Siem Reap, Cambodia – Day 1

We had a 6AM flight from Singapore to Cambodia so had to wake up at 3:30AM to leave by 4:20AM! It was crazy as we spent most of the night packing and were pretty exhausted.

Once we got to the airport, the checking in and boarding went pretty smoothly and everyone had a short nap before landing. We arrived in Cambodia in about 2 hours, 7AM due to the time difference. We went through immigration pretty quickly since we did our visas online ahead of time. Cambodia has a very simple e-Visa system with a much quicker turnaround time than stated.


We’ve arrived!

We had vans waiting for us to take us to our hotel: City Angkor Hotel. We arrived at our hotel to check-in and have some breakfast at their restaurant. Pretty standard fare, more American food than Asian.

We split up into groups of 8 plus 1 tour guide and 1 driver. Our group consisted of me and Ron, Alex, Isa, Simao, Ian, Mo, and Rui. Our first stop was Angkor Thom and the Bayon Temple.

This is the entrance to Angkor Thom. To the left are statues of gods and to the right are statues of demons. Angkor Thom is surrounded by a high wall all around and Bayon Temple is inside.


A view from the wall (so the left are demons and the right are gods)

Once inside we visited Bayon Temple. Each temple is “adopted” by a country for restoration. This particular one is by Japan.

There were really detailed and well preserved carvings on the walls. This one is of our ancestors: the Chinese! Notice the top knot on the soldiers heads.

Look who Ron is kissing!

Our next stop was Ta Prohm, aka “Jungle Temple” which was recently in the film “Tomb Raider”. These huge trees have grown on top of the temple and in some cases, destroying the structure.

This tree has another tree growing on top of it as well… like a parasite…

Next we stopped at a local place for lunch before heading to Angkor Wat, the most famous of all the temples.

After visiting Angkor Wat, we attempted to go to Phnom Bakheng, aka Central Mountain, which is about a 20-30 minute walk up a hill to the temple to watch the sunset. Unfortunately the clouds started rolling in and started to rain so we had to leave without watching the sun actually setting.

We headed back to the hotel to rest for about 30 minutes before heading out to dinner at “Pub Street”. We ate at a restaurant called The Red Piano and had some Cambodian Curry and Amok Fish. They also had a special drink called the “Angelina Jolie” as apparently she is so famous in Siem Reap that everyone knows her name, even the more rural population is familiar with her name.

After dinner we headed home to rest as it had been a long day already and we had another full day ahead of us.

A great resource for information about the temples, visit the APSARA (Authority for Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap) website.

All pictures from Day 1 of our trip:


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