From Cambodia to Vietnam: Lost in 10 days (3)

angkor_wat

Day 4: September 12th 2013

4 AM. In the morning. I repeat. 4 AM. In the morning. It was too early for me to wake up, especially during vacation. Gaah!

I walk like a zombie to the shower. Took a shower like a zombie. Then dressing like a … zombie. No matter what I did on my body-face-hair, it smells like … a zombie. Okay, enough with zombie talk, apparently me and Anthony made it and we went to the temple! The temple is quite far from the city, it looks close on the map but apparently not. I did tracked with my GPS, it was like 6-7 km away from the place we stayed until the entrance. We paid US$20 for one day pass, and we have to bring and show this pass when we want to enter the temple. Oh, please note that one pass valid for one person, and they will take your photo at the ticket booth. I don’t want to show you because my photo is quite terrible, like a zombie.

Next, we went to Angkor Wat for sunrise! It was pretty dark, so make sure you have some flashlight otherwise you could fall into the lake (ouch!). September, is low tourist season, but I was really surprised…. it was quite packed.

can't imagine how high season would look like :/
can’t imagine how high season would look like:/

The sunrise started at 5.30am until 5.55. Too bad it was too cloudy so it wasn’t too spectacular. Bad timing.

sunrise

And me and Anthony took a journey inside the famous ANGKOR WAT! We spent like an hour, circling the Angkor Wat. It was an amazing experience. Angkor Wat is quite huge! Some parts were still under maintenance. But we won’t complain, considering the temple was built in loooooong time ago.angkor_wat

We were exploring the small circuit. And it’s big enough. It took us 8 hours to explore all the temples in small circuit. The big circuit might takes … well another day or two. A week with bicycle maybe if you have a lot of stamina. My GPS track shows the trip for small circuit was 16 km! So yes, if you have limited time, better use Tuk Tuk rather than bicycle.  If you rent Tuk Tuk, make sure the driver can speak English because they will wait or park in different area. I think printed map is quite useless because there are not enough sign. GPS is VERY USEFUL! Not the one with your phone because it will drained your battery. I used Garmin eTrex 30 with OpenStreetMap maps! Here’s another tips to visit Angkor archeological park:

1. Wear T-Shirt and comfy long pants. Shorts is acceptable as long they covered your knees. Wearing sleeveless shirt or tight pants or short that not covered your knees are prohibited for some areas. Remember, the whole area is sacred place.

2. A lot of people would selling stuff to you. If you’re not interested, just say no and leave.

3. Careful with scam around the temple. Some people might offered you some kind of blessing or for luck. Avoid it at all cost. Just say no.

4. Hat + sunglasses + sunscreen are recommended. Umbrella or raincoat is optional but a must if you’re going during wet season.

5. Bring a lot of drinking water.

6. Avoid scam when a girl giving you a kind of bracelet. If you accept it, you’ll be pushed to buy their stuff. If not, you’ll be considered not friendly and not appreciate their bracelet as a gift. It’s really hard to avoid this one but somehow we’ve managed it. Anthony was lucky, considering he’s accept the bracelet (I’m not), but, we were just leaving.

 

exploring small circuit in Angkor Archeological Park
exploring small circuit in Angkor Archeological Park

And yes, after more that 8 hours exploring the small circuit. We were exhausted. And then we were going back to our hostel! Back to bed, and then we went to Pub Street for dinner. We had Cambodian BBQ for US$16 (2 person), we got 7 different kind of digestion: beef, chicken, crocodile, barracuda, pork, kangaroo, and squid. They also have sharks but… no, I support sharks campaign! Hell yeah!

the hotplate to cook the BBQ and soup
the hotplate to cook the BBQ and soup

Day 5: September 13th 2013

It was Friday the 13th! My last day in Siem Reap. Because I was too tired with the temple trip, so I just want to lay down a little bit. I woke up for breakfast, then sleep again until lunch!😛

This time, I gave a chance for Anthony to lead place for lunch. He guided me to a place called Common Grounds. Actually it’s a cafe. Coffee, cake, and pastries are their speciality but they’re also have light meal such as soup. Their Tom Yum Soup was good🙂 And, most of benefits goes for charity. Good concept!

We were also having a Khmer massage at Lemongrass, US$10 for an hour. Cheaper than in other place around Siem Reap. Their service is great, their staffs are professional, and I almost fell asleep during the massage. Good experience.

Me and Anthony were having a good time. He still have a day in Siem Reap at the moment. Meanwhile, I had to move to Ho Chi Minh city (HCMC) in Vietnam by … bus.

To be continue.

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