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The Delights of Traveling: Siem Reap, Cambodia
The magnificence of ancient civilizations are what draws people to Cambodia. It is rife with positive and negative history with the kingdom of Angkor and the Khmer Rouge.
It was a very spur of the moment decision to go to Siem Reap this early because I had a very good friend in Bangkok and some circumstances happened and made us decide to travel together, so we took the night bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap at around 1 AM and arrived around 10 AM in Cambodia. The bus service that we used was really good in helping us with our visas and passports when we arrived but from what we heard, the border city can be quite dangerous so we were quite glad that we didn't have to spend that much time in that city. Other word of advice that we got from our bus service was that once we arrived in Siem Reap, we should not use the "free" tuk tuk service because it wasn't really free. They would try to find other ways to get you to pay for their services.
Once we arrived, they were right and were hounded with tuk tuk drivers but rather than doing what everyone else was doing, we decided that we were just going to walk to our hostel which was smart because it was only a 5 mins walk from where the bus dropped us off. We had initially wanted to stay at the hostel that our other friends were staying at but it was fully booked because we didn't realize that that hostel was having one of the biggest hostel parties in Southeast Asia hosted by Hostelworld #20hostels20parties. So, we ended up staying at Siem Reap Pub Hostel, which we thought would be a party hostel just from the title but it ended up being very quiet so we ended up going to White Rabbit Hostel for the Hostelworld party and ended up having a great night (from what I remember). The next day, we really didn't do much because there really isn't much to do and we had decided to do the sunrise tour to Angkor Wat and the temples on our final day, so we chilled around the pool and then went out for a night out at the pub street and we had found a pretty awesome bar called X bar, which is like every frat boy/ skater boy's dream because not only does it have all the bar games but it also has a half-pipe on the top floor. Probably not the best decision to go out the day before we had to get up at 4:30 AM but hey we all make poor life choices right?
The next day, we did the sunrise tour of Angkor Wat and I was most likely still drunk when we had to get on the bus, but we had to get a picture taken for our day pass and all I have to say is that NO ONE should ever get their photo taken at 4 AM without a full team of makeup and hair artists especially after they have had a night out. But, the tour itself was pretty great and our guide knew exactly what he was talking about and we had a great day. We only did the half day tour and got back around 1 PM and decided to go to take the night bus to Ho Chi Minh City because there really wasn't much else to do in Siem Reap.
Obviously I know that the main reason that people come to Siem Reap is to see the temples however, it was unbelievable the amount of people that were to see how many people were actually there. I actually left the tour group to take a photo of how many people were actually waiting to see how many people were there and that wasn't even all of them.
Cambodia as a whole as changed since the last time that I was there and over the past few years. A few people had also mentioned that it has also changed within the past few months because the Chinese have come in and changed everything especially Sihanoukville which is now filled with casinos and garbage.
We were only in Siem Reap for 3 days and we felt like it was enough because other than the temples there really wasn't much to do.