Siem Reap with me is a mystical city with many old buildings. Because they import electricity from Thailand, many restaurants and cafes there cut the light and use candles at night instead to save the cost. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things to do in Siem Reap at night. Moreover, it makes the city more mystical and beautiful when the night comes.
Another interested thing, houses and buildings at city can’t be built over 5 floors following the rule because it’ll be higher than the temples.
And this is the list of places to visit in Siem Reap in my third day..
1. Phnom Bakheng
The ancient constructions and temples are located in the Angkor area. To get into, you have to buy a ticket which is like your ID to go all of those places. The price of tickets will be depended on how many day you want to go there. After breakfast, I visited the first place Phnom Bakheng. This temple’s located highly in a hill so it will take your time and energy to walk to. (It used to have elephants to take us there but now I don’t see one 😕).
Phnom Bakheng is currently on maintenance so there are many spots that I can get to for taking picture 😞
2. Angkor Thom
The second construction I visit in the area is Angkor Thom, a unique place that famous with Bayon. Before getting to the temple, I have to switch to a smaller carrier because the gate is only fit with an elephant-size (the constructions were implemented with helping of elephants). Along the bridge, there are two sides of gods which represent the fight of good and bad in the past.
Bayon is placed right at the central of Angkor Thom. The temple is very famous with 54 4-faces Buddha which add up to 216 smiling faces. Because all the 4 sides of Bayon are quite similar, you should take care and remember the way to enter and out.
3. Ta Phrom
The third place I visited in the area is Ta Phrom, Siem Reap. This place is well-known with many large, old trees and also a place that used to be in film ‘Tomb Raider’.
You can easily find many images of this dancer around Angkor of Siem Reap. It’s Apsara, a very beautiful spirit that represent for the Champa female. Furthermore, she is super in dancing. Many visitors touch the statue and wish to be more beautiful, that’s why you can see some statues at the temples are quite glossy.
4. Tonlé Sap – the Great Lake of Siem Reap
I’ve gone to Tonlé Sap after Ta Phrom, it’s a super big lake that you can’t see the lake shore and looked like a sea so many people call it the Great Lake. At first, it wasn’t a destination in my tour. However, I have decided to go there after hearing the story told by the tour guide.
It’s about the life of the locals at the lake in the past and current:
‘From 1975 to 1978, there was a war between Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Democratic Kampuchea. A lot of Vietnamese people had been killed under the policy of Khmer Rouge. Many people had to run away and find a place to hide and they have chosen the Great Lake. It was not only because the lake is very large but also there are forests around so it would be hard to find them.
Furthermore, from June, the water level in the lake increases significantly up to 9 meter so it’s ideal for fishes breeding. As a result, it’s ideal for fishing. Time pass, those people became more familiar with the lake, and they cannot get used to the modern world outside. Hence, they live there for generations, depend on catching fish, then sell in the market. That means their lives are quite difficult‘.
As a result, many tours when going to Siem Reap, the tour guide usually introduce this place and ask visitors if they want to go there and do charity. My tour guide also told me a story that one time he had met:
‘It was the time that he had taken a group to go there for charity. That group made a tank of mixed water and soap for kids to wash their hands after playing around and to eat. But then one kid was thirsty and drank that water because he thought it was find’.
They are living poor that they don’t know anything. Here are some pictures I took at that lake:
At the lake, they live in boat houses above the water, or make some temporary houses by wood piles. People will move the houses based on the water level in the month.
These are the kids living on the lake. They always ask visitors for money, or anything they can have. It’s what they do daily. I asked them to take some pictures, they had made ‘V’ with their fingers for style. When I gave some candies to the girl in red, she said “I had candies, can you give it to that boy? (she pointed to the boy in the right picture). Then I asked the boy to take him a picture, he said “I let you take my picture, do you have candies for me?”.
5. Angkor Wat – the Capital Temple
After visiting Tonlé Sap, my last destination is Angkor Wat. It’s the largest construction in the Angkor area. Angkor Wat was built by a Khmer King firstly for Hindu religion, but now it’s for Buddhism. In Khmer, Angkor Wat means ‘Capital Temple’. Therefore, it is chosen to be the symbol of Cambodia and appeared in the flag of this country.
It’s approximate 21 kilometers for a round Angkor area. Therefore, if you are tired of going around Angkor, you may want to have a foot or body massage. It is not hard to find massage stores in the night market at Siem Reap. Furthermore, there are many pubs and bars at the night market, even a pub road, if you want to leave the ancient environment behind and enjoy a modern world in Siem Reap.
The ancient Siem Reap has ended my 3 days trip to the land Cambodia. If you are looking for a longer itinerary to plan your trip, you may want to check this 2-4 weeks Cambodia itinerary.
This article is now available online on GPSMyCity. Free download here to read offline and use it as a tour guide. Or upgrade with a small fee for a planned trip with destinations showed as written in the article.
IF YOU LOVE THE STORIES OF THE ANCIENT SIEM REAP, ‘PIN IT’ NOW!