Map

Angkor

It took about 1 hour to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap. At the airport I had to pay 20 USD for visa and 100 BHT for photo to visa application. I paid money but nobody took me a picture. In Siem Reap we looked for accommodation. There were plenty of hotels. Most of them had good standard. Finally we found a room with A/C for 12 USD. The rest of the day we spent in the room. Outside It was very hot and humid.

In the evening we bought three day pass to Angkor and enter the the site. We looked at sunset over Angkor Wat. The view was beautiful. We came back to Siem Reap and had late dinner. The meal was delicious and very cheap: main course – 1 USD, beer – 1USD, fresh juice 1 USD.

Next day we got up very early, had breakfast (2USD) and rent a rickshaw (10 USD per day). First we went to Angkor Wat. This is the biggest temple complex in the world. It was built in XII century and dedicated to Vishnu. There were three levels of the temple. The temple was decorated with bas-relief of war battles. There were many sculptures of gods, demons, and people in Angkor Wat too. The temple looked very impressive. It took us 3-4 hours to visit the complex.

Next we went to Angkor Thom. It was built in VII century. It was the most enduring capitol of Khmer Empire. We found ruins of temples and secular buildings there. The most impressive was Bayon temple. There were a few gates to the temple. The gates and all towers of temple were decorated with the faces of king Jayavarmana VII. The faces looked at all cardinal directions. There were many relief's of battle, or ordinary life scene. It took us another 3 hours to visit Angkor Thom. We came back to hotel totally exhausted.

Next day we visited a few smaller sites. First we went to small temple Preah Khan. It was built in XII century. The next one was more interesting. Ta Prohm was very picturesque. The trees grew out of the ruins. It was fantastic combination of nature and buildings. Ta Prohm was famous of movie Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie. At the end we visited Banteay Kdei. It was small ruins located next to a pond. In the evening I took a reflexology massage. It was good relax after visiting sites.

Next day we visited the oldest ruins of Angkor - Rolous. It was built from VII till IX century. The buildings were made of bricks. The condition of the temples was quite good. We also visited Lolei, Preah Ko and Bakong.

I think it is good idea to buy three day pass. Definitely it is not enough to spent only one day in Angkor.

Floating Village. It was next attraction located in Angkor neighbourhood on Tonle Sap lake. A guided 2 hours trip through the village cost 10 USD. Vietnamese and Khmer people live in their modest floating houses. Most of the houses have electric power made of petrol generators. There are school, church, basketball field, pigsty, restaurants and even crocodile farm on the lake.

The water level of the lake depends on the season. There is very low level of water in May, at the end of dry season.

It was very difficult to travel for bigger boats by lake. They ran aground and blocked the traffic on the lake. It look like traffic jam in big city. The Vietnamese and Khmer people were very calm. They didn't show bad emotions. They even didn't shout at smart asses who tried to go without waiting in the line. Generally Cambodian people are very calm and friendly. It is really difficult to believe that some of them were so cruel murders at Pol-Pot's time.

I visited mine museum at my last day in Cambodia. The museum was located about 40 km outside the Siem Reap. Return taxi cost 5 USD. Although the museum were very small but it made shocking impression. There were many types of mines in the museum. Some of them were very big and powerful. Another ones were very tiny and cruel. The smallest ones are very cheap and powerless. They don't kill the enemy. They only remove a leg. According to military strategy the small mines are very effective. The wounded soldier is usually transported by his military unit. The unit can't move fast with the soldier. It makes easier to locate the enemy unit. Besides the smallest mines is very cheap. The cost of production is below 1 USD.

In the evening I take last massage in Cambodia. It is wonderful.

Phnom Penh

I am going to Phnom Penh. I am looking through the window and watching huge discrepancy between the poor and the rich in Cambodia. At the beggining we are passing very poor villages. Houses are simple and people are dressed very miserable. When the bus is approaching to the capitol I am watching richer people and big, colonial style houses. We are overtaking by good cars. Almost all cars are luxury in Phnom Penh. It is not possible to find so many high-end cars in cities of Europe.

First I am visiting National Museum in Phnom Penh. This is perfect complementary to Angkor. The finest Khmer's statues and sculptures are displayed here. The building of the museum represents the finest of Phnom Penh's architecture.

It is good idea to go for a walk in the capitol. Drop in local markets where you can buy some souvenirs, fruits, eat local and cheap food and drink fresh fruits. This is the best way to get know daily life of Cambodian.

The streets of Phnom Penh are getting empty at 10 p.m. Although you can find a few pubs full of Cambodian and tourists drinking beer and talking till late night.

Phnom Penh is not expensive. Double room costs up to 10 USD and you spend a few dollars for food.

Killing Fields and S21 prison

Choeung Ek is the most known execution site of Cambodia people. Several thousands of people were killed here between 1975 and 1979. Generally Pol Pot regime murdered 2 million people, 1/4 population of Cambodia. The site is marked by Stupa filled with 8000 victim's sculptures.

Toul Sleng used to be a school. Rough Khmers changed the school into a prison in 1975. A few thousands of detained were tortured and killed. Only 7 people survived.

Sihanoukville

Seaside resort attracts tourists. Sunny weather, sandy beaches and warm sea makes the holidays very relaxing. In the evenings you can eat delicious fish, seafood and watch romantic sunsets.

Interesting Facts

  • There are many mature Western men with young and beautiful Thai in Thailand. They walk together on the streets. They eat in restaurants and visit the tourist sites. The old and reach Western tourist hire the hostess to spend with her two weeks holidays. The holidays of his life ;)
  • Cambodian girls are less attractive than Thai chicks. They have darker complexion. Besides they are slim and shapely.
  • First time in my life I ate bug. It was grilled locust bug. Maybe it was not very tasteful but it tasted like chips. Not bad.
  • Cambodian food is as good as thai ones. I like soups, fishes, chicken, sea-food.

TIPS

  • Visa to Cambodia: 20 USD. Don't forget about the picture. If you don't have the picture it will cost you extra 100 BHT.
  • Accommodation. The price depends on standard and A/C. It's too hot to sleep in a room without A/C in May.
  • Angkor. I recommend to buy 3 days pass to Angkor. It is better not to visit Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom the same day. It is to tiring. It is good idea to visit floating village too. Totally it is enough to spend 4- 5 days in Siem Reap.
  • Massages. They cost from 5-10 USD. The price depends on the type of massage. I recommend full body massage. It is nice to try reflexology.
  • Weather. It is very hot in May. All the time t-shirt was wet with sweat. From time to time there were tropical rain. The rain was very heavily. Lucky it was very short rain and it didn't disturb our plans. Generally it is better to go to Thailand from November till February.







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