Cambodia has become a pretty popular tourist destination for its history, culture, people, beaches and cheap entertainment. You read and hear a lot about Cambodia through different travel guides and blogs. I spent a week in Cambodia last spring to check this all out. I started my journey in the northern city of Siem Reap. I spent a good bit of time there so I am making this a two part series post.
After arriving in Siem Reap at night, I could see the city buzzing with commotion and noticed a lot of other tourists there. The motorbikes whiz by you, but it’s not as bad as cities in Vietnam. The motorbikes there are pretty crazy! I stayed at the Lub D Siem Reap Hostel, which was an excellent hostel to stay. A very reasonably priced, much cheaper option that is good for a solo traveler. Guying Around highly recommends!
My first full day I had planned to check out Angkor Wat, one of the worlds largest temple complexes. My featured pictured above is seeing the sunrise over the temples, which is one of the touristy things to do. I obviously did that along with the 2000 other Chinese tourists. I visited during Chinese New Year, so most places during my time in Cambodia seemed more Chinese than Cambodian.
I would recommend checking out Angkor Wat at sunrise one day during your visit, depending on what time of the year you go. I do advise you that you need to prepare to wake up around 4:30 am to get to the complex in time for the sunrise from Siem Reap. You should also book your transportation to the complex the day before to make sure you can arrive on time.
Personally, for me, Angkor Wat was a massive confusing complex of temples that I really knew nothing about. I spent a few hours wandering around, seeing some cool temples that were worth seeing but overall I am still on the fence about it. I respect and admire the sheer size of it all, but you don’t need to spend a lot of time there if temples don’t interest you. It was a beautiful day when I went, I wouldn’t want to visit in the summer months. Way too hot for me!
After I returned to my hostel, I wanted to get a massage. When traveling in South East Asia, massage places are plentiful and cheap. In some cities there and blind masseuses that are trained to provide massages. I had heard about these from a friend, so I figured I should give one a try. I set out on foot looking for the first blind massage place I could find.
I stumbled upon Seeing Hands Massage which was one of the best massages that I have received. I mean it was also $6 USD, which you could never find anywhere else in the world. The masseuse I had was working there for the last 10 years and came from a small village outside of Siem Reap. He had his niece take care of the payment, she was his little secretary. I had to give him a tip because of how cheap it was. One hour long body massage from a blind person down a dusty side road that looked extremely shady. Now that is Guying Around!
I hope this post gives you some suggestions and inspiration to check out Cambodia and its national treasures. I want to visit again someday before the secret really gets out. Be on the lookout for Part 2 of Siem Reap next week. I do not think that post will disappoint you, I will talk about more fun you can have there.