If you travel 22 hours to Cambodia, it’s definitely because you want to see the temples of Angkor Wat. However, there are hundreds of temples that would take you weeks to really see. But, we ran into a few problems… We only had four days, it’s insanely hot in Siem Reap which means you should be at the pool and there are other interesting things to do and see besides temples. With that said here are four of my favorite temples: Tah Prohm, because of the beautiful old trees that cling to the temple and hold it up. Ta Nei, because it’s located off of a dirt road, and has very few tourists, and Ta Keo, because of the view from the top (but you have to climb the stairs to get to the view), and of course Angkor Wat. There you go, the four temples that I recommend. I was also lucky enough to see the sun rise over Angkor Wat on New Year’s Day, which was amazing.
If you are looking to try some spiders, crickets, beetles and a silk worm, then you should go to the night market. Now if insects aren’t your thing, ice cream at the Blue Pumpkin or coffee at The Little Red Fox Espresso are great alternatives, or local Khmer food at any of the small local restaurants downtown.
Then of course, there’s the shopping. A few places that I recommend are: Trunkh, owned by Doug, the ex-pat from California or Christine’s a very chic boutique owned by a very chic French woman. Or by now, if you are out of clean underwear, you can stop by the Lucky Mall for a few new pairs, but just know that the quality is pretty bad, so you will end up throwing them out after one day.
On our final day in Siem Reap we received a water blessing from a monk, rode in an ox cart to dinner, and watched a shadow puppet show as the sun set. This was by far the most memorable experience of the trip because the children of the village joined us to watch the show. They were excited to practice their English on us and we were equally excited to see their smiling faces.
So, for anyone that is considering planning a trip to Cambodia I’d highly recommend going. The temples are beautiful, the people are incredibly kind, and the food is amazing.
XoXo – Penn