My last recap post for this trip! I literally gave out a huge sigh of relief while typing the first sentence because I did it!!! I finally finished this series. :p Blue Pumpkin is always included on the lists of where to eat in Siem Reap, so I indulged and had my lunch at their branch in front of Angkor Wat. There is another branch near Pub Street which is usually the one they refer to in said lists, but at this point, I was hungry and missing something more familiar to my taste buds. Burger it is!
My last stop in Angkor Archaeological Park is.. Angkor Wat, of course. I have asked so many friends on what to do in Cambodia and the first thing they tell me is “see Angkor Wat in Siem Reap”. It is also on the Cambodian flag – so really, I saved the best for last.
There was a couple doing their engagement photos donned in traditional Khmer attire. They will seriously owe their bridesmaids and groomsmen after this because it was done at around 2 PM in the afternoon. Those clothes do not seem to be very sweat-absorbent..
It was quite a long walk crossing the moat to the temple, although I do think I may be biased because I am not a fan of this kind of heat at all. I could almost hear my skin sizzling from being exposed to the sun like this.
I would complain about the stairs, but at this point, I was just grateful there was a wooden one on top of the brick one since those are really steep.
Among all the temples, Angkor Wat is the most preserved and still has an existing moat. There are no signs of the jungle taking over (but that would be so cool in my opinion since it is also the biggest), so I’m unsure if this was even that neglected.
What I find fascinating about this temple is that it seems symmetric. While walking in the middle hallway, you see the similarities in both sides – very classic.
I think that the towers in this temple are the highest among the other temples.
Can you just imagine people from the 12th century climbing up this steep set of stairs? For this temple to even be built during a time where the people are only starting to master the use of different materials is a feat in itself.
I was in Angkor Wat for more than an hour. I wish I really had a guide so I could have learned more. 🙂 Once I was done with the tour, I went back to the hotel and took a quick shower before I went out for the night.
I asked to be dropped off at the Angkor Night Market. There were a lot of great finds in there, and I got to flex and stretch my negotiation muscles. I applied the same principle I learned in Vietnam – never pay for more than half the original asking price. “Oh this magnet is $2 – can I get two for $1?” *smiles and bats my eyelashes*
$1 fruit shakes! I look for a stall where there are not much flies because I saw one of the stalls with flies *gasp* where they keep their knives and other utensils. Thank goodness for my iron stomach.
The famous Pub Street – I didn’t take a lot of photos because traveling with blonde hair alone tends to get a lot of unwanted attention from peddlers, and I was scared someone will make a run for my phone (it happens here in the PH, so I’m not taking chances)..
I found this quaint vegetarian restaurant sandwiched between Khmer barbecue places and decided to try it out. The serving at Chamkar is good for two people that I had all the excess packed (with utensils) and gave it to one of the beggars near the night market.
A few blocks away from Angkor Night Market is Siem Reap Art Center Night Market. It is the bigger one of the two and has so much more choices. Of course, it will cost more because ~*tourists*~, but I did get those $15 souvenir shirts for $5 (look for the quirky ones – it’s only available in two stalls when I was there and didn’t look like the typical souvenir shirts with good quality fabric), the $5 snow globe for $2, $5 tops for $2, etc. You know the drill. 😛
I went to The Angkor What? Bar because the name made me chuckle when I passed by it. I proceeded to spend the rest of the night people watching while drinking. A few glasses in, I went back to the hotel and slept like a baby.
I actually had the idea of renting a bike and going to the temples by cycling (in a skirt, no less, because that is how I roll) and already mapped out my route from the hotel. While I was loading up on breakfast, I started feeling lazy (typical, right) and decided to spend the day in a relaxed manner.
I saw so many tourists with a scarf on their head while touring, and decided to watch Youtube videos on how to do the same. I failed. 😦
I asked one of the hotel staff where to go and she directed me to one of the local markets, where everything is cheaper compared to the stores near Pub Street. I had lunch in Khmer Kitchen and tried out the fish amok. They also offer unlimited rice which I found out when they filled my plate with rice when I was already done eating. Hahaha!
After dilly-dallying some more, I went back to the hotel late in the afternoon and hung out by the pool. Again, I got complimentary banana chips and passion fruit juice. If I ever find myself back in Siem Reap, I will definitely be staying in Cambana d’Angkor Suites again.
My flight was late in the evening, and after taking a quick shower in the hotel, I availed of the free drop off to the airport.
There was a Blue Pumpkin in the airport and it was a pleasant surprise to find that all my loose change combined together is more than enough to buy me dinner. Yay for loose change!
I got back in the wee hours of the morning to my welcoming committee for the past seven years holding a bouquet of flowers with his arms wide open to embrace me. There really is no place like home. 🙂
So.. what now? 🙂 I will be posting a summary of sorts in a few days, the vlog I promised, and back to blogging about the random things inside my head, the mundane happenings of my everyday life and food! Hope you guys enjoyed this series. 🙂