After our nice stressful bus journey from Vietnam we arrived pretty late to Phnom phen so went straight to sleep at the hostel. When you arrive in Cambodia make sure you have dollars, as unlike Vietnam, you have to pay for the hostel upfront. We stayed at Billabong hostel which had a great pool, and location was fine. Dorm was nice and big with a huge en suite and big singles. Great nights sleep!
Next day we went to the killing fields about half an hour away, it was $6 entry and audio tour. I would definately say to get the audio tour, it was so informative. We didn’t know much about the genocide so was good way to learn. So, so sad but worth the visit. In the afternoon we went to the Palace but didn’t actually go in as it was $10 but it’s a really nice area to walk around the outside and you still get some good views.
That was about it for us in the capital city. So the next day we booked the bus to go to Siem Reap; $10. We stayed in Siem Reap Pub Hostel which was a nice little hostel with a decent pool, really good location right next to pub street and the night markets. Also right next door was a good place for food, it was cheap and the owner was lovely. The shop after was the cheapest in the area for laundry at $1 per kilo.
The main thing to do in Siem Reap is obviously Angkor Wat temples. There are 1000 altogether! There’s a couple different options for tickets, we just got the day one which was $37 (they have recently just doubled the ticket price and no one could answer why…one lady told us it’s owned by the Vietnamese Government (not sure how true this is or how that works). Anyway it’s still worth this crazy western price, you’re probably only there once in your life! The day was absolutely plenty for us, but if you’re a temple fanatic look into the 3 day or 1 week tickets as they become a lot cheaper per day if you do this.
So we woke up at 4am to catch the sun rise over the main temple; Angkor wat. This was really stunning, just try and ignore the thousands of other people! Also when you are walking in, looking directly at the temple we went to the left as that’s what someone advised, however, we would recommend going to the right, we feel you get a slightly better view. We then spent the day exploring the hundreds of other temples and came back to the moat around Angkor wat to watch the sun set.
In the evening we had a walk around the night markets. They are great and a fantastic place to buy cultural gifts. Bartering is a challenge to get on with at times and being very British it makes you squirm a bit. We’d recommend to start at just less than 1/2 of what they ask. The ones that thrive off ripping off their customers will wave you off, however the realistic ones will slowly come down. It’s probably best to aim for just over 1/2 to 3/5 of their original price.
The next day we flew to Bangkok 🙂