Angkor Wat is the main destination in Cambodia. That is the very temple that has figured in the films with Lara Croft. So most of the tourists come directly here to Siem Reap, spend 2 days exploring Angkor Wat and go on with their tour around Asia or lay down on any paradise island in Thailand. So did we.
What I can say? Being prepared to be met by poverty and dirtiness I never expected Cambodia to be that cool indeed. In the streets of Siem Reap, I literally saw the better version of Thailand. I can’t say that I would choose Cambodia to spend the whole length of the vacation, but I definitely recommend you to visit Angkor Wat. And this is my 2-days program in Cambodia.
One day in Angkor Wat
- Take a small circle tour around Angkor Wat. This is the basic route with 3-4 basic temples including the main temple. You can order a tour in the hotel, city center or online. This will take you around 6 hours.
- Have a good lunch and massage on the Pub Street of Siem Reap.
- Relax in the hotel.
- Meet the sunset with the Angkor Wat view. There are some special spots, where you have the best sunset view.
Two days in Angkor Wat
- Start your second day witnessing sunrise with Angkor Wat view. Again, there are special places with the best view;
- Take a big circle tour around Angkor Wat. In this tour, you will visit less crowded temples including those, where the Lara Croft movie was filmed. This tour takes around 10 hours and is more spectacular than the small circle tour. As the temples are wilder, there are fewer people;
- Come to Night Market street for dinner and massage.
Massage in Cambodia
In Siem Reap are the same massage salons as in Thailand. However here Khmer massage is a traditional one. It is very close to Thai massage but a little bit softer. Also, the massage price in Cambodia is less than in Thailand – 4-8$ per hour.
Food in Cambodia
The food in Cambodia is more or less the same as in Thailand. My favorites will always be Pad Thai and fried spring rolls. Also on the streets of Siem Reap you can find many places where they prepare a fried Ice cream, which is rarer in Thailand.
- Don’t come here with a tour. Siem Reap is much more interesting to explore by your own;
- Arrive by air. As the flight tickets have the same price with bus tickets (speaking about tickets from Thailand);
- Take 35$ cash. This is how much you will have to pay in the airport for the visa;
- Pay in American dollars. As in Cambodia, they have 2 official currencies: local and US dollars;
- Stay in a good hotel. But don’t choose an expensive one. As all the services prices will be also higher than the average price;
- Remember, to enter the Angkor Wat complex you have to cover your knees and shoulders. If you don’t have such clothes – just go to the market and buy one. It cost me 3$ to buy a long skirt and t-shirt, but how great it looked on the pictures;
- Read the history of Angkor Wat and Cambodia in advance (try youtube or at least watch Lara Croft feel the atmosphere of the place), as the guides won’t tell you lots of information.
Where to stay in Angkor Wat?
All of the hotels nearby Angkor Wat are situated in the tourist city – Siem Reap. So book your hotel there. But as I said, don’t choose an expensive one as with already a cheap price you can find a marvelous service.
We stayed in a hotel The Thirdhold Residence. $ 30 / per day. It was a small but design hotel with a pool, great breakfast, luxurious room, free transfer to the city at any time we want and a caring service. Therefore I recommend this hotel with all my heart.
How to get to Angkor Wat?
I have a special article: How to get to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap?
Or if you are in Asia (for example you want to go to Angkor Wat during your stay in Koh Samui, Thailand) just follow the link where you can see and reserve online all the possible easiest routes.