Apparently, the third time is the charm. I finally made it to Siem Reap, after booking it 2 other times. First impression, not what I expected. Mainly I thought it was going to be extremely hot. The heat was bearable, but this could have been because it was “winter”.
The main reason for my trip was to visit Angkor Archaeological Park. The park was the capital cities for the Khmer empire from 9th to 14th century. It’s the largest religious monument in the world. It’s also quite large and spread out. So I hired a guide and driver. You could easily do it yourself, a guide is nice but not required.
And let’s be honest, it was also nice to have someone to talk photo’s of me.
And no trip to Southeast Asia is complete without some random monkeys running around. Including one guy getting a massage.
After getting my temple fill, I choose to walk around town. I stayed at the Park Hyatt, which was a great location. Which I remember reading somewhere about the challenge of crossing the street. I figured it out, but man, I should have just hired a driver. I took a tour of local art center. Saw how they make hand make stuff. Of course you end of in a shop at the end of the tour. No comment about what I purchased…….
Siem Reap is being the process of being developed. They have a significant tourism traffic with people flocking to see Angkor Wat, one of the most know temples. You need a visa to entry and the Cambodia government got wise a few years ago. If you fly in, you are required to stay over night. It’s evident that money is being put back into the local community. The photos below, show how different one street could be from another.
It will be interesting to see what it looks like in 5-10 years time. There is so much more to Siem Reap then just visiting the temples. Hopefully if you are reading this, when planning your trip, maybe stay more then 24 hours and see what it has to offer. Oh definitely avoid the monsoon season. February was idea. It was warm but quite bearable. And you are visiting a religious monument and need to be dressed appropriately.
I am glad I went and would go even go back, in the cooler months.
Next up, my adventure booking a low cost carrier in SE Asia…