Cambodia Journal. Stage 2. Siem Reap

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Day 3. From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by boat

Last night I had already regretted having bought the ticket by boat, since it takes the same time and the price difference is from $ 8 by bus to $ 35 by boat. But I couldn’t change it anymore, so they came to pick me up very early to go to the pier (included in the price). I was surprised to see the boat, I imagined something bigger and older, but no, it was a modern and small boat, where you could go on deck in the sun but without any security measures.

Ferry Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
Ferry Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

This photo that I accompany is not mine, I forgot to take it, but it is also true that I did not go out on the roof, it gave me some vertigo … and, on the other hand, I cannot spend 6 hours in the sun. I spent the entire journey inside, except for brief forays to the door and railing, and I finished a very interesting book that I was reading. What it is is that inside it was a bit cold.

The walk is very pleasant because you see small towns on the banks of the river, as well as fishermen in their boats. When I arrived, my tuk tuk was waiting for me, which was included in the guesthouse, or so I thought …

It turns out that what they do is give you the tuk tuk service for free, waiting for you to contract with them the following days, but since I already had it booked, the boy was a bit down. I told the hotel at the hotel that this information did not come on the web: free pick up if you hire our services ”, so I did not pay! The room was great, very big and clean and then they had a wonderful relaxing space at the entrance, with loungers and hammocks.

Wat Bo, Siem Reap
Wat Bo, Siem Reap

I took the opportunity to go to the city center and visit Wat Bo, the oldest pagoda in the city center with some late 19th century murals. It is a strange city … it is full of hotels but they are almost all low in height so the city seems smaller. Also having the river that runs through it and with all the green area that it has, makes it look more like a town than a city.

Already near there was the market, which is mostly oriented to tourists where you can buy many things that I always thought were from India … like Ali Baba pants. The fact is that it is full of tourists buying T-shirts and other souvenirs, except in the part that is food, which you can already see the locals doing their shopping or eating in the mini restaurants.

Siem Reap Street
Siem Reap Street

When I went out of the market to the restaurant area, I was amazed! this looked like Benidor! or so I suppose, because I never was. All the streets were lined with restaurants, one after another, full of lights and with all kinds of menus, from Mexican to Indian food. And all the restaurants with wifi!

The truth is that coming from Burma with its humble places and its little tourism (by zones) and arriving here has been a radical change! This doesn’t look like Asia! Or at least what I have known from Asia. Sites made for tourists and crowded with people is not what appeals to me the most. But hey, I chose an Italian restaurant to eat a good salad (which in the end was not so good…).

I came to bed early because tomorrow I stayed very early (at 5 in the morning) to go see the sunrise. What do you want !!!

Day 4. Visit the temples of Angkor

Dawn at Angkor Wat
Dawn at Angkor Wat

At the agreed time my driver came to take me to Angkor Wat and start my tour of the temples. At the entrance there were already many people but it was quite dynamic, more riding a motorcycle as we were, than we sneaked between the cars and buses. I bought the ticket for 3 days (40 $). I have a specific entry on information about the Temples of Angkor.

When I arrived I was impressed with the amount of people who gathered there looking for the best place to take a photo as soon as the sun began to rise. The choice I made was not the best, there was no one there for a reason … the perfect place is at the bottom corner of the lake, where everyone is. There I went on the way back from my visit to the temple and once enough people had left, in this way I was able to take some nice photos.

Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom

And once this visit was over, Soun was waiting for me to go and have some noodles for breakfast and follow the itinerary that he had proposed: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom (Bayón, Baphuon, Recinto Real y Phimeanakas, Tep Pranam, Preah Palilay, Terraza del Rey Leper and Terrace of the Elephants). I have a photo report of the visit to the temples in the previous link, in the image gallery.

From here we went to Ta Prohm, which is one of the most invasive of trees, and therefore, its charm. Then we went to Ta Keo and from there back to Siem Reap to eat in a non-touristy market. It was still 3 in the afternoon, but it had been non-stop since 5, so it was a good time to relax. We went to try to see the sunset in Phnom Bakheng but after a climb of about 15 minutes we found that there was a queue to go up and sit in the temple to wait for the sun to go down. With this panorama we returned to Siem Reap and I went to the hotel where I stayed the rest of the afternoon and night.

After having dinner based on desserts, I am going to rest soon because I am exhausted. Tomorrow I have a meeting at 8 in the morning to go to Banteay Srei, 37 km from here, for this journey I asked Soun to leave me a helmet, which is already a long road …

Day 5. Around Angkor

Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei

The motorcycle ride was very pleasant and when I arrived and found this delicate temple, I was fascinated. I think it is one of the most beautiful in terms of its size, although it is small, it is worth seeing and it deserves these almost 80 km (round trip).

On the way back we stopped at the Museum of Mines, very basic but with the entrance you collaborate with the Antipersonnel Mines elimination project.

The next stop was Eastern Mebon, Ta Som, and Preah Neak Poan. Then we go to one of the busiest, the Preah Khan, a labyrinthine place with its trees invading everything. By noon we were in town, where, after lunch, I returned to the hotel to relieve the heat under a lounger with a fan. It was there that I met an Australian couple that I went to have dinner with. They were a lot of fun and we had a really nice evening. Before returning to the hotel we went to get a foot massage, to relax more, if possible.

I have already said goodbye to them because tomorrow I am leaving early for Bangkok.

Day 6. Siem Reap – Bangkok

Bus Siem Reap-Bangkok
Bus Siem Reap-Bangkok

As I had been told, they came to pick me up in a van from the hotel and supposedly take me to the bus station. Well no, it’s in that van where they take you to the border. At first I was nervous because we were being delayed a lot because of some Italians who were not satisfied with the van and we were already passing in half an hour before the departure time of the bus, or so I and the French boy who was also in the bus thought. van. When we finally left the city and saw that the kilometers and the minutes passed and that there was no bus station, we were calm knowing that we had not lost anything.

Very important notice ...
Very important notice …

After 12 hours we arrived in Bangkok, after 2 stops to stretch our legs and taking into account that we spent 3 at the border. About this journey I have an open post.

Upon arrival I took a taxi that took me to the hostel and after a shower I went to dinner. My days ended in Cambodia and began in Bangkok.

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