Cambodia Getaway

14th Nov 2019
Photo of Cambodia Getaway by Harsh Mundra

Cambodia was our 2 night stop on the way to Vietnam. It was a pleasant surprise for us. A country where the locals are genuinely happy to see you. I always wanted to visit this country for the great Hindu Temples.

Day 1

We arrived in the city around noon. The airport is constructed in Khmer Architecture & looks very different to the typical concrete & glass airports that we are used to seeing. No Bus or Aero Bridge, You walk from the flight to the Terminal! Visa on Arrival for Indians. Just pay USD 30 & get the passport stamped.

Our resort was about 2 KMs from the city center. Resort was well maintained & the staff was friendly. Special shout-out to the property manager Luke who was like our long lost friend. After having a long nap & then some time in the pool we are ready to head out.

US Dollar is the only currency you need in Cambodia. All prices are mentioned in USD & it's widely accepted everywhere. Tuk Tuk is the best way to move around the city. $2 is the fixed rate for one side drop & $3 for drop back to the Hotel at night. Drivers here won't try to overcharge you & that came as a shock! Tuk Tuk are arranged by the reception so you just need to ask them.

Photo of Pub Street Siem Reap, Street 08, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia by Harsh Mundra

This place is just amazing. All pubs have such nice & classy interior. Beer is so cheap! Glass of Draught Beer will cost $0.5 to $1 only. We were just hopping from one pub to another & enjoying the ambience. Do try the fried ice-cream rolls, available in many flavors. Headed back to hotel around mid night.

Day 2

Super excited for this day. As a Hindu, I was looking forward to visiting the biggest temple complex in the world. We opted for a private tour to make sure we decide the pace of movement. Were picked by 8:30 AM. You have to get entry passes with your photograph on it. The drive to Angkor Wat was about 20 minutes.

Photo of Angkor Wat, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia by Harsh Mundra

There are no words to define how magnificent the temples are! Imagining the scale of construction in the 11th century without any modern machinery is mind blowing.

Photo of Angkor Wat, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia by Harsh Mundra

There are many scenes from Mahabharata & Ramayana carved into the stones. Don't miss the Sagar Manthan mural on the stone periphery wall. Note: For visiting the 3rd level you need to cover shoulders & knees.

Photo of Angkor Wat, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia by Harsh Mundra

We spent around 4 hours in Angkor Wat. Photographing every corner of the complex & listening to the insights from our guide. After this we finished quick lunch on our way to the next temple. Vegetarians can try fried rice with chilly sauce as there aren't many options. Next stop was Ta Prohm.

Photo of Ta Prohm Temple, Tonle Bati, Cambodia by Harsh Mundra

This temple is more famous as Lara Croft Temple. Featured in the famous movie. Currently under restoration with help of Archeological Survey of India. The trees here have uprooted the stone foundation leading to fall of the temple walls.

Photo of Angkor Thom, East Gate, Angkor, Cambodia by Harsh Mundra

This gate was used by the victorious army to enter the city. Has Big Buddha face & also Airavat Elephant on each side of the Gate.

Photo of Bayon Temple, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia by Harsh Mundra

Last temple for the day was Bayon Temple. This temple has so many Big Buddha faces. A very large complex that has multiple levels & is a great example of Khmer Architecture.

Photo of Bayon Temple, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia by Harsh Mundra

Many tourists head to Phnom Bakheng for Sunset. We did the same. But I think this is totally avoidable. We found the sunset very ordinary & the view from hilltop is also not impressive. I would suggest to head back to Hotel & take rest. So that you are ready to party till late in night.

Our last night in Siem Reap & we were back in Pub Street. Cheap Booze & Loud Music is always a good combination. There are not many places with a dance floor but we saw tourists dancing even on the streets after midnight. We had a blast & came back to hotel around 3 AM.

Day 3

Last day in Cambodia. Woke up pretty late almost missing the breakfast! Had a late afternoon flight to Hanoi Vietnam. Today's agenda was souvenir shopping.

We headed to Siem Reap Art Center. It's lined with shops selling the usual tourist souvenirs like fridge magnets, bowls etc. We finished the shopping & went to a Massage Spa located inside the market. After a well deserved massage we headed back to Hotel to collect our luggage. Our car was waiting for us & dropped us at Airport. Note: Watch the Sunset from Departure waiting halls, it's better than Phnom Bakheng.

I will definitely come back to Cambodia & explore more of this beautiful country. Angkor Temple Complex was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Every wall had a story to tell.