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siem reap, cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia - A Gees Travel Guide and Adventure

We decided to travel Cambodia mainly to explore its famous ancient temple called Angkor Wat. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage site which is considered as the largest religious place in the world measuring at about 400km square. Angkor Wat is located at the northwestern town of Siem Reap. There are only a few flights from Singapore to Siem Reap and the cost of the ticket was so expensive. So we find another route, and after searching online we are able to find Phnom Penh which is the capital of Cambodia.

There are hourly bus services from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and the catch it will take 6-7 hours travel.  Airline fare from Singapore to Phnom is quite cheap compared to Siem Reap, so we weigh-in the airline cost and travel time, and finally decided that we will take a new experience of travel which is taking this bus ride. It was last 12th March 2013 when we embarked on our journey.

how to enter cambodia

All nationals are required to have visa on arrival to enter Cambodia. One month single-entry visa will cost around USD55. But for ASEAN countries like the Philippines are exempted for the visa on arrival. Provided that passport must be valid for at least 6 months. After clearing the immigration, 30 days stay stamped will reflect on your passport. stay in Cambodia for 30 days. Cambodia is a Southeast Asian country and it is bordered by neighboring country of Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.

best time to travel cambodia

Cambodia is a tropical wet and dry country which is the same as other Southeast Asian countries. We visited Cambodia in March where the weather sunny and hot.  It was around 35°C temperature when we explored the temple of Angkor Wat. According to Cambodia weather, the best time to visit was during the month of November to February as during this months weather is not so hot. Because during the months from May to October it will be the rainy season.

how to get there

We booked our flights through Scoot one of the budget airline that travels from Singapore to Phnom Penh. One-way ticket fare was around 4,896php for both of us. It was 2-hour flight and 1-hour difference in time from Singapore.  Other airlines include Singapore Airlines and Jetstar.

transportation

Tuk-Tuk (Cycle Rickshaw) is the widely known mode of transportation in Cambodia. It can carry up to 3-4 passengers from one point to another for shorter a distance. On the other hand longer distance that requires to travel from one city to another,a 56 seater bus/coach is recommended.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

We arrived Phnom Penh International Airport past 12:30 pm and since the airport is located 15km off from the main city we hired local transportation Tuk-Tuk to drive us from the airport to Phnom Penh City. We informed the tuk-tuk driver to send us to the nearby bus terminal going to Siem Reap. Once we arrived at the ticket counter,  we went to buy our one-way bus tickets that were scheduled to depart at 2:30 pm. Then took our late lunch to one of the local food cafes at a nearby bus terminal.

Riding the bus is one of the cheapest transportation going to Siem Reap. During the trip, we were amazed by the vast rice fields, empty piece of lands, and endless horizons. It was a 7-hour travel, but there were around 3 stops along the way for us to eat snacks, go to the toilet, and stretch our legs.

It was already pass 8 pm in the evening when we reach the town of Siem Reap and we alighted at their passenger dropped off points. A number of tuk-tuk drivers greeted us, then ask each passenger to arrange and send us off to respective destinations.

hotel

We booked our hotel at Agoda for a 1-night stay.  Since we arrived late in the evening we directly went to our hotel and unpack our stuff.  The hotel is located in their famous night market-Angkor Wat Night Market. After we have settled, we went around and walked for almost 15mins and found a nice cafe for dinner.

Mandalay Inn
Psar Krohm Street (BBU University Street), Krong Siem Reap
Room Rate: S$ 10/night

Hometown Hotel
No. 35, Street 172, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Room Rate: S$ 25/night

On our second day in Cambodia, coming from Siem Reap we went back to Phnom Penh to stay for one night before we headed to Vietnam. Please check here for more details on our Vietnam trip.

Places that we have eaten

Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Places that we have been

First Day

Angkor Night Market-Pub Street
It is Siem Reap famous shopping center, a night market that offers local clothes, handicrafts, pub, café’s and restaurant. A place to chill, dine and relax. We went there to relax from our whole day trip going to Siem Reap and drank the local beer in Cambodia which was the “Angkor beer”. We were delighted by the smile of the local people when we walked through the streets and visited stalls.

Second Day

Angkor Wat
It was around 5 am when we headed to Angkor Wat, early morning to witness the famous sunrise. Angkor Wat is a temple, a religious monument and was built for their deity. These temples exemplify the Khmer architectural design and structure. We were really amazed at how it was built artistically and preserved its archaeological significance.

To enter the temple, there are 3 kinds of passes:
$20 US = 1 day  |  $40 US = 3 days |  $60 US = 7 visits
Children below 12 yrs. old are not required to buy entrance tickets by showing their passport.
Opening hours: 05:30am-05:30pm

Bayon Temple
Is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia.  The Bayon’s most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and smiling stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak

Ta Prohm
Is the modern name of the temple at Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia,  the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings.

Angkor Thom
Is in the Bayon style. This manifests itself in the large scale of the construction, in the widespread use of laterite, in the face-towers at each of the entrances to the city and in the naga-carrying giant figures which accompany each of the towers

Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia

It was a hot sunny day exploring all the known temples, then we decided to finish it off at around 11 am to take our lunch. With our tuk-tuk driver, we asked for his recommendation which cafe we can go to experience local food delights. He brought us to a nice cafe where we were served with a sumptuous lunch treat. It was past 12 pm when we directly headed to our Hotel to check out since we needed to go back to Phnom Penh on the same day.

We asked our tuk-tuk driver to drive us to the bus terminal and at around 1:30 pm we took our schedule bus to Phnom Penh.  It was a long 7-hour travel and we had some stopover for light snacks, dinner.  Most of the time we were sleeping on this way back journey.

We reached Phnom Penh past 7 in the evening and we directly went to our hotel. The next morning, we were ready to embark on another journey to discover Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.  Please click here for more details.

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Please check below our 2 Days + 2 Nights Siem Reap Cambodia Itinerary for reference.

2 Days + 2 Nights - CAMBODIA ITINERARY

DAY 1

  • 10:00am Depart Singapore
                     Changi Intl Airport
                     Tiger Airways
  • 12:30am  ETA Phnom Penh Intl Airport
  • 12:45pm  Immigration Clearance
  • 01:00pm Ride to Tuk-Tuk
                      Head to Phnom Penh City
  • 01:30am  Lunch
  • 02:00pm Head to Bus Terminal
                      Bus head to Siem Reap
  • 02:30pm Ride bus to Siem Reap
                      6-hour bus travel
  • 08:30pm ETA Siem Reap
                      Head to Hotel
  • 08:45pm Hotel Check In
                      Mandalay Inn
                      Room Rate: S$ 10/night
  • 09:00pm Dinner
                      Head to Angkor Night Market
  • 09:30pm Explore Night Market
  • 10:30pm Head back to Hotel.
                     Rest.Sleep

DAY 2

  • 05:00am Wake Up.Ready
  • 05:30am Arrange Tuk-Tuk
                     Head to Angkor Wat
  • 06:00am ETA Angkor Wat
                      Entrance Fee: US$ 20
  • 06:45:am Discover Angkor Wat
                      Await for Sunrise
  • 07:30am Explore Angkor Wat
                      Bayon Temple
                      Ta Prohm
                      Angkor Thom
  • 11:00am   Lunch
  • 11:30am   Head Back to Hotel
                      Check Out
  • 12:30pm  Head to Bus Terminal
  • 01:00pm ETA Bus Terminal
                      Head to Phnom Penh
  • 01:30pm  Ride bus
                      6-hour travel
  • 07:30pm ETA Phnom Penh
  • 08:00pm Dinner
  • 08:30pm Head to Hotel
                      Check In
                      Hometown Hotel
                      Room Rate: S$ 25/night
  • 09:30pm Rest.Sleep

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