The Beautiful Siem Reap, Cambodia

The Beautiful Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Visiting Cambodia marked the beginning of my travel trail, an adventurous journey that I hope to continue through all my life. Having been bitten by the wanderlust bug, I have ached for travels through each passing day while sitting behind a desk and working on the same routine. Finally, the opportunity popped up when I found a deal so sweet, I couldn’t resist. I grabbed a friend, booked my tickets and waited anxiously till the day of my departure. Finally, I was on the right side of the airport, not bidding my goodbyes to those who were leaving, but being the one who goes through the dramatic escalator scene. Oh you know that escalator scene, where tearful departures are often met with sighs and wishes of luck and love.

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Siem Reap is a beautiful country, rich in history, culture and humble people. The must-do when visiting this city is visit the grand temples that litter the country. From the majestic Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon temple to the smaller but just as beautiful Bantey Srei, Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King. Each temple is grand and absolutely breath-taking; it’s advised that you take your time soaking in the culture, history and beauty. With detailed carvings on the walls and tales of long-ago from tour guides, it’s not to be missed. My personal favourite temple was Bayon, the temple of 54 faces, built for the Mahayana Buddhist King, Jayavarman VII. But Angkor Wat is known to be the most famous for its size, history and many mythologies.

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Whether mornings were made for you or not, make it a point to reach the grounds by about 5.30am to catch the beautiful sunrise then come back in the early evening to watch the sunset. It was worth dragging my lazy self out of bed at 5am because never in my life have I watched the sun peek out behind a beautiful building then reflect that architecture in the waters below it. Trust me; it’s worth the wakeup call.

Once temple ground exploration was done, my walkers were all tired out and about to fall off or fail me in another step. So the best thing to do was the obvious of course! Hit Pub Street or the Old Town Market street and soak in the sights and sounds as I settled in one of the many massage centres for a good and well deserved foot rub. Regular massages go for $1 while body massages range from $3 to $6. So whether you’re staying for 2 days or 20 days, treat yourself to regular pamper sessions like these!

Once the sun when down, I was ready to go out and play! First I had to fill my rumbling tummy so I tucked into some traditional Khmer food at the many available eateries where meals are anywhere between $2 to $6. Once my stomach was satisfied, I then walked through Pub Street and enjoyed too many night caps. Cocktails go for $2 and ice cold draft beers are a mere $0.50. Time seems to move slowly in Siem Reap, so it only felt natural to take my time and saunter in from one shop to the next. If you’re an avid shopper, this would be your ideal place to be. There are too many scarfs, traditional pants and little trinkets to buy. But being the city of haggling and bargaining, don’t settle for $10 for that scarf, because if you put those haggling skills to work, you can walk away with two for $5.

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