My bus trip from BKK to Cambodia cost 300 Baht (about ten Canadian dollars) and took about 10 hours including waiting time, not a bad trip overall considering it included a border crossing as well. I met some cool British girls and a German girl on my bus trip over there, as well – me and the Brits ended up doing all of Cambodia together! Our journey started by Minibus to the border, we had the tour company arrange our visas, at an inflated price but it saved the hassle of trying to figure it out myself. It cost a thousand Baht (33 bucks) and I needed an additional passport picture to get into Cambodia as well.
We crossed the border without mishap, you could immediately notice a difference between the two countries. In Thailand the roads were populated with trucks and minibuses, in Cambodia there were hand carts being pushed by people, and tons more motorcycles. We boarded a creaky bus to the main Bus Terminal, and waited there for two hours as our bus filled in (slowly) with tourists. Another three-hour bus ride got us from the border to Siem Reap relatively painlessly.
The town was lit up for an evening of party debauchery – we were accosted at every turn by overly friendly tuk-tuk drivers, massage ladies, and shopkeepers as we tried to get our bearings and figure out where our hostel was. Turns out it was a short tuk tuk ride away, across the river and separated from the noise of the main tourist area. Still walkable though, but my favourite way to get around was riding sidesaddle on the back of a moto, which would set you back about a dollar to get anywhere in town very fast! After finding our little 6 bed dorm in Angkor Thom Guesthouse to be quite comfy, we ventured out into the night and checked out The Red Piano, where Angelina Jolie created a cocktail while filming her flick Tomb Raider a few years ago. The food was delicious and prompt too!
Our journey took a lot of us, so we opted for an early night to get ready for some temple action the next day. Our friendly (aggressive) tuk tuk driver from the night before was parked outside of our guesthouse ready to pounce, so we got him to take us around the temple complex area for the day for $20US – 5 bucks a person. We also had to pay for tickets to the actual temple complex as well, a one day pass gave us access to all the temples, even though we only got to see three up close.
Our guide took us to see the “Tomb Raider” temple as he called it, which is named Ta Prohm and is famous for the ancient trees growing out of the ruins – the sunlight was pouring in on the day we visited and made for a spectacular viewing of the place! We were allowed to climb in an around the ruins on the platforms set up for tourists – we marvelled at the facet that we were allowed so much access and freedom to wander through such a sacred and ancient place. Us and every other Asian tourist group, of course 😛
Our “tour guide” tuk tuk driver took us to The Bayon next inside the bid temple complex, an impressive pile that featured many four-sided faces of the Buddha. – very serene. Our last stop was the actual temple of Angkor Wat. We wanted to catch the temple at sunset, and spent the last remaining daylight hours exploring the huge temple and grounds, imagining what it must have been like in its glory days. After a few attempts at catching the sunset in some memorable pictures, we headed to the NIght Market for delicious indian food and a night out at Angkor WHAT?! a tongue in cheek name for a sweet bar on Pub street. Dancing the night away is always a good end to the day, I think! We joined the touristy crowd and danced until the wee hours on the tables. It was a very fun day, to say the least!
- Siem Reap and Angkor WHAT??! (fearlessadventure.wordpress.com)
- Days 24 – 30 – Hello Cambodia!! (kazandrachinasia.wordpress.com)
- Bayon Shootouts and the Anti-Sunrise: Angkor Temples Part 1 (travvelsized.wordpress.com)