An April 2004 trip
to Angkor Wat by nyc_camy
Quote: Sweltering heat can still be fun when you are in a different country.
At 5 dollars a night, it's pretty nice. Fan/cold water and nice garden view outside my room. But, one out of the 3 days I didn't have electricity!! Wow, was it hot. No fan, plus the inconvenience of using a flashlight in my room when I woke up the next morning for sunrise at 5am. How wonderful!
The food is pretty good. I recommend the chicken curry. It's $2 and Thai styled. Meatball and spaghetti, on the other hand, I would not recommend.
There were a couple dogs and you have to take off your shoes when you go into the guesthouse. There are many moto drivers waiting outside. The thing that I didn't like about this guesthouse is that they don't tell you what the going price is for moto drivers. I ended up paying $7 a day while another girl staying at Ta Keo was told that it only costs $5/day.
I ended up moving to Ta Keo Guesthouse for one night. Service's great and food is cheap. And room is cheaper too!
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 23, 2004
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
And it's located somewhat in the city. Right next to it there's a market. I walked in there and sat down at stalls and ate porridge for 1000riels. It was yummy!
Sugarcane juice was only 300 riels (smaller bag according to the seller, but sufficient to quench my thirst).
The guest house however is not the cleanest and the fan wasn't very cool. First night, I had an inside room that faced another building. I never got any sunlight and it was not very well ventilated area.
The second time I went to get a room (coming back from Siem Reap), I got an outside room. I found a cockroach that was 2 inches in size. I was mortified!! I locked my bathroom door in effort to lock it in.
Because I was staying at a room facing the street, people sat there conversing late into the night, so I got a Japanese guy to kill the cockroach for me. Thanks, dude!
I continued to find many bugs on the bed. It's hard to find a cheap, quality room!
One good thing about capital is that they have lots of tours. Phnom Penh City tour cost $6 with a tour guide and $3 without. However, this does not include the entrance fee.
Also, bus going from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is $4, and going from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh is only $3! Weird. Be warned of the terribly bumpy road!
Food isn't that good. I had fried rice. It was literally fried rice with charred pieces and it costs 3000 riels totally not worth it. I'd rather go eat the 1000r-2000r instant fried noodle on the street!
Capitol Guest House
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Restaurant | "Lumbini"
So I turned into a smaller street, walked past the airline companies, and saw Lumbini. I had read about it on Lonely Planet. It was supposedly pretty good Indian/Nepalese food.
I sat down and ordered. $4 for Chicken Tikka Masala (boneless chicken curry, Indian style) and $1.3 Aloo paratha (bread with potato baked inside).
There were about 6 tables. Not a very big restaurant. But it had A/C and it was really quiet. It's really a good place for nice long conversation because the food took a LONG time to come. Me, being alone, it's a good place for reading - except at certain tables where the lighting was on the dim side.
So the food was pretty authentic, and although it's pricier than the other places, the food was good and worth the price (it would probably be around $10 in NYC!). There was lots of chicken and the bread was also quite sufficient to satisfy my hunger.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 24, 2004
Lumbini Restaurant Halal
N° 51B Samdech Pan (St. 214)
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
+855 023 212 544
Attraction | "Angkor Wat"
However, there were many monks sitting and chatting with tourists in the central tower. I met an 18-year-old monk who insisted that I was Japanese and kept on speaking Japanese to me. He apparently teaches Japanese to the other monks. It was quite amusing.
I really enjoyed sitting outside Angkor Wat. Riding a bike there can be physically tiring if you are not fit. I tried it and it almost killed me. I also didn't want to my bike to get stolen so I sat with it by the lake. Then a bunch of Cambodian men/boys came and sat and chatted with me. It's nice to be traveling alone and watching a wonder of the world without being disturbed!
I went to visit Angkor Wat during Khmer New Year. There were so many Cambodians there. It was too crowded!! But the wat is still very impressive and looking at it every time just hits me how beautiful it was, and with the breeze how good it felt to be there.
I could have sat there reading forever!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 23, 2004
Temple Complex of Angkor Wat
5.5 Km North of Siem Reap
My moto driver dropped me off at the front, and I had to walk towards the temple.
It was huge! I walked inside and at the first courtyard with the big tree, everyone stopped there to take photos. I sat on a shady windowsill to cool off. I read my Lonely Planet and it felt soo awesome!
The powerful roots of the trees took hold of the temple and it felt like without the roots, the temple wouldn't be complete. It's really amazing.
After sitting there for 30 minutes, I moved on to the other parts of the temple thinking that I won't find any other locations that will impress me. But, as I explored further towards the back, there were more and more places that had me holding my breath when I saw it. It was just an endless maze.
After hanging out there for 3 hours, it was already 2pm, and I was really tired from getting up at 5am to see Sra Srangs sunrise, so I turned back to Smiley's.
I wanted to go back on the third day once again, but didn't get a chance to. It was really a wonderful memory for me!
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Attraction | "Biking in Angkor"
I have not biked in 4 years and even back 4 years ago, I was just a wobbly beginner. Today I rented a bike for a $1/day and gathered my courage and off I headed towards the Land Mine Museum, set up by Aki Ra.
Map in hand, I pedaled. I was really scared at first of the cars, the motos, and other bikers, but I pedaled slowly and eventually I got to my destination. On the way there, there were paved roads, semi-paved (bumpy), pebble roads, sand roads and dirt roads. My butt really took a hit on the pebble roads. Dirt roads are okay as long as there are no pebbles.
It took me about an hour to get there, while a moto would probably take 15 minutes. But along the way, there were quite a few Cambodian bikers who kept on looking at me curiously (I am Chinese, so I am a lot paler compared to Cambodians). Every time I saw them, I smiled, and I truly enjoy getting in return their sheepish and genuine smile.
I felt sort of a camaraderie with all bikers. After I got to the Land Mine Museum, I spent about 45 minutes looking at real land mines! Wow... I never knew there were so many kinds!
After looking at the metal pieces and reading some of Aki Ra's stories, I left for a sunset at Angkor Wat. At first, I thought I could just use the dirt road and do a shortcut. So I rode on past the zoo, and into the villages. There, I waved and smiled at all the Cambodians sitting in their huts. So many cute little kids!
I got to a dead end, and an old Cambodian lady, who obviously did not speak English, directed me to go another way. She was a friendly grandma without teeth. She did not quite have a teeth-showing smile.
Then I headed towards Angkor Wat using the larger car road (semi-paved). After getting there, because I was afraid of having my bike stolen, I sat near the lake and enjoyed the sunset.
I decided that since it was the end of my third day pass, I would go to see Bayon again. On the map, it looked really close, but... actually it wasn't! I had to go past Phnom Bakheng (another good place for sunset - and you can see Angkor Wat pretty clearly) and go into Angkor Thom via the North Gate. I pedaled, and by this time, my ass really hurt! But I went on and I rode around Bayon once, and realized that Lonely Planet had been right. Bayon was better in the morning.
I headed back to the guest house and finally got back in about an hour. All in all, it was a great experience - although my ass did hurt for three days after that.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Because of Khmer New Year, I did something else, though. My moto driver told me about the "games" they played. They consist of dumping water on people and pouring loads of talcum powder on people. My moto driver got really excited and asked if I wanted to play games too by the Mekong River. I thought sure, how bad could it get? At first, no one was playing games, so it was a bit boring just looking at these houses. Then it started with a little girl asking if she could squirt a little water on us, and then it got increasingly bad! Hoses, huge buckets, and the older teenagers blocked us and asked for money. If the moto driver didn't pay, we couldn't pass. Even little kids held strings that would have made the moto flip over if we didn't stop. So in the end, I had lots of water in my sneakers and powder on my chin. This is what the Khmer New Year is all about! It was interesting.
Now, back to the city sights. City Palace was aesthetically nice. Lots of weird fauna. S21 was quite depressing and the movie on the third floor of building D is definitely worth watching. Killing Field I thought was a bit boring. But it's worth going because it really makes you understand the horror these people must have felt when they saw the place.
Phnom Wat was just too many people selling lotus flowers, lotus roots, fruits, etc., for the New Year celebration. So, I didn't spend much time at all.
On the last day of my Cambodia trip, I walked around the city (Monivong Blvd and area close by). I saw Independence Monument, two kids who wore one rollerblade on one foot and were racing on the sidewalk, a few more kids playing in the fountain in the park near National Museum. It was nice just seeing how the real Cambodians live in their city.
kaohsiung, United States