So it’s been a year since I’ve travelled to Siem Reap. I remembered that I celebrated half the day of my 19th birthday there (the first half of the day was spent on a train trying to cross the Thai-Cambodian border, hehehe).
My Philippine Passport with the Cambodian Visa application form.
You have to pay a good amount of $120 to get a Cambodian Visa on Arrival. My Amercan friends paid for it, but since I’m from an ASEAN Country, I didn’t need to pay for anything because it’s for free. Yes, my Philippine Passport has got some serious perks!
The Thai-Cambodian Border.
I travelled for about 10 hours on the train…it was not the most fun! It was so humid and hot and the dirt were flying all over! But it was fun nonetheless. I travelled from Bangkok with my good friend Joe (you might’ve seen him on my Bangkok posts) and we met four more Americans: Edward, Carter, Jackson and Lisa.
Joe paid for my train ticket because he said it was my birthday and it wasn’t a big deal. he also paid for my lunch! He said, “You only turn 19 once.” I might have to agree with him on that one.
The arc of Cambodia has a little Angkor Wat above it and it’s too cute!
So much light and love for Pub Street!
This is where most of the travellers hang out. Pub Street is the place to chill if you’re around Siem Reap. It’s so bright and alive and colourful! There are also night markets and restaurants lined up, you’ll never run out of attractions.
Phare Ponleu Selpak (Cambodian Circus)
As soon as I arrived at the hostel, my friends dragged me out of our room to go to the Cambodian Circus. Josh, Matt and I left Bangkok around the same time but they arrived 7 hours earlier because they flew in and I took the train. Josh booked Matt and I’s ticket for $20 and we went to the Phare Ponleu Selpak to watch the circus. What an awesome way to end my birthday, right? If you’re thinking of visiting this circus, you could click HERE and you’ll be redirected to their website.
Josh and Matt enjoying their candlelit dinner.
As soon as we sat down at our table, the lights went out. Yep, it blacked out at Pub Street. So our waitress put a candle on the center of our table so Josh and Matt pretended to be having a very romantic dinner. Ha!
While we were having dinner I bumped into my friend, Edward, whom I travelled with from Bangkok to Siem Reap. He gave me Canadian dollar coins as a souvenir when he knew that it was my birthday that day.
Authentic Khmer Amok in Cambodia! Can life get any better than this?
Whilst Josh and Matt ate some crocodile pizza (yes, real crocodile), I ate seafood Amok. It was yummy and and creamy and I loved it! Well if you’re curious as to what the crocodile pizza tasted like, Josh said it tasted the same as a regular pizza and the crocodile meat tasted like chicken meat with the aftertaste of a fish.
The magnificent Angkor Wat!
So I’ll start posting my photos for when I went to the Angkor Wat. I paid a good sum of $20 for a day pass, but if you want a two day pass, you could pay $40. I went there at their ticketing office at 5AM and it was crowded! If I were you, I’d get a two day pass and see it during sunset and avoid the hassle of going to fall in line in the morning and miss the beautiful sunrise. I’m just grateful that I didn’t miss the sunrise because it was the most amazing sunrise that I’ve seen in my whole entire life yet!
If you want to check more of the Angkor Wat, click HERE to be redirected to their website.
Isn’t the sunrise wonderful? It was so magical! The feeling that I had whilst I was there was incomparable! I really want to go back there again, this time with the one I love.
Me and my Polish friends, Magda (left) and Dorota (in the middle).
I met these girls at my hostel. I was renting a bike so I could take my stuff the the laundromat so I’d have fresh clothes before heading to Phnom Penh. They were renting bikes too and they were inquiring about how to get to the Angkor Wat. So since Josh and Matt went there a day early, leaving me with no one to go there with, I asked them if I could tag along. They gladly obliged!
Breakfast by the Temples.
Magda, Dorota and I had some baguette, tomatoes, mangoes and chocolates for breakfast. We ate it by the trees across the temples. We sat there so we could have a nice view of the temples whilst the sun is rising. We shared some food with our tuktuk driver too!
Snapping photos of Dorota (left) and Magda (right) whilst walking around the temples. They’re such lovely girls and I can’t wait to visit them in Poland soon!
A snap of Magda admiring the temples.
A snap of Dorota fixing her hair whilst walking around the temples.
A snap of myself by Dorota. She caught me drinking some cold Coke to ease away the hotness!
I’ve always loved colourful bracelets!
Whilst Dorota and I were walking (Magda was nowhere to be found), a young Khmer lad approached us and offered us some bracelets. We declined, thinking that he was selling it to us. But he said it was for free and it was for good luck. Not that I believe in good luck because I’m a Christian, but I think the thought itself was nice. The bracelet was the pink and brown on the right.
Okay a bracelet guide: the colourful one on the left is a bracelet that Josh and Matt and I all had, and the silver one is a charm bracelet given to me by my late Aunt Rowena when I was about thirteen and I got the big charm at the Old Market in Siem Reap for $5.
More snaps of the Angkor Wat. Isn’t it such a beauty? We were told that these temples were handmade and they had elephants lift up the rocks so they could carry them around during the 15th century. Wow!
This was also where Angelina Jolie filmed her popular movie, ‘Tomb Raider’. I felt very much like Lara Croft that day, hahaha!
We left at about 2 hours past noon because the temperature was too hot to handle! But whilst we were there, we made the most out of everything and we walked around until our feet hurt.
Trying to rest under the shade because it’s too hot to walk!
There isn’t any dress code when you’re going to the Angkor Wat but since it’s hot, some baggy hipster pants are nice and a nice shirt. But at some temples, you’re required to wear something with sleeves so make sure to bring a jacket because you can always remove it once you’re inside the temples.
Before I forget, the population of Angkor Wat is 1/4 Khmer vendors, 1/4 tourists and 1/2 monkeys! There were monkeys everywhere! These cute little ones even snatched my friend’s phone and it was hilarious! Hahaha! Moral lesson, never take a selfie with a monkey because they’re never to be trusted. Ha!
More snaps of myself taken by Dorota inside the Angkor Wat. I could’ve sworn I fell in love with this place. It was nothing short of magnificent!
The fastest way to get around in Cambodia, if you don’t own a motor bike, is a tuktuk. Dorota, Magda and I split our bill in threes so we paid $5 each for our Angkot Wat escapade. Usually a tuktuk costs $3-$10 dollars. Just don’t let the sketchy drivers fool you into paying more than what is due.
As soon as I got back to our hostel, Josh and I sent Matt home. We hailed a tuktuk for him to get on and he was taken to the airport. He needed to get back home to England so he didn’t get to come to Krabi, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh with Josh and myself.
Last dinner with Josh in Siem Reap. He was headed to Krabi the next morning whilst I was headed to Phnom Penh later the next day. I got a ticket to a sleeper bus. We had spicy chicken curry, rice, some Pringles (we tend to miss the civilization every once in a while, hehehe) that we bought at a nearby convenience store, and beer.
The next day I went biking alone around town so I could just breathe some fresh air and just catch a glimpse of Siem Reap for the last time before I head over to Phnom Penh later that day. It was a magnificent three days, I must say.
Last noodle run in Siem Reap before taking the sleeper bus to Phnom Penh. These seafood egg noodles were the bomb though. I paid $3 for it at the Old Market. It was super yummy!
Later that day, my Indian-American friend, Rashmi (in the middle) and my Polish friend, Dorota (right) came to say goodbye before I left. Rashmi was headed to Luang Prabang in Laos whilst Dorota and Magda wanted to go to Bangkok.
My sleeper bus was 15 minutes late so I sat in the common room for a bit with my friends from Holland, Wessel (in the middle) and Wout (right), and we watched the movie ‘This Is the End’. I wonder what’s with the Dutch and their W’s.
All in all it was a magnificent stay in Siem Reap. I would definitely want to go back again and see the Angkor Wat for the second time!
For everyone visiting Siem Reap, I would recommend staying the hostel that I stayed in. It’s called Hak’s House Hostel. It’s owned by Hak (obviously) and he’s a really nice guy. You could rent a bike for $1 per day. It’s near the Pub Street and they’ll do your laundry for $1 per KG. They have a bar and you could order food. Their spicy chicken curry is super yummy! They also have pubs near the vicinity and convenience stores too! Though the only downgrade is that the light in our room wouldn’t turn off, so we had to sleep with sleeping masks for three nights. If you’re up to try it, click HERE to be redirected to their website.
So there we have it, hope you like this post and don’t forget to visit Siem Reap because it’s one beautiful place and I can assure you that you wouldn’t regret it!
All photos were taken using my iPhone5.
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.”
Luke 1:45 NIV