SIEM REAP, THIS CITY FULL OF SURPRISES
After my trip to Thailand, here I am in Cambodia in the city of Siem Reap.
Arrive at the small, friendly airport at Siem Reap Airport, remember to bring 20 USD and a passport photo for the visa. It will be delivered to you in 10 minutes.
Welcome by my very friendly guide Phala and my driver Rasmey for the start of the adventures in the ancient Khmer kingdom.
Lunch stop around an “amok” (fish in coconut milk), a typical dish of the country to take stock of the 4-day program.
Visit the floating village of Tonle Sap, the largest lake in South East Asia. We take a typical canoe to visit the village of Chong Kenas and discover the way of life of the inhabitants (school, market,…). I recommend that you visit the Tonle Sap from August to February.
In the evening, “Pub Street” is the center of entertainment, restaurants, bars, markets, bookshops, etc.
It is very easy to get there by tuk tuk or on foot depending on your hotel situation.
You will also find massage centers where you can relax for 15 minutes (foot massage) or longer. Moment of relaxation guaranteed!
A BICYCLE RIDE
On the second day, my guide reserved a surprise for me with a visit to the temples of Ankor Wat (UNESCO), Bantay Samre and Prasat Kravan by bicycle.
It is a very pleasant experience to stop, take pictures, watch the school leaving and enjoy the scenery. I did this lap in a very hot and humid time, it was quite trying but interesting.
At the end of the day, I discovered the Psar Leu market, typically Cambodian but where you can also do more interesting purchases than in the “Old Market” in town.
I found Kampot pepper (sold in bulk), tried to eat a grilled locust (rather strange experience). Then I visited the fruit market and tasted mangosteen and dragon fruit. In another part of the market, there are several reliable gold and silver jewelry dealers. You can also find clothing and household items.
DAY FULL OF HISTORY
On the third day, departure for the visit of Angkor Thom with the temples of Bayon and the faces of Buddha. But also Baphuon with its reclining Buddha, Phimeanakas of pyramidal structure and the Terrace of the elephants which dominates the royal place. At the end of the day, visit the temples of Ta Prohm and Takeo which have remained intact since then discovered.
In the evening, I chose to try a massage offered by the NGO Krousar Thmey, which has been helping Cambodian children since 1991. The massage is offered by young blind people; a great experience for a good cause.
On the last day, we leave Siem Reap to visit the completely overgrown Beng Mealea temple, a place where some temples have not been restored. It takes 2 hours of road and on the way passage through plantations of bananas, rubber trees, cereals among others. Then, continue to Koh Ker, former capital of the Angkorian Empire where there are more than 100 temples, the most imposing being Prasat Thom with its 40m high pyramid. I also visited the Prasat Bram temple made up of 3 brick towers and the ruins of Prasat Krachap. Return to Siem Reap at the end of the day.