четвер, 19 вересня 2013 р.

Cambodia

Actually, I've been back in Kyiv for two month now, and I don't know for how long yet. But I still have ton of travel pictures to show you. So today I'm telling you about my trip to Cambodia, so in this post you'll find lots of pictures of Siem Reap and some of my travel tips about visiting Cambodia.

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Siem Reap is the second biggest city in Cambodia (after the capital, Phnom Penh). It's name means "flat defeat of Siam", which is kinda ironic, because these days Siam is called Thailand and it provides a constant flow of tourists into Cambodia.


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Getting to Siem Reap is really easy since January/February 2013, because there's a direct bus from Bangkok's Northern bus terminal (Mo Chit station) to Siem Reap's city center. I recommend to buy tickets three or two days ahead. Also be careful of the visa scheme that's going on on those buses. Either make a Cambodian visa online, or wait till Cambodian border. Don't listen to the driver, who'll stop before Thai border by some immigration office and will tell you that this is where you suppose to make your visa. It's not true, they just charge you twice as much as you're suppose to pay. The right way to avoid those schemes is to wait till Thai border, pass it, then go onto Cambodian side and apply for visa in an immigration window. You also have to remember that they have no right to ask you for more money then it says on the poster above the window. If it says that you have to pay 20 USD for a tourist visa, don't listen to the officers who'll tell you to give them 100 TBH more. They are asking for a bribe, and we shouldn't encourage it. Just tell they that you have no TBH and that the right price is on the poster. They'll give up after a few tries.
After crossing the Cambodian border, you return to your bus and in two hours you'll be in Siem Reap, which is a really beautiful Khmer city with lots of French influence.

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Where to live:
- at numerous guesthouses and hotels in the city center. I stayed at place called Boomerang Guesthouse, but it was very basic and cheap - I got caught in the torrent rain and just wanted to take a shower and change clothes. But there are lots and lots of places to stay.

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What to do:
- walk around the city,
- shop in the nice small shops around the Old Market,
- try fish massage in the evening. You can find a place where you'll get 15 minutes massage and a complimentary bottle of water or beer.

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Where to shop:
Night market - opens up in the evening. You won't miss it - there are huge neon signs everywhere. Prepare to be attacked by sellers who are going to ask you to "buy something" and to bargain for everything. Don't pay more then 2 USD for a t-shirt. If one of the sellers are not happy with the price you're offering, there's always at least ten others who'll agree.
Old market - historical areal of the city, opened the whole day. Best place to buy Cambodian silk. The rules are the same - bargain and be prepared to walk away.

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Art salons in the Old French Quarter

Where to eat:
Blue Pumpkin - a great coffee shop chain with delicious fruit shakes, coffee, sandwiches and pies. 
Vitking House - a really nice vegetarian place. It's on the opposite side of the river and you'll have to walk a little to get there, but their food is amazing. I especially recommend mushroom burgers and pineapple-mango shakes.
- there are also tons of Khmer restaurants, but I've never been to any. One of my friends, who spent a few weeks in Cambodia, really loved Khmer cooking.

IMG_6219 Vitking House restaurant

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Siem Reap River

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What to see:
Angkor Wat! It's the biggest tourist attraction of Cambodia and one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. Hire a tuk-tuk driver for 10 dollars to drive you around the temples. But never pay ahead, no matter how much he's going to ask for some money for gas.
Old French Quarter - a beautiful colonial part of the city. The best place to go for a walk or to spend some time in a shade of gorgeous buildings, drinking cold juice or fruit shakes.

Untitled My Angkor Wat ticket  - they put your picture on it.

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IMG_6148 The main temple

Untitled2Sneaky monkeys that were trying to steal fruit from a food cart

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Red clay - for some reason I decided to visit Cambodia during monsoon season
What to buy:
- some great Cambodian coffee - it's sold in every minimarket in the city for about 5 USD.
- Angkor Recycling accessories - they are making bags, wallets, clutches and covers from recycled cement bags.
- cute t-shirts and bracelets on the markets.

I know that when I'm back in Cambodia, I'll spend some more time in Siem Reap before going to Phnom Penh.

1 коментар:

  1. Amazing post, I think your travel tips are really useful and money-saving! I'd love to go to Cambodia. Also, great photos. This vegetarian restaurant you mention looks soo pretty!

    http://evamilano.blogspot.co.uk/

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