If you’re looking for an Eat Pray Love experience, Cambodia is just the place.
It was my first time to travel to Cambodia. I was told Siem Reap is a good place to start and they were right.
Communicating with the locals was easy. Most of the locals pretty much knew enough English to interact with tourists. There were occasional moments when English was useless, but smiling and using hand signals worked just fine. There was no need to exchange money. They preferred US dollar and made it easier for people like me who get confused with exchange rates and counting new currency.
One of my favorite moments was visiting Angkor Wat. It was exciting to be at one of the wonders of the world. The temples are so beautiful and majestic. Pictures do not do it justice. The grandeur of the temples are something you have to experience and feel to understand. It was one of those overwhelming sublime moments. If you’re a fan of the Lara Croft tomb raider movies, you will recognize some parts of the Angkor Wat where the movie was filmed.
I made list of why I had such a great time in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
1. Air fare is affordable. Cebu Pacific offers 10,000 peso round-trip fares.
2. Accommodations are ridiculously cheap. For six days and five nights at King Rock boutique hotel, located in central Siem Reap, we paid 7k pesos for a room, breakfast included.
3. Happy hour starts at 9am and ends at 10pm. In some places it extends to midnight. Prices for happy hour range between $1 and $2 per drink. (50-100 pesos)
4. Food was a mix of Thai and Vietnamese vibe. There are lots of curry, fresh vegetable rolls, and bbq sandwiches. Meals range from $1 to $5. But if you are on a tight budget you can find whole meals for $4, which included a fruit shake for $1, bbq sandwich for $1, alcohol for $1, and dessert for $1.
5. Shopping comes at super discounted prices. The gems were my favorite purchases.
6. Site seeing at the temples cost us $20 for a 1 day pass to see the whole of Angkor Wat, which had a cluster of several temples, and $15 for the tuk tuk to take us early morning to watch the sunrise at the temple. There were other temples but after Angkor Wat I was ok with skipping other temples.
7. Fish pedicure for $2 left me laughing out loud uncontrollably while fishes nibbled on my dead skin cells.
8. Again, happy hour! Need I say more?
9. Pub street. There is a long stretch of restaurants bars clubs and night market that come alive at night.
10. Street food. Fruit shakes are everywhere at $1 each. My fave was their version of crepes. A fried pancake with your choice of spread, and I always went for Nutella and banana $1 each.
11 Bugs you can eat!
12 Massages. I had a relaxing one hour foot massage for $3.
13 Transportation. Around the nearby areas, a motorcycle with a buggy called tuk tuk is the way to go. Tuk tuk cost me $3 from my hotel to the airport. To and from my hotel to travel spots costs $1 each way.
The only down side of my trip was the amount of mosquitos and crickets jumping out of nowhere, but once you stock up on mosquito repellent, you’d grow accustomed to these critters randomly nuzzling up.
My verdict… I loved the place and would definitely go back!