Cambodia: The road to Angkor Wat


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After 6 hours of pumping bus under 35 degrees without air-conditioner and the only toilet I could use was the bush later, I arrived in Siem Reap. Tuk-tuk drivers were surrounding waiting for me to say yes for their ride. It could look like a stock battle of who has the best offer. $4 for my ride and $3/night for my hostel, got my deal! I was not yet happy to have found a hostel with a good price, because it was just like what it costed. My bus ride was terrifying but my accommodation busted me into tears. Oh well, the life of a traveller, we can never ask for more. We accept what we get.

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Maybe my experience in Cambodia was not the best. Everything felt dirty, dusty, hectic and humid, and it drove me crazy. I spent the afternoon out in the old town, got some food, got back to the hostel, tried to connect to the internet but sadly it did not work, mosquitos were biting me all over… I felt the urge of escaping that place so badly. But I came here to see the magnificent Angkor Wat, so that I booked a day tour to this tourist attraction. I had never been on a tour before but I made an exception. If I were not single, I would probably rent a bike or a tuk-tuk to get there. Might be cheaper? Guess so!.

I was up early for the trip but it did not even matter because they were one hour late. It would be bad to stereotype them being late because of being Asian but what else should I say. They were late! I paid $13 for that trip and did not know what I would get from it. Maybe all I got were the bus ride and a tour guide – who told everyone where the good spots were to take photos – and still had to pay $20 entrance fee . I felt like a tourist more than ever but it was kinda cool to experience that kind of tour – I might call it a photo tour. Anyhow, it was somehow helpful because he gave us all details of history of Angkor Wat. Because it was a day tour, I only got the chance to see the small ring but it was already incredibly amazing. Seeing all the details on the wall and I couldn’t believe that they were sculptured by human. It was admiring seeing that historic site in real after looking at it several time on pictures. It looked enormously huge and out of expectations. Gotta embrace human made effort because it is pretty magnificent.

Besides having Angkor Wat checked off my list, the tour was nothing to be told. But it was a good decision otherwise I wouldn’t have met Lasse, a German guy travelling alone through South East, I wouldn’t have known through him about the beautiful island Koh Lanta, and we wouldn’t have been friends from then on. In the end, we can always find the good from the bad.

Later that night, I packed my bag and took the night bus to Bangkok. Cambodia, I will give another shot next time!

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17 thoughts on “Cambodia: The road to Angkor Wat

  1. Great photos – I’d love to go here! Nothing wrong with booking a tour either – I do it all the time. When time is short it’s sometimes the best thing to do in order to ensure you see what you want to! 🙂

    1. It is certainly handy sometimes, especially when it comes to huge tourist attractions. I found it funny that the guide I got he instructed us where and how to take some certain photos.

  2. Hi Angela,
    Good shots can make it all worthwhile. I particularly like the doors within doors shot with the side lighting creating great mood and textures. You want to go back, so there must have been more good than bad. Cheers …
    John

  3. Great post! Your photos are wonderful. I use tours when I’m travelling alone in a new place because I always learn so much from them. I know what you mean when you say you can’t believe the human craftsmanship – that always amazes me too!

  4. It’s certainly a wonderful place, and the locals are pumping the starry eyed westerners for every ounce of cash. Been in Siem Reap for 6 nights exploring, it’s appeal is growing thin – and my wallet is groaning! Have a 3 day pass for Angkor Watt, done one day already, hope to get my money’s worth!

      1. I saw some conservation work and an artisans workshop I’ll eventually post about – so hopefully the temples will stay up! Battambang is up next, then probably heading to Bangkok 🙂 you after Bangkok?

      2. You should really check out Koh Lanta. I am not sure about the weather at the moment but it so beautiful and not touristic. I’m actually heading to Cuba in few days though.

  5. I loved Cambodia but agree it is hot and humid. My experiences are on my earlier blog: thereadrovers.wordpress.com. I was there in late 2012. Look forward to your experiences in Cuba – am going there in March 2016.

  6. It’s great that you’re honest in your post! I feel some travelers sugar coat things… but you know what, mosquito bites suck no matter what country you’re in. Day dreaming of traveling just looking at Koh Lanta pics

    1. Thank you 🙂 it is true that nowadays lots of travel bloggers sugar coat things, write things ‘way too amazing’ sometimes. I appreciate people who are honest with what they really think about certain places instead of everything is just finely perfection.
      Thanks for your comment and hope those photos of Koh Lanta gave you good feelings. I day dream of that every single day though..

  7. I totally agree with you. In Siem Reap, beside Angkor Wat, there are nothing else to see. I spent 3 nights in Siem Reap 2 years ago. We were lucky to have a very knowledgeable guide who took us around the historical and cultural sites in Ạngkor Wat. Without him, I can not imagine what I can feel by going around those ruins. ^_^

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