Welcome to Siem Reap and one whole day of trekking the ancient temples that is Angkor Wat. I was so tired, I fell asleep with my contacts on. Thank God, I didn’t go blind when I woke up! This post deserves photos and captions without much blab, so enjoy!
10 Always bring a camera with you. There would always be something interesting in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
9 You can ACTUALLY pay in US Dollars, no need to change in Riel (Cambodian currency). It will also be pretty helpful if you have lose notes cos most of the products are sold at USD1. So paying is easier that way and you wouldn’t be worried if your change is a fake dollar. Not that there are a lot of fake notes, but it wouldn’t hurt to be sure.
8 Wear sneakers or some shoes that you are comfortable with. Going around Angkor is a real trek, so if you’re wearing your fanciest flats or leather shoes, prepare for blisters and snapped strappies. Or really if you want to break your shoes for an excuse to buy a new pair, be my guest!
7 Traveling on your own? It is highly encouraged you wear something decent, like no skimpy skirts, cut-offs and frilly tops. You are going to visit temples after all. If you’re with a group tour, a dresscode is enforced.
6 Try Cambodian food. No seriously, some of the basic meals of the city are not as exotic as you thought they would be like, but they are pretty delicious.
Chicken/Beef Loklak – Steam rice, plus meat sauteed in sweet/salty sauce, veggies (cucumber and tomatoes plus pepper and vinegar) and fried egg to top it all off
Fish Amok – steamed fish with coconut-based curry, tangy taste but good.
5 Visit the Angkor Night Market as well as their usual shopping destinations. Oh no, I am not just saying this because of my shopalcoholism, but cos they are REALLY affordable and you can bargain half the price!
4 Siem Reap people are warm and friendly, and can speak English. Big sigh of relief right there, I’m feeling. But wouldn’t it make you feel better if you at least know some useful phrases? I swear, they will like you better when you try to talk like they do. Big discounts await, dahling!
Hello – Sousady (soo-sa-day)
Thank you – Akun (ah-kuun)
How much – Teu nis thlay pun mann? (teu nee t’ha-lay pun mahn?)
Yes – Baat (male); Cha (female)
No – Otay (teh)
Expensive – Thaliy (t’ha-lay)
3 Ask your hotel/guesthouse receptionist about the Sunrise Trip to Angkor Wat. It’s beautiful. Waking up early gets to you, but it will be worth it. By the way, tuktuk/van for Sunrise Trip leaves at around 5AM, just in case you’re wondering. If you feel like spending more time in touring Angkor Wat, you can get the three-day pass, otherwise, get the one-day pass to catch a glimpse of the town.
2 Apply for VISA on Arrival for USA, Canada, Australia and EU countries; 30-day single entry for ASEAN countries.
1 Wherever you are in the world, be nice to everyone. Just remember, you are foreigner stepping into a foreign territory. We don’t own the place, we don’t live there. We are plain visitors and travelers. Respect goes a long looong way.
Got any more travel tips? Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Thanks!