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Siem Reap JBR

Woodend, Australia
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251 posts
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Siem Reap JBR

We left Melbourne on a cold Winters morning in June 5 degrees to be exact and arrived in Bangkok at about 5pm to a sultry 32 degrees Celsius after a long flight we are happy to be there and loving the warm weather. We are only staying for 2 nights before we head to Siem Reap.

We catch an Air Asian flight which was on time and very good to Siem Reap and arrive to even hotter weather. We line up at immigration pay for our visas $65 for 2 adults and 2 kids although our oldest who is 12 is now considered an adult all throughout Asia.

We catch a taxi to our hotel La Niche D'Angkor and check in for 6 nights. The hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel located about 10 mts walk to Pub Street. It has a beautiful pool huge really and we have connecting rooms so the kids love the fact that they have their own TV. Free wi fi is available too. Breakfast is nice and simple we didn't eat at the hotel as there was so much choice outside the hotel.

The weather there was very hot a lot hotter than Thailand, the humidity very high. Coming from a cold Winter it takes us a few days to acclimatise, especially my youngest. Lets just say we spent a lot of time in the pool!!

During our 6 days we saw ALOT of things. When we go on holidays we tend to go hard and l always book somewhere at the end for about 5 days to recover haha. So our holiday consisted of 2 nts Bangkok, 12 nts Cambodia and 6 nts Chiang Mai. I knew by the end of Cambodia we would need a rest. We hired a tuk tuk driver for 3 days and visited the main temples as it was so hot we only went out from about 8-2 and then went home for a swim. They really are amazing to see my husband loved Angkor Wat the best, l liked Ta Prohm. They are all breathtaking but you do get templed out so if you can choose a 3 day pass or longer so you can spread it out especially if you are travelling with kids.

I did notice alot of people asking what to wear when you go and honestly it was so hot when we went l wore shorts and a tshirt and good walking sandals. You will seriously sweat alot so bring lots of water.

In between visiting the temples we visited the War Museum which was fascinating and the Artisan's Angkor where we did a tour through the centre and they showed us how they make everything. We really enjoyed this visit alot. We also walked around alot as this gives you an idea of where things are. We found this to be a strange concept to the Cambodians and really to most of the South East Asians we came across. No body walks, everyone is on a tuk tuk or on a bike etc but Australians walk alot and everywhere so its very normal for us. Although not an easy thing to do in Cambodia because of the lack of footpaths. However people are very accommodating there and we had no trouble walking anywhere in Cambodia and its not that busy there yet not like Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh which is crazy busy!! We loved visiting the markets and there are lots of them and of course chilling out in Pub Street which has alot of great places to eat, also check out the streets around it too. We found the food to be surprisingly good and there is so much choice. There are some great Mexican places if you get sick of Cambodian food however do try the fish amok and a Cambodian curry-delicious.

We had a great stay in Siem Reap the people are very friendly but very poor. The poverty in fact is overwhelming. There are lots of small children selling things around the temples which we bought things from is this the right thing to do? does it discourage them from going to school? who knows? l think their parents are more concerned about having food on the table than anything else. Make your own decision. Would we return? I think so there is still so much to see and its changing as foreign investment comes knocking- Hard Rock Angkor opened when we were there. A badge cost $30 to buy and a tuk tuk $15 to hire for the day. Go figure!!

Next stop Battambang now just getting the bus there was an experience in itself...

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Perth
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1. Re: Siem Reap JBR

Thanks for this report. I will be glad to visit SR again before it gets overrun with places like Hard Rock. We are also doing the SR to BB after Christmas so will be interested to see what you say.

lewes uk
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2. Re: Siem Reap JBR

Hi,

Nice report.

I know what you mean about Hard Rock and relative pricing. It was being finished off in March when I was last there and I thought that's going to do really well so close to Hip Hop. A friend of mine was in town and had wanted to meet in Costa Coffee in King's Road development next door as her hotel was opposite, so $3.50 for a cappuccino later and I was thinking; last night I paid $1.70 for grilled beef and all the trimmings and an Angkor beer a few minutes walk away at Wat Damnak, that's progress I guess.

The other hot topic was the 'real' shoe shop on Sivatha blvd... only for some though.

Cheers

Alexandra Vic...
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3. Re: Siem Reap JBR

Great report SuzieQ, 7 weeks and counting until we return to SR. We are also taking the kids although ours are 22 &15 and the 15 yr old came with us last year, would love to know the details of your bus trip to BB as we are debating between bus or Taxi, let us know. Happy travels

Christchurch, New...
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4. Re: Siem Reap JBR

This also gave me a better insight - top report Suzi. Watching for the other reports to come.

Perth, WA
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for Seminyak
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5. Re: Siem Reap JBR

Thanks for sharing - really useful info. We will be visiting with a 3 year old and anticipate 2, or possibly 3 x 5 hr early morning visits. After your experiences which temples would you recommend - I really would like to include the one(s) with all the tree roots.

sydney
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for Cambodia
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6. Re: Siem Reap JBR

Nice report SuziiQ - good tips there for others travelling with kids (particularly if they are from a cooler/cold climate)

Tazmao - check out canbypublications.com/siemreap/sritinerary.h…

if you click on the photos on the left you can get to the details page for each temple - this might make picking your temples easier if you are limited for time.

Ta Prohm & Beng Melea (out of town about an hours drive but so worth it) are the two with the roots

My 'morning' favourite is Preah Khan - so calm and beautiful in the early light (before the bus hoards get there) - and stop at North Gate en-route for a few photos (much more beautiful than South Gate)

Woodend, Australia
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7. Re: Siem Reap JBR

Thanks for the positive responses it was my first JBR so l tried not to make it to long. David A we caught the bus from SR to Battambang which took about 4/5 hrs. Although not a long journey it seemed to take forever. The tourist agency we booked them through charged us $10 a head which was way to much but because our tuk tuk driver recommended for us to go there and he took us there we felt like we had no other choice but to buy them. They were suppose to pick us up from the hotel and take us to the bus stop but never turned up so we caught another tuk tuk there. Once there we waited for about 2 hrs until the bus finally left. The driver played a constant supply of Cambodian music videos which were very funny and very loud and then played a very unusual Chinese movie. If you have your own music bring it along. It stopped once and then arrived literally in the middle of no-where. When the bus pulled up about 50 tuk tuk drivers started to chase the bus (sorry l am still laughing so much as l write this ) and bang on the windows trying to get us to use their service. We had arranged a hotel pick up and thought great we don't have to fight through the tuk tuk mafia but again no-one showed! Anyway we finally go of the bus which was crazy and started talking to a lovely driver who took us to the hotel which was beautiful and we hired him for our day trip the following day, so everything worked out in the end. My husband who was desperate to travel by bus decided a taxi was the best option for the next leg of our trip to Phnom Penh. He kept saying the suspension was shot and thought the bus was going to tip over-l was oblivious to this and thought it was ok. If you do get a taxi which will cost about $40 ask the hotel people to see if your bags will fit in the boot before you book the car. Also you must do the bamboo railway a real hoot...

Tazmo to be honest l liked them all they are all so different, we just followed the lead of our tuk tuk driver and tried to see as many as we could with our 3 day pass. There is a lot of climbing and in some temples your 3 yr old won't be allowed to climb some of them as he/she is under 12. Our 9 yr old wasn't but l was happy to stay below with him because the steps we that high. Enjoy your trip.

Alexandra Vic...
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8. Re: Siem Reap JBR

Thanks SizieQ, I was there in Feb with my elderly father and brother and we did the taxi, as we are travelling with older kids I thought the bus might be fun but if the price is still $40-50 we will taxi it as you can stop when you want etc. We also did the taxi BB to PP in Feb and I think we will do that again as 4/5 hrs in a taxi is slightly more appealing, but we still have 6 weeks so we may change our minds. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.

Perth, WA
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for Seminyak
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9. Re: Siem Reap JBR

Thanks, had an interesting hour or so pouring over the Canby publications site - and a few others.

Dunsborough...
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10. Re: Siem Reap JBR

Good report.