Siem Reap and Angor Wat

By Ali Karim
This post is part of a series called Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam July 2012
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Siem Reap and Angor Wat

We arrived and got dropped off at the bus station in Siem Reap; which it appeared was on the outskirts of the actual city of Siem Reap. While unloading, we were approached by several people offering to take us into the city of Siem Reap in their ‘extended tuk-tuks”; and would arrange for us to visit Angor Wat and show us around the area. After some negotiating, we picked a nice young man who spoke decent English to be our driver/guide. He took us to our small boutique hotel in Siem Reap, the Villa Medamrei.

Nice small & comfortable hotel, less than $30 per room per night including breakfast. The city has literally hundreds of very nice and grand hotels, built for the tourist trade. Accompanying these hotels were lots of markets (day, night) selling clothing, jewelry, and knock off brand name products etc. Massage parlors (not the seedy kind for those men with their minds in the gutters) were abundant also. Fully body massages or Foot massages were $4 per hour. Needless, we had massages daily. (In Bangkok, we paid $8-10 for an hour of massage). The massages were actually very good. Highly recommended.

Take messages in this part of the country its really good

Cambodian food includes pancakes (with pineapples inside), eggs, for breakfast; and Amok, Green Curry, Loklok and Papaya salad for meals. We found the Cambodian food to not be as tasty as Thai food (not as spicy). However, the Papaya salad and the Amok curries (cooked with fish; served inside a coconut shell) were actually quite good.

Seafood and Coconuts were abundant. Food was relatively inexpensive costing about $3 per dish. So 2 people could eat, with beer, for less than $10. Fresh fruit was abundant and available everywhere. The market (Old market) we found was excellent, with vegetables, fruits, fish, and seafood/meats stalls surrounded by clothing and jewelry stores. Everything in one place.

Intruding on a colorful Gecho

Yummy ice cream

Lots of beauty

Outside our hotel in the Tuk-tuk

Outside our hotel

Cute kid

Angkor Wat is about 6kms north of the city of Siem Reap, and the general area of Angkor Thom is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Angkor Thom used to be the old capital of Cambodia. The ruins of Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples (Bayon Baphuon, Phimeanakas etc) are all temples made for Hindu gods (Vishnu, Shiva) worship originally, though some were specifically built for Buddhism worship.

Most of the Hindu temples got converted to Buddhist temples later on. The temples were all built by the Khmer kings from 9th to 12th century AD (the people of Cambodia are called the Khmer, and speak the Khmer language). The temples were all built on large land areas, where temples, houses and other facilities coincided. Only the temples were built with stones and hence have survived till today. All housing etc (including the kings palaces) were built of wood, and so are all lost.

So after breakfast the next day, we drove off to Angor Wat. The temple complex’s are huge, especially Angkor Wat. All built of lava rock and sandstone, but magnificient structures. Lot of walking and climbing stairs. See pics.

Guarding the entrance to Angor Wat

Had to buy hats from these lovely ladies at the entrance, as it was sunny and hot

Hats on; the tour starts

Lots of stone carvings on all the walls

Lots of beauty

Beautiful carvings out of many rocks


War depictions

Lots of beauty

Lots of beauty

Working temples on the complex, for the faithful

Lots of stair climbing 

More Angor Wat, then traveling to Phnom Penh next.

This entry was posted in Asia, Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam July 2012

8 thoughts on “Siem Reap and Angor Wat

  • Shahira Karmali-Kassam August 3, 2023 at 9:26 pm Reply

    So many memories of Cambodia and Thailand from before we had kids. Angkor Watt is truly special – such a magnificent, spiritual place.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Ali Karim August 6, 2023 at 6:22 pm Reply

      So glad it brought back good memories for you Shahira.
      Appreicate the feedback

  • Pingback: Thailand to Cambodia - Ali Karim Travelog

  • Tijuana August 8, 2017 at 2:28 pm Reply

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is wonderful, let alone the content!

  • Keely May 9, 2017 at 8:21 pm Reply

    Thanks for writing about Siem Reap and Angor Wat – Ali Karim Travelog; I Loved it!

    • Ali Karim August 12, 2017 at 7:54 pm Reply

      Thanks Keely, so glad you enjoyed my Cambodia Siem Reap and Angor Wat journey

  • Gwen Hopper May 7, 2017 at 7:48 am Reply

    Stunning place. Thanks!

    • Ali Karim August 12, 2017 at 7:52 pm Reply

      Thanks Gwen

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