Cambodia
Phumĭ Siĕm Réab

Here you’ll find travel reports about Phumĭ Siĕm Réab. Discover travel destinations in Cambodia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

5 travelers at this place:

  • Day183

    Siem Reap

    March 8, 2017 in Cambodia

    Today we had a quieter day, catching up on trip planning, arranging transport, laundry, etc (not exciting, but necessary). We have decided to stay in Siem Reap for another few days, instead of our original plan to move on to another town in Cambodia. There is plenty to do here and it should give us chance to catch up on preparations for the next leg of our trip (we fly to New Zealand next week), as well as fortifying ourselves before the 10-hour bus journey to Bangkok and another imminent round of jet lag... Selfishly, it also means that I do not have to spend my birthday tomorrow on a bus! We went for a last swim in the pool of our fantastic hotel before we had to check out and move to a hotel across town (also very nice and above budget - a birthday treat!). We went out for a walk in a park by the riverside and saw lots of large fruit bats roosting in the trees - fascinating to see. Having missed out on the Foreign Correspondents Club in Phnom Penh, we found the FCC in Siem Reap and enjoyed a "happy hour" cocktail there this evening (whilst Solana practised her photography skills again!). We ended up going to an Indian restaurant tonight and, although not up to Bradford standards, it was better than we expected. We also saw a pharmacy that doubled (tripled?) as a mini-mart and money exchange shop - possibly an idea for pharmacies in Britain who are feeling the economic pinch?...Read more

  • Day181

    Angkor Wat

    March 6, 2017 in Cambodia

    And now for the big one - we visited Angkor Wat this afternoon. Apparently it is the largest place of worship in the world. It certainly was very impressive, even after seeing the temples at Angkor Thom this morning. We entered Angkor Wat over the stone bridge across the 180m wide moat that goes all the way around the temple complex. We were explaining to Solana that the moat was made to protect the temple and she concluded from that that anyone bad who tried to get over would be pushed into the water to be eaten by crocodiles! You then walk along a long pathway that leads to the main temple complex, with the iconic view of Angkor Wat in front of you along the way. Once inside, we spent a couple of hours exploring. It was pretty busy inside but it quietened down a lot towards 5pm. Solana met a couple of other little girls around her own age, the first we think was Japanese and the 2nd, pictured here, we're pretty sure was Cambodian; the two of them attracted quite a crowd, all wanting photos of the cute little girls! Solana is loving the idea of Buddha and today she was asking questions about the offerings people had made to the statues in the temples; we told her about offerings and she wanted to make an offering herself. After talking about the different types of offerings (many of them here were sweets - bearing a remarkable resemblance to Werther's Originals!), she offered some money; a monk then offered her a blessing of luck with holy water and tied a red cotton bracelet around her wrist. It was lovely to see her interaction with him. As it got later, the light got even better and we managed to get some photos of Angkor Wat together with its reflection in a lake - seen here with us spoiling the artistic view!

    As with many things, the photos don't really do it justice but it gives you a flavour of what we've seen anyway. All in all, it was very reminiscent of the days we spent in Central America 12 years ago, wandering around the Mayan and Aztec sites including Chichen Itza, Tikal and Copan - but here there are slightly fewer mosquitoes and definitely more tuk-tuks! It is also striking every time we see such ancient buildings, the similarities between different such sites in very different parts of the world, geographically distant and often built in different eras - e.g. the Mayan and Aztec temples of Central America, Machu Picchu in Peru, Angkor Wat, the ancient cities in Thailand, the pyramids in Egypt. It makes us wonder - did ancient civilisations have more contact with one another than we know, or did many different groups of people come up with similar ideas independently?.... We also saw a bit of wildlife around the temples today - including monkeys, lizards, myna birds, butterflies, frogs and parrots. Tomorrow we plan to visit some of the other temples in the area (to get our moneys worth from our $62 each tickets - they went up in price dramatically just last month, from only $40 per person!).
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  • Day184

    Julie's Birthday

    March 9, 2017 in Cambodia

    On Thursday we celebrated my birthday in Siem Reap. I had a few birthday cards (which Solana was very excited about and desperate to "help" me open!) and Laura even managed to find a bottle of fizz as a present, which was a nice surprise. In the morning we did a Cambodian cooking class. We visited the food market, then made some traditional Cambodian dishes. We both made mango salad to start, then Laura made beef lok-lak and I made fish Amok for main courses. They were tasty and, although some of the ingredients may be difficult to get at home, we would try to recreate them with substitutes where needed.

    In the afternoon we visited another temple (photos to follow in a separate post). In the evening, the hotel staff knocked at the door and brought me a birthday cheesecake, complete with candle! It was a nice touch and Solana loved it - she thinks a birthday is not complete without a cake & candles. For dinner we went to a Japanese shabu shabu restaurant - where you select items from a food conveyor belt and cook them in a soupy broth at your table. It was great fun (once we'd worked out to avoid the offal!) and they even had a bit of sushi - tasty. The day was rounded off by finishing off the bottle of fizz - a great way to end a good day.
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  • Day181

    Siem Reap & Angkor temples

    March 6, 2017 in Cambodia

    Yesterday we made the 7 hour bus journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - after not looking forward to it, the bus was actually OK and the journey was smooth. Best of all, the hotel waiting for us at the end of it (Mulberry Boutique Hotel, in case anyone wants to make a note) is amazing. Laura's many hours of searching paid off when she found an online special offer and we have a family suite here, with 2 bedrooms over 2 floors, plus 2 bathrooms and a sitting area, all for only £20 per night for 2 nights! It is normally $150 per night, so unsurprisingly we were unable to negotiate the same deal to stay for a 3rd night but they did offer us it for $60, so as it is so lovely we've decided to stay an extra night as a pre-birthday treat. It is by far the best room we've had on our trip so far (and almost certainly will remain so - given the expense of our next destinations!).

    Today we hired a tuk-tuk and driver to take us to see some of the temples. This morning we went to the Angkor Thom complex. We started with Bayon, the large temple you see in photos #3 & #4, with many very large faces carved into the stone. We then walked around as much of the rest of this massive temple complex as Solana, and the heat of the day (temp in mid-30s C and sunny - too hot for sightseeing in the middle of the day). It was amazing to think how they built the temples so tall and precisely, with no machinery to help (most of them were built in the 1100s) - something we've said again and again at ancient temple sites across the world. The rock carvings here were impressive too, with many including elephants and people carved into the rock faces, some repeated dozens of times over. After a well-earned ice lolly, we came back to the hotel for a dip in the pool and lunch, before heading out again this afternoon.
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  • Day184

    Last Cambodian temple visit

    March 9, 2017 in Cambodia

    On Thursday afternoon we went out in a tuk-tuk to visit one of the further out temples, Banteay Srei. Although this site was smaller than the others we have visited, it was more colourful (with stone shades of pink, yellow and grey) and ornately and intricately carved than the other sites we've visited. It has been good to see the differences between the different temple sites around Siem Reap. Although we haven't seen all of them, we feel like we've done enough to get a good flavour of the area, without feeling too "templed out".

    On the way to Banteay Srei we went to a butterfly centre and had an informative tour, seeing many different types of colourful butterflies and caterpillars. We also got to see some chrysalis, a little frog and some giant stick insects (plus more mosquitoes than we would have liked). Banteay Srei is about 40km out of Siem Reap and it was also good to see a bit more of rural life on the way out to this area. However, as I'm sure anyone who has ridden in a tuk-tuk will understand, it was a bone-shakingly bumpy ride - we had to hold on to Solana a few times...and we wished we had selected our most rubust bras for this particular journey!
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  • Day182

    Ta Prohm & around

    March 7, 2017 in Cambodia

    Today we went to Ta Prohm - also known as "Tomb Raider" temple, as this is where they filmed it. It was very different to the temples we saw yesterday, with much of it still in ruins and still undergoing restoration. They are working against the clock, as the trees and roots grow through the temple stonework and the jungle tries to reclaim the land. On the one hand, it is a real shame to see the already precarious structures being damaged further but on the other hand it has a strange beauty about the place. We all really enjoyed exploring the ramshackle temples and, if it weren't for the dozens of other people milling around, we could easily have believed we had just discovered them! The first 3 photos here are from Ta Prohm.

    Afterwards we went to the nearby temple complex of Banteay Kdei (photo #4). This was a better preserved site than Ta Prohm but not as well preserved as Angkor Wat or Angkor Thom that we saw yesterday. It had great long corridors of doorways, that you can see all the way through. It also has high vaulted towers between the corridors and many of these were homes to colonies of bats - which we could both smell and see! We also loved all the many brightly coloured butterflies we saw fluttering around at this site - we must have seen at least 6 different species just during one 10-minute rest stop. Slightly less welcome wildlife were the ants - we were reading an info sign and didn't notice until too late than Solana had stood in an ants nest - they were all over her foot and she got bitten several times, bless her. After much screaming, lots of cold water and a carry back to our tuk-tuk, she was OK....

    We managed to see Sras Srang (photo #5), the royal bathing pool (more like a large lake!), before we headed back to town. Cambodia seems to be a big fan of hammocks, in the same vein as Costa Rica. It is interesting because we didn't see any hammocks at all in Vietnam, until we reached the Mekong area where they started to make an appearance, but here they seem much more popular. Whereas in Costa Rica there were plenty of hammocks for the tourists (as you saw from our photos), here they seem to be reserved for the locals - many of whom appear to be quite fond of a siesta! The last photo shows Solana with Sing, our tuk-tuk driver for the past 2 days - she is quite taken with him and keeps asking us where he is.

    Finally, for those of you who were wondering, I have now seen my cherry tree in blossom to remind me of Springtime at home - thanks to Gemma for the photo of our garden. You can all sleep soundly in your beds tonight now!
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  • Day36

    Angkor What?

    August 19, 2015 in Cambodia

    Afgelopen week in het nieuws: Lonely Planet (van de reisboeken) heeft in een top 500 lijst Angkor Wat verkozen tot nummer 1 must see van de hele wereld. Laten wij net op dit moment bij deze schitterende tempels zijn!

    We besluiten om de klassieke route te doen: dag 1: The Grand Circuit (de buitenliggende tempels) en op dag 2 the Small Circuit (Angkor Wat zelf + de tempels in en rond Angkor Thom (de oude stad). In het hostel komen we Luciano uit Italië tegen die ook deze plannen heeft en we besluiten om samen de tempels te ontdekken en de kosten van een TukTuk te delen.

    Mike is niet zo'n tempel fan, maar toch, dé Angkor Wat tempel te zien tijdens zonsopkomst is indrukwekkend, zie ook de foto's. We beginnen met een paar rustige kleine tempels om een beetje in te komen, waarna we doorgaan naar de Preah Khan, deze tempel is grotendeels een ruïne, en wat is er nu leuker dan klimmen en klauteren over de stenen? De bomen houden ook van de tempels en zijn hier ook helemaal mee vergroeid, zie foto.

    Dag 2, the BIG day! Alle hoogtepunten: Angkor Wat, Bayon (met de gezichten) en Ta Prohm (bekend van de Tomb Raider film met Angelina Jolie) staan op het programma. Anika vind de Bayon een mooie tempel, terwijl Mike deze alleen van een afstandje mooi vind. Mike is een groot fan van Angelina en vind de Ta Prohm het mooist, deze ligt midden in de jungle en is helemaal overwoekerd. Vandaag de dag hebben ze de meeste jungle weggehaald, maar een paar grote bomen mogen blijven staan, deze zorgen ook voor versteviging van de tempels.
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  • Day42

    Grote schoonmaak a.k.a. Beeeestjes

    August 25, 2015 in Cambodia

    Allemaal beestjes, zoveel beestjes om me heen! Helaas zagen we onze beestjes niet omdat we een slok op hadden, maar was het de harde realiteit.

    De afgelopen anderhalve week in Cambodja zijn we in een ware veldslag beland met de befaamde ‘bed bugs’. In ons hostel in Phnom Penh hing een chemische geur en Anika werd de 1e nacht lek gestoken door een mug (meestal is Mike de sjaak, maar er viel geen mug te bekennen volgens hem). De volgende nacht hetzelfde verhaal, maar toen spotte Anika de bed bugs en heeft ze dit gemeld bij het hostel. Her personeel reageerde vrij laconiek (die zul je zelf wel meegebracht hebben), bood Anika 50% korting voor de nacht en ze zouden het de volgende dag schoonmaken. We werden behoorlijk nerveus over het ‘schoonmaken’ van het hostel en de volgende nacht weer hetzelfde recept.

    Achteraf gezien ontzettend stom van ons om niet meteen in paniek uit het hostel weg te rennen, maar we beseften de ernst van de bed bug nog niet helemaal. In ons nieuwe hostel in Siem Reap krioelde het weer van de beestjes, dus moesten wij ze wel meegenomen hebben. Verhuizen naar een nieuwe kamer, alle bagage schoongemaakt, kleding naar een professionele laundry en het resultaat weer bed bugs in onze nieuwe kamer, grrr! Toen hebben we gisteren aan de noodrem getrokken en al ons ‘hebben en houden’ bij de meest professionele laundry toko in de stad gedropt en gevraagd om alles te wassen (met heet water in een wasmachine) en te drogen (in een machine) dat daar maar geschikt voor is. In onze geleende kleren van de wasserette al onze andere spullen in een zak meegenomen en dit stuk voor stuk (tot op het niveau van individuele tandenstokers) met kokend/heet water gewassen. Beiden hadden we nog nooit zo goed schoongemaakt, maar de beten over onze hele lichamen (soort van muggenbulten, maar dan veel meer en erger), gebroken nachten van de irritatie en van hoe in godsnaam van dit probleem af te komen, liet ons geen andere optie. Alles is nu door de mangel gehaald en spullen die we niet per se nodig hebben, zoals lonely planets etc, hebben we allemaal weggegooid. Bij de laundry toko moesten we per kilo betalen en dat was dus $70, maar dit vond Mike te gortig en weigerde te betalen. Dit leverde een hoop entertainment op voor de tientallen personeelsleden op de werkvloer en de nodige frustratie bij de manager. Maar Mike vond het niet meer waard dan $50 dus dit werd dan ook de prijs. Het is natuurlijk een gigantisch werk wat ze geleverd hebben en alles is weer zo goed als nieuw (backpack, daypack, schoenen, etc.), maar het is lastig te verkroppen dat je voor iets waar je niets aan kunt doen net zoveel moet betalen als een hele week accomodatie. We zijn dus weer een weekje eerder terug :) Hopelijk kunnen we dit achter ons laten, maar dat zal de tijd uitwijzen! Mochten er onverhoopt ergens eitjes achtergebleven zijn dan begint de horrorstory all over again.
    Vandaag hebben we alles weer ingepakt, het platteland van Cambodja verkend op de fiets en een laatste tempel van de Ankor groep bezocht. Deze tempel was wat gewoontjes vegeleken met wat we al gezien hadden, maar de ligging op een heuvel was super zodat je een mooi uitzicht had over het Tonlé Sap Lake en rural Cambodja. Mike is ontzettend trots op zijn volle kaart die het bewijs vormt voor drie dagen tempelbezoek.

    Op naar onze onbewoond eiland experience op Koh Rong Samloem!
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  • Day9

    Endlich...

    November 18, 2017 in Cambodia

    Um 14;30 die Grenze überschritten. Wer gedacht hat, es gibt eine Mittagspause, wurde enttäuscht...wenigstens beherrscht unser neuer Guide die deutsche Sprache besser...mehr verständliche Infos und ein paar Scherze.
    Außerdem gab es ein Willkommensgeschenk: ein Khmer Tuch für jeden.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Phumĭ Siĕm Réab, Phumi Siem Reab

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