My 9 days Thailand solo travel ended while my travel continues to Siem Reap, Cambodia for another Temple Run. I booked a flight from Phuket to Siem Reap for Php 1600.00
First of all, upon arrival in the airport, taxis and tuktuk are available just outside the terminal for your transfer to the town center. Taxi desk is located after customs. The rate is standardized for taxi, Php315. For tuktuk in contrast, you can still haggle a little Php180-270. If you are solo travel with light luggage, you can also try the motorcyle for only Php100. A group of more than 4 can take van for Php450. (Update: Day trip transfers from airport to downtown increased, Apr2017, Van 15USD, Car 10USD, Tuktuk and Motorcyle 9USD)
I booked a double room with twin bed since this time i will be traveling with my brother who arrived in Siem Reap 1 night ahead of me. I got the room at Boutique Cambo Hotel for only Php850.00 per night. The room was spacious and clean and even more the hotel also have a small swimming pool to chill at night after your day tours.
Day 1 Arrival and Pub Street
Everyone who visits Siem Reap should visit the Pub Street. From your hotel, you can ride a tuktuk or walk going to Pub Street. A tuktuk ride will only cost you Php90. Pub Street is a great place to shop, dine or unwind. Take a seat in one of the bars around the street and grab some beer and most noteworthy draft beer is only 0.50USD (Php 22.00)
Day 2 Temple Run
If you arrived in Siem Reap and still do not have itinerary or tours, you can ask the taxi or tuktuk driver if they offer a day trip rental although certainly that they will offer you their service even before you ask. Luckily, the driver that I got was a former authorized tour guide of Siem Reap. He offered 50USD (Php 2250.00) for Angkor Archeological Park with the tour guide himself and sunrise viewing. It was almost 50% lower than the person i was emailing before our trip. The average car rental in Siem Reap for a day tour in Angkor Wat Complex is Php1350, but it does not include a tour guide and entrance fee to the complex.
Angkor Wat Sunrise
You have to wake up early to catch the sunrise in Angkor Wat, most tour operators pick up their guest between 4:30-5:00am. Before proceeding into the complex, one should also secure a pass. A one day pass cost 20USD (Php900.00). You should be physically there in the counter as they will take a picture of you to be printed in your day pass.
When you arrive in the complex, find your best spot to capture the sunrise.
Our driver slash tour guide is very knowledgeable about the Angkor Wat – he gave us a lot of information about when, why and how the complex was built. Initially Angkor Wat was constructed as a Hindu temple for the Khmer Empire but later on converted to a Buddhist temple. Some of the artifacts of Hindu gods are still present in the temple.
Going around the temples will make you wonder how artistic the Khmer people and even more wonder how they were able to lift those big boulders of rocks and carve it to achieved those wall signs or arts.
Angkor Archeological Park is not only about Angkor Wat, there are other big temples around the complex. Our driver guide brings us to Angkor Thom where the Bayon Temple is located. Bayon temple is know for its multiple smiling stone faces.
Another temple that is well known temple inside the complex is the Ta Prohm whic is use as one of the location shoot of Angelina Joli’s Tomb Raider.
Another reason why this temple is known for the visitors is its photogenic combination of ruins and jungle as the big roots of trees engulf its walls.
Below are other shots of temples in the park
Our Angkor Wat experience ended by 3pm, you also have the option to watch sunset. Your driver will just pick you up again in your hotel if you decided to catch the sunset.
- if you start from either Thailand or Vietnam, Siem Reap is accessible by land travel.
- Use overnight bus- most are reclined seat and some are totally flat for more comfortable sleep.
- US Dollar is widely acceptable
- Visit Pub Street – beers are super cheap.
- If you are solo traveler, Angkor wat tour with guides and transport will cost around php2000-2500, so if you can find other solo traveler you can split the cost.
- You can go around Siem Reap using tuk tuk, 1usd is the usual charge for tourist.
- Accommodations are cheap – a good souble/twin room will only cost php600-800. Solo traveler can take cheaper dorm type hostel
- Having a guide in temple tour is recommended for you to better explore the complex
- Beware of buying silver accessories – we got scammed, silver are just coatings.
- 2days is enough to visit Angkor Wat.
- You can make a stop over in Phnom Penh if you are traveling to/from Saigon
Expense Report (2 persons)
I don’t usually include air ticket in my expense report as this usually varied – you might be lucky that you can grab a seat sale from Manila or your trip starts from Thailand like I did.
|Accommodation, 3nights twin room||Php 2550.00|
|Taxi to Hotel||Php 315.00|
|Food and drinks per person- 2days||Php 750.00|
|Transpo going around (tuktuk) for 2 days||Php 500.00|
|Driver Guide to Angkor||Php 2250.00|
|Entrance Fee to Angkor Archeological Park||Php 1800.00|
Our total Expenses = Php8915.00
If you are a group of three to four, your individual expenses will be lesser you can have savings on accommodation and driver/tourguide since you can split these into 3 or 4. As I said earlier, my brother came early so we need 3 nights stay, however, 2 nights is enough to tour Siem Reap. You accommodation can only be around Php600.00 per person (Agoda rates) if your in a group or even solo.
And for a solo traveler, a group tour in Angkor Wat is around Php 2300.00 including the entrance fee to the temple (Angkor Wat Tour).
Considering above savings, you can tour around Siem Reap for 3days and 2 nights for only Php4500.00
“Traveling. It leaves you SPEECHLESS, then turns you into a STORYTELLER” – Ibn Battuta