Cambodia in my mind has long been synonymous with lush jungles and orange robed monks moving mysteriously through ancient temples.
I've dreamt of visiting long before travel seemed like a possibility for me.
With just fifty five hours to explore the city of Siem Reap, I wanted to cram every moment full of memories and excitement.
Although my goal was to experience as much of Siem Reap as possible, I also wanted the trip to have a measure of flexibility to do whatever I wanted or in some cases didn't want.
I arrived in the city mid afternoon. My Airbnb host was awesome and had a tuk-tuk waiting for me at the airport. It's great when I don't have to worry about finding my way around a new city, takes a lot of the anxiety away.
Once I got to the Airbnb, I freshened up and then it was off to see what the city had to offer.
After grabbing a rather forgettable and over priced lunch, my first stop was to buy a one day pass for the temples.
If you purchase the ticket after 3 pm you can use it that same evening to see a temple of your choice for a sunset viewing and it's valid for the next full day.
My driver took me to Phnom Bakheng, which was the optimal choice because it's a 25 minutes trek uphill to get to the actual temple. It's best to do this temple after then sun has gone down because the humidity and heat can be intolerable. Once there though, the view is stunning and it's worth it.
After my visit to the temple, I went to see the Cambodia Circus (no animals involved) called Phare. It was a stunning display of human strength and flexibility. Lots of acrobatics and amazing skill. I was thrilled to be able to experience it.
|met one of the actors in the show|
My second day was spent traversing the Angkor area and seeing the temples. Despite the intense heat and humidity, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. To walk amid ruins that have been around since 9th century AD is indescribable.
There were moments when I was alone in the temples and I felt like I was in a different time.
Look at the details of the faces carved into the temple walls.
It was surreal to finally see Angkor Wat in real life after seeing it in so many pictures. And the best part of the experience was seeing the monks offering blessings to visitors.
|Monk giving a blessing in Angkor Wat|
|Ta Prohm where Tomb Raiders was filmed|
I definitely left a little piece of my heart in Siem Reap. It feels amazing to finally be able to check it off my bucket list.