Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Touchdown. Siem Reap, Cambodia.

It was somewhat last minute that my friends and I decided to push through with this trip. We were initially and supposedly a crazy group of 8 going after buying Seat Sale tickets from Cebu Pacific in 2014. The airline suddenly emailed us a few weeks before the trip that they changed the freaking schedule! We were all somehow pissed and the group was now down to a lonely 3 who sat beside vacant seats on the plane that were supposed to be for our friends. :( Sad but Ynah, Judy, and I decided to have fun and make the most out of our 2 full days in Siem Reap. Yes, just 2 days because of that schedule mishap. 

So, what to do and where to go in Siem Reap with such cramped time? Believe me, A LOT! We felt like we were there for a week and awesomely spent around a little bit more than 6,000 Philippine Pesos (Php) but definitely less than Php 7,000 each during the trip! :D

My money was around 224 USD or Php 10,000 and that's inclusive of the plane ticket because I had promised to pay my friend (who paid for the seat sale tickets in advance) during the trip.

Later Manila!

We took a direct flight from Manila at around 8pm and arrived at Siem Reap International Airport at 930pm. The flight was pretty smooth and we just slept throughout after eating our packed sandwiches and chips (inflight food was not an option for the barat travellers that we are).

When we arrived, I noticed the pretty architecture of Siem Reap's International Airport. Yeah it wasn't huge and extremely modern but it was quaint and quiet. Maybe because we arrived bit late in the night. We got to immigration and swiflty went out of arrivals to meet the tuktuk driver that our hotel has arranged pick us up. (Visas can be obtained upon arrival but Filipinos and other ASEAN nationals do not need a visa and may stay for uo to 30 days.)

If you don't have a driver waiting for you, there are lots of tuktuks outside the airport that can take you to town for about USD5. The drivers will also definitely offer you tours but I suggest it's better to book a tuktuk through your hotel or in advance before your trip like we did. 

Also, US Dollar is the currency widely used in Siem Reap. Better have wads of ones and fives to pay for everything from food to drinks to postcards to souvenirs. Establishments would also tend to give you change in Riels (the local currency) which you can still use to pay especially if you wanna pay the exact amount. 

Moving on, on the way to the hotel, i noticed how Siem Reap resembled Naga City of Camarines Sur. It was flat, the highway from the airport was wide and the atmosphere was almost the same. Kinda felt like home actually. :)

Banyan Leaf Hotel's view of the Front Desk from the mini bar.

We stayed at the Banyan Leaf Boutique Hotel near the town center. The hotel is just a few minutes walk away from Night Market, Old Market, Pub Street, and all other attractions in town. We booked a Family Room with A/C that's good for 3 pax for 2 nights at USD33 per night. The room rate was inclusive of daily breakfasts, coffee, tea, and water inside the room, wifi, and the sights to behold and surprise you in the form other guests and tourists (mga behh!) lounging at the receiving area or at the minibar near the pool. ;D

We barely rested and immediately went off to Pub Street to have our first authentic Khmer dinner! We. Were. Extremely. Hungry!

Pub Street

Hello Pub Street! Where people come to eat and party and lose it! Lol But it was not as crowded as I expected it to be; maybe because it was only Wednesday night. If you're in Siem Reap, you definitely won't miss where this is - not hard to find at all. Some tourists were dancing on the street and one was breakdancing with a girl selling bracelets just outside Angkor What Bar. I would have joined in but we had to look for Fish Amok first. :) Plus I wanted to taste local beer already!

Fish Amok!!!! I was in Khmer Heaven! SOO GOOD!

Most of the kitchens were already closing up so we ended up eating at World Lounge Restaurant. We wanted to have a taste of local food as much as we can but this restaurant mainly served pizzas as it is a pizzeria. However and luckily, their Fish Amok was quite good!!! We ordered 3 differents kinds at 4USD each if I remember correctly. Not bad for our first meal. World Lounge Restaurant is almost right across to Red Piano, the bar Angelina Jolie frequented when she was filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.  They even a cocktail named after the movie! The staff were also nice. They were very accommodating and I even learned how to say Thank You in Khmer! AKUN! :)

More Amok.

Local beer at 50 cents. 👍🍺

After our late dinner, probably almost 1am already, we walked around and along Pub Street and took photos since the 2 ladies I'm with hardly drink and parrrtey.

Bright neon lights on a sleepy long night. ♥
With Meym Ynah

Hello new friends. LOL
Me and my Coke! ♥

I also needed to find a bottle of coke and wanted to see how the package looks like in another country with my Coca-Cola addiction. I think I spent a lot of one dallahs for Cokes and it made most of my expenses. Hehe

We walked back to the hotel utterly satisfied with delicious food to take some rest and wake up at 5am to catch the sunrise at Angkor WatThat's when the magic begins.

P.S. Thank you Ynah Morco and Judy Joy Nuñez for providing some of the photos.

(Next post: Siem Reap from Sunrise til Sundown)

No comments:

Post a Comment