Siem Reap, WAT An Experience!

                                                           “Collect moments, not things.”  I remember this quotes when I said YES to Tatha – she’s my best friend and travel bud, when she asked me to join her for Siem Reap trip. If not now, when?  I’m all in.

Wednesday, 22nd August 2012. Airport was quite packed 'cause people went vacation for Ied holiday. We flew to Singapore by Singapore Airlines, transited for six hours then fly to Siem Reap in the morning by Silk Air.  I wanna share my transfer experiences at Changi: Surf the internet – Changi provides free internet access, wi-fi, and skype booth for the airlines passenger. Pretty cool huh?! Updating status, posting tweet or picture, talking with people you love in every corner in the world.

Free foot massage – OSIM will massage you and the good news is free!!; Take e-postcard – Wanna send a postcard from Singapore? Why not? Feel free to express yourself in front of camera and send it to your family or friends. Can you see my faces?; Xperience zone – watching favorite sport or news with cozy chair or sleeping while waiting your flight. Hihihi; Eat kaya toast – hungry in super early morning? Buy kaya toast in Killiney. Only $ 1.75. YAY! and See the butterfly – unfortunately, I can’t see them because it’s early in the morning, maybe they’re sleeping.



Silk Air flew us from Singapore to Siam Reap. We landed in Sieam Reap safe and sound. I told Tatha that I felt landing in Malang after I saw the runway outside my window, hahaha. Before we left airport, there was awkward moment when we go through customs. An officer asked  few questions to Tatha after seeing her passport. He kept seeing her Australia visa, even though she is an Indonesian. Whatt? His last question, "with whom are you coming to Siem Reap?" Tatha pointed at me, "with him." Finally, we left customs. 

I saw someone bring poster with Tatha's name on it, that's our driver and tour guide, his name is Reit. Reit took us to our hotel, Hotel Angkor Pearl in Siem Reap. Anyway, Tatha’s aunt, Aunty Deby and Uncle Cliff arrived one day early. Uncle Cliff chose the best hotel in town. Angkor Pearl received TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Winner in 2011 and 2012. Awesome, right? Fresh modern hotel, room is clean, smell so good, bed is comfy and warm and helpful staff.




Kampong Phluk Natural and Cultural Tourism was our first stop of the day. It was good to see echo tourism in Siem Reap. Kampong Phluk has a flooded forest. We rode a boat while enjoying traditional houses and forest. Don't worry no crocodiles inside! : D



 
Exploring the countryside of Siem Reap while riding squad bike was our activity after visiting Kampung Phluk. It was my first time riding squad bike. I rode so slowly in the beginning, so embracing. Hahaha. We saw bunch of kid on the left and right side of the road. They’re cute and energetic. We made a stop in temple and took picture with a monk. I was so stunned with reliefs on the wall. It’s beautiful and well made. We made stop to orphanage. We went room to room of the facility, spending time with them,and sharing a moment with them.We bought boxes  of noodle for them. I realized how lucky we are, we can hug and kiss our parents. Anyway, They raise money from pig farm and merchandise selling. We also bought t-shirts as part of donation to their orphanage. Overall, Siem Reap Squad Bike Adventure was FUN!






Royal Ballet of Cambodia, Apsara dancing is one of attractions for tourists to Siem Reap after Angkor Temples. It was excellent way to spend an evening while enjoying our fine buffet. We watched Apsara dancing in Koulen II Restaurant. Restaurant was full of visitors at that moment. We found a spot, quite far from the stage, but we're still able to see it. It only cost USD 12



After finished watching Apsara dance, we went to Angkor Night Market. We bought small things to bring back home. This market sells souvenirs, clothes, and handicrafts. Please bargain! You will get cheap price if you can bargain. I saw open foot and head massage if you wanna experience khmer massage.



We visited Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat on the second day. I’ve been waiting for this moment. It was hot sunny day in Siem Reap even though it’s rainy season in Cambodia. Before we entered Angkor Wat, we need to buy one day pass, it cost USD 20.The officer took our picture and print it on our day pass. Don’t lose it! We must show our pass to gate keeper. First stop of the day was Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Angkorian temple that contains multiple temples


Bayon


Bayon is medium sized temple. There was huge faces above us in Bayon. I felt like i was being watched when i explored inside Bayon. It’s breathtaking to see ancient temple which has beautiful sculptures.




Exploring Angkor and its temple requires stamina. Visitors have to walk and climb through the complex. Watch your step, please be careful.



There was elephant riding in Bayon. It's great fun exploring Angkor while riding an elephant. Please do not ride a baby elephant! Reith showed us a picture about elephant riding from his wallet, it’s pretty hilarious picture.


Reith's picture
Ta Phrom

They say Lara Croft was here. Let’s go to the famous site in Siem Reap! We need to walk about ten minutes from the entry gate. I felt like walking in a forest, tree grow on right and left side. I saw ancient building and trees had sprouted up in the middle of walls. It’s awesome!



Angkor Wat

One of our reason for visiting was to visit the temples of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat has great reliefs and architecture. The temple was spectacular.  I was stunned by this complex. I heard from a tour guide about Ramayana story on the wall, It’s pretty awesome. When we visited Angkor Wat, this site is in process of careful restoration. I guess our entry fee is used towards the restoration. That's good thing. We enjoyed exploring the complex while taking a bunch of pictures. All of these places were amazing and that you should go there.


 





Tips: wear sport shoes, wear sunscreen, wear sunglasses, bring waters, wear proper clothes - because some places are not allowing to wear very short pants.

After long tiring day in Angkor Wat, we decided to try traditional khmer full body massage in the hotel. It was new experience and quite relaxing. 60 minutes full body massage session cost only USD 6. Heaven.

Our last day in Siem Reap. Instead of War Museum, we visited Silk Farm. We take guided tour around the silk farm, our guide showed how silk is made. The commercial process of silk making is highly complex and labor intensive, so don’t complain if silk price is expensive. 






During Siem Reap trip, we ate local culinary such as fish amok, curry, khmer tomyum, spring rolls, and pumpkin desserts. Our dinner is incomplete without having an ice cold beer, yeah it's Angkor beer!


It was short trip to Siem Reap but full of awesomeness. I highly recommend visiting Siem Reap. Siem Reap offers UNESCO World Heritage, adventure, culture, and culinary. Just say YES to your friend when they asked you to join Siem Reap trip. 



We made quick stop at National Museum of Singapore for Night Festival. Not a bad idea for our super short transit! :) For your information, we’re cashless. How can we manage? To be continued…

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