In the city Siem Reap is located the most famous Cambodian landmark Angkor Wat. The leaders of Cambodia were even so pround on it that the temple can be found on the national flag. Thousand of tourists visit this temple every year and we could not miss it too. So we got on the night bus of Virak Buntham express company in Sihanoukville and head for Siem Reap! In the bus there is a double bed in a small room that looks like a box or a tomb. Maybe it sounds scary, but we slept on the mattress quite well and the journey was comfortable. (tip for you: if you want to be at the window and see something along the way, choose the upper bed. We spent the night seriously like in a tomb without any windows :D).
How to visit Angkor Wat
How to buy ticket to Angkor Wat
Before you go to the temple you have to buy entrance ticket which costs 37 USD per one day (you can buy also multi-day ticket). Official store is located around 5 km from the city center. You can come and buy ticket one day advance and catch sunrise the next day or in the morning before visiting the temple. Ticket office opens at 5 am but we read that there can be quite long queues and we did not want to risk it. We walked there and got the know the outskirt of town.
How to visit Angkor Wat
It’s 4:45 in the morning and the alarm rings. We get up early because we want to catch a popular sunrise behind Angkor Wat Temple. We opened our eyes and took a bicycle that we rented the day before in Siem Reap for 1.5 USD/bike/day at Villa Niron (Hostel and Bike rental) and everything went smoothly. To visit the temple, we recommend a bike, motorbike or tuk tuk, because temple is located 10 km from the city.The areal is so large that you wouldn’t have chance to see everything in one day without some kind of transport. We chose bicycle because it was the cheapest option and we also love driving a bike.
Even though we arrived to catch the sunrise at 6 am (the sun was rising at 6:30 am), it was too late. Another hundred of tourists overtaken us and took the best places by the water/lake. Well, we decided to just sit on a stone nearby and we ate our breakfast while the crowd struggled by the water for the best photo. We didn’t really expect such madness. Then we took a coffee (we bergained price from $ 2 to $ 1, stall no. 2, Mrs. Mary) started to discover Angkor Wat complex.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. It was first built as a Hindu temple in the style of Khmer architecture and then transformed into a Buddhist temple. The temple is really large and has a wonderful view of the surroundings. We spent there 2 hours and then we got on the bike and went to Banteay Kdei temple. Ruined temple that was originally built in the Bayon architectural style. Typical element of this style is the depiction of a smiling face on the towerstones.
Next stop was temple which is not so touristic and we could explore it totally alone!
Ta Prohm Temple is buddhistic temple located in the middle of jungle. je buddhistický chrám nacházející se uprostřed jungle. Best known for tree roots that grow through its walls. At present, however, it remains only ruins.
Visit Angkor Thom
It was around 15 km by bike to finally arrive at the gates of temple/city Angkor Thom that was the last capital city of Khmer empire. In the center of its complex is located famous Bayon temple. It is a richly decorated Khmer temple and its most typical feature is the number of smiling stone faces on many towers. There are plenty of other temples in the area and we managed to visited almost all of them by 3 pm. Then we were faced with the question of whether to wait for the sunset or not, which is another popular activity. In the end we decided to go home, because the west part could not be seen from any temple (all gates close around 5:30 pm)
We returned our bikes went for dinner to our favorite restaurant The Red Angkor Restaurant na večeři. If you go there you have to try traditional Cambodian dish fish amok, you will not regret!
Accommodation in Siem Reap
You will find really every type of accommodation in Siem Reap. From the cheapest dormitories to luxury villas with pool. We tried low cost option and then we enjoyed one night in Villa We were searching for accommodation via Booking.com
1. The Golden Square Villa
We paid there 7 USD/night for private double room with breakfast. Big advantage if this hotel is its location close to Night Market, Pub street or Rental companies. You can find more info about this place, facilities and availability Here
2. La Residence Blanc D’Angkor
Siem Reap is great because you can find there plenty of luxury accommodation with pool at very reasonable prices. Therefore, we decided to enjoy a little and paid 31 USD per night with breakfast in this luxury villa. It is located a little further from the center, but includes a free shuttle service to/from the airport or bus station. It is also an oasis in the middle of the city and the service was extremely nice. So we definitely recommend it. You can check its availability and facilities here
3. Onederz Hostel Siem Reap
As a bonus we have for you one great place for fans of rooftop infinity pools and low prices. Onederz Hostel Siem Reap offers dormitory rooms for 8 USD per night or double rooms for 30 USD per night. View from its pool looks amazing and it can be great experience. You will find more informations here