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Trip report April 2014 - Phnom Penh & Siem Reap

Singapore, Singapore
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5 posts
10 reviews
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Trip report April 2014 - Phnom Penh & Siem Reap

First of all, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to the TA community! Thank you for your great advises and reviews, it definitely helped my research for the trip. My husband and I visited Cambodia in April 2014. We visited 2 states - Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Day 1 - Phnom Penh

Touched down and arrived hotel (King Grand Boutique Hotel) at about 3.30pm. We did nothing much today, visited the Night (weekend) Market and sat down at a pub to do some people-watching. Hotel is fine for the price of it with breakfast included. It was however a bit far from the river side so we have to take a tuk tuk (USD3 per trip) to and fro. There are however several restaurants, massage parlour and even a hair salon around the hotel area.

Day 2 - Phnom Penh

Booked a driver through the hotel (USD50) to drive us around the attractions. We started at 8.30am and visited the Killing Field, S21, went for lunch, the National Museum and the Royal Palace + the Silver Pagoda. We were back to the hotel at about 4pm. I would recommend visiting all 4 places which you can finish in a day as they are relatively small. Went to the Night Market again in the evening. We tried some street food and sat down on the floor to eat just like the locals. It was an amazing experience. Please however be aware as there are many children begging for money around the food stalls. They are extremely pitiful but giving them money encourage them to beg instead of going to school.

Day 3 - Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

We bought the Giant Ibis bus tickets through the hotel on the day we arrived. Giant Ibis provides pick-up service from the hotel to the bus terminal. Bus departs PP to SR at about 8.45am. There are 2 stops along the way. The first stop is about 1.5 hours through the ride; toilet stop. The second stop is at about 12.30pm for a half an hour lunch. Bus journey is about 7 hours; a bottle of water, a croissant and a wet tissue are provided. There is free wifi on board but the connection is hideous.

Arrived hotel in Siem Reap (Royal Angkor Resort & Spa). Nice hotel with excellent service. Hotel is far from town (very near to Siem Reap airport) but I kind of enjoy the tuk tuk rides which cost USD3 per trip.

Day 4 - Siem Reap; Angkor Archaeological Park

Day begins at 8am. Bought a 3 day pass at USD40 per pax. Booked a guide and a driver for the day. Travelled around in a SUV with cold water provided. Guide Mr Sam is very knowledgeable and friendly. He is also very understanding and helpful; I was nursing an upset stomach and Sam was very patient and located a toilet for me when I needed it. We skipped sunset watching as it was too hot and tiring for us. Instead, we went to Star Mart for a beer before going back to the hotel at about 4.30pm. We visited Angkor Wat, Bayon, Baphoun, Terrance of the Leper King, Terrance of the Elephants, Banteay Kdei, Ta Prohm, Ta Keo and a few other small temples. Visited Pub Street in the evening.

Day 5 - Siem Reap; remote temples and Preah Vihear

Day started at 6.30am with a guide (Mr Narin - angkornarin@yahoo.com) and a driver. Visited Banteay Srey which is probably the most beautiful temple. We also went to Kbal Spean which my husband enjoyed tremendously. Hike up and down the trail is rather strenuous which I think it is not kid and senior friendly. Please wear comfortable track shoes as there are several parts of the trail that requires a bit of climbing. 3 day pass includes entrance to both Banteay Srey and Kbal Spean. Had lunch after Kbal Spean and proceeded to Preah Vihear. This temple is lesser known to tourist but it is actually my favourite temple among all. Entrance is free. However, we would have to pay for the transportation to go up to the temple which is located at the top of a mountain. USD5 for the motorbike or USD25 for a 4WD truck. My husband and I are adventurous and needless to say, we chose the motorbike ride. It was an amazing experience. We prayed at the temple and received blessing from a local monk; we also took pictures with the monk of course. Preah Vihear is an elongated temple which measure approximately 800meters in length. When you reached the end of the temple, there is a cliff which you are able to sit at and enjoy the breeze. We took lots of photos at the cliff; scary experience but beautiful shots.

We reached Siem Reap at about 7.15pm for the dinner and Apsara dance at Apsara Terrance (Raffles hotel). Dinner is amazing with a good spread and the dance performance is nice. Price is however rather steep but it was our last night in Cambodia, we wanted to give ourselves a little treat.

Day 6

Visited Angkor Wat on our own in the morning. Bid our goodbyes to the beautiful country Cambodia after lunch.

Sorry for the super long post and hope that it will help fellow travellers in some way.

Perth, Australia
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
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1. Re: Trip report April 2014 - Phnom Penh & Siem Reap

Hi Wendy

Thanks for taking the time to write such an interesting trip report. I very much enjoyed reading it and was pleased to see that you loved Cambodia as much as we do. I suspect that you might just be thinking about coming back again one day.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Trip report April 2014 - Phnom Penh & Siem Reap

Wendy I was very interested to read all you packed into Day 5. Was interested to read how you managed to pack Kbal Spean and Preah Vihear into the one day. I am interested in both and am making a second visit to Cambodia in September so looking into what I can pack into a one day trip to sites outside SR. I have already visited Banteay Srei, and yes it is a very beautiful temple.

Singapore, Singapore
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5 posts
10 reviews
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3. Re: Trip report April 2014 - Phnom Penh & Siem Reap

Hi travelkat88,

I'm glad you enjoyed reading my trip report. You are correct! I will definitely visit Cambodia again someday!

Hi

Edited: 26 April 2014, 08:52
Singapore, Singapore
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5 posts
10 reviews
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4. Re: Trip report April 2014 - Phnom Penh & Siem Reap

Hi Kameka,

With only Kbal Spean and Preah Vihear, you will start your day at 7am and should be done by 6.30pm to 7pm. That was our original plan but we decided to visit Banteay Srei since it is just about 15 minute drive away from Kbal Spean. We then started our day half an hour earlier to accommodate the additional temple.

Due to the packed itinerary, we did not manage to spend much time in Banteay Srei unfortunately. As my husband and I are rather active people, our pace up and down Kbal Spean is relatively fast. Ultimately, we managed to squeeze all 3 attractions from 6.30am to 7.15pm.

South Australia...
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for Phuket, Ko Lanta
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5. Re: Trip report April 2014 - Phnom Penh & Siem Reap

Nice report Wendy, we missed out on going to Preah Vihear last year so looking forward to going there in June. You certainly packed a lot in during your stay :)

Cathy

6. Re: Trip report April 2014 - Phnom Penh & Siem Reap

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