Who thinks of Cambodia thinks of the ancient temples of Angkor Wat. And who thinks of Angkor Wat thinks of Siem Reap, a town located about 8km from the temples, making it the perfect place to stay whilst exploring this beautiful wonder of the world. But did you know there’s more to do than just visiting the temples? Keep reading and I’ll tell you all about it!
Strolling through Siem Reap
One of my favorite ways to explore a new place is by foot because it is the best way to absorb a city’s vibe. When walking through Siem Reaps town center don’t forget to stop at one of the fruit stalls for a delicious $1 dollar fresh fruit shake. Stroll further down to pub street to enjoy a cheap cocktail or have a nice (if you like: western) meal. Go to one of the many massage salons to enjoy an hour of Khmer massage starting at $5. And a special tip for the Dutchies amongst us: you can enjoy a real frikadel or kaassoufle at The Dutch Snack.
Did someone say shopping?
Even though my closet has been a backpack for the last 14 months I still cannot give up my slight shopping addiction. Siem Reap is the absolute perfect place to go if you’d like to stack up on some new goods. Clothing, jewellery, bags, food – you think of it and they sell it. Also if you’re looking for some new reading material many stalls sell relatively cheap books such as ‘First They Killed my Father’ – a definite MUST read when you’re planning to visit Cambodia. And both the day- and nightmarket are the perfect place to buy some nice new goods.
Siem Reaps Surroundings
Many tourists only see Siem Reaps Pub Street and the famous temples of Angkor. But did you know the surroundings of Siem Reap are just stunning, and that Siem Reap is just a stone throw away from the ‘real Cambodia?’. Rent a bike or hop on a tuk tuk and drive a couple of minutes outside of the city center and you’ll be surrounded by orange dusty roads and many smiling children. We even stumbled upon an beautiful pagoda where a lot of schoolkids greeted us with a warm “Hello, what’s your name?!” Going on a cooking class is for instance a good opportunity to go into the more rural Siem Reap area.
Sojourn Boutique Villas
There are many places to stay in Siem Reap. Since the weather in Cambodia is often sunny and hot and there’s nothing better than to rest your feet at the pool after a day of temple hopping, I highly recommend booking a hotel with a beautiful pool. I stayed at Sojourn Boutique Villas, a quiet getaway only a few kilometers from Siem Reaps city center. I was really surprised by how perfectly the staff speaks English and how extremely friendly they are. The pool with its in-pool poolbar is just a dream, and the villa’s are privately located in the big green garden. Our villa had a beautiful bathtub and an outdoor shower! But my absolute favorite part of the villa was the little teacorner. For more info please visit http://www.sojournsiemreap.com/
Battambang is next on our travel itinerary but of course not before we saw the sun rise at the famous temples of Angkor Wat. More about that in my next blog 🙂