When traveling there are so many things that come to my mind. Will I enjoy it there? What currency will they accept? How will it be the food? What if I use up all my cash on hand? How will I be able to replenish it? How will I communicate to the locals? Will they understand me?
It’s my first time to travel abroad and already I get the jitters.
Let me bring you to Cambodia, a place where travelers enjoy their vacation with the convenience of home!
Entering Cambodia I was welcomed with this beautiful site. Beautiful!
In the midst of a busy street I already see beauty, I think I am going to like it here!
It was only 7:00 am, while walking from immigration to get to the bus that will take us to Siem Reap, we heard a song, to our surprise, everyone stopped. They were like statue, they all stood still. Even the vehicles on the street halted. Amazing! I have never seen such sight before! I just spent almost an hour in Cambodia and I was already smiling!
We were welcomed by a friendly conductor who made sure that we were comfortable and told us that there will be “Tuktuks” to bring us to our hotel at our drop off.
Tuktuk or “Remork” as what it should be called in Cambodia, is one of the popular means of transportation there. A carriage pulled by a motorcycle and used like a taxi. My daughter rented a Tuktuk service through as online application before we even reached Cambodia.
This was our ride around Cambodia and our Tuktuk driver Kim Phearum. A very respectful and funny young man who provides free water when we get back from our Temple Tour.
We arrived at Lotus Blanc Hotel, which my daughter found and booked online. A cold lemongrass tea and a warm face towel was a welcome treat to refresh us from our trip. My daughter said it wasn’t expensive, but it sure was worth it a million dollar in service and accommodation.
At dinner we met my daughters’ childhood best friend from the Philippines in Pub Street (a nightspot in Siem Reap). You can use your USD to pay and that was very convenient as we weren’t able to have our money changed yet. We bought a sim card for only $5 and it already had free data. Uploading pictures via Facebook was a breeze 🙂
We had our dinner at Sky Lounge. They had great service and great food and even served crocodile. The ambiance was great! Who else can find peace in the midst of a nightlife spot?
The next day we were off to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat. We were supposed to have a free buffet breakfast at the hotel, but since we would have not been able to enjoy that, the Hotel arranged a meal-to-go with coffee, bread, noodles, a yogurt, fruits and juice.
It was tiring, fun and amazing. Amazing not just from the temple view but also the people. The vendors who came to sell souvenirs, from ref magnets to nail cutters to sarong skirts. They recognized our race right away and sold their merchandise in Filipino (our language). They said they learned up to 16 languages mostly taught by the tourists and the guides.
Tired from walking up and down the stairs of the temples, I stayed at the Tuktuk where I enjoyed different refreshments. Fresh sugarcane and coconut juice, pizza like bread and frog barbeque.
Never felt as comfortable before and in one of the most beautiful places in the world!Read more
We often forget how much our moms have taken care of us and don’t give them the attention they deserve. What better way to pamper them, than going on a trip together to see the City of temples – Angkor Wat!
Here are 10 things you can do to make the trip even more special!
It was my mom’s first time abroad and she was able to see 2 different countries in one go. Passport stamps are always nice! And we saved paying for one night in a hotel by travelling. We went on the bus at 1 am and when we woke up at around 6 am, we were already at the border between Cambodia and Thailand. Cambodia’s immigration was a breeze too.
We travelled for 2-3 more hours after reaching the border. We spent that time talking, sightseeing and taking short naps before we reached the bus station in Siem Reap.
Tuktuk drivers will be waiting there to offer you their services, tours and hotels. I already talked to a tuktuk driver online before we arrived so we just waited for him to take us to our hotel.
Make your mom feel extra special by staying in a nice hotel room with a pool so she can relax there after a tiring tour day. Hotel rooms in Siem Reap are really affordable. You can get rooms for as low as $10 or less, but if you look for deals, you can get really nice ones at the $20 range.
I decided to go the extra mile (and penny) and looked for a 5 star hotel.
I was able to get a room in a 5 star hotel (Lotus Blanc Hotel) for less than $50 with one way airport transfer, a complimentary welcome drink, coffee and tea, and breakfast buffet! The room was HUGE!
My mom was so EXCITED once she saw the room! I promise it was so worth it!
Tuktuks are everywhere in Cambodia and it’s something you definitely don’t see everyday, unless you live in Thailand. It’s like a cross between a Chinese Rickshaw and a Motorcycle. My mom and I had fun riding this as we toured around the temples. Our driver was very warm and provided us with cold bottled water everytime we went back from the temples.
One of the most memorable things my mom and I did was to eat in one of the temples while waiting for sunrise at Angkor Wat. The sun didn’t show up, but we enjoyed the food and pictures we took while we were there. So it didn’t matter even if we didn’t see the sun.
There are hotels who offer a Private breakfast service at Angkor Wat for a price. But I just asked our hotel the night before if they could pack us some breakfast from the breakfast buffet so we could take it to the temples, and they agreed. The next day at around 4:30 am, our breakfast was all ready to go with us to the temples. Yogurt, bread, coffee, juice, fruits and stir fried noodles were some of the treats they prepared for us.
We were so amazed by the locals as they always seemed to know what our Nationality was. We were even more amazed when a girl started selling to us in the Filipino language complete with Filipino expressions, they even accepted Philippine Pesos, Baht and US Dollars.
Our own tuktuk driver spoke Chinese too. He said that Cambodians typically aim to speak 15 different languages. And learn it in a Pagoda with monks and sometimes other volunteer travelers. How awesome is that!
In our 3 days in Cambodia, my mom and I ate in the 5 star way and the normal way without breaking the bank.
We ate Beef lok lak and Fish Amok in the Hotel Restaurant and were treated like queens. The meal cost around $35.
We also ate in the local restaurants with 5 star ratings on TripAdvisor such us LUV U restaurant and TRY ME restaurant (Both are a ways off of pubstreet) But the food was superb! Here we paid at around $8 for 2 dishes and 2 drinks!
We also tried Barbecued Frog, chicken soup and fish curry while touring around the temples. Yum!
Pubstreet is the loud touristy area where foreigners come to eat, shop and drink. It’s also where you can find edible insects such as scorpions which is a must try, it’s actually yummy.
Souvenir shops, money changers, massage parlors and loads of restaurants and tuktuks everywhere! We ate our first dinner here and took pictures, exchanged money and bought a sim card.
We were lucky enough to be approached by a local and he took us around and took pictures for us. He only asked for a tip once I asked him how much he would charge us. I gave him $10, but the pictures he took of us were definitely worth more. We would never have thought of doing it the same way he did.
It was our first time to see Elephants up close and personal and had I just brought more money (Which I didn’t think to bring) I would have rode the Elephant up the hill. It cost $20 per person. So I just took photos beside them. J It was still AWESOME!
Choose to ride an Elephant up, or just trek up, but be there by 3:30 or 4pm to catch the sunset as they only allow a specific number of people. Earlier would be better as a lot of people go up to catch the sunset. Bring a tripod to take self portraits too, the view is really nice up there.
Siem Reap is a town filled with cafés and modern stores designed to appeal to everyone, from backpackers to sophisticated expats. But one area that is starting to stand out for its exquisite looking and trendy businesses is Kandal village, located between the old market and the French quarter.Read more
So you finished to visit the Angkor Wat temples and don’t know what to do in Siem Reap after? Stick around for a couple of suggestions and alternative activities to do!Read more
Being the biggest religious complex in the world and the main attraction in Cambodian tourism, Angkor Wat and Siem Reap town are definitely some of the most visited places in the world. But then you see the photos of travellers and they’re mostly the same, with no variations or creativity whatsoever. If you’re planning to visit, why not try something different and follow our little photography challenge as a way to have alternative pictures from your vacations?Read more
It is Friday evening and I’m sitting in a mini-van about to leave Phnom Penh for a weekend in Siem Reap, and the van is super hippie: we look like a rock band touring the West Coast. Not quite the same thing though. The way from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is filled with the tropical mix of clay orange and dark green trees so prominent in South East Asia. I’m all surrounded by locals, who seem to be having an animated discussion. I still don’t understand a thing so I focus on reading my Lonely Planet guide. ____Read more
At the top of the list for pretty much every visitor to the country, the ancient temples of Angkor, near Siem Reap, are the crown jewel of the Cambodian tourist experience. Booking a tuk-tuk or a guided tour of the temples is straightforward, but navigating through the crowds and heat certainly isn’t. Here are our top 5 tips for visiting Angkor to help you get the most out of your trip.Read more
For travelers in Thailand, often the next destination is the famous temples of Siem Reap including the incredible Angkor Wat. However, the journey from Thailand to Cambodia is fraught with various issues. Either you spend a mini fortune on a flight ticket, or you take one of the buses that necessitate undertaking immigration formalities at both the Thai and Cambodian borders and risk dealing with the numerous touts that crowd the border area.Read more
Most travelers who enter Cambodia from Thailand by bus will cross the border at Poipet. Once on this route, the first stop on the tourist circuit is Battambang, Cambodia’s second largest city. Battambang is a sleepy city set on the banks of the Sangker River. It is famous for its French Colonial architecture, mountaintop temples and as being the place where tourists in Cambodia can ride the bamboo train, called the Norry locally. It is also less than 100km away from Siem Reap and the world famous Angkor Wat.Read more