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Simple Travels: The Beauty of Siem Reap

08 Nov

Apologies for the lack of blog post. I’m currently writing this from Renaissance Bangkok where we’ll be leaving for Manila in a few hours. The past few days have been great! I got to check off one of my entries in my 100 TO DO list which is to visit the Angkor Wat. This trip is a free trip that I got courtesy of Prulife U.K. As you may know, I’ve been encashing my other trips and this is the ONLY convention I’ve actually attended. Its been great hanging out with old faces and new acquaintances. Have to do this more often.

We arrived last Monday here in Bangkok and was quickly transferred to another plane bringing us to Siem Reap, Cambodia. According to the tour guide, Siem Reap means the defeat of Siam (old name of Thailand). This place has thousands of temples with Angkor Wat being the largest sand stone structure temple in the world. Built for 35 years with the help of more than 4000 elephants, Angkor Wat is actually one of the UNESCO Heritage sites and is part of the Wonders of the World list.

Day 1 found us arriving at Siem Reap airport at around 3PM. The airport is rather small and provincial but is quite clean. I like the touch on the structure and how they incorporated certain elements into the edifice – wood carvings, tons of statues, and wooden windows.
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Bus 2 departing for the hotel
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Our hotel in Siem Reap is Royal Angkor Resort and Spa. This is how the hotel looked.
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Best thing about the hotel – Jacuzzi Bath Tub
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The rest of the afternoon was a free day so we decided to visit the Night Market. Since the city is small, the night market is only 3 km away from the hotel. We took a tuktuk ride to the Night Market. A lot of the items are local while others are imported from nearby countries – Vietnam and Thailand. Negotiation and bargaining was an art that had to be in every shop on every item. Good thing I had my Aunties to help bargain down the prices. The typical bargaining starts at less than 20% from the original asking price. Fortunately or unfortunately, the seller would almost always relent to the bargained price. All shops accept dollars so we did not have them changed anymore. Here are a few of the finds in the Night Market.
Scene when we arrived at around 4PM
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Lots and lots of gem stones from the various mountains of Cambodia
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Cambodian artworks
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Souvenirs
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Scene when we departed the market
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We left the market to catch a dinner buffet at the hotel provided by Prulife U.K. Amidst the Cambodian music, we feasted on a buffet of Cambodian food. Nothing special or unique really. I liked the papaya salad (which is probably inspired by their Thailand heritage). Most were grilled food with some with slight curries. The fruits though were to die for. They were sweet, crunchy and very tasty. SBD goes down the drain in this trip. Managed to shy away from noodles and rice though.

Found this centerpiece interesting. The server said this costs USD$100 in the market.
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Dinner on Day 1
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Will post more of our Cambodian adventure pictures soon.

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