Siem Reap: Angkor What??

Siem Reap is a bustling tourist town, a place to lay your head after touring the temples. Or maybe just enjoying 50 cent beers on the popular Pub Street. The area around Old Market is the place to be, that’s where we settled in after our 6 hour bus trip from Phnom Penh. Traveling further south into Cambodia the temperature rises. We have never experienced a heat like this before, the afternoon sun is killer.

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Starting the temple tour as early as possible offers two big benefits. First is you get to see the famous Angkor Wat at sunrise. Secondly, you should wrap up before the afternoon heat gets too much to handle. So that’s what we did first thing the next morning. We hired a tuktuk for the whole day, it cost $15 (plus $20 each for a temple pass). He picked us up at 5am, drove us to each temple and waited until we were done exploring. Well worth the money!

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We didn’t experience much Cambodian food in Phnom Penh so we wanted to make sure we did here. The dishes usually include rice and are less spicy then Thai food. Two common dishes are Amok and Lok Lak.  Siem Reap has endless options for food and drink. We found an awesome little coffee and gelato shop, perfect for after dinner. Another late night favourite was the road side bar stands hustling simple cocktails on the cheap.
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We spent two of our afternoons using another hotel’s pool. It was a perfect way to escape the heat.
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We continued to be amazed at the genuine friendliness of the Cambodian people. The spirits feel so high here. It’s amazing to see the resilience of people who have experienced so much evil. We noticed that all the locals seem very young. It’s like everyone is in there twenties or thirties. The sad reality is that a lot of the older population was killed Those that were lucky enough to survive the genocide fell victim to disease, famine or land mines that are still active across the country today. Seeing Cambodians walking the streets who have missing limbs and other physical ailments is an obvious reminder of how recent this tragedy is.
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It was so hard to say goodbye to the people, the temples, the food and of course the cheap prices. But after just 3 nights we had to move on. Our days are numbered and we agreed that Koh Chang, another Thai island would make a great final stop before heading home.

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