we headed off for a wander of the local town – so built up, pubs, bars and restaurants side by side with their music competing to be loudest! Then we walked down The Alley, such a cute lane, with more upmarket restaurants and cafes and really nice fair trade handicraft stores. It had a modern hippie chic vibe to it complete with a fortune teller shop. Then there was the triangle shaped central stall area where all the stalls and local trolley dinners set up – there were so many stalls all with yummy local Khmer dishes. In the center of the triangle all the plastic chairs and tables are mixed so you can dine there or on the outside along the curb plenty of people watching! Siem Reap has so many massage parlors and fish massage (you stick your feet in a tank filled with the cleaner fish and they feast on your dead skin and sweaty feet… eh no thanks!). There are also two large markets, one open during the day filled with everything, you name it it’s there. Then the night market is closer to our hostel – cool place to potter around in after dinner – they have $1 foot and back rub there… row of seats are always full…we must test it out….
Rob and I ate at one of the stalls before heading to Blue Pumpkin, this fab dessert café full of ice creams, pastries, breads and cakes! After our treat we found a massage parlor that would give us the 'works’ for our feet at an alright price. We had our feet scrubbed, scrapped, polished, massaged and nails pampered (well I got the nails coloured Rob kept it simple with no colour – maybe next time)
Monday 14th February 2011
Siem Reap, Cambodia (By Rob)
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!
Today was supposed to be the fantastic romantic sunrise of Angkor Wat; instead we got a cloudy back drop with hundreds of tourists around us!! We got a tuk tuk at 5am to make sunrise at 6am. We thought we were going to be the first ones there, but when we arrived at the ticket office we were nowhere near alone, hundreds of people were up early to get the magnificent site in. Tickets were $40 for 3 days use, entrance to all of the temples and national park. We had to get our photo taken for the tickets and Kev thought it would be a good idea to make a funny face! I was up first pulled a horrible face and the ticket was hilarious!! Kev went up and I thought he did nothing, but he made himself cross-eyed, the picture was so funny.
When entering Angkor Wat, a Cambodian who worked there gave us some incense to place in front of the Buddha before we entered. Showing us how to pray by bowing 7 times and rubbing the Buddha’s foot and then touch your head. I though, God this guy is very nice to be doing this!! Until he pulled away a piece of cloth at the Buddha’s feet, where a $10 note sat!
Even though the sunrise was disappointing the building itself was superb, to think they made this 1000 years ago was mind blowing. Once the sun came up we wondered around starting from the back and working our way down to dodge the crowd. We took a few funny photos on the way; the camera loved Kev and Kev was loving the camera!! He kept asking to take his photo!!
Next stop was Angkor Thom, a city of temples; the main one Bayon had 54 gothic towers which held 216 different smiling faces glaring down. This was my favourite of the bunch, the detail in all of the rocks were amazing and how they got them up so high, no one will ever know! Even the walkway walls (Elephant Terrace) to each of the temples were carved out with detailed elephants and angry faces to protect them from evil. At this point Michelle (small bladder) decided to go to the toilet and ended up getting lost for an hour, searching for her in the tuk tuk we finally found her with Kev!! Typical!!
I never knew there were so many temples in Angkor Wat, we must have seen 12 so far and there are lots more. Some of the temples have trees growing through the actual building, with the bark covering the hole of the roof, craziest looking thing I have seen. We messed around in Ta Prohm taking cool photos with all the roots and over grown jungle creeping over the temple. Our driver dropped us off for lunch at this crap place just because he got free lunch there. Way over priced and the food wasn’t even good.
Everywhere you go there are kids trying to sell you things from water, homemade instrument’s, books and bracelets and most of them don’t take no for an answer especially if you go over and have a look yourself, they expect you to buy. We had 5 kids follow us around for 20min bugging us saying “1 dollar” every 2 seconds!! Very annoying but sad all the same.
We were all dying because we have been up since 5am and it was coming close to sunset, so we decided to hold off on the sunset and do it tomorrow, plus Kev and myself had nothing planned for Valentine’s Day so we were on a mission to impress!! The tuk tuk driver dropped us back, $12 for the day, can’t go wrong with that, $3 each!! We all went for a well-earned nap and reenergized for “The Temple Restaurant” to have a romantic dinner for 4!! They had traditional band and dancers performing, Khmer style dancing with cool costumes and makeup. Wouldn’t call it the most romantic night of my life but it was fun and the food was good!!
Tuesday 15th February 2011
Siem Reap, Cambodia (By Danielle)
Sun Set at Phnom Bakheng… or not!!
We took the morning off to do our own things; I still like to get up early so Rob and I went for a nice long breakfast – Poor Rob though, his butt plugs finally wore off and a build up from the few days made its way out… ha ha!
After lunch the 4 of us rented bikes and cycled to Angkor to watch the sun set. We cycled to Bayon (the temple with the many faces) then Kev went off to check out this massive seated Buddha Statue where a monk struck up a conversation with him, the friendly chap showed Kev where they eat and lived…
We went back to Phnom Bakheng; the super popular spot for sun set had loads of snap happy tourists climbing the steps to the top of the hill. There we climbed more steps of the 5 leveled, 7 tiered temple and grabbed a good spot to view the sun going down over Angkor Wat. But with the clouds thick in the sky, we only saw it half go down, so after all our effort getting up there for sun rise we left before it had even gone down, ha ha! We are not really lucky with the sun rise and sun set here!!
That night Rob and I ate in another stall restaurant while Kev and Michelle went to a restaurant on Pub Street, Michelle doesn’t like the stall food over here…but we are yet to change her
Wednesday 16th February 2011
Siem Reap, Cambodia (By Rob)
Adios Kev & Michelle……
Today was our last day in Angkor Wat and with Kev and Michelle, we were meeting up with the same driver to bring us around the big loop of the national park. Michelle took the morning off so it was just the three of us. We went to meet our driver but it was a different one, he was busy and sent his friend to look after us. Pity because our original driver was full of information and knew a lot about the history of Angkor Wat. Let’s see how his friend does!!
First stop was Preah Khan Temple, another monster temple with a lot of damaged walls and statues
We all went for lunch while Michelle went for Breakfast! We found a great spot where they gave you a foot message for $2 for 30mins, it was amazing. We tried to look for a blind message (blind person messages you) but were out of luck, they are supposed to be amazing at it as they can’t see but have a sensitive touch
It was our last night with Kev and Michelle so we saw this fancy food stall place yesterday and said Michelle might like this, so we brought them to it and she loved it saying it was the best food she has had all week! Finally, but it is a bit late don’t you think?!!! We finished our amazing day off in Blue Pumpkin where Kev ordered “Death by chocolate”!!!! He did look pretty sick after it!! Well what a 2 weeks it has been with Kev and Michelle, they are off to Phuket tomorrow while we are off to Koh Chang, going our separate ways. Enjoy the rest of your trip and hope you guys settle well in Australia, no matter where it is! (Danielle – Bye guys! Have great trip…so fun travelling with you two!)