After a year of proscratination, finally, I am back on track to do this write up. It is the trip to Siem Reap last year. LOL.
So, what do you know about Siem Reap?
Angkor Wat, Cheap beer and happy pizza (?)
Not just these, but there are a lot more to check out in Siem Reap.
Here I am going to share my experience in Siem Reap, the home to the UNESCO World Heritage Angkor Wat. A 4 Days 3 nights stay is quite sufficient for you to cover the place. However, if you would like to explore further in depth or slowly run through each temple in this historical site, you may extend a few more days. Or explore further to floating market or smaller area.
4 Days 3 Nights in Siem Reap
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4|
|In||KL/ Siem Reap||Siem Reap||Siem Reap||Siem Reap/ KL|
|Breakfast||Hotel Breakfast||Hotel Breakfast||Hotel Breakfast|
Ta Keo Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
|Tang Mouy Coffee|
Old Market (Psar Chas)
|Tang Mouy Coffee|
|Lunch||Khmer Angkor Kitchen||Sister Srey Café||Good bye Siem Reap|
|Check in > Sarai Resort & Spa |
Happy Hour in Hotel’s Oasis Pool Bar
Made in Cambodia Market
|Dinner||Khmer Kitchen Restaurant||Khmer Kitchen Barbeque Restaurant||Khmer Grill Restaurant|
|Siem Reap Night Market|
Art Center Night Market
|Stay||Sarai Resort & Spa||Sarai Resort & Spa||Sarai Resort & Spa|
Basically, Cambodia has 2 seasons: dry season and wet season. During the wet season, rainfalls are almost every day and the places including Angkor Wat area can be flooded. Tourism will be slowing down and most of the people will work in paddy field and agriculture activities. During the dry season which is normally starting from December to April, which is also the peak season form tourism.
I stayed connected with Visondata pocket wifi throughout my trip at all time.
Alternatively, you may check out the sim card package available for tourists from the airport.
My family and I were there in December. Once we landed, the next think I feel was…. Hot (that’s the only word I can describe). The heat was not an easy thing to deal with. But glad that we had a free one-way airport transfer arranged by our hotel, hassle free.
1. Stay in the Moroccan-inspired boutique resort
As we were there for 4 days 3 nights and so, I scanned through the whole site and booked ourselves the perfect accommodation that came with excellent breakfast! Our stay in Sarai Resort & Spa with pool view was roughly Rm 480 per room per night (for 2 pax) inclusive the marvellous breakfast.
Sarai Resort & Spa is known as a luxurious oasis in the exotic city of Siem Reap. This Moroccan-inspired boutique resort is equipped with a stylish pool, comfortable rooms and surrounded with a peaceful environment. Also, it is located in just less than 1 kilometre away from Pub Street, Old Market and Night Market. It is about USD$ 2 per tuk tuk ride per way from the hotel to these areas.
Here are some of the photos I took in the hotel. Will do a separate post about this place soon as I have too many photos to share.
Sarai Resort & Spa
P.O.Box 93193, Wat Damnak Village,
Sangkat Sala Komreuk,
Siem Reap City, Kingdom of Cambodia
2. Enjoy the fantastic breakfast prepared by Goat Tree Garden Restaurant.
Lesson 101 Travelling with Elderly: breakfast is an essential. The more variety the better. As you know how early elderly can get up ready every morning. The best entertainment for them in the morning will be the breakfast where they can sit at the breakfast table for hours to fuel up themselves until they are stuffed! *wink*
Just check out the variety on the buffet line here. Not much? You can order their a la carte of egg variety that is made a la minute.
3. Drink drank drunk in Pub Street
As per the street’s name, the whole street is lined with pubs and restaurants. You may get as low as $ 0.5 (~ about Rm 2) per mug of beer in most restaurants here. Only Rm 2+ per mug, how not to drink drank drunk???!
Beer is the best drink to chill down ourselves under this hot temperature! We randomly entered one of the pub-restaurants and chill inside all afternoon.
4. Savour the Khmer cuisine
We found our loves towards Khmer cuisine, the traditional Cambodian cuisine that is loaded with lots of spices and comes with a medley of flavours; pretty similar to Thai cuisine but minus the hot and heat, also slightly similar to Vietnamese food which uses a lot of fresh herbs and condiments.
Popular Cambodian dishes that you must try are such as Fish Amok, Lap Khmer (Lime-marinated Khmer beef salad), Banana Blossom Salad, Khmer Red Curry, Num Pang (similar to Vietnamese Banh Mi), and many many more.
We had Khmer cuisine in a few restaurants below, lunch and dinners. In love with their menu that comes with trilingual – Cambodian, English and Chinese too! Tastewise, we love them.
Khmer Angkor Kitchen
Khmer Kitchen Restaurant
Street 9 & Pub Street Alley, Old Market area, Siem Reap
Open daily from 1oam to 10pm
Khmer Kitchen Barbeque Restaurant
Located just a few door steps away from Sarai Resort & Spa
Khmer Grill Restaurant
Offers traditional Cambodian food and grilled stuff to original Western style dishes.
Watdomnak Road, Siem Reap 17254, Cambodia
Opens from 8am to 10pm
5. Brunch at Sister Srey Café
Established in year 2012, this old school and rustic looking café has got really good coffee. It is a social-enterprise café, a supportive space to educate and empower Cambodians. They donate a percentage of their profits to landmine clearance and they also support their staff through university and further education too!
This is one of my favourite places to chill in. you may see there are a lot of foreigner chillaxing over here, ang moh especially, with a good cup of coffee and a book for some quality me time.
Foods were really good over here. I enjoyed the few orders such as Pork Banh Mi, Summer Mango Chicken Burger, the tangy Passionfruit ‘Cheesecake’ and Chocolate Macadamia Brownie too. Not to mention my flat white was really on the point, aromatic and creamy.
Sister Srey Café
200 Pokambor St, Riverside
Old Market Area, Siem Reap
6. Dive into the UNESCO World Heritage historical site – Angkor Thom Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat
Since there were 6 of us during the trip, we had our tour pre-booked with the hotel. I highly recommend you guys to get a van as transportation instead of tuk-tuk, so you do not have to go through the natural air, wind and sand blowing towards your face. Plus point, you can enjoy the air-con and chilled drinks prepared by the driver. Also, get a tour guide too so that there is someone to explain to you about the historical sites, bring you around to less tourist area for photos and etc. My tour guide can take awesome group photos too!
Price is quite standard unless you are asking for a Chinese tour guide or other languages.
Transport (Van) : USD $ 65
English Tour Guide : USD $ 55
We departed at 8am from the hotel and we had Mr Phalley as our tour guide. The journey was around 30 minutes from the hotel to the Angkor Archaeology Park. Before entering the site, we stopped by to purchase the Angkor Pass at the official ticket office. We bought ours ONE DAY PASS at USD $ 37 per person, you face will be printed on the pass too. If you wished to extend your exploration; you may get 3-day pass or 7-day pass.
Note: remember to keep the ticket with you and do not lost it, or else you will be prohibited to enter some sites.
Our first destination was Angkor Thom Bayon Temple , passed by Takeo Temple , and then moving to Ta Phrom after lunch and finally Angkor Wat as our last destination. Our tour guide was very dedicated, he explained to on everything along the way. I will let the photos to the talking as below. 🙂
Ta Prohm , the modern name of temple at Angkor, also the location that appeared in the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starred by Angelina Jolie. This is really a photogenic place. According to Mr Phalley, when Khmer Empire fallen off, Ta Prohm was abandoned and ruined by the overgrown trees and nature. It is now looking quite the same conditioned as it was found.
Now, the majestic Angkor Wat temple . We started our journey from the back entrance of the temple and walked towards the front to get the full front view.
Majestic, beautiful, magnificent, words like these are never enough to describe the Angkor Wat. It is just way too impressive to me.
Sunrise tour is quite a big thing too where you get the beautiful gradient pastels colour sky with a backdrop of Angkor Wat. If you would love to catch the sunrise view, do book the sunrise tour and be sure you can wake up very early because you will have to depart around 4+am.
7. Pampering session with Khmer massage
Massage parlours can be found along the Pub Street/ old market area and believe it or not, 30minutes Khmer massage (a more gentle kind massage as compared to Thai massage) is priced as low as USD $ 5 – 6!!! How not to get a self-pampering here?!
8. Drink coffee like a local all-day err day
We had our coffee take out from Tang Mouy Coffee which is located just a few blocks away from our hotel almost every day. Tong Mouy Coffee is a coffee wholesaler and retailer. They roast and grind their beans in the small kitchen at the back. You can customize the coffee’s intensity as well as sugar level based on your preferences. I always had mine strong and without sugar; sometimes with ice, sometimes without. Priced very affordable between $0.75 to $ 1.50
Oh, you can enjoy the coffee in the small garden area along with some local street food that they offer.
Another one from Noi Café
9. Lost yourself in local market – Phsar Chas
Or known as Old Market which is located between the Pub Street and the riverside, right in the heart of the town. It is a very popular market and has everything to offer. You may find not just clothing, spices, housewares, jewellery, souvenirs but also food and home-grown products and fresh produces such as fish, poultry, vegetables and etc. This is also the place where you get to observe the real locals’ daily life!
It is also quite a good place for souvenir shopping and remember to use your bargaining skill too! Silk scarves, hand painted bowls, dyed harem pants and many many more… I got myself a silver ring accessory, a rattan bag at USD$ 15 and some small craft and keychains as souvenirs.
2 Thnou St, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Opens daily from 7am to 8pm
10. Randomly run into the beautiful small alley
This small alley has got this European-inspired feel , some 异国风情feel. It is where Le Malraux Restaurant is located. If you would like to come here, do google map this restaurant!
11. Get the arts and crafts in Siem Reap Art Center Night Market
Located along the riverside, this is one of the night shopping destinations for those who love arts and craft; here is where you could find beautiful paintings and all sort of handicrafts.
12. More arts and crafts in Made in Cambodia Market
Located at King’s Road Angkor (just somewhere behind Hard Rock Café Angkor), opens from 12pm to 10pm; here you can get fine artisan arts and crafts stuff with stalls operated by independent artists and designers, everything you can find here are Cambodians’ handmade items! There are also local traditional dance and music performance if you are here at the right timing.
13. Happy Hour in Hotel’s Oasis Pool Bar
When there is BUY 1 FREE 1 cocktail/booze that the hotel offers, of course I will ‘utilise’ it!
Champagne and chill by the pool is a must !
14. Local snack shopping
Black pepper, palm sugar, dried mango, dried jackfruit, yam chips, banana chips…. BUY BUY BUY. I am not quite sure where is this souvenir store located, but this is somewhere the tour guide will bring you to if you ask for it.
15. Last minute shopping at Senteurs d’Angkor for essential oil
Didn’t know about this brand until I was in airport! After some research, only found out that Senteurs d’Angkor offers workshops to make soaps from coconut oil, natural cosmetic and scented balms and candles. That’s too late to me but anyway, I managed to grab the essential oil from the airport.
16. Send some memory home
Post a postcard!
17. More street food to go
Found this street food that is located nearby the Khmer Grill Restaurant, which is quite a good stuff you should grab if you are eating around here.