Saturday, 11 March 2017

Short Glimpses of Siem Reap

I managed to squeeze a weekend getaway in Siem Reap, thanks to AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines. 

I chose to stay near the Angkor Night Market as it was closer to the local food and I guess I prefer the lively atmosphere with tourists hustling around. Some people choose to stay near the Angkor Wat which is few kilometres away from the town. 

Every where around the town is within walking distance; bars, cafes, restaurants and if you feel generous you can hire a local TukTuk for your daily commute. 

Bear in mind, getting an entrance ticket into the Angkor Wat area is NOT near the temple itself. There is a building where all the visitors flock into getting their 1,3 or 7-day tickets from each respective booths. Do not get frightened by the long queues (because they all may come in a large group), try eyeing for any vacant booth before you decided to step into the line.

Angkor Wat itself was majestic and the thought of how the civilisation was built centuries ago without having the current technical reinforcements just simply amazed me. All the tiny conspicuous handcrafted wall decorations with their own hidden stories than spans almost the entire tomb is way beyond fascinating.

But Ta Prohm and Bayon temples got me smitten with their charms; they were definitely smaller than Angkor Wat but the smiling stone faces clustered around Bayon and the trailing vines with trees growing out of Ta Prohm's ruin were magnificent.

The major downside was there were so many ongoing metalworks refining the largest religious relic in the world. The clunking metal noises was a major distraction when you tried to inhale the ferocious experience by standing in the middle of the glorious Khmer's creation.

Some people tried to ride rented bicycles around Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples but I strongly recommend hiring a TukTuk's driver (from your hotel/hostel) for 20$ a day. Under the scorching heat of the sun with cloudless sky, you do not want to have a heatstroke and some of them kindly provide you with free cold bottled drinks. Do not forget a face mask (or a scarf) too to protect yourself from dust while on TukTuk. 

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