The Kingdom of Angkor Wat
This is another destiny that I followed my sister ideas , I knew already about this place but never was like my destination number one.
I also hadn’t watch Tomb Raider, for those who doesn’t know, some scenes of this movie were filmed in Angkor Wat.
Siem Reap is the capital of the Siem Reap province, is the house of a complex of temples that were built in Angkor zone: the sacred city of Angkor, epicenter of the Jemer empire.
Angkor Wat is the biggest hinduist temple, and is World Heritage.
This city definitely is the most touristic of Cambodia, get ready of been surrounded of thousands of tourists with their cameras trying to get the best shot ( like me jeje) . I know that might sound very intimidating but it is so popular because of a reason: it is A – MA – ZING.
Every space, every block, every tree, every grass growing between the ruins that keeps so many histories. Definitely Angkor Wat is a destination you can´t miss if you visit South East Asia.
Siem Reap is a expensive city, I mean, compare with the other South East Asian cities, because its popularity. For example it is more common that people uses US dollars instead of the local coin: Riels. 1 US Dollar would be 4,000 Riels.
So its better to take Dollars, but no worries if you can’t there are many currency exchange houses. Me trying to be astute, started to pay in Riels, but at the end it is exactly the same.
Could you imagine yourself walking through those places that were built with the help of Elephants?
Live the silence, the Buddhist atmosphere, get lost in the labyrinth of dark rooms that takes you immediately to the golden age.
Important Fact : It is not allowed to enter to any temple if your legs are not cover, shoulders, neckline and sometimes arms for respect to the monks. I really recommend you to bring fresh clothes but do the job in covering your clothes, if not you can buy the local clothes ( just an excuse) .
Welcome to the Kingdom Of Ankor Wat
Lots of people can get overwhelmed when they visit so many temples, even me, that I get surprised by almost everything.
The heat plays a strong role in Cambodia, I went in October and the heat was quite strong.
If you are thinking to go to Cambodia, you most like temples, because it is what you are going to see. But trust me, they are special temples, is very worth it.
How to get to Siem Reap
Because of its popularity this city hast its own International Airport, probably you did layover in Kuala Lumpur or Singapur.
From there you will take a tuk tuk taking you to the hostel or hotel. I have to mention that its crazy how many big and fancy hotels has this city, Its clear the type of tourists that this city receives.
As I said, Siem Reap is very touristic, this tends to elevate a little bit the prices of everything compare to other countries of South East Asia, but also has more variety and very good quality of accommodations, even the hostels.
My hostel was 3 Dollars the night for example.
How to tour the kingdom:
There are many ways:
- You can take a tour, they pick up you from your hotel/ hostel,. Its a good option because, the tour guide, can tells you lots of very interesting facts, history etc. The thing that I don´t like about going with tours is that you can’t manage your time, stop wherever you want etc. The tours are not that expensive, is almost like doing it in Tuk Tuk (typical vehicle from South East Asia)
- Tuk Tuk : my favorite because its very cheap, ( if not the cheapest) they take you wherever you want, you don’t have to ride, or walk, its fast and easy to move anywhere.
- Motor Bike: its probably the cheapest way, ( if you are going by yourself) because the price is approx 5 Us dollars per day, you can go by your own peace of course, but you wont have a shelter like you would in the tuk tuk.
- Bike , you know that riding a bike, gives you this nice vibes, imagine yourself riding between temples and big trees, but it can get really hot, and sometimes there are very long distances, so it depends how fit you are and your itinerary, if you are thinking to see lots of temple per day definitely bike is not an option.
How many days do you need to see around the Kingdom?
This could be a tricky question because there are many many temples, more then we think. Of course there are the typical, the one that all the tourists goes.
Normally people and tours companies divides it in Long and Short Circuits of temples.
You can do one circuit per day but this is very tiring, and you wouldn’t´t enjoy the same.
I did it this way , and it was like too much. But I mean is possible, but definitely I recommend you to take your time, and don’t rush, its impossible to see everything.
Every sunrise or sunset in each temple is very special. I totally recommend though, the Sunrise in Angkor Wat, I couldn’t have a special temple for the sunset because, oh my god, each has it own magic.
I did 4 days in Siem Reap : 3 days for the temples, and 1 for the Floating Village.
The tour is half day, normally starts from mid day till sunset.
The truth about the tour
This place is delicate, because unfortunately it has his sad side, and for more sad that could , I got to be honest with you, so you can know and from there take your decision. Honestly when I was there I never stopped to think about this till a friend told me about it.
In this Villages lives people with very low income, and we see it like a show, because of course for us the tourists is something new, the houses over the water, all with different colours, locals transporting everything by the water.
Of course because is something new for us, is attractive, and the Companies take advantage from there, they make profit with their way of living, and of course they don’t share this with the locals.
Other point is like a tourists we want to take picture of everything, and sometimes we cross the line of privacy of locals.
So you know, always travel with respect, and empathy, supporting the communities.
Sunset in the middle of the Sea
This is part of the Floating Village Tour, once you pass the Village, there is this cool wooden platform, literally in the middle of the ocean, you reached this platform by stairs. And I am telling you: this is really beautiful, for a moment you can fell you are floating in the sea, just enjoying this amazing sunset. Simply magical.
After this the ending of the tour you are surrounded by fireflies, with the last light rays, and the slowly movement of the boat.
Honestly, the only temple we didn’t want to miss was Angkor, besides that one, we just let it flow with the suggestions of the locals. The Tuk Tuk driver took us wherever he wanted, I trust there are no better people to suggestions places then the locals.
I will leave you pictures of the temples that I visited, obviously there are many many more, but as I said, don’t stress trying to see them all.
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Waking up very early will be worth it, this temple in special we did it by tour, the picked up us from the Hostal, and then we went to buy the tickets for the entrance of the temple, that I think, its a pass to enter the rest of the other temples.
You got to go as earliest as you can because trust me, there are hundreds of people trying to get a good spot for the special picture ( if thats what you want).
I recommend you that after taking your picture of the sunrise, go first inside the temple, because there is just a small amount of people who can be inside at a time. And later you can see the outside.
Phnom Bakheng Temple
Preah Khan Temple
Banteay Samré Temple
Remember to use #BloomingInAngkor so I can see your pictures :D.
Please write bellow which temple was your favorite, any suggestions of other temples that I didn’t put here, or any other additional info about this magical place so it can help our community 🙂
You know you can write to me if you have any question I´ll be happy to help you.
I ll see you at the next post, and in the meanwhile on Social Media.
Thank you for reading me, As always with lots of love,