Siem Reap and ANGKOR WAT in Cambodia
Angkor Wat -Schein Guesthouse -Fish Pedicures -Foot Massages -Pub Street
It was a humid summer night and we flew in from Bangkok to Siem Reap. Siem Reap is known for being home to the famous temple complex of Angkor Wat. It was down pouring when we stepped off the plane. Upon arrival our driver, Kao, was waiting for us holding our names on a piece of cardboard. What a cute little man he was! He took us over to our tuk tuk and drove us to our guesthouse where we’d be staying for the night. He told us it’s the first rain of the year and that they’ve needed it. He also told us the rain was here because we were, what a charmer.
Angkor Wat is the main attraction in town and is a must see. The temple complex is the largest religious monument in the world! With classical style of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat literally translates into “Temple City.” Spread out over 18km, your tuk tuk driver will bring you everywhere you need to go and drop you off to walk around places for however long you wish. You can buy a one-day pass for $20 USD or three day passes are available as well. You could get lost for hours in some of these temples wandering around. One of the highlights is the temple of Bayon. It was one of the last we visited… There are massive trees inside the structures that have grown roots in and out of the walls. It’s very cool. Not to mention it’s where they shot the movie, Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie.
We stayed at Schein Guesthouse, about a quarter mile from downtown Siem Reap. I would highly recommend this hostel for someone looking to see Angkor Wat. The hostel is clean, bright, and perfect for a budget accommodation that is comfortable and like I said, clean, very important. The location is great too, it’s downtown but not be directly in the mix of all the tourists where it’s so loud. The hostel offers free hot breakfast, free airport pickup and arrange tuk tuk drivers you can rent for the day. The stay was only $8 USD/night and the tuk tuk $14/day. We were lucky enough to get Kao, a Cambodian native who didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He laughed hysterically at everything we said to him, he made us happy. Other travelers have also suggested Mad Monkey if you’re looking to meet other young people and have a good time more centrally located downtown. Mad Monkey hostels are all around Cambodia; if you’re young and looking for a party it’s usually a solid option.
Siem reap is a charming little town. We got fish pedicures for $3 USD. The fish eat off your dead skin, plus at most places they off you a complimentary beer, score. I have to admit I was quite the scaredy cat…it took me ten minutes to put my feet in. The fish see your feet as bait so as soon as you put your foot near the water they literally jump up out of the water with their mouths wide open chomping the air looking for your feet. I was mortified until a local girl who was walking by talked me through it. We also treated ourselves to foot massages of course. For $5/hour, might as well, right?
The most happening part of downtown is Pub Street. Around ten pm this place goes off. There are plenty of places to grab cheap drinks, listen to loud music and party the night away. The most popular and well-known bar is right in the center of it all, Angkor What? It’s a place for young people to get drunk and dance…the usual party scene. There are also several alternatives if you want to walk around and check out different bars. Wherever you go around Pub Street, it’s always happening with music and a lot of people, that’s typically a good sign of a party!