Arriving in Cambodia
After spending four wonderful nights in Malaysia it was time to head off to Cambodia. We were super stoked out to visit the country, especially Siem Reap–the home of the infamous Angkor Wat. Visiting Cambodia can be very easy with a U.S. passport. You just need to make sure to plan ahead and obtain your E-Visa beforehand to make the arrival process eazy-breezy (smooth and seamless). We chose to fly to Siem Reap because there are many low cost carriers in Southeast Asia, making the plane ride affordable. It is also quicker and safer than entering Cambodia over land, where you might have to pay off border agents to let you through.
Siem Reap has accommodations to fit any budget. You can find a really nice boutique hotel for $30/night. We stayed at the King Rock Boutique Hotel. The service at our hotel, and in Siem Reap in general, was superb. The staff were attentive and provided us with insider tips to exploring the city. They even arranged for our tour the first day. We only went with the hotel tour for one day because it was with a tuk-tuk and after a quick search online we were able to book another tour with an a/c car for about 25% less. Every penny saved brings us one step closer to our next trip.
They even provided both our parties with a free upgrade. We were given the honeymoon suite, which came with a giant granite bathtub, balcony, and a rainfall shower.
Exploring the City
Because we didn’t arrive in Siem Reap until the afternoon we decided to wait to begin our exploration of the temples for the next day. A little tired and really hungry we decided to explore the city in search of some local eats. One of the reasons why we decided to go with a mid-level accommodation was the location. Most of the luxury resorts are outside of the main city of Siem Reap. Sure, you can take a tuk-tuk to the city, but arranging for transportation can take up a lot of time. Lucky for us, we were within walking distance of the city center. Siem Reap, and probably every city in Southeast Asia, during the monsoon season is happening (bustling) at night. And for good reason–it’s really hot and humid during the day. If you no like sweat ‘um do your sightseeing in the early morning and at night.
50 Cent Beers & $2 Massages
The city of Siem Reap has everything a tourist could ask for. First of all everything is cheap. I mean cheap. Beers for 50 cents. One hour massages for two dollars. Whole meals for just a few bucks. Did I mention that beers were 50 cents and that you could get a one hour massage for two dollars? I couldn’t believe.
Feeling Hungry? Have a Scorpion
There are many shops selling men’s and women’s clothing for a fraction of the cost of buying in the States as well as art, jewelry, and other trinkets for you to buy as souvenirs. We even came across a merchant selling scorpions, snakes, and other weird insects to eat.
We decided to make our way down Pub Street, which, as you may have guessed by the name, is where all the pubs were at. The World Cup was going on at the time, so the pubs and restaurants were lively with fans. You can find all types of international cuisine: thai, chinese, american, brick oven pizza, cambodian, and many others–the list goes on. Since it was our first night in Cambodia we decided to try some of the local delicacies. We tried the Khmer Red Curry with tofu (which is similar to thai curry, but less spicy), banana flower salad (which taste like a green mango or papaya salad), and a vegetarian Amok (this local delicacy is usually made with fish and is streamed with ginger, lemongrass, and other herbs.)
The food was great. The drinks were cheap. And for less than $10 dollars our party of three had an onolicious Cambodian feast.