Siem Reap, the Ancient City

Last year, I’ve got the chance to visit one of the most ancient city in the world: Siem Reap, Cambodia. I went there for a business purpose and didn’t get much excited at first because Cambodia was never been in my wishlist when talking about travel destinations that I want to visit. However, after two and a half days spent there (mostly for business meetings and sneakingly made the most of the rest of time to go around the town), this city left such a great impression to me that I wouldn’t mind to go back there again someday!

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I departed on November 22, 2015. There is no direct flight from Jakarta to Siem Reap, thus I took a transit to Singapore before landing at Siem Reap International Airport. The airport is not that big and filled with mostly foreigners or tourists who came there for holiday. I didn’t spend much time at the airport, when I took the cab (a very cheap cab – only costs me $7) to the hotel which only took up to 15 minutes driving.

I stayed at Le Meridien Angkor, which is one among so many great hotels & resorts at Siem Reap. I love everything about this hotel, including its huge palm gardens and unique and well-styled swimming pool that reminds me of Taman Sari Yogyakarta.

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On the first day, I visited the Angkor Night Market with my colleagues. Nothing fancy at the Night Market, yet felt so special and fun because I went there with all of my new friends that I met just today. We blended in together as we looked around the market and bought some souvenirs which I think become the main commodity of this market. There are so many local art crafts, ceramics, statues, and women fashion. Although the national currency of Cambodia is Cambodian Real, but I suggested you to use US Dollar for any transaction since it is widely accepted there and is easier for you to exchange back the USD to your own currency instead of Cambodian Real. The market is located not too far from our hotel. We went there by ‘Tuk Tuk’ which is more like delman in Indonesia. Just nearby the market is Pub Street – which is the infamous street in Siem Reap which provide so many restaurants and pubs to hang out with friends.

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Since I came there for a business purpose, I didn’t manage to explore the city on the 2nd day since the schedule was quite tight. However, I managed to enjoy the surprisingly delicious Cambodian culinary for lunch and dinner. I didn’t expect the food there would be so good. Perhaps, it just matches with my taste. Luckily, on the 3rd day, there was an agenda to watch sunrise at Angkor Wat – the most charismatic and popular destination of Siem Reap which attracts many tourists from all over the world.

Angkor Wat is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast-Asia and even is one of Cambodian’s pride. This is a huge area consisting many temples and structures with amazing view. Of course, each of the temples has a story. I suggest you to have a local tour guide which can explain the story of the temples and make the tour more interesting!

We arrived super early in the morning to watch the sunrise exactly in front of the Angkor Wat. There is a huge lake which reflects the sunrise and become one of the most popular attraction for people to come to this place. I couldn’t believe that there was a tremendous amount of people who woke up super early to catch the amazing view like us!

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Hopefully I can come back to this city and explore more temples and places there!

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