After being underwhelmed by Phnom Penh, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Siem Reap. However, my initial impression of Cambodia was completely turned around by Siem Reap- I absolutely loved it.
We arrived quite early in the morning after getting the night bus from Phnom Penh and went straight to the temples of Angkor. I have written a separate post about this- as I felt I would not do the place justice with a small mention!
I really liked that there was something for everyone to do on the evenings. There was a night market which was really good! You could find t shirts, vests, elephant pants, hats, hammocks, basically anything you can think of! I got 2 small paintings which were $15 for both after a bit of bartering.
There are also lots of massage stalls at the nightmarket. One night we got a fish massage- one of the weirdest sensations ever- followed by a foot massage.
There was pub street which is full of bars and small stalls selling cheap cocktails and blasting music to try and drain the music out from the next stall along- which would literally be 2 metres away!
There are quite a few things other than the temples to explore in Siem Reap. We also went to the war museum, where there were loads of tanks, weapons and armour from different battles in the region. I was quite lucky with Owen having been in the army, was like I had my own personal guide! There are however guides there who are free of charge, but will probably expect some kind of tip. We overheard one of them talking and actually regretted not getting a guide, as he had fought and seemed to have some interesting stories to tell.
We also did an escape room, which obviously isn’t a Cambodian thing or anything but was really good fun! We did a prison break themed one and just managed to make it out of the room in time! Was quite difficult but they give you up to 4 clues if you need them.
For those who like to try more active things we went to Angkor fight club to do some kick boxing- the Khmer version of Muay Thai. This was really good fun- we did 2 classes on consecutive days. Was great for all levels- Owen had done quite a lot of Muay Thai in Thailand and I have done a little boxing but never any kick boxing. It was really good fun- definitely recommend this place as the coaches were really friendly and tailored the classes to meet everyone’s needs.
On our last day in Siem Reap a tuk tuk driving called Richard took us to see the floating village of Khampong Phluk. This place was amazing- so interesting to see how people live in these floating villages. We also stopped at a floating restaurant and had lunch- where Owen ate crocodile! I was boring and just had chicken but did try some of the crocodile and it was really chewy!
After this the tuk tuk driver invited us back to his house for more food! We went to a market to buy meat, where we literally waited for a freshly killed duck to be delivered! It still had the claws on and everything!
It was actually really nice to be invited into a house of a native and see how they live. I have found Cambodian people to be so friendly! We ate lok lak beef, a traditional Cambodian dish, which is Owens favourite- he’s eaten it almost every second day at least! We were also given a duck soup which still had the claws intact! I just had the soup- no meat!! And then we had duck grilled on the BBQ.