Cambodia (officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia) is a country located in the Southeast of Asia. The country is bordered by Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. So, if you plan to go Asian backpacking in 2 or more countries for a few days, you might want to consider traversing this country as part of your itinerary. The currency used is Riel, but US dollar (USD) is quite acceptable in Asia.
While we were in Saigon, we looked for a travel agency where we can book a bus trip to Siem Reap for the next day. The hotel staff told us to go along Bui Vien street, and we did. There were a lot of agencies in the area, all you have to do is find the one that offers the cheapest fare. We found an agency that offers $18/person (12 hours) going to Siem Reap. If we want a non-stop ride, the fee will be $30/person (8 hours).
We thought that 12 hours is too much and took the $30 “golden ticket”. As the old saying goes “expect the unexpected”. The 8 hours turned to be 12 hours. We felt scammed. We were told it was a nonstop trip, but it was a lie. When we got in Cambodia territory, the driver made a few stops to let in some local passengers. That made the trip a bit more longer. It was already 9:00 PM when we got in Pub Street and we were very much exhausted.
We stayed in Golden Temple Villa for 3 nights. This hotel was fantastic! The price is a bit more compared to other local hotels but it was all worth it. There were plenty of ‘freebies’ provided by the hotel staffs, and an amazing 60 minutes massage too! We highly recommend this hotel if you’re staying in Siem Reap. The location isn’t really in the center (like Pub Street), so you need to take a tuktuk ride for approx. 10 minutes. The hotel offered us a free ride to the airport after our stay. So I guess, we saved on that.
We booked the Angkor Wat day tour in a travel agency, near Pub Street, for $13/person which included a bottle of water, wet wipes, shuttle bus and a tour guide. There is also a separate fee for the Angkor Pass ticket which you will pay in a booth in Angkor Wat. The cashier will take your photo which will be used in your ticket. We took the 1 day pass for $20/person.
We arrived in Angkor Wat around 9:00 AM, then started the tour. I never imagined I will see Angkor Wat in person. I only knew about this popular site through books, articles and the famous movie Tomb Raider which starred Angeline Jolie. It was quite surreal for me.
The wall that tells stories. There were a lot of intricate carvings on the walls anywhere in the temples. Our tour guide told us that every carving has different stories to tell. He was quite patient in telling us the different stories and most, if not everyone, were listening.
My Angkor Wat experience was quite amazing. Our tour guide was quite jolly and will cater any questions you have. We also met different people during the tour. There were a lot of tourists everywhere, literally everywhere!
If you visit Cambodia, don’t miss this popular heritage site.
Small Circuit Tour (including tour guide, shuttle bus, bottle of water, wet wipes) – $30/person
Angkor Wat Day Tour Ticket – $20/person
*Please take note fees may change without prior notice.