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“Short Trip to Siem Reap”
Review of Siem Reap

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Singapore
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
“Short Trip to Siem Reap”
Reviewed May 21, 2011

Just back from a 4D/3N DIY trip to Siem Reap.

I arrived during the late morning and was picked up by a local driver, Tee. He was able to customize the itinerary in accordance to my interest. More on him later.

My favourites have got to be Bayon, Pre Rup, East Mebon and Preah Khan. Incidentally, these places involves quite a bit of climbing. I felt at the top of the world not on Bakheng Mountain which is so crowded even during the current low-season but on Pre Rup and East Mebon.

I also kinda like Bakong as there was this monastery just next to it where monks live.

Surprisingly, Banteay Srei and Angkor Wat did not wow me!

Other places visited include, Angkor Thom; south gate, Baphoun, Elephant Terrace, Leper King Terrace and Royal Enclosure Wall, Ta Som, Neak Pean, Preah Khan, Lo Lei, Preah Kor, Banteay Samre, Banteay Kdei, Ta Prohm, Kravan.

Saying that the temples in Siem Reap is like an Asian version of the historical sites in Greece or other parts of Europe is certainly not an overstatement.

Restoration works was quite a common sight during my visit. There was this part of Angkor Wat which was undergoing repair works. Unfortunately there were several temples which seems to be on the brink of collapse. Considering that many people live below the poverty line, maintaining a temple would seem like the last of priorities.

The driver Tee can be contacted via angkorholidays.com. Just send a message with the online link and he will respond accordingly. Tee is very knowledgeable not only about the best routes or places but he also gives you a brief on the history of the temple he is driving you to. More importantly, he speaks excellent English. His rates are very reasonable though not the cheapest. However, in a place like Siem Reap where public transport is non-existent, you will want a reliable and honest driver.

I got to say I am humbled by the experience. Seeing so many kids not being able to go to school and living in shambles with little sanitation reminds me of how fortunately we are. This trip really reminds me to give thanks and be grateful for what we have.

Trust that you will have as much fun as i did!

Helpful?
Thank hope7_sg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
“A heavenly place...!! (Siem Reap)”
Reviewed April 24, 2011

I visited Siem Reap with my parents from 07/04/11 to 11/04/11. It is probably one of the best places I have visited and probably will ever visit. It was way above my expectations. We reached in the afternoon and checked in to our hotel (The Golden Temple Hotel). It was the best hotel I've ever been in easily! The moment we entered we were offered a cool welcome drink and some delicious peanuts. We spent the afternoon relaxing in the awesome pool. We went out in the evening to visit the sunset point. I took some beautiful pictures (of the sun's reflection in a lake). And we saw the legendary Angkor Wat from the outside. We woke up early the next morning to a huge complimentary breakfast and set out to the city of Angkor Thom. After taking a few photos of the South Gate we went to the amazing Bayon temple. It consists of 54 towers with 4 Buddha faces facing the 4 directions. It was amazingly eerie! After a filling lunch we headed for Angkor Wat. It was unbelievable. It consists of 3 levels (Hell, Earth and Heaven). All the levels are filled with intricate carvings of the Ramayana. The next morning we set of to visit the Bantey-Srei temple about 40 kms from the city of Angkor Thom. It was an 8th century temple built by women. It was filled with intricate carvings (and here I'm not kidding) which looked like jewelery!! We spent most of the day there and while leaving listened to the soothing music of the landmine victims. We spent the rest of the day relaxing. The next morning was the highlight of our trip: Sunrise at Angkor Wat. It was the first time in my life that I had willingly woken up at 4:30 am. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. Words cannot describe what hundreds of tourists (including me) saw that morning. It was one of the rare things that looked better in real life than in photos and paintings! That ended my days in Siem Reap. The city that has gone through so much (I'm talking about Polpot's reign [1975-1979]) and has come up so well. Like I said, it was probably one of the best places I have visited and probably will ever visit... :)

Helpful?
2 Thank Adirulzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boca Raton, Florida
2 reviews
1 helpful vote
“Angkor Wat temple guide review”
Reviewed April 19, 2011

April 18, 2011
Reviewer: Tripadvisor member--Boca Raton Florida

I had no idea what to expect of Siem Reap, Cambodia other than viewing the famous Angkor Wat temple. I used a wonderful guide--Sovann Koth. He absolutely made our visit extra special. We spent two full days touring with him and were sad for our visit to end. The sights speak for themselves but Sovann handled our tour with great expertise sensing our needs throughout the day and touring us in such a way to avoid the usual crowds. His English is very good. Consider visiting his website for further info---www.angkortemplesguide.webs.com
Sovann's tour fees were very reasonable and he was very trustworthy with a fun easy manner. We have used guides all over the world and found Sovann to be one of the best.

Helpful?
Thank BocaRatonmember
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
1 helpful vote
“A fantastic place”
Reviewed April 7, 2011

Having travelled around many beautiful countries around the world, Siem Reap is the most enchanting & awe- inspiring place We have ever experienced, the people, the temples & the town have completely captivated us.
we stayed at the La Residence d'Angkor & can't recommend it highly enough. I would recommend a guide while you visit the temples although it's great to have a wander around by yourself too, Our guide was booked by the hotel his name is Mr Thung Sin we had nearly 3 days with him & he's very amenable & commendable.
I would must also mention Sky Ventures, micro light flights, for a wonderful birds eye view of the countryside & Temples.
When not walking around the temples venture round the town & the market it's a great place, with some fabulous local restaurants, just be careful not to get knocked down when you cross the roads as it's a bit of a free for all with the motor bikes & tuk tuks...it just adds to the experience!

Helpful?
Thank hotelmagnet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
86 helpful votes
“Nice Surprise”
Reviewed April 6, 2011

You hear about this place a lot from guidebooks and history books and Angelina Jolie after Tomb Raider. You remember it and want to see it but actually FALL IN LOVE with the place (like I did) after you visit. Quaint, cheap, real and very tourist friendly. A refreshing discovery inspite of its evident popularity.

Accomodations - cater to both flashpackers and backpackers; The cheap hotels are actually VERY good! Got an exceedingly spacious room with three beds for only $30 - no breakfast but at least with free coffee and very friendly staff!

Food - not as good as vietnamese food but similar; Market road offer a lot of nice restaurants with varied cuisine;

What to do/Where to go - the obvious and probably the highlight of your visit to this city is Angkor Wat and all the other temples; All are seriously overwhelming and amazing; To make your temple visit even more interesting is to rent a bike and bike all around the temples - Entrance fee of $20 for a one day visit - which was what we did and was totally worth it!!!
Also try the fish tanks or what they call the "fish massage" where fish clean your feet (they actually feed on the dead skin) - not for the ticklish ! There's also the floating market and the night market for interesting finds;

How to go around - rent your own bike for $3 OR hire a tuk tuk - ranges for $1-5 depending on the distance

They accept their own currency or US dollars. ATMs give out money in US dollars as well.

Would definitely go back! :)

Helpful?
Thank shelob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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