The Cambodia Challenge: Angkor Wat

Cambodia's flag
Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap » Knar
February 5th 2013
Published: March 23rd 2013
Edit Blog Post

Feb 5 2013

Gotta run! 8 am bus to Siem Reap with Radhika is my plan. Radhika is so cool. We get on really well and get this, she’s german but came to San Diego for high school and went to freakin Torrey Pines High School down the street from me and graduated the same year as me! ’06. So we plan on traveling to Siem Reap together and seeing the ruins of Angkor Wat.

We spent the majority of the day on the bus. All the night buses were full so we had to waste a day on the bus, but it was actually really nice to drive through the country and see the country side was so beautiful and exactly what I thought of when I imagined SE Asia. Wooden and thatch huts, small villages, green everywhere, tropical, laid back, and hammocks everywhere! Sleep alluded me for most the trip and I couldn’t sleep for more than 2 hours even though I was out late and up early, but it was picture perfect.

After a quick lunch I was actually able to doze off for the remainder of the bus trip. Siem Reap is an amazing
Angkor What?Angkor What?Angkor What?

a famous bar on pub street in Siem Reap
town with character and a chill vibe. The people are so kind and we found an awesome hostel for $2 a night and 50 cent beer. It was a feat because a lot of the places were sold out and getting a more expensive room was not in my budget.

We walked around a bit, got some food, got a foot massage and bought some hippie pants! Tisk tisk. I should NOT be spending so much money!! But how can I turn down such good deals?

Day 4:

$.75 water

.50 pineapple

2 tuk tuk

2 bed

1.50 beer

2 dinner

4 massage

10 2 pants and 1 shirt

1 choc banana pancake

Total: $23.75

Feb 6 2013

The simple life: electricity has been out since the middle of the night... last night. Spent all day out. Walking home, our thoughts: I wonder if we have electricity back, I want a cold beer. Nope. Out to pub street we go and refuse to pay more the 50 cents for a draft beer. Love it!

Back to morning time though. We got to sleep
Cali tuk tukCali tuk tukCali tuk tuk

notice the cali plate...
in!! no rush today. Have fresh fruit for breakfast and take a tuk tuk to Angkor Wat. What an amazing and monumental place that is.

I felt ashamed I had no idea about anything about Cambodia… learning now though! And what an amazing country it is! Angkor Wat is almost like the Machu Picchu of Asia. Ancient ruins of temples and civilization. It was like being Indiana Jones all day! It’s incredibale how these things have survived the test of time. The carvings in the rocks are sometimes barely faded or warn down. Can’t believe I get to spend the next 2 days here. But it’s sooooo hot and my feet are tired and we’re starving. Time for some delicious Indian food. YUM! So stuffed. Time for some beers, which brings us back to the simple life. I don’t want to leave!

Oh and how could I forget?! The little beggar girls at Angkor Wat are numerous, and by the end of the day I guess they get more desperate to make that last dollar. Coming out of the last temple one of the girls tries to sell Radhika 3 bracelets for $1. After being hustled all day

me and Radhika fresh off the bus and on to a tuk tuk to take us to find a place to stay
by these girls, Radhika responded in German and the girl went away. Radhika told me it always works, just speak to them in another language and they leave you alone. So the next girl came up to me so I responded to her in Spanish, and guess what this little hustler said? Compra tres por uno! Say what?! And then Radhika responded to her beggar girl in Chinese and they had a little conversation in Chinese. So then I tried the little Vietnamese I know and no response. So there are limits but dange these little Cambodian girls who are like 8 speak Khmer, English, Spanish and Chinese. Probably some other shit too! It was so crazy.

Day: 5

$40 3 day pass for Angkor Wat pass

8 tuk tuk all day

2.50 bfreakfast and coffee

2 scarf

3 dinner

13 bus to Sinhanoukville

5 beer

.75 water

Total: $74.25

Feb 7 2013

At almost half way through my trip, I’m having so much fun and spent ¾ of my money… Siem Reap/Angkor Wat killed me. $40 for 3 day pass out of like $200 budget!

our $2 bed, attic full of beds and mozzy nets. it was literally the most comfortable and awesome place ever.
Tuk tuk 2 days $15 and bus to the beach was $13. UGH. But I think I’ll be okay because I can sleep on the beach the rest of the time and I’ll be meeting up with Naomi, Sierra and Cormac at the beach. I’ll be able to put my bag in their room and take a shower there too. I was even thinking, if I get desperate I can see if any of the bars need an extra worker for a night or 2.

It’s been really nice travelling around with Radhika. We have similar interests and get along well. But we will be parting ways soon , as Radhika will be taking a scuba diving course out on Koh Rong, and island off the coast of Sihanoukville.

I’m really loving Cambodia. It is so relaxed and the people are amazing. I love to say hello to everyone and they get the biggest smile. For the most part you don’t get hustled like you do in Thailand or Vietnam, with the exception of Angkor Wat. You can get by here really cheaply too. I keep hearing about hitch hiking in Cambodia and how easy and safe it
stone carvingsstone carvingsstone carvings

it's simply amazing that these are still so defined and still perfect
is. I really was thinking about doing to becausae the ticket to the beach was so expensive and I’m runnig really low on money but we booked a night bus to save a day wasted in travel and there’s no way I would hitch hike at night. So your welcome mom and dad I didn’t hitch hike. Maybe I can hitch hike to the border and then catch a bus to Pho Quoc island…hmmm? Either way it’s going to be interesting because I only have about $60 left and i still got 10 days to go! Yay.

Today we slept in because our plan was to do some temples later and then watch the sunset there. After lying around and showering we got some great food. (I forgot how much you need to shower when it’s so freakin hot out, because you are always sweaty and sticky and all the dirt and dust sticks to you!) I got an amazing sandwich and it was loaded with egg, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, cheese and lettuce. That’s gourmet compared to Vietnam. Also got a bomb pineapple shake and 1 and a half liters of water all for $2. that’s pretty good if
garden villagegarden villagegarden village

the sand volley ball court at our hostel
you ask me. At 1:30 our tuk tuk driver picked us up and we headed to the West Baray part of Angkor Wat.

When we showed up, he tried to tell us we needed to pay $30 for a boat across the lake to get to the temples… uhhh I don’t think so! But the lake was nice, there were people swimming right off shore and I walked down and had a quick little look. The shore was filled with little covered rows of hammocks that you could stay in for $1. If I could have, I would have liked to stay the night there.

But no, off to the main part of Angkor Wat. The drive took us through a very rural and non touristy part of “town”. It was so nice to get off the beaten path. The country side of Cambodia is so picturesque and full of friendly and smiling people.

It was a really good idea to start off going around to all the smaller temples first. They were so awesome and definitely deserve to be admired as much as the main temples of Angkor Wat. But it’s so easy to get templed

some weird shit to eat
out in SE Asia, especially if you go for the big ones first in Angkor Wat and then you don’t care and over look the smaller temples. So Yesterday was so cool and what we saw today was even cooler. And tomorrow? Will be the best!!! I love how that worked out. It should also be a full, long, tiring day. We plan to skip the tuk tuk and rent a bicycle to ride up for the sun rise. Have a picnic and see the main temples. Ride back, stuff ourselves with Indian food and sleep like little babies on our 8pm night bus to Sihanoukville.

Day: 6

$2 breaffast and water

7.50 tuk tuk

.70 bread

1 mango

2 dinner and water

4 2 nights accommodation

Total: $15.20

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


Siem ReapSiem Reap
Siem Reap

walking round town with Radhika

getting all artsy in the temples

being able to compare the size of these ruins to a person...
one of the gatesone of the gates
one of the gates

there were many of these gates around Angkor Wat and you drive through them.. it's pretty cool
Indian PalaceIndian Palace
Indian Palace

Best Indian food and cheap prices
up a treeup a tree
up a tree

me and Radhika having some fun climbing a tree
West BarayWest Baray
West Baray

hammocks on the shore of the lake
shanty townshanty town
shanty town

in West Baray
country sidecountry side
country side

on the way back to the main part of Angkor Wat

welcome to the junlge

everyone heads to this one temple to enjoy the sunset over the jungle and temples.

getting all yogi

Tot: 3.002s; Tpl: 0.122s; cc: 9; qc: 41; dbt: 0.0585s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb