If you read our last blog post, you know that we were sick with the flu, but beginning to recover. Still a bit under the weather, we decide to spend the extra money (again) and use our new favorite taxi guy for the long drive from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap. A very expensive decision but time was also a factor, as the bus time to get there was over 12 hours versus 8 by taxi.
Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor Wat, but also known for its fun night life. Pub Street and the Night Market are aglow with neon after nightfall and the streets are filled with tourists drinking, dining, and more drinking. But, it’s not just about partying. There are numerous cool things to do during daylight hours as well.
How about touring some of the very cool temples, or maybe get yourself a fish massage, and don’t forget to get yourself a fresh fruit smoothie from one of the street cart vendors.
But, that party scene can work to your advantage if you prefer seeing major, highly popular sites with fewer crowds.
While those party animals are sleeping off their hangovers, plan to enter the park at sunrise. Most hotels can set you up with a tuk-tuk driver to drive you around the park, and believe me, you’ll need a driver. The site is huge with multiple temples throughout the park. We actually found some of the lesser temples as interesting as Angkor Wat itself and more accessible with fewer people.
We also decided to do the circuit in reverse to avoid even more crowds, resulting in seeing Angkor Wat at day’s end. Most of the guidebooks tell you that you need more than one day to fully experience Angkor Wat. It really depends on how much antiquity you need to see and how intently you want to view the temples. For us one very full day did the trick. One final tip: Watch your wallet and don’t give your camera to little boys wanting to take your picture. They will run away with it. We did have the little boys come up and ask and of course we said no, so it does happen. We were also tailed by a ‘family’ as we were leaving. The scam is that a child falls down in front of you. While you try to help the adults pickpocket you. Just be alert!
OK, party town, check. Ancient city, check. Last thing to cover is the watch what you eat the day you travel. So it’s our last day in Siem Reap. We wake up and decide to have breakfast at our hotel, as usual. But this morning instead of just a plain omelet, I decide to make mine a bacon omelet. We have flight reservations to Bangkok out of Siem Reap later that day. At dinner time I’m starting to think that maybe I don’t feel all that well, but we decide to have dinner anyway. I get halfway through my meal and decide that’s enough. Carrie becomes concerned because I never leave anything on my plate (especially when it is a cheeseburger! — ck). It’s now time for the tuk-tuk to take us to the airport. Within 15 minutes after arriving at the airport I know that all that food was about to come back up. I spent the next two hours running from the waiting area to the bathroom. Fortunately by the time we boarded I was completely empty. So, the only thing it could have been was the bacon, because otherwise we ate the same things. I have decided not to include pictures of my airport adventure, which I thought you might appreciate. You’ll be relieved to know that, although in the short term I could not even look at bacon, I have regained my love of those delicious strips of pork fat. Lesson learned? Stick with simple, known foods on travel days.
Hopefully, you’re not reading this right before your dinner. If so, I hope the photos below will help you forget the gruesome details of my last day in Cambodia.
Hike Drink Live Laugh
Our Amazon product for this blog has to do with food poisoning. Fitting I think, no? Remember to click through our link below for all your Amazon shopping needs. I promise that it won’t make you ill.
6 thoughts on “Siem Reap—Angkor Wat, Cambodia: A Party Town, An Ancient City, and Watch What You Eat the Day You Travel (lesson learned)”
Fantastic photography, as always, especially love the photo of the monk!! Miss you guys, love following your blog. Cheri
Thank Cheri! Glad you’re enjoying the blog. We’ve been in Perpignan, France now for 1 week. Love it so far. Quaint, small city, with nice markets, restaurants, and of course ancient buildings. The wine is pretty good as well. We’ll be here for 3 more weeks, then off to Spain for awhile. It’s looking like maybe Croatia for the summer. You might want to consider joining us there. We would love to explore new territory with you.
Nice shots. What are you doing for processing? Or are these straight JPG from the camera?
Thanks Andrew. I shoot raw and jpeg fine, but for the blog I make a copy of the jpeg and process the copy. I’m using Lightroom 3.6 for the processing. It’s a fast way of getting most, if not all, of the processing complete and easier than going to photoshop for each photo. A few photos need more work that’s when I go to Photoshop CS5. You may be wondering why I don’t process the raw file. Well Adobe hasn’t seen fit to upgrade Lightroom to Nikon’s new raw format. You have to have a special Raw to DNG converter, which I downloaded, but just another time consuming step. Since this travel thing keeps us pretty busy, getting the blog done quickly is very important. fyi.. Camera is a Nikon D7200.
So laptop and extra hard drive as part of the travel kit?
I switched to the subscription plan for $10/month so I can always have the most up to date lightroom. I haven’t even downloaded Photoshop, although it’s included.
Yes to laptop, sort of. I bought a Microsoft surface pro 3. Tiny and powerful. Love it so far. No external drive. We have Amazon Prime with unlimited cloud storage. I just upload photos there whenever we have good internet. Also, the Nikon D7200 has to card slots. I put 64G cards in each slot, so I’ve never come close to filling them up before getting photos to Amazon. Not sure that Adobe’s cloud programs would work for me as we don’t always have internet.