Tuesday, 18 August 2015

the temples of angkor

After Bangkok, my second destination was Cambodia. Believe it or not, I flew on the Monday morning and came back on the Tuesday night to then fly to Bali on the Wednesday morning - so hectic! Siem Reap is an amazing cultural city. Only an hour or so away from Bangkok, change of scene guaranteed. Or as we say in France, a total dépaysement!

Getting organised

Visa and currency:
When you arrive at the airport, the whole process is very easy. Have a few American dollars with you. Unlike Bali, you will not be able to pay for your visa on arrival in other currencies. The tourist visa is $30 and business visa is $35. They will charge you an extra $2 if you don't have a photo to provide, but no big deal.

To see if you are eligible for a visa on arrival, follow this link:

Also, note that apart from the visa most things in Cambodia can and are paid is $US. No need to change your money in the local currency, but make sure you have small notes, especially those $1 bills.

Getting around:
Not sure how you planned your trip - but there is no way you can walk around all temples by yourself. Some people hire a car and drive, whilst some other will cycle. To be honest, I think the easiest, the cheapest and the most local is to simply hire a tuk-tuk driver. I have contacted Polin prior to my departure and upon recommendations on Trip Advisor. He is sweet, adorable, reliable and honest! He took me everywhere I wanted in such a short time and even proposed to do/see more things but I was too tired to do so. For $30 (including all extra charges such as sunrise and sunset), he picked me up from the airport, let me visit a few temples in the afternoon and took me to sunset on the first day. Then on the next day, he was up as early as I was and on time for sunrise, half day of exploring and took me back to the airport, offering to go  and see the local markets. Amongst my personal desires, he took me to hidden places and temples less common to tourists. He also knows his culture really well and will explain to you anything if you have any questions. If you are planning a trip to Siem Reap, here is his email: polinangkordriver@gmail.com
PS: Polin always carries a few bottles of cold water for you!

1 day pass - $20
3 days pass - $40
7 days pass - $60

Must see/not to miss: 
  • Sunrise at Angkor Wat 
  • Sunset at the Hill - be there in at least 2 hours in advance, or queue and miss it ... 
  • Angkor Thom (also known as Bayon Temple)

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