Siem Reap Day 4 & 5

Having visited some of the “must-see” temples on our list, we were unsure what to do on our 4th day here. We discussed with our tuk-tuk driver who brought us to see the countryside area in Siem Reap and a few other places we wanted to visit for US$21. The drive was long, bumpy and VERY sandy! By the end of the day, my whole body was covered with sand and my butt aches. My eyes was practically “eating” sand during our ride. But the wind was super shiok, haha. You can actually choose to cycle along the countryside but I would suggest that only to those who are super fit. Because the weather can get quite hot and it drains your energy quite fast. So, if you’re not fit, you might find yourself stranded along the countryside. Lol.

P1050789

Some of the kampung-style houses along the road

P1050743

There are a lot of padi-fields in the area. So, there’ll be a lot of villagers transporting the rice in tractors or by cows.

P1050761

After the scenic view of the country side, we headed to Beng Melea. You have to buy another ticket (US$5) to enter. Its more of a rubbles kind of temple. So if you’re into exploring, it can be a rather interesting place to be.

IMG_4568

After lunch, we headed to Cambodia Landmine Museum. They apparently jacked up the prices of the tickets to US$5 (I think) compared to the previous US$1-2 (?). But anyway, it is a rather small place and unless you’ve have read about the horrors of the Cambodia genocide/you’re interested in bombs etc., this place might be a bit of a disappointment.

P1050696

P1050700

We visited Kampung Phluk after that. Initially, we didn’t want to visit a floating village but since we had time, might as well do so. Not a bad place to visit. The children are simply adorable. They’ll wave to the tourists that passed by them.

IMG_4711

Headed out to visit the temples in the Roulos group. First up, Lolei. It was under construction so there was nothing much to see here.

IMG_4725

Next, Preah Ko was rather small. The temple grounds is as shown in the picture below. Really small.

IMG_4753

Finally, Bakong. I find that it’s THE temple that brings justice to the other temples in the group. At least we ended our day with a nice temple visit πŸ™‚

IMG_4776

Headed to the hotel for some needed rest before going to a restaurant (per tuk-tuk driver recommendation) to see some aspara dancing. I practically had to scrub off the sand accumulated on my body that day when I bath -.-

P1050831

On our last day, we headed to the the nearby market to buy some last minute souvenirs back. Had some sticky rice mango dessert at a cafe too ~

P1050834

P1050835

P1050839

Rot-ted at the airport for a long time before getting on the flight back to Singapore. Prior to the trip, I knew nothing about Cambodia but because I’m currently doing a module that talks about the Cambodian Genocide, I think it would be better if you’ve some idea about the history of Cambodia before going there. It would allow you to better relate to the sights etc. Kinda regret knowing nothing at that time now… Haha

Siem Reap Day 3

Today’s journey takes us further away from the main temple grounds so the tuk-tuk (same driver as the previous day) costs about US$15. Headed to Angkor Wat to see the sunrise at about 5.30. There was a lot of people there and even though I managed to move to the front, there was this group of friends standing on a piece of land that extends beyond the water line. It sort of destroyed any photo-taking opportunities, since there will always be someone’s body parts in the photo -.- The most ironic thing I heard was this guy in the group saying it’s the experience that matters not the number of photographs you take. YET! he and his friends were taking so many pictures of the landscape when the sun rose and was there at 3 plus -.- I was like … if it’s the experience you don’t actually need to be there at 3 in the morning and take a billion pictures and block others.

This was the number of people crowding about the lake even when the sun had rose and I was already leaving the area. So if you want to get a good picture, I would suggest coming super early (around 3-4?) to get a good spot. Any later, and you might as well come at 5.30.

IMG_4196

Started the day off with Pre-Rup. I’m a seriously short person and the height of most of the steps here are around my knees. It made the climb difficult and freaking scary especially when I was coming down. Plus, the width of the steps is super narrow. Its slightly shorter than the length of my foot and I’m mostly a size 5. Almost slipped off the steps twice 😦

IMG_4206

Headed to East Mebon after the scary climb. After this temple, I sort of became immune to the much higher steps compared to the first day πŸ™‚ Heh heh!

IMG_4384

After that we want to Banteay Srey. One of the prettiest temple, though very sandy. Definitely a MUST to visit!

IMG_4257

After lunch, we visited a temple complex (which name I cannot remember) constructed above ground. Apparently, during the wet season, the temple appears as if its floating on water. Quite cool B-)

IMG_4352

Went to Ta som after that. The security guard sitting down there really destroyed the aesthetic appeal of the place 😑

IMG_4406

Then we went to Neak Pean. Had to cross this ridiculously long bridge to visit this temple where we can only view it from a distance. Sian…

IMG_4464

Since we ended the day of temple visit early, we headed to Wat Bo (by tuk-tuk this time, haha). But I think the day of much more majestic temples sort of distort my perception of Wat Bo’s “grandeur”. A bit of a disappointment…

P1050720

Took a quick rest at the hotel before going to the night market for some window shopping. The prices are ridiculous and most of the things are the same so I didn’t buy anything.

P1050726

Anyway, today mark the start of subsequent sandier days. Lol.

Siem Reap Day 2

On the second day, we hired a tuk-tuk (US$12) for a full day to bring us about the Angkor archaeological complex. The day started out quite cooling but by the time mid-day arrives…it becomes burning HOT!!! (especially if you’re heading to Angkor Wat). Β So drink lots of water please!Β Anyway, the driver dropped us off at Bayon…

IMG_3707

… and there’s a mapped circuit for us to walk from one temple to another in this area. So, it’s quite convenient. At around 9-ish, the tourist crowd starts to overflow the area at the Bayon so plan your route properly if you want to avoid them.Β SOME!Β of these tourists are quite rude and they walk about like-a-boss -.- Especially when you’re trying to take a photo, they’ll just walk pass your lens like they OWN the place. Best part? They know that you’re taking a picture but they don’t freaking care. Wts. Damn freaking rude please! Super pissed off 😑

At the temple, they are also a lot of interesting rocks, so take note of those. Because after a while, all the temples will look the same to me. And it’s these carvings that helped me to differentiate and enjoy the rest of them. (Note: WordPress is screwing up my alignment here.)

IMG_3743

From there, we walked to Baphuon. There’s actually a long bridge leading to the temple. So if you’re lucky and

1.Β there’s nobody in front of you

2. you want to take a picture of the entire temple structure,

you can certainly do so πŸ™‚

IMG_3750

At this point, the temple is super deceptive with the stairs I had to climb -.- At the top, I thought there was no more staircase BUT!

IMG_3767

there was another small one to climb to REACH the peak PEAK. -.-

IMG_3765

After that we walked through a forest and saw the Phimeanakas. It was rather small so most people just take a glance at it and walk away.

IMG_3784

After that, we have the elephant terrace. One that I felt had more unique carvings that are easily identifiable and distinguishable from the rest πŸ™‚ Like duh!

IMG_3809

Then a stretch of “wall” nearby, the Leper King terrace.

P1050604

The circuit ends at the Leper King Terrace and you’ll be “force” to walk pass the people selling souvenirs though they are not as pushy as the kids in the more remote temples so its easier if you want to reject them. As we headed off for lunch, we drove pass Ta Keo and made a short pit-stop there. The temple was under construction so we just took a picture and went off.

IMG_3906

After lunch, next up on the list… Ta Prohm. Overflowing with people, I did not stay long at this place. Just took a picture of a random tree with roots growing over the temple structure. Lol.

IMG_3949

Next was Banteay Kdei…I think. A rather open, spacious temple complex.

IMG_3867

Here are two other temples whose name are lost to me πŸ˜› They are opposite each other if I remembered correctly…

IMG_4007

IMG_4016

And in the late afternoon, the famous Angkor Wat (and a classic shot).

IMG_4142

There are many carvings on the walls within the temple complex and if you’re interested, get a guidebook or hire a temple guide. I suppose it’ll be quite informative.

IMG_4044

One of my main objectives when I went to the temples was to see the sunset and sunrise. There was two choice for sunrise: Phnom Bakheng and Angkor Wat. Since I was going to be seeing the sunrise at Angkor Wat, I decided to go to Bakheng temple (on a short hilltop). It was a slight disappointment, not at all like the fiery red sunset I imagined it would be. But now, I found that the anti-climatic sunset was a nice end to the rather tiring day.

P1050675