Travellers can take a flight, bus or train to Siem Reap. One can directly reach Siem Reap by flight. The bus journey and train journey take time.
After reaching Bangkok, one can take the journey from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet by train, leaving Bangkok Hualamphong railway station at 05:55am and arriving at Aranyaprathet at around 11:35. The train costs around 1.5- 2USD and the tickets can be availed from the station itself.
|Bangkok Hualamphong Station|
The train journey from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet takes approximately 4 hours covering a distance of 250 kilometres. Aranyaprathet is a small town in Eastern Thailand located at a distance of 6 kilometers from Poipet ( Thailand - Cambodia Border). The tourists and Cambodian people cross the border daily with pushcarts and scooters with side cars loaded with their products.
After reaching Aranyaprathet, Tuktuks are available at the station. One can travel to Poipet ( Thailand- Cambodia border). The Tuktuk costs approximately 100-120 Bahts.
After Thai exit formalities are completed, one can find the official Cambodian Visa office between the Border posts. Everyday, more than 1,600 tourists, travelling by land, enter Cambodia from Thailand through the point of entry known as the ‘Angkor Arch’.
|Angkor Arch, Thailand- Cambodia Border|
After walking across the Border in cambodia, a large number of shared Taxis and buses are available. Taxis cost around 50USD to Siem Reap. Shared Taxis cost between USD12-14 depending on the negotiation skill of the traveler. Buses can also be availed at USD10. As soon as the border is crossed, on the Cambodian side there are a large number of casinos. A large number of tourists and Thai people visit the Casinos as they are prohibited in Thailand.
For backpackers, hostels can be availed in Siem Reap at a cost of USD 6-20 per day. Some of the good hostels are Golden Mango Inn, Onederz Hostel Siem Reap, Tropical Breeze Guesthouse,Mad Monkey Hostel, Siem Reap Hostel. Hostels can be booked from hostelworld.com.
For other travellers, there are a large number of hotels which can be availed at a cost of USD 50-300 depending on the budget. Some of the good hotels are The Privilege floor@Borei Angkor, Palace Residence and Villa Siem Reap, Boorei Angkor Resort and Spa. These are high end hotels and cost more than USD 200 per day.
The hotels can be booked online through booking.com
Cocktail Lounges, Lively bars, International restaurants and nightclubs that stay open till 4 AM- That’s Siem Reap. For backpackers, Pub Street in downtown Siem Reap is perfect for a night out of out on the town with similarly invested travellers as its various bars are effectively available by walking as drinks and beers cost just USD 1 during happy hours.
A plenty of five-star hotels with lounges,rooftop bars and pubs serving imported wines; rare and expensive alcohol as well as authentic Khmer are present for the affluent travellers in Siem Reap.
Siem Reap’s nightlife hub, Pub Street is full of Pubs, Nightclubs, bars,and Open terrace restaurants. A ten minutes walk from Angkor Night Market leads to Pub Street.
The best places to visit in Pub Street are Temple Bar, Angkor What, Miss Wong Cocktail Bar, Asana Bar, Mezze Lounge & Nightclub, Picasso Bar.
Some of the best Rooftop bars in Siem Reap are Top Banana Beach Bar, Purple Mangosteen Rooftop Bar, XBar and Temple Bar.
Drinks cost as low as USD 0.50 accompanied by acoustic performances, traditional dances, and EDM nights.
In search of a place to eat, beverages; in search of Souvenirs, or just a walk down the road- Angkor Night Market is the best place for a stroll during night.
|Angkor Night Market|
|Angkor Night Market|
|Bridge to the Angkor Night Market|
Angkor Wat is the focal element of the Angkor UNESCO World Heritage Site containing the mesmerizing remains of the Khmer civilization. The central tower amongst the five rising towers of Angkor Wat symbolizes Mount Meru. Angkor Wat, in its artistry, elegance and beauty, is unparalleled. Its enormousness and brilliance indicate a grandiosity and a luxury unseen anywhere else.
It is the largest religious monument in the world. Originally a Hindu temple of Lord Vishnu during the Khmer Empire, it was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple by the end of 12th Century.
Cambodia had been ruled by Kings who followed the traditions of Lord Shiva. Angkor Wat was dedicated to Lord Vishnu breaking the earlier traditions followed by the kings. It was built as the king's state temple and capital city.
For tourist visists, Angkor Wat opens at 5am who want to enjoy the sunrise from the spot. And, it closes at 5.30pm.
The cost of an entry pass for Angkor Wat costs USD 20 for a single day, USD 40 for three days and USD 60 for one week
|Sunrise at Angkor Wat|
|Photographers waiting to capture the sunrise at Angkor Wat|
How was Angkor Wat built?
The sandstone blocks to build Angkor Wat were excavated from the holy mountain of Phnom Kulen( around 50km away), and sailed down the Siem Reap River on rafts.
According to inscriptions, the construction of Angkor Wat took 300,000 workers and 6000 elephants, yet it was still incomplete.
Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire, was a guarded city having residences of priest, palace authorities and military. The Royal Palace inside the city of Angkor Thom was occupied by Kings during the tenth and the eleventh centuries. In spite of the fact that the establishments and the enclosing wall around the place with section towers have been recognized, little proof of the design of the structures inside the walls is remaining.
Ta Promh Temple
Undeniably, Ta Promh is the most beautiful ruin at Angkor. Every visitor who plans to visit Angkor Wat must visit Ta Prohm. The fact that it has been devoured by the jungle makes it even more beautiful.
Ta Prohm is a temple of towers, courtyards and cramped corridors. It is definitely one of the must-go-to places on every traveller’s itinerary.
How to reach Phnom Penh from Siem Reap?
One can take a flight from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. Travelers on a budget travel can avail bus service . The main bus companies are Giant Ibis Transport, Sorya Transport 168, Capitol and Mekong Express. A lot of commission scams happen with travellers so it is advisable to book a ticket online before travelling.
Phnom Penh is believed to be the loveliest French-built city in Indochina. The sparkle of Phnom Penh, once regarded as the ' Pearl of Asia' has been discoloured by the after effects of war and revolution. Offering an appealing pub culture, clamoring bars and world-class food, it has risen to be one of the most attractive destinations of South East Asia.
Some of the best places to visit in Phnom Penh are Royal Palace, National Museum of Cambodia, Wat Phnom, Silver Pagoda, Independence monument, Tonle Bati, Tuol Sleng Genocide museum ( S-21 Prison), Killing Fields of Choeung Ek,etc.
Backpackers have a plethora of hostels to choose from during their stay in Phnom Penh. Some of the best hostels in Phnom Penh are Lovely Jubbly Villa, The Mad Monkey, The Happy House Zone, The Happy House, and Eight8 Phnom Penh. Dorms are available at USD 4-10 per day.
|A TukTuk at Riverside|
Tourists with deeper pockets for accommodation can spend on luxurious stays at Sofitel Phnom Penh, Rafles Hotel Le Royal, or Intercontinental Phnom Penh. Typically, these hotels would cost around USD 150-200 per day. A lot of budget hotels are also available at USD 20-50 per day.
The best Pubs of Phnom Penh are II Forno, Zeppelin Café, Lebon Café and Pub.
Be it Riverhouse- the Lounge ( set in a French Colonial setting on the riverfront) or the Eclipse Skybar ( the highest rooftop bar in the city), the city has an amazing nightlife to offer.
“Happy Pizza” ranks number 1 amongst the most popular things to do by tourists in Phnom Penh. It’s a Pizza garnish with Cannabis. Though illegal, the Cambodians use it as a therapeutic herb while cooking.
|Happy Herb Pizza|
Negotiate a river by following its bends, enter a country by following its customs
In Cambodia, one can always find a beautiful place to get lost.