Siem Reap is great!! What a difference with a city like Bangkok. Already the road towards Siem Reap is so different. Rice field after rice field, kids swimming in the swamps, men fishing and cows grazing. But still, every time again I can’t believe to see all the plastic bags and bottles in the nature.
Super moon on a super rooftop
Arriving in the city, the streets were still small, half paved with tons of little shops. Our hostel was a big white building, a bit out of tune with the rest, but very comfy. A big plus was the swimming pool at the rooftop. We arrived just before sunset, a stunning view! I turned around to sit down for a bit and saw the moon. Wow, I’ve never seen it that big before! A guy came up and said it was the supermoon tonight: it’s the closest to earth since 1954 and it will not be this close till 2034. Really amazing!
Pub Street at Water Festival
We arrived at a good night, it was the last day of the Water Festival and that means: PARTY! Together with Fernando, a guy from Peru we met in the bus earlier, we went out for some food and walked through the streets to find a nice bar to have a drink. Little did we know it was crazy busy and every bar was loaded with people and (live) music. We ended up in X Bar having Beer Towers and playing beer pong and ‘table football’ with the locals. Good to have such nights once in a while! 30, and still going strong 😉
Must see: temples at Angkor!!
The next morning I felt surprisingly good, took a dive in the swimming pool and that’s when Fernando showed up. He was ready to go to Angkor. We woke up Romain, rented scooters and followed our gps on the phone. They don’t really do signs in Siem Reap and around, since the place to get your tickets to Angkor was about 8kms in a different direction. I think they do that on purpose so tourist just take a tuktuk with driver to visit Angkor and its temples.
But eventually we made it. We spent the whole day exploring Angkor and all the different temples. And every temple was so different and so beautiful! My favourites were Banteay Kdei and Bayon. Banteay Kdei is a big area with ruins everywhere and you could walk just through/on them. Bayon has something magical with all the Buddha-faces smiling at you. Every couple of meters you have a new view, see new things, or just the same thing in a different perspective. Really amazing. Definitely one of the most beautiful places I have visited in my life!
See for all the photos my (photo)blog about Angkor!
A night out at the Circus
I almost forgot about this already (shameful, I know – saw/did too many things in a short period of time, hard to keep up with it all!), but on our last night at Siem Reap we went out to the Phare Circus. An one hour show with lots of tricks and funny elements. It was quite expensive for Cambodian standards, but the whole circus has a good social mission which we don’t mind to support!
Side note…. 1 US$
The prices in Cambodia are higher than you would expect looking at the poverty/income rate of the country. The average income of a Cambodian is 950 USD a year (yes, a year!), in the rural areas they live of 4 USD a day. In the cities they are adapting their prices to surrounding countries or even European prices. Well, especially for tourists that is. They charge about 3-6 USD for a tuktuk drive of a few kms, 10 USD for a scooter (24h, the most expensive scooter we had in whole of Asia!), 3-5 USD for a simple snack/plate and so on. Still cheap of course, but still more expensive than what you would expect. Their own currency is worth nothing, so that’s why they use USD. And because of that, everything costs at least 1 USD. Except for draft Angkor beer, or fake Anchor. You can get that at most bars for just 0.50 USD 😉