Siem Reap, Cambodia

has been on my bucket list since the first day I saw a photo of Angkor Wat. I only had two days in Siem Reap so I had to make it count! In order to effectively see as much as I could the first day, we booked a bike tour from Viator. Honestly, one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had AND I got a great workout from it.

Here’s a breakdown in photos:

  • Temple 1: Angkor Wat

The largest religious monument in the world at 402 acres. Monkeys roam the property. Beautiful architecture. Breath-taking reflection in the water. Worth all efforts!

 

  • Temple 2: Bayon Temple

Honestly, my favorite. Wasn’t as crowded as the others and was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The detail was exquisite. I could’ve spent hours analyzing the extent of this smaller temple. I could write more, but you wouldn’t understand.

  • Temple 3: Ta Prohm

I would’ve enjoyed this more with fewer people & I was starting to get a little tired at this point in the tour, I had ripped my pants and pinched my finger on the brake so it was bleeding all over my hand (Can anyone say “hot mess”???) BUT it was where Tomb Raider was filmed and it was stunning.

What Else We Did

We were only in Siem Reap for basically 48 hours so we didn’t have too much time for more, but we did do more than just the temples!

  • Kampong Phluk Floating village

About a 30 minute drive from the downtown Siem Reap area lies this floating village. It was an amazing view by boat, however you can tell the American dollar goes soo far with the locals that they’ll do anything to make a dollar or two with their sales pitches. Sans the heavy tourist aspect, it was still so fun as our boat driver let the guys we were with take turns driving the boat! The people residing in the floating homes are mostly fisherman & Vietnamese immigrants and they spend their whole lives working, playing, praying, learning from their floating homes.

There was obviously a floating souvenir shop where the saleswoman forcibly laid a live snake upon the big, hunky shoulders of my boyfriend, Jacob. Our friends kept calling him Jake the Snake, but to me, all that came to mind is Britney Spears VMA performance circa 2003. You go girl.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE UBER TALENTED EMILY HART

  • Siem Reap Pub Street

Okay, the pub street itself reminded me of Patong Beach in Thailand with it’s “backpacker district” neon lighting, but the people watching here was a hit. There is a nearby market with souvenirs, food trucks and the hustle & bustle of tuktuks. You shouldn’t skip it, regardless of how tacky it may or may not be. I’m making it sound so negative…you should check it out as we went both nights we were there!

  • Apsara dinner & dance show

In my opinion, seeing a traditional Apsara dance with Khmer dinner is really the second thing besides the temples you shouldn’t skip. We wanted to go to the Cambodian Circus, but didn’t reserve ahead so it was booked. Our concierge helped us get a table at a show.

There’s a few options. I couldn’t find our specific venue online, but I did find great reviews for this one online & honestly the photos look even better than ours was!

Where We Stayed

Lotus Blanc ResortAddress: National Road 6, Kruos Village, Krong Siem Reap 17252, Cambodia. I cannot recommend this place more. The average cost for this resort is $70 per night for LUXURY. There’s a full breakfast buffet that’s FREE with your stay & to be honest, I still have dreams about this beautiful spread. The grounds were wonderful, the staff is extremely accommodating, professional and helpful! Honestly, the local of Siem Reap are so proud of their city and they want you to have the best experience. We truly felt like our two day vacation was customized to our needs thanks to the staff here.  PLEASE check out their website because I can’t go on & explain what all they have to offer. 

relaxing by the pool after breakfast

Overall…

I loved Cambodia! Honestly, it was such a refreshing adventure! Between the quick ride to the airport,  unique temples, friendly locals, the JOY of paying next to nothing for food/lodging/entertainment/transportation… it was outstanding! As I mentioned, the tourism is a little sad, but the people of Siem Reap were welcoming and I am so glad I visited! Wish I could explore more cities this country had to offer. As always, I hope you enjoyed reading & happy traveling!