Finally seeing the Angkor Wat

05:15 Hanna Tantoco 0 Comments Category : , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I have always been fascinated with the Angkor Wat, ever since I saw its majestic photographs in my elementary text books. It had always been a life goal to visit the place – I don’t know why it took this long for me to book my tickets and pack my bags.
But for those who are planning to head out, here’s my quick 101 as I really didn’t spend time documenting.
The fiance and I flew to Siem Reap via SQ/Silk Air, the trip takes about 1 ½ hours and you gain an hour when you land in Cambodia since Singapore is an hour ahead.
April is one of the warmest months, if not the warmest! But I would pick hot and humid over a rainy day when I’m traveling since I’ll be going around and it’s quite difficult to be commuting during the wet season. The great thing about going during the first week of April is being able to take advantage of the Khmer New year rates! We stayed in Somadevi Hotel and Spa located near the Night Market and Pub Street. We picked this location since we know we would be hanging out at the bars night at night, sipping coffee or grabbing some half pints which were just US$0.50. Another important piece of information is you don’t need to convert your money to Riels. USD is widely accepted. For items below USD$1, the store will give you change in Riels so fret not.

We stayed for 4 days and 3 nights, the first day was spent exploring the old market and night market. I checked out a few souvenirs and settled for a Cambodia fridge magnet. I’m not much of a souvenir person. I sent my best friend in Sweden a postcard from Cambodia when I went to Phnom Penh last year so that will take care of it!

The second day we hired a tuktuk for a full day and contracted him through our hotel to avoid the stress of hustling and to avoid touts.  Our Angkor Wat adventure started at 5:00 am – we wanted to catch the sunrise! Obviously, you can’t really have a full-proof schedule of the sun rise and you just have to make do with an estimate. Reached the place at 5:45 am and since it was summer, the sun rose much later- at around 6:10 am. But ever since we reached the place, we were taking pictures of everything and 30 minutes later the sun was so orange with all its glory. It was so surreal! J Angkor is actually a village where the Angkor Wat is located along with numerous other temples – it would take around 2 to 3 days to complete the route if you are to visit every nook and cranny. We just went to the major ones e.g. Ta Prom (where the Tomb Raider film was shot), Bayon temple, Angkor Thom and Bakong)

The third day we decided to go for a half-day floating village tour and then watch the sunset at the famous Tonle Sap Lake, the biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia.  So the floating village actually floats on water during high-tide, but since we went during the hottest month, they were just “floating” on stilts. Our tour guide said that around 2,000 families live in the floating village. Some study and work abroad or in the city, but they always go back to their families. Arrived back at the city around 7:00 pm, went for a cold shower and then headed back to the pub street where I did some gelish pedicure since it was way cheaper than Singapore (US$10). Grabbed a bite, and then went to the convenience store to buy back some snacks for the night cap. 

With the very nice lady from Washington DC whom I had the pleasure to sit with :)

Fourth day and day of departure, woke up to have the usual breakfast and then headed to the Park Hyatt Hotel which was so posh and lovely. The colonial French structure was so refreshing and it was indeed a departure from the very busy life outside

Overall! We had a blast and a tick off my travel list :)


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