Day 1 - Hello Siem Reap!

Siem Reap Travel Blog

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Just entering Siem Reap in the early morning
Landed at Siem Reap international airport at 7am in the morning. The morning air was cool and fresh and I looked forward to exploring the town with my group of friends over the next few days. We were met by the tuk-tuk drivers from Palm Garden Lodge (complimentary service) who had come to drive us to our accomodation. I didn't know it at the time, but one of them would greatly impact me and leave a lasting impression. But more on that later.

Palm Garden Lodge was a simple guesthouse strategically located near the Old Market area. As we had come to Siem Reap without a clear itinerary planned out, we had a mini 'conference' with the Lodge's tuk-tuk drivers who gave some helpful recommendations and basically guided us along the best places to sightsee.
First glimpse of the town
Decided to take a nap until the afternoon, where our two drivers Sak and Hanafy would pick us up for lunch.


We took a walk around Psar Cha (old market), which is essentailly catered for tourists with the usual handicrafts on offer. Lunch was at a Malaysian restaurant called D'wau. Serving fares of delicious Malay food at affordable prices, this place is highly recommended! The portions were huge - i can still remember the huge glasses of refreshing pineapple juice. Tummies fully satisfied, we decided to buy our 3 day Angkor Pass at US$40. We were still early as the ticket office opens in the late evening, so our drivers drove us around the countryside to give us a feel of Siem Reap's rustic lifestyle. Having obtained our passes (involving a long queue and taking a digital photo), we were able to gain entry to Phnom Bakheng, a temple on a hilltop location to see the sun set.
Fighting with the hordes of people to get a good spot to view the sunset on Phnom Bakheng


Be warned that the climb is rather tortorous - for someone with no stamina (like me perhaps). A trek up a slope and more climbing on the very steep temple steps is what we had to face. Place was overcrowded with tourists jostling for a good spot. The view was a tad disappointing as it was cloudy that day. In fact the climb up was more of an experience than the view! It is recommended to quickly make your way down once the sun sets, as darkness falls pretty fast and it's dangerous to make your way down the steps without much light. I remember clutching  the side of the temple and crouching and squatting my way down the steps one by one. I really did not want to roll down the temple steps. There have been quite a few accidents involving tourists!

Anyway, we headed back to check out the food offerings at the night markets for dinner, but nothing proved appetising enough. Ended up eating dinner at the lodge before turning in early.

Angkor Wat the next morning!
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Just entering Siem Reap in the ear…
Just entering Siem Reap in the ea…
First glimpse of the town
First glimpse of the town
Fighting with the hordes of people…
Fighting with the hordes of peopl…
The actual sunset
The actual sunset
Siem Reap Hotels & Accommodations review
Family-run guesthouse for less than US$10 per night for a double fan room. Provides basic amenities like hot shower and towels. Free flow of tea/coffe… read entire review
Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling