We got a friendly pick up at the rather backward Siem Reap airport by our hotel for only 10$. At first impression, Siem Reap seemed a bit of a downer, with dust-choked roads littered with garbage. Our hotel, the older but clean and upscale, Angkor Century, however, turned out to be a pleasant place to stay. Our third floor room gave us a view of the inner courtyard, the gardens and the huge pool. The Angkor Century staff and indeed, all the Cambodians in general, were very friendly, perhaps even more so than any other people we’ve met. The hotel gardens include a pool brimming with tropical fish, mostly some kind of carp. For birders and nature enthusiasts, there are also a few birds and lizards around, but not too many and none which are easy to spot and see (except the usual Mayna bird).
We stay at the Angkor Century and in Cambodia for 5 nights, 2010 March 22 until our departure on March 27th. The famous ruined temple city is easy to see via tuk-tuk or Lexus and driver booked through, or outside the hotel for a reasonable fee. The tuk tuk was 8-11$ for a half day trip, the car about 30-40$. Both the car and the tuk tuk driver provided great service but the tuk tuk driver, Mr. Coll, was really outstanding.
Angkor Wat and the surrounding sites of Bayon temple, the root entwined ruins of Ta Prohm, and many others, are surrounded in pristine jungle. The whole area is immaculately kept and free of garbage. Even the toilets are of high western standards. The restaurants, with their wood stoves in the back, have great food, including banana pancakes and the best fruit shakes I’ve had. The souvenir peddlers, mostly kids, are a bit annoying but at the same time one can’t help but be charmed by their smiling faces, good humor. Their apparent high knowledge of visitor’s home cities, math and languages would put many, school attending, western children to shame.
Siem Reap too, grows on you. Often one really gets the impression of being in a new world, one only recently re-introduced to the west. At night, trays of fresh seasoned, huge black beetles are sold on the local streets as snacks. Not so in the touristy Alley and Bar Street of the Old Market Area, where are many excellent restaurants with really great food. About 10 $ buys dinner for two, with four beer and 2 shakes! I had the best salad rolls ever, prepared with paper thin dough. It’s not a tipping country, so when we tip as usual the people are very grateful. Even the poor landmine victims, who at times come from table to table, selling souvenirs, manage to retain a smile on their face.
The only real downer on the trip was the overpriced side trip to the floating village (or should I say floating scam!) with its con artist boat guides that take you through garbage invested waters. Avoid the floating scam and spent an extra day at Angkor Wat or at Angkor Century! Angkor Wat remains one of the high points of many years of travel. Ramble On…
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Angkor Century Resort & Spa, a 5 star deluxe resort property set within lush tropical gardens covering an area of 9-acres. A mere 15-minutes drive from the Airport and the Angkor Temples, it is located within the heart of the Siem Reap City. Its interiors are a tasteful blend of contemporary western conveniences and artistic, elegant Khmer design. Widely respected by its industry partners, colleagues and very regular guests for its high quality of service, it is an award winning property, having received citations from the World Travel Awards UK (2003 and 2004 Leading Resort and Leading Spa Accolades) and the Trade Industry Golden Trophy for the Year 2005 from Spanish Trade Leaders' Club. Guests may select from 190 stylishly appointed rooms which suits and reflect the individual needs of both business and traveler alike. Angkor Century Resort & Spa provides with all comforts and amenities of a first-class international hotel. The relaxed atmosphere and the rich colors of an 8-acre tropical garden will complement your trip to Angkor Temples and will create memories that will last a lifetime ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Angkor Century
- Angkor Century Siem Reap
- Angkor Century Hotel