August 24-27, 2013
After some wonderful days in Koh Samet, we were ready for Cambodia. We left the Ban Phe area around 11:30 in the morning. The minibus service was a bit pricier than we expected, but it took us directly to the border crossing. We had heard and read that it could be a bit of an annoyance to walk across the border, but everything went well.
The minibus took about 4 hours to get to Aranyaprathet, Thailand. Once there, we quickly left Thailand and made our way to immigration into Poipet, Cambodia. We got our e-visas a few weeks earlier, and this crossing went quickly as well. No one hassled us, and after walking through some foot traffic we jumped on a ‘taxi’ that took us into Siem Reap. We paid a bit less than what our guide books suggested. The ride took a bit longer than the 2 hours we were told, but it was a fun ride as the elderly driver put on some club music and stopped a few times for us to grab beer on the side of the road.
Once in Siem Reap, we jumped
on tuk tuks and made our way to our hostel. We stayed at The Siem Reap Hostel (old town/market area). It was a great place, and we met some wonderful new friends. The first night, we walked to the Pub Street area where we took advantage of some delicious cheap food and fifty-cent beers. After dinner, we headed back to the hostel and went to bed early as we planned to go to Angkor Wat for sunrise.
The morning tuk tuk ride to Angkor Wat was calming. We were left of right at the entrance. As we walked into the temple grounds, I felt extremely privileged to be able to visit such a wonderful place. The sunrise was beautiful, and Angkor Wat looked amazing. We enjoyed our stroll through the grounds. After two hours of seeing astonishing structures, we had some breakfast. The rest of the day was spent seeing Angkor Tom, Ta Prohm, and other great sights. The sun and heat tired us out, and after lunch we napped at the hostel for the rest of the afternoon. That evening we had dinner with some new friends at Pub Street.
We spent the
next morning shopping at a nearby market. For lunch, the hostel provided a ‘Foodwalk’ tour, which took a few of us into the food market and provided us with some local dishes. That evening we saw Khmer boxing. There were a total of five fights, all of which were entertaining. Afterward, we hung out on Pub Street once again.
Our last day in Siem Reap was good. We decided to take one of the hostel’s tours once again. We decided to see a floating village. It was about a five-hour tour and was well worth it. The tuk tuk took about 45 minutes to get there. After renting the boat, the driver took us around the village. We had lunch riverside and after we headed into the massive Tonle Sap Lake. We read about many scams that go on here, but we didn’t experience any of it and weren’t ripped off of any money. Overall, it was well priced, and not a single person asked for ‘donations’ from us. We spent the afternoon enjoying the hostel’s beer before we headed to the airport.
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