Siem Reap

4 02 2010

We have absolutely fallen in love with the Cambodians or the Khmers …at least here in Siem Reap.  They are so soft and gentle and polite and always smiling.  We had read so many stories of scams in Cambodia and it looked so dirty and unappealing at first that we were a bit worried but even when they are trying to trick us they are so nice :)

The Khmers are a bit darker than most Thais and a little more delicate and very handsome. It is funny how both of us connected the word Khmer to something bad after the Khmer Rogue and Pol Pot but we noticed that the Cambodians are where proud of being Khmer …well the 90% that are actually Khmer.  So Khmer is just the name of their ethnic group.

We have had some Khmer food already and it was absolutely fantastic.  We had some chicken curry, fish curry and spring rolls and everything was served with rice and a cold beer.  The spring rolls were just good spring rolls but the curries where to die for.

We went to the markets here yesterday and they looked wonderful, both the day market and the night market.  The night market was filled with silk and cotton scarves, pasminas, hammocks and clothes and they also had a lot of things made by Cambodian artists, both paintings and sculptures, mostly from the Angkor temples and the villages around here.  We are definitely feeling the biggest fault of being a backpacker – not having enough space for all the things we want to buy and having to carry everything we do find space for for the next three months.

It is funny how everything here is quoted in US dollars.  There is the Cambodian Riel but we have not seen in used on price tags anywhere.  For $1 you get 4,200 riel so that might be one of the reason but it must be hard for them not to use their own currency that fluctuates according to their economic situation not because of some outside reasons.  They must be suffering now when the dollar has been declining when they shouldn’t be.

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4 responses

23 02 2012
travel siem reap

Hi, I agree with you. Really this blog is very informative.

travel siem reap

11 01 2013
Bob

Pol Pot, not Paul Pot.

13 03 2013
Emma Becker

I am going to Cambodia on September this year. Besides Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam are also listed to be visited. But still I have a question about a hotel you might have seen during your visit in Siem Reap. I booked the following hotel: Tara Angkor Hotel. You know if it is a good hotel? I heard good stories about it. What are the best attractions to visit in Siem Reap and in the surrounding?

15 05 2013
Alicia

Hello Emma,

I read your message and wanted to help you, because I have been in Siem Reap a lot of times. The Tara Angkor hotel is a beautiful hotel and is ideally and conveniently located, Tara Angkor Hotel is situated only 6 km from the Angkor Wat Temples, 15 min drive from the Siem Reap International Airport, a few minutes stroll to the Angkor National Museum and a short ride to the city town center with an array of Cambodian souvenirs, shopping and culture. They have a few promotions that you can make use of if you haven’t booked already: Last minute bookings, summer sales, early bird promotion or Angkor temptations. Of course there are a lot more, but have a look at their website. It is not that far to the Angkor temples that I would advise you to see for sure. I would say, grab yourself a 3 day pass and find yourself a decent tuk tuk driver to take you to the farther ruins and for a drive in some of the outlying villages. If you’re up for it consider renting a bike and checking out Angkor Wat on your own. There’s a lot to see and do so a lot depends on your time and budget. A few temples I would strongly suggest you check out besides Angkor Wat itself are Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom and of course Ta Prohm just to see the amazing tree. The Banteay Srei temple is farther out of Siem Reap but has a very different feel than a lot of the others. If you want to do something else as well, you can visit the day and night market. I can really recommend these attractions. If you need to know more, let me know.

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