We visit Guangzhou and Hong Kong several times each year so the side trip to Siem Reap has been on the cards for many years. It is a major tourist attraction and you can see why it is so popular. The nearby Angkor Wat is probably one of the most well-known and visited UNESCO World Heritage sites on the planet. But there is so much to see and do and Siem Reap is the perfect place to base yourself to see all the attractions. We visited in September so we experienced a couple of heavy rainfalls but September is not as crowded as other months. It was very warm and humid and this is the norm whole year round.
Cambodia is an incredibly inexpensive place but you have to be aware that this is a poor community heavily reliant on tourism and there is a level of underlying corruption so it’s important that you bear this in mind with all your dealings with some of the local people. Local guides are everywhere and we found one who provided us with transport and local advice and was brilliant. There was no set price for his services and at end of a couple of days we gave him a US$150 as he refused to name a price. There is so much to see and do and part of the trick is having a good local guide to take you around avoiding the crowds, traps and forever offering you tips and tricks.
These are the list of places and activities that we covered off in the couple of days:-
- Angkor Wat (including the sunrise) and Angkor Thom
- Old Market and the Night Market (must try the street food!!)
- Kampong Phluk Floating Village (this is one of several villages, and a must do)
- Tonle Sap great lake tour
- Wat Thmey (Killing Field) (a dark chapter in recent Cambodian History)
- War Museum ( I passed but Geoffrey so Geoffrey saw this on his own)
- Traditional dinner and dance show
- Traditional Body Massage
- Shopping (Markets great for looking but better to actually buy souvenirs from established shops.
We also visited one of the many orphanages in the town. Geoffrey donates to one of the orphanages and the staffs were incredibly generous with their time in showing us around and explaining the workings of the orphanage.
On our way back home at the airport the immigration officer requested a “donation” before stamping our passport. It was a great informative trip up to then so this was an unfortunate way for it to end.
If you would like more information about this destination please do not hesitate to contact me.