Cambodia, officially named The Kingdom of Cambodia, is located in Indochina and is the only country in Southeast Asia that has a dominant budistic religion. It’s a country with a cruel past and the land of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, which attracts a lot of tourists. Our visit to Cambodia was very time limited; consequently we only saw the surroundings of Siem Reap. Nevertheless, we immediately fell in love with this Asian country. We truly hope that we will return to it as soon as soon as possible and spend some more time here. In a very short period of time we managed to see a lot of sights, which lead to a lot of logistical preparations, what we’re going to see, in which order and at what time, to avoid the numerous tourist crowds, which is really hard in Angkor Wat. Although we could spend 2 full days in Angkor Wat, we didn’t do so. To our already filled up schedule, we added the fishing villages by the Tonle Sap River, the lake Tonle Sap and the visit to the silk factory.
The decision to visit Cambodia before Vietnam came a bit later. That’s why we first flew from Europe via Qatar to Vietnam and then the very same day from Hanoi to Siem Reap, with Vietjet. After three days, we flew from Siem Reap to South Vietnam’s city of Ho Chi Minh, with Vietnam Airlines. At the arrival in Cambodia we exchanged some money to rials at the airport. Everywhere you can also pay with American dollars, which are a bit more desirable.
First sight at Cambodia
To enter Cambodia, we need a visa. We can arrange it at the arrival in the country or over the portal e-visa. Because we wanted a carefree trip as possible, we arranged our visa over the web page https://www.evisa.gov.kh/, where you receive your enter permit in 3 working days. We have chosen the one month tourist visa, with single entry type. For this type of visa we paid 36$, at registration we needed a personal image and the image of our passport (page with your image and birth info).When applying over e-visa, you have to be careful of your planned entry location, because you can’t enter everywhere to Cambodia with your e-visa approval. You can find more details about these locations on https://www.evisa.gov.kh/information/port_entry/3.
I booked the room some months before, thru Booking. We were impressed by the Cambana Residence accommodation. The four star hotel in Siem Riep fulfilled all our expectations, because we could arrange all our trips at the reception desk, meaning that we didn’t need to waste additional time, while staying in Cambodia. The hotel driver drove us all around and took a really good care that we got all the great images of Cambodia in our photo lenses.
We arranged our transport from the airport and back, thru the hotel. We also highbred a tuk tuk driver thru the hotel and he was driving us around, for 2 days, literally from dawn till dusk. While we were on sightseeing, he was waiting for us to come back, sleeping in his net, hung from one side of the tuk tuk to another. Because we had so little time, we didn’t think about other transport options, but we saw quite a few tired travelers, which were cycling their rental bikes from temple to temple. In Cambodia there is a common rule, you should not walk away from any clear and marked path, since there are still a lot of landmines all over the country.
Our tuk tuk driver
We had our breakfast at the hotel. Available was, a classic English breakfast, various soups and fresh fruits. Generally the food here was quite similar to other Asian countries and there’s a lot of street food on the go. From all the fresh fruits we ate a lot of mango and for lunch, dinner we usually decided for vegetables or seafood with rice. We also tried two brands of Cambodian beer, Cambodio and Angkor.
Delicious diner in Siem Reap
1.day Hanoi (Vietnam)- Siem Reap
We started our trip to Cambodia in Budapest, from where we flew to Qatar and then to Vietnam. In Hanoi we had to wait for quite some hours until the flight to Siem Reap, but they passed very quickly. When we arrived at Siam reap, we just only wanted to get to our hotel, Cambana Residence, as quick as possible. We were exhausted from the whole trip and the time difference.
2.day Tonle Sap, Angkor Wat
We started to explore Cambodia already early in the morning. We drove to the biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, the lake Tonle Sap. There we got on a boat which drove us between the houses, built on high poles, exposed due to the low water level, which is quite common for this part of the year. Local life experience, check. Later on, we went for a short paddle boat trip between the mangroves. We have spent the afternoon in Angkor Wat, where we explored the mighty structures until the sunset.
3.day Angkor Wat, silk factory
In total darkness we drove to Angkor Wat, where we, with among others, waited for a spectacular sunrise. After the sunrise we rushed on, because we wanted to see the temples alone, without thousands of tourists. After we visited almost all of the temples, our driver took us to the silk factory just a few miles away from Angkor Wat. We finished the day in Angkor Thom, where we explored the famous temple of Bayon.
4.day Siem Reap- Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
It was time to move to Vietnam, to where we flew with Vietnam Airlines. Our first destination was the biggest city of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon.
Lake Tonle Sap