Exploring the Great Wonder of the Ancient world – Angkor Wat!!!

After the great expedition to get to Cambodia which you can find here if you have not read it. I finally arrived safe and sound and checked into a very nice place. The Garden Village Guesthouse a recommendation from a fellow traveller I met along the way.

Another key tip is to stay connected to the people you meet on your journey as the chances are pretty good that they have been to the destination you headed so they can give you valuable tips, what to see and what to avoid. Best thing is recommendations on places to stay.

Getting back to my point the Garden Village Guesthouse is amazing. They have different room options and prices to suit any traveller. I chose a dorm room for six people and paid 5 dollars a night. They have a pool and a stunning bar and rooftop chill area too.

The next day I met up with my new friends, and we met up with a guy that was helping us arrange a tour for the day to visit the famous Angkor Wat temples.

We agreed on set price, and we would have the tuk-tuk and the driver for the day.
Another great tip is finding a group to go with so you can split the transportation cost.
We set off at about 10 am. It was the hottest day I have experienced in a very long time and to visit these temples one must be modestly dressed covering your shoulders with a sleeved shirt, not just a scarf and knees. I saw many people wearing shorts though but to be safe, I wore my new pants I purchased in Vietnam with a plain black T-shirt. I was dying in the heat before the day was even over.

We purchased a one day pass the total cost is 20 Usd, and I was all templed out by the end of it. If your sole purpose of visiting Cambodia is visiting these temples, then get the two days or 3-day pass. This way you can take your time navigating through the temples, but it will work out very expensive. In my opinion and based on how hot it was one day was more than enough.

There are also many ways to get around the temples. I saw many people hiring Bikes and cycling around also be weary of the weather as it can get sweltering and the last thing you want is to be dying of dehydration when trying to take in the majestic beauty of the temples.

We started off with Angkor Wat it was breathtaking to see in real life. Minus the crazy amount of tourists it was still a site to witness. To avoid the crazy crowds of midday, I would suggest going at sunrise.
We visited Bayon, Ta Phrom( Tomb Raider Temple), and Angkor Thom the more famous temples.
I wish I had taken more note of where we went exactly, but it was such a scorcher of the day that I was dying of the heat all while trying to be in every moment as we roamed freely around the ruins of these incredible temples.

We stopped for lunch and had some authentic Khmer food. Curry based and lots of noodle options very similar to Thai food ( same same but different.)
Then we continued the exploration we visited five temples in total. I remember at one of the temples we saw heaps of monkeys and at one point a random dog came running by and had the monkeys screaming and running toward us, and we all huddled together in hysteria scared we were going to get eaten alive. That was hilarious, and I am sure for the bystanders watching they must have thought we were ridiculous.

We made it to the final temple Phnom Bakheng, and it was a little walk up a hill there were large lookout decks to watch the sunset along with thousands of tourists who all had the same idea which is the only disappointment but to be expected.

We then left and headed to Pub street a self-explanatory name for dinner. Had the best Prawn Curry I can remember the taste now as if I had it yesterday. I, unfortunately, cannot remember the name of the restaurant doesn’t help that I can picture it in my mind now does it.

After a long day and a full stomach, we went looking for a travel agent as the British girls were off to Phnom Phen (The Capital of Cambodia) and needed to book a bus. Myself and my friend from Israel decided to stay one more night in Siem Reap before heading off to Sihanoukville a beach town along the coast. We had foot massages after being on our feet the entire day I feel as though that was just what the doctor ordered. It was an  incredible way to end the first leg of my Cambodian  adventureI didn’

I didn’t leave the hostel the following day. I met some interesting people and we spoke for hours sharing travel stories and just hanging out getting used to being a traveller again. One thing I like about long-term travelling is there isn’t a set time to do anything, and you can take your time.

Not knowing much about Cambodia or where to go, after chatting with new friends I had mapped out my next adventure. I will say I met a fascinating traveler a fellow female who had been and most likely still is traveling around Asia on her bicycle.

I will leave you with snaps I took of Angkor Wat and continued with stories from the coast in my next Cambodian Post.

Hope you all are still enjoying my chronicles of a solo traveller and feel free to ask me any questions about the East. I haven’t been everywhere, but the little I do know can sure help you out.

Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥

 

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Getting to Cambodia

I feel like I am starting each post applogising for how late it is,So sorry about that but I do hope you enjoy it and promise the next one is coming next week.

While I was down and out trying to recover in Bangkok, my visa was running out, and I had to make plans to leave the country. I remember going to the hospital and telling the Doctor I cannot come back because of my visa situation, and she promised she would call me with test results before I left the country. I was still not 100% due to an allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics I was taking. I did the tests and said a little prayer.
I had no choice I had to leave, and all I could do is just trust that God would help me through this situation. I started feeling better, but I wanted the reassurance that nothing was wrong so I could enter this new adventure with no worries.

I booked a bus to Siem Reap from Bangkok on the 6th of November I stayed in a hostel the night before and had to get myself mentally ready for travel life again.
I was down and out for an entire month, and it is so easy to fall into depression when things don’t go your way. I had to snap out of my funk and learn to be happy again. Early the Friday morning I woke up and got ready for my 10-hour journey. We set off on the first leg of the drive to the border that took 4 hours.

We arrived at a restaurant and was told to get out and hand over our passports I was a little confused but then found out they were doing our visa. We were totally ripped off spending way too much money on the visas, but we didn’t know any better. Thankfully it was all done legally.

As we got back on the bus to take us to the border crossing my phone rang. It was the Doctor she had my test results, and it all came back clear. I was so relieved just the sign I needed to enjoy the next few months on the road alone.

We were then told a very odd story and thinking back now I was silly to believe it. If ever you find yourself in this situation, please don’t fall for it.
A Thai guy that helps you with the border cross and through passport control will tell you that there are no ATM’S in Cambodia, and the chances are very high that you will get your card stuck in the machines.

Knowing no better he then continued to tell us to draw out money at the Thai ATM conveniently placed near to us and then once we get over to the Cambodian side we can change it into Riel the Cambodian currency with no extra charge. About ten girls not knowing any better followed his instructions and we were so silly to do that. ( clearly he was getting commission from this.)

In Cambodia, they use their currency Reil and US Dollars. At most places they will have both prices, and the exchange is the same.

Tip change money to Dollars it will make your life so much easier.
So that was our scam we all made it across the border in one piece got onto the next bus, and the bus breaks down just our luck.

We were about 15 girls packed into a minibus with about 5 Cambodian men around us and we have no idea what’s going on. It was a scary but odd situation. With some hand gestures, we were told the bus was broken and we will use the other bus strategically parked nearby. We made sure we had all our belongings and made our way to the fourth bus of the trip. Along this 10 hour bordering on 12-hour journey in the dark now we finally arrived in Siem Reap.

What an adventurous journey from over priced visas to changing all our cash into Riel and a broken down bus later the bright side of this experience making 4 awesome friends! Three British girls and an Israeli. We then went to our hostel and made plans to meet up the next day to do Angkor Wat.

So I will end this post here and continue the next one with my temple ruins experience of the majestic Angkor Wat.

Peace love and Happiness

Cherry ♥

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