|Angkor Wat @ Cambodia|
I finally get to visit Cambodia last month! It was actually an invitation by a friend as he won a pair of air ticket to Phnom Penh, if it's not because of him, I don't think I will make any planning to visit this heritage spot any time soon. Lucky me for his wining, I get to explore one of the many to-go attractions spots in my list.
You're right! Angkor Wat is located in Siem Reap, so for us to get to Angkor Wat, we need to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap first.
This was a 4 days 3 nights trip, for us to travel from PP to SR we can choose 3 different method to travel - by flight, by ferry or by bus. Optimally, by flight would be the best as it saves time and probably the safest way to travel, however it's also the most expensive option as it cost us up to $100 (USD) per trip per pax.
We finally decided to travel by bus thinking it is going to be a 5-7 hours trip which may be still bearable, and that's when our second nightmare began.
- Got introduced by the local to take their local bus to SR. Thinking of experiencing something local, we didn't mind trying our luck. It cost us $26 for a one-way trip for the 2 of us, which we eventually feels it doesn't really worth it.
- Mr Google told us that it only take us 5-7hours to reach SR from PP but it took us up to 9 hours to arrive. Imagine sitting in a squeezy and confined area, going through bumpy ride without dinner, only arrived SR at about 9pm. The horror!
First night ended with roadside stall, never realized a bowl of normal beehoon soup can taste so good!
First day was wasted in the bus, but it was indeed fun catching up with my friend (aside from sleeping during the ride to SR). Early morning on the second day about 5-ish we were already standing in front of Angkor Wat, planning to catch the sunrise. Unfortunately, dawn broke over the temple upon our arrival, and it was quite cloudy then, hence we did not see the sun.
Angkor Archaeological Park covers quite a huge area, and you simply cannot walk from one temple to the other if you're planning to stay there for a day. For us, we've had engaged a tuk-tuk driver for a day which cost us about $20.
I'm not going into details on the temples that we've visited, you ought to visit all the temples and you will discover all its similarities and differences. To me, I found a lot of similarities from one and another - without know its actual story behind the structure. So if you want to know the history about each and every temple (i.e. which temple was built first, the reason of building the second temple, etc.) it's best to engage a local tour guide to do the explaining.
If you have a creative eye and is able to capture the soul of a building/structure/scenery/people through different angle/perspective, then you may enjoy your trip here too. I admit my eyes is not that creative and I cannot see things differently, so all my shots seems quite dull.
Two thing I need to tell you:
- There are quite a fair bit of locals who will approach you in the temple, encouraging you to pray to the Buddha statue nearby for good luck, for your friends and family, and they will pass you joss sticks during the process. In return, you need to pay for it, and they will tell you it's meant for the monks. DO NOT trust them, unless you're feeling generous. Otherwise just avoid eye contact with them.
- Young children/local adult will come surrounding you in group or "attack" you individually, hoping you will buy their magnet, post card, drinking water and many others. It's up to you who you wanna buy from, but please beware that once you purchase from one person, normally the others will come and try their luck. If you're good with your earlier purchase, you may reject them politely, otherwise, go through a different route to avoid them.
To be honest, I really wish I can write an awesome blog post about my trip. But I don't think I can remember much details to share everything. All I can say is that Angkor Wat is an awesome place, which I wish I can stay much longer and have someone to explain to me on the history of these temples. 1 day is definitely not enough.
Food wise is good, their amok (Cambodian soup) and their stir fried dishes are quite tasty. Safety wise, I personally think it's alright, I don't feel as scared walking in the city with my bags and valuables at night, as compare to KL. Accommodation wise, I believe there are quite a few reasonable guest houses around which you can find, I will opt to stay in a guest house in the future if I get another chance to visit SR again.
Due to the long bus ride, we didn't get to enjoy PP much. However, I will make sure I visit Cambodia again, and this time I will try to have enough time to visit all the places around.