Apart from the well known Angkor Watt, we were l not really sure what to expect from Siem Reap and what it would have to offer.
We spent the majority of the journey from Battambang researching Angkor Watt, and were both looking at what time of day would be best to visit. There were pros and cons for both an early morning visit, and a sunset one.
Eventually we decided to go for the early morning option, with the idea that we might be able to skip the crowds of tourists, although this was not the case!
We booked an early Tuk Tuk from our hotel in the early hours of the morning and sped towards the main attraction of Siem Reap.
On arrival we quickly became aware that there was no avoiding the crowds, as we could see hundreds of people entering the Watt already. We both however overlooked the crowds, being in awe of the amazing Temple and the landscape surrounding it. A frequent question asked to each other being “How is Angkor Watt not a wonder of the world”.
The site ticket we had bought gained us access to the main Watts in the area, which included Angkor Watt itself, and around 8 or 9 other Temples.
We had expected Angkor Watt to be the most impressive out of all the temples for many reasons, and in obvious ways it was, but on reflection we agreed that the Ta Prohm temple was our favourite.
As soon as you enter it, you feel like you could be in the middle of rainforest, secluded from all man kind, ( apart from all the noisy tourist). This is due to the incredible tree trunks that have broken their way through the ground and embedded themselves on the temple itself. The roots overflow from the walls like water and trunks stretch up to the sky, providing us with some much needed shade- it seemed we choose the hottest to day we were there to go temple hopping!
The next day we discovered that we timed our trip to Siem Reap perfectly, as we were there for the Water festival. With some quick research into what it was all about, we headed down to the centre of Siem Reap where the river is. It wasn’t too hard to spot where the main event was, with thousands of Red and blue balloons, banners and even locals, lining the roads.
The Cambodia water festival celebrates the swapping of the river current, which changes from flowing west of the country to the east. With local music, street performers and fireworks being set off ( in the middle of the street after moving people only 2 meters back- love the disregard for health and safety) we had an enjoyable walk along the river.
A boat race between Cambodians from all across the country occurs, which was exciting and some more free entertainment for the day.
Cambodia has been a blast, and with Siem Reap being out last destination, it was time to say farewell. Until the next time that is.