Thursday, July 11th, 2019
We didn't land until like 10 P.M. and were able to get to our Airbnb by a man in a tuk tuk that our host arranged. It was pretty late and our phones weren't working so we were just along for the ride!
Friday, July 12th, 2019
It was time for the main reason we went to Siem Reap, our sunrise tour to Ankgor Wat! Angkor Wat is a temple complex spanning over 402 acres which makes it the largest religious monument in the world by land area and is amazing to see in person!
We then stopped for breakfast at Sala Russey. it wasn't the best but they did try to do an American style breakfast and it was for sure owned by the same company as the tour. I know this because when I tried to pay with my card and wasn't able to we went back to their offices afterwards where we were able to.
Next stop, Ta Prohm!
Ta Prohm is said to be one of Angkor’s oldest temples and the first built entirely of sandstone. The temple also gained a lot of notoriety as it was highlighted by Angelina Jolie in the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Next stop, Bayon Temple in Angkor Thom!
Bayon Temple was built in the late 12th- and early-13th-century as the official state temple of King Jayavarman VII. It was the only Angkorian state temple to be built primarily to worship Brahma and Bayon temple is best known for the huge faces carved into the stone towers.
All of these temples were neglected for centuries and now have huge restoration work taking place so areas may be blocked off to the public.
After our tour we took a brief nap since we hadn't gotten a lot of sleep the night before and after that we got up and made out way to Pub Street. The airbnb we were staying at had bikes we could use, which was awesome, but the tires were half flat which was not awesome!
We biked through what felt like some sketchy areas and on a busy roads before finally arriving at Tevy's Place. The place was small but had good food and the people were super friendly! We were able to meet the owner and also the investor who help make her dreams a reality.
We then made our way over to the shops before going to a bar and grabbing roller ice cream. The area is pretty gentrified and not at all what I was expecting. We then got the offer for free drinks if we went to Bar X and I imagine it was because no one else was in there but there was no catch the the free drink so that was okay with me.
Saturday, July 13th, 2019
We woke up and grabbed our bikes and made our way to Little Red Fox Espresso for coffee. The area is actually really cute and has fun French architecture.
We were running low on cash and needed to find a place that took card so we went to Rohatt Cafe. The restaurant was really nice and the food was awesome! Get the beef lok lak!
The last stop of the day was at Wat Damnak which is the largest pagoda is Siem Reap. When it was first built, it was King Sisowath’s palace before it was moved to it's current location. After the king moved out, it was transformed into a working pagoda for the public use. It also has monks currently live there and is home to a public primary school.
Siem Reap Sentiment
Things To Do: 7/10
I was pleasantly surprised with how much I was able to do in Siem Reap! I was expecting to only be able to do the temples and that was what I was most interested in for there were nice neighborhoods, Pub Street was fun, pagodas, a zipline course, night markets, and more. There aren't the typically things of your bigger cities and who needs a bunch of museums when you have temples to visit!
I didn't explore or have the chance to have a bunch of food but there were some high point and low points but I think overall the food was pretty decent.
Getting Around: 6/10
There are tuk tuks, Grab (their version of Uber), and bikes which are actually all pretty easy to use. Navigation around the city is pretty simple and if you stay downtown it seems pretty walkable. But there is no real public transportation and you might be hesitant to do those things at night even though I found it safe!
This is surprising but I really enjoyed my time in Siem Reap. Obviously our trip was super quick and only like 36 hours but we were busy the entire time. I'm not sure if we stayed any longer I might not think of it as fondly. Although I enjoyed my time there I felt there was nothing left to do in the city other than spend more time doing the things we had already done. We could have spent more time exploring neighborhoods on pub street or checking out the shops but we kind of got the jist. My recommendation would be to go but make it a short trip.
Non-Obvious Siem Reap Recommendations:
What To Bring
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HELLO AND WELCOME!
I'm Jake, a dude interested in personal finance and travel creating the life I choose.
In 5 years I went from living in a basement with Craigslist roommates to paying off 90k of debt, backpacking 3 continents, getting a house for myself and 5 rental units.
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