Welcome to Cambodia: Siem Reap

Our Thai visa expired and we were not able to extend it a second time. We decided on a trip to Cambodia to visit the temples of Angkor Wat.

We traveled overland from Koh Chang to Siem Reap. It was a very long journey (approx 14 hours). The border crossing was exhausting. It was hot, very hot. We got to the border in Thailand and we were overcharged on the Cambodian visa.

They asked $45 each when it should have been $30! What can you say??? Nothing you have to pay!

After a long wait we got on a pick up that took us to the Cambodian border. From here we had to walk through to get to passport control. It wasn’t a very long walk, maybe 500-800 mt, but the heath was almost unbearable and the backpack was heavy.

I managed to fall down some stairs in the process and bruised my right leg and foot. Fortunately I didn’t break it!

There was a very long queue at passport control so we handed $10 to the police and they let us through…. VIP Treatment, they call it.

After another wait and a ride to the bus station, we finally catch the last bus to get to Siem Reap. We must have spent two hours to cross the border.

We arrived in Siem Reap late in the evening and went to straight to our hostel. Hosteling International Siem Reap. It is a cool place, nice clean room, friendly staff, good chill out area and cheap beer ($0.50 a glass)! Great location, next door to the Night Market.

We have not been to Angkor Wat yet. It is our mission for tomorrow, we will make it for sunrise.

Siem Riep is quite a nice city. It is quite small and a bit dusty. During the day is very, very hot. It cools down a bit at night but still hot. It’s hard to walk around during the day.

Luckily there are plenty bars and cafes to sit and chill with a cold drink. It is really cool to rent a bicycle and stroll around town. There are many rental places and you can get a bicycle for as cheap as $1 per day.

Tuk Tuk are the transport of choice for long distances or if you feel lazy or too hot. They are the best tuk tuk I have seen in Asia so far. Large, comfortable and reasonably cheap. They all sport really cool design.

There is a lot of choice for food: Cambodian, Western, Mexican, Pizza, Barbeque, Vegetarian, etc…. Something for everyone.

There is also lots of choice for shopping. Bring on the Night Market!

And lots of choice for Western style bars on busy Pub Street (little bit too loud and tacky for my taste).

The local currency (Riel) is accepted but all the tourists places have their prices in US Dollars. I was actually very surprised! Your foreign currency will be exchanged in US Dollars, so it is better to bring Dollars with you. The Exchange rates are usually quite fair.




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