This is my seven day itinerary with tips in Cambodia:
3 days in Siem Reap and 3 days in Phnom penh
FIRST DAY- arrived Siem Reap at 10pm. Transfer to hostel. There are a lot of vans offering you transfer from the airport to your hotel. It costs 10 USD, well depending on the size of the vehicle, the airport staff will give you a coupon. However, you can opt to use the friendly tuktuks which will cost you around 5USD. By the way Tuktuks can seat up to 6 persons. Don’t be fooled if the tuktuks say that there’s a regulation that say that only 3 persons can seat per tuktuk. :D
By the way, unlike other countries, such as South Korea, Kuala Lumpur, or cities like HK, where airports are located far away from the city center, the airport in Siem Reap is just a 10 to 15 minutes ride. So, spending a lot in a van than a tuktuk, is not a wise choise, especially if you are just 2 persons traveling together. :D
The taxi/van driver will most likely offer you a tour for the next few days. You will most likely say Yes because it is cheap. However, you can save more money if you’ll just hire a tuktuk and bring you to the Angkor Wat, especially if you are in a budget. But, the good side of saying yes, is that the package that the van/taxi will offer you includes a very knowledgeable tour guide. Which, we did, and we were happy with our choice. However, skip the other tours that he will offer you, such as the side trip to the floating village known as Tonle Sap. For your own sake, don’t go there. It is a waste of time and money. (I’ll tell you in another post) :)
Since we arrived late in Siem Reap, we went out to eat in a restaurant located in pub street. Well, as the name suggests, is a party place! :) full of bars and people dancing on the streets.
SECOND DAY- In the morning, while waiting for our tour driver to pick us up. My friends and I decided to rent a bike in our hostel and to look around the nearby area. And we saw some mini temples akin to that in Thailand. Well, we learned of it by accident so I wasn’t able to know its name. Though, Siem Reap is so small that you can probably see it if you rent a bike. :D
We were also able to see the pub street during the morning and tried the infamous Pizza place.
In the afternoon, we went to Tonle Sap, as recommended by our driver/tour guide (skip this. not worth it! I’ll be writing about it in another post) Just go to Angkor Wat. You can opt to get the 2 day Angkor Wat visit, as there are a lot of Angkor temples other than Angkor Wat.
Tonle Sap is a place full of scams and rip offs. Though, I must admit, it has a colorful and amazing sunset view
THIRD DAY- Angkor Temples
FOURTH DAY- Go to Phnom Penh (6 hour bus ride)
We opted to have a day trip, so we bought our tickets at the night market. Well, the ticket costs around 500 pesos. :D
FIFTH DAY: Phnom Penh,
Tuong Sleng Genocide Museum, and the Killing Fields– Well, I didn’t realize that I’m really into this kind of stuff. haha. :) Well, there’s an eerie feeling into it that makes it interesting. Moreover, I learned a lot of Cambodia’s history because of it.
I wasn’t able to get a lot of photos inside the Genocide Museum because the thought that a ghost will appear in one of the photos, scared the hell out of me :D Well I’ll write a separate post for this :D
SIXTH DAY- Went to the Central Market and then went back to Siem Reap (traveled for 6 hours)
The central market is really a nice place to visit. I don’t know why? maybe of the cheap things that they sell there??
Don’t ever plan to go to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh using a van. Bus is better. My gosh, the road is really rocky. And riding a van make it worse. And if you are unlucky enough to sit at the back of the van, just get ready for a trip with no nap or sleep time. I’m not even sleeping but I always found myself at the floor every single time. Well, if you cannot picture it enough–think of the time you rode a horse. Yeah, it’s that harsh!
Just walked around the pub area. :D
TRAVEL TIPS in Cambodia
1. Well, Cambodia uses US dollars as their currency but they don’t have the US coins, (currency below 1 USD) instead they use their own money. And yes, it is confusing. Until now I can’t figure out how much is the equivalent of their money compared to USD.
2. There are a lot of scams going on. Well, not necessarily scams, but they overcharge you in everything. Especially in Siem Reap. Be careful with the Tuktuks, always, ALWAYS, always, I MEAN ALWAYS, HAGGLE. and if you are a group of 4 or 5 or 6 and tells you that you should rent separate tuktuks because of a traffic regulation. No, don’t believe that. During my stay in Cambodia (phnom pehn or siem reap) I always see more that 4 even 8 passengers in a tuktuk. I wasn’t able to get a lot of photos though, but this is one I got:
3. Another thing, please bring your own medicine from your home country. Why? I got sick in Cambodia, and my Cambodian friend told me that I should not buy medicine there instead take the medicine I have from my country. She even went home to get the medicine she got from her husband (who is from a country in Europe) because she said that the medicine in Cambodia, instead of making you feel better, can make you feel worse. She said that they sell medicines even if they are already expired. Scary right?
4. If you plan to visit Phnom Penh from Siem Reap, you can buy bus tickets in the Night Market. There are a lot of travel agencies that sell tickets toward Phnom Penh, or even Bangkok. You can buy it there. But never, try riding a van. It is really a bumpy ride and a good looking van doesn’t make it better.
5. Don’t go to Tonle Sap.
6. Well, as for the sarongs or long skirts whatever. It is not really “mandatory” in the whole angkor complex. It is just necessary in hiking up the main temples in Angkor Wat. But, I suggest that you still wear the proper attire, so that if you opt to hike the temples, then you can do so without a problem. You can buy long pants or sarongs in the “NIght Market” for around 2-3 USD each.
So, here’s my outfit while in Angkor Wat. Yeah, I look so dirty already, and that’s around 4 pm already, and we started touring at around 7am. That’s why I look so “dugyot”. I bought my pants in Siem Reap’s market since I wasn’t able to pack well :D