Have you ever imagined running thru the beautiful structures and historical Temples in Cambodia? Finally watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat? Try those exotic food and visit the Pub Street at night, Be blessed and see a monk, feel that real life Angelina Jolie from Tomb Raider and expand your wildest fantasies, literally TEMPLE HOPPING all day.
These were all part of my Cambodia Bucket Lists.
Intricate details of the temples, a place that is rich of history, discoveries and experiences. Oh Cambodia, you were definitely beautiful.
Coming from our almost 4 days stay in Vietnam and a day of travelling all the way in Siem Reap our Cambodia Itinerary was truly jam-packed and I made sure we get to maximize what the place has to offer. Super excited what this country has to offer I’ll be sharing here in my blog our 3 days stay in Siem Reap, if this is part of your Indochina (Tri-city) Country Travel this was our second stop;
Saigon Itinerary for 4D/3N : #SaigonWithTheWind : Vietnam Itinerary for 4D/3N
How to cross border from Vietnam to Siem Reap, Cambodia : Crossing border from Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) to Cambodia (Siem Reap) via bus
Cambodia — is a Southeast Asian nation famous for its ruins of Angkor Wat and massive temples that is rich in history.
Phnom Penh as its capital.
- Cambodia Currency = Cambodian Riel
- Money Conversion (as of 2019) Php 1 = KHR 77.10 or USD 1 = KHR 4,037
- We exchanged all our money to USD as the blogs will tell you that mostly the restaurants and that Cambodia also accepts USD in the country.
- Having a money changer to exchange for Cambodia Riel was also pretty hard, as not all money changers have this currency in Manila — we exchanged money from the airport and it was not really not bad after all
- In Cambodia, they have their own language – “Khmer”
- But trust that they speak way better English here compare that of from Vietnam
- Also consider that there were so many foreigners working and living in Cambodia already so communication is really manageable.
- In terms of budget, I could say that it was way more expensive than that of Vietnam
- Entrance Fees and the payments for everything was also in USD which makes it expensive for us (Filipinos) but nonetheless, it was still a cheap travel
- Prepare at least P10,000 PHP, USD 200 for that 2 days stay in Siem Reap (*still depends on your final itinerary though and preference)
- Foreign tourists will still find this extra cheap though
WIFI / INTERNET
- Simcard with data is available also if you’d desire
- But since we are only staying for almost 3 days the least, we managed to survive with Wifi from our hotel
- Expect that there is no much Free Wifi outside, so if it is an issue for you — better stay connected and rent a Wifi with you
MODE OF TRANSPORTATION :
- Mostly in Siem Reap, they use “Tuk-tuk”
- It is this 5 wheeled motor bike with a passenger seat at the back, it can actually accommodate up to 4 pax per Tuktuk
- Nothing much of a grab ride nor cab or bus around
- What we did, was to rent 1 Tuktuk service that served as our service for our entire stay, we first agreed on a certain itinerary, costing and time before we all agreed and start our service with them
- If you are 4 in the group travelling to Cambodia you can have 1 Tuktuk service with you – you’ll save more as you divide your entire expense into 4 (*as for our end, we were 2 so all expense was divided into 2 🙂
- Cambodia was known for exotic insects and scorpions, and the likes – you’ll see a lot of this over the street in Siem Reap
- The street vendor also have options and payment if you’d only want a picture with it or you’d be buying and trying one
- Surprisingly, Cambodia does not have that distinct delicacy that is unique to them, mostly – you’d be able to eat different cuisines here depending on your preference and cravings.
- Some of the food finds I’d recommend you to try :
Never miss this in Pub Street, this 1 USD Pancake where you can choose different fillings and fruits combined. You’ll see how they prepare it in front of you (*not for maselan though hahaha)
Just by walking around Pub Street, even on the opposite side of the streets you’ll find so many restaurants, if you are in it for something heavy and full meal but very affordable with nice ambiance inside — Bell Restaurant is a place to be.
Night life is part of Pub Street, various bars around is must visit as well. We stayed at both “YOLO Bar & Angkor Wat?” both were nice and grab a beer with a friend or two.
- I opted to book for an Airbnb room for our Siem Reap, and the room package comes with a free pick-up from Terminal (*we have come from Mekong Delta Terminal from Ho Chi Minh)
- The room cost only almost Php 700 / USD 13.70 per pax and we stayed for 2 nights
- This is one of the nicest Airbnb rooms we’ve ever had, plus it was cheap, very big, the bed was really comfortable, private CR and you got everything inside it!!!! it comes with a free Tuktuk service from the terminal too
- If you’d want to book for this room also you may search it thru the Airbnb Site : https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16848359?
- Should you wish to book for it, don’t forget to use my referral link here for additional discounts : https://www.airbnb.com/c/nathalies2488?currency=PHP
DAY 1 | ARRIVAL IN SIEM REAP FROM HO CHI MINH
8:30PM || We finally arrived at Siem Reap after 12 hours bus ride from Ho Chi Minh. Being only extra dependent with our Bus Wifi connection – I had to make sure that our Tuktuk service was waiting for us in the terminal.
And there he goes, with my name on a sheet of paper. Feeling extra touristy though as he gaze through the rest of the passengers as well. This tuktuk service was part of the free service from our Airbnb room accommodation.
9:00PM || Less than 30 minutes of travel time, we just had to do a quick rest in our room, change clothes and we discussed all our itineraries and plans with our Tuktuk driver – we agreed that we’ll have him as our guide and service for our Temple Hopping the next day. Super tired from the 12 hours bus ride, we couldn’t care enough as we need to enjoy our first night in Siem Reap.
How to go there : Hopped in to our Tuktuk all the way to Pub Street.
Standard fare is 1 USD per way
Our Airbnb accommodation was around 15 minutes away from the Pub Street so we really need to ride a Tuktuk service to get here. There were hostels around Pub Street should you think that you’ll be partying a lot every night.
In Pub Street, it is more than bars and clubs – it actually has almost everything you’ll need as well. You’ll see various restaurants, various cuisines, spa houses or massage spots, stores and clothing shops, to exotic food stall, fruit shake stalls and our favorite pancake which sells for 1 USD per piece.
Your choice of food actually depends on your preference, the look and feel per each stall just keep on walking around the street as it is really a long stretch of everything.
*Note : trust that the party vibes does not seem better than what we have here in Manila *hahahaha! It was pretty plain and a bottle of beer or two would be just fine.
On our first night, we just had dinner across the Pub Stree and roam around the street – people were literally dancing already just right outside the bars and restos, I find it intriguing and disturbing also how the massage spas were all exposed and situated right outside the streets as well (some people might not actually care about it — *but trust me, I just do 😀 hahaha)
We made sure we are back in our place before 2AM to make sure we get ready for our next day’s adventure.
DAY 2 | TEMPLE HOPPING
Overview : This entire day was filled with Temple hopping, museum and everything in between
Entrance Fee : The Temple Passes actually depends on how long you would be staying (1-day visit USD 37; 3-day visit USD 62 & 7-day visit USD 72)
Transportation : Book for a tuktuk service that would take you to all the temples for the entire day. Settle for a rate and plan your itinerary ahead of time.
Costing : with sunrise + temple hopping – 30 USD, Temple Hopping without Sunrise – is less than 12 USD, a tuktuk service can accommodate up to 4 pax (*so you see, you’ll get to save more if you are 4 in the group as you get to divide your transpo expense)
4:00AM || Coming from an almost 2 hours nap time in our very comfortable beddddd (uggghhhh!! It was hard to resist the bed!!) but we had to be up and ready as early as 4AM.
- If you want to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat – make sure to start leaving your place at 4AM
- We had to go through the ticketing office first to buy for the Temple entrance fees.
- The ticketing office only opens at 5AM but people and tourists starts to line up as early as 4AM as well.
- Do not be deceived, as it doesn’t matter if it’s a weekends or weekdays – Angkor Wat is definitely a National Heritage, expect so many tourists as well
Ticket for the temple entrances depends on how long you’d want to stay.
As for us, we bought the 1 day Temple Pass worth USD 37, each tourist should line up as you’d be given an ID with your actual photo in it. They print it right away and you keep it with you the entire time.
The photo also makes sure that you cannot buy or use any other temple pass with you.
SUNRISE AT ANGKOR WAT
After lining up, we had to ride all the way to the Angkor Wat. You wouldn’t want to miss the sunrise so make sure you move pretty fast as well. The entrance was even very far from the actual Wat inside. Be amaze on the beauty of the Sunrise and take that perfect shot.
Angkor Wat, is the largest religious monument in the world. There are still Buddhist in the temples. Grab that experience to be blessed by a monk.
*Note : make sure you wear proper attire when entering the temples. Consider it holy and make sure to pay respect as well.
No shorts, or mini skirts, sleeveless and sandos inside.
We made sure to maximize roaming around Angkor Wat, it was really amazing and fascinating.
MUSEUM : The Legend Revealed
Entrance Fee : 12 USD
10:00AM || If you are that type who wanted to study the context out of all the temples and structures in Siem Reap, you may drop off and pay a visit at “The Legend Revealed Museum” it is the nearest one from the Ankor Wat.
But before you go all the way to the Museum, you still need to drop off thru this travel agency across — where they sell the entrance fees for the Museum. The cost is the same across all the agencies across.
You’d appreciate more the temples in Cambodia knowing what each means and some history behind it.
Entrance Fee : part of the package from the morning pass
Make sure you are ready for the Temple Hopping adventure! Wear the right clothes, not too tight not too loose, not too sexy but make sure you are comfortable with the best set of foot wear, bring water with you, a hat and a pashmina would do its wonder as well for the entire day.
12NN || After our Museum tour, we immediately proceeded with our temple hopping. We just had our lunch around but the cost was definitely much expensive.
Places that you should cover :
- Angkor Wat
- South Gate to Angkor Thom
- Bayon Temple
- Terrace of the Elephants
- Te Keo Temple
- Ta Phrom Temple
- Banteay Kdeis Temple
Trust me that after 4 and 5 temples we were freaking tired already. Some of the temples we didn’t took photos with and just decided to enter and explore it instead.
There were many tourists around but it is how you appreciate how intricate and how beautiful each temples were.
I was so fascinated how everything was preserved, and that various organizations were also helping and financing Cambodia to continue the maintenance of the Wat around.
I lost count how many temples were there, but make sure to visit the key highlights and explore it. If you have much time — you can sit around the temple read a book with you, appreciate the scenery and have a great time.
After almost 5 hours of Temple hopping, we went back to our room and rest for a while. We headed back to Pub Street for dinner and some drinks to enjoy the rest of the night.
ACTUAL EXPENSE :
(*please do note that the expense below is based from my actual expenses during my trip)
FINAL NOTES :
- Cambodia was indeed beautiful, the intricate details, the temples and the history that lies with it makes it even more special.
- If you have at least 2 days to stay to do the temple hopping — I suggest you may do so, so you won’t feel extra tired after the entire day.
- I was very happy to include this in my Indochina Escapade and backpacking this country was really an experience.
- Looking at how much I spent during the trip — you may save more if you have more people to share expense with
- You may also stay in hostels instead so it’ll be much cheaper.
- Foreigners and tourists were everywhere, truly there are so many people wanted to explore and see this site as well.
- Please be careful with scams as well — make sure to ask the best person always, keep yourself guarded and be extra cautious with your valuables.
Should you need an excel file of my full itinerary during my trip, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @nathaliecsalcedo send me a DM! I’ll be happy to share it too.
If you are into your Indochina Trip as well, stay tune and keep posted over my blog page.
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TO MORE TRAVEL DESTINATIONS. – XOXO
All photos were all originals from the blogger @nathaliecsalcedo