Siem Reap

One thing that surprised me about travelling through South East Asia is the lack of train travelling. Most travelling is done on coaches and sleeper buses, “sleeper buses” is a term I use loosely.

Cambodian bus designers have a common disregard for personal space. So we’re on the “sleeper bus” which doesn’t have a charger or wifi, as promised. A comfy big bed I thought, walking down the bus looking for my assigned spot. Yes a comfy big bed it was, for two people, not so big, especially if you’re sharing it with a total stranger. Lauren and I brainstormed various names better suited to the assigned space, the best being a coffin, a quilted coffin.

So we arrived at Siem Reap, I still don’t know the correct way to pronounce it. I always thought it was see-em-reep, but every so often a fellow traveller would throw a curve ball and label it si-em-rep, who knows.

Siem Reap is famous for Angkor Wat (you don’t pronounce the “k”) which was first a Hindu, then subsequently a Buddhist temple complex in Cambodia, and the largest religious monument in the world. The Site is absolutely massive, people spend days and weeks here exploring, but it CAN be done in a day if you’re not too pedantic and plan well/arrange for your driver to condense all the best bits into one day, including a sunset or sunrise, or both if you’re ambitious and full of energy. I used Adventurous Kate’s post as a rough guide and here’s what we got upto…

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Our driver, San.
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Compared to a lot of other sites we visited on the trip, this was one of the most expensive, at $20 which is just under £12… but you do get your photo on the ticket.

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These are probably the coolest trees I’ve ever seen, it’s a close call between these and the soaring Sequoioideae at Redwood National Park. Who knew I was such a tree lover.

 

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You might recognise this tree, or you might not. Well this particular temple is the one where Tomb Raider was filmed, read a bit more about it here.

 

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Although you can’t tell from the photos, it was INCREDIBLY hot, so beware. Take lots of water with you. There was a point where I climbed to the top of some steps, looked down and a drop of sweat dripped from my nose. Don’t ask who’s playing me in the film, I’m not sure yet.

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I know that was A LOT of photos but it’s such a massive place, and I completely forgot to write down the individual names of the temples we visited.

To my Surprise, Siem Reap is not all about Angkor Wat, there’s plenty going on in town with lots of restaurants, bars and clubs and even a road called Pub Street if you want to feel like an absolute Brit abroad. There’s also a big market and various shows and activities to do, none of which we had time for. In the evening we went out for dinner and met up with our friends we met in Pai, Tim and Jesse. If you stay more than one night, it definitely looked like a place worth going out in…

Next stop, Koh Tao via Bangkok.

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