Archive for the ‘24 hours in Siem Reap’ Category

24 Hours in Siem Reap

Cindy Austin

7:00am-Breakfast at B&B

Wake up early to redeem your included breakfast at Journeys Within Bed and Breakfast, a little oasis in a bustling city filled with tuk-tuks and motorbikes. Journeys Within has a full staff to cook variety of Khmer or Western breakfasts and keep your room spotless and filled with bottled water. Enjoy sitting in the shade while you eat. Make sure to try the fruit shake and the banana crepes.

8:00am-Angkor Wat

After breakfast, have the Journeys Within staff call a tuk-tuk and certified tour guide to take you to Angkor Wat. Located nearby, Angkor Wat is a must-see for all who visit Siem Reap. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been widely listed as one of the seven man made wonders of the ancient world and symbolizes a battle between Hinduism and Buddhism. Originally built as a Hindu temple, Cambodian Buddhists decorate the Hindu statues in Buddhist decor and the government has put Buddha statues all over the inside of the temple.

10:30am- Angkor Thom

Located close to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom offers another look at Cambodian temples. Built as a Buddhist temple, Angkor Thom is known for its four-sided face configuration on the towers. The four faces represent the four faces of Buddha symbolizing compassion, sympathy, courage and equanimity. This is often the favorite of those who have visited multiple temples in Cambodia.

1:00pm- Khmer Kitchen

Take your tuk-tuk into town to grab some lunch at the Khmer Kitchen, located right on the fringes of the Siem Reap market. Here you can grab some great food for cheap and experience what many locals consider their favorite restaurant. Be sure to try the Khmer Coffee, a mix of Khmer coffee and sweetened condensed milk over ice.

2:30pm- Old market

After lunch, walk across the street to the Siem Reap old market. Here you can find anything your heart desires, from jewelry to table cloths and bed coverings, but make sure to check out the wood carvings and spices for truly Cambodian things to take back home. Sellers will usually give tourists a mark up of 20-50 percent so haggle before you make your purchase.

5:15pm- Massage

For a break from the heat, head to one of the many massage parlors in downtown Siem Reap for an incredibly cheap hour of hands-on treatment. The Lemongrass Massage Parlor will treat you to a shower before hand as well as tea before and after your massage for a truly complete experience. Be ready to be twisted and turned as the traditional Khmer body massage ($7 for an hour at Lemongrass) is rougher than western massages.

7:30pm- Dinner

Also in downtown Siem Reap are loads of places to catch some dinner. Temple, located on Pub Street, has a show from 7:30-9:30 every night that features traditional Cambodian music and apsara dancing. The women train from a very young age to make their hands and backs arch in ways that will make them more appealing for the dances. You can also get great food here that will fill you up for very cheap. Recommended is the fried long bean with chicken which only costs $3. Also, grab an Angkor draft to taste the local beer.

9:45pm- Blue Pumpkin

At the end of Pub Street is the Blue Pumpkin, famous in Siem Reap for its delectable desserts. The ice cream ranges from traditional rocky road to mango or cinnamon and speculos. For a break from the heat, grab some ice cream, but if you’re not in the mood for something cold, the baked goods are just as delicious. Suggested are the chocolate and caramel tart and the linga brownies. Be prepared, these desserts are rich and Blue Pumpkin isn’t known for cheap prices so be ready to spend as much as you did on dinner. Don’t worry, it’ll be worth it.

Night market

After grabbing dessert at the Blue Pumpkin, head over to the night markets. The Angkor night market and Siem Reap night market are right next to each other and pretty much sell the same things. If you dare, try out the “Dr. Fish foot massage” in one of the many pools lining the streets at night. These fish nibble at the dead skin on your feet, a Cambodian pedicure.

Late night- Pub Street

For those of you who enjoy a late night, hit Pub Street for a variety of bars, Western and Khmer. Angkor What and Zone 1 provide more modern music and dancing if you’re looking to meet up with other travelers from around the world. Once you’re done enjoying yourself at night, catch one of the many tuk-tuks around Pub Street to head back to Journeys Within Bed and Breakfast, where you’ll be welcomed by fresh towels and turned down covers.