Thursday, August 09, 2007

Siam Reap

Lotus
(this is how lotuses are folded in Cambodia - really pretty)

Siam Reap is basically a temple town as it is home to the world famous Angkor Wat and over 20 ancient temples in the nearby reserved forest. 1/3 of the town is populated by foreigners and that has probably been the cause of why the place is so expensive.

While looking for an accomodation find a place near Pub street as it is the ideal place to shop, surf the net, get food or just laze around. We stayed at The Redpiano guesthouse which is midrange priced (usd18 above) but you can get lower priced places. I would recommened the place as its just a walking distance from pubstreet where the food is and the rooms are excellently decorated, new and clean and importantly (I so cannot do dirt cheap backpacking coz of this) nice clean bathrooms. You can get cheaper places but this was quite sufficient. The owners are also quite friendly.

You could get a copy of Lonely planet for more ideas. It was pretty convenient to use while we were there.

Though their curency is in reil they smartly use USD for all financial transactions. 1 usd = 4000 reil. USD 0.50 = 2000 reil

Food doesn’t come cheaper than USD 2 in 90 percent of the places. Though if you hit the stalls where the cambodians eat you can get it as cheap as 1000 reil. You really should try this laksa like stuff they sell on the streets. We tried ours outside Bantey Srei – the stall is just outside the temples. Really good food.

Even weird is how expensive drinks and water are. A cup of coffee can set you back as much as USD 2 though if you look around you can find coffee for USD 0.50 to 1. Coca-cola ranges between USD 0.50 to 1 as well. A 1.5 liter water bottle should cost USD 0.50 only though some places will try to overcharge you. Always check the prices before ordering.

Things you should do at the town centre is try the ice cream at The Blue Pumkin. The ice cream (and sherberts) is quite good but the ambiance is even better. It’s a different setting on each of its 3 levels and we just loved the bean bag chairs on the first floor so much the electricity had to get cut before we reluctantly left the place. Slightly pricey for ice cream but its worth it.

The best food we had at Cambodia was at this charming Vietnamese restaurant called Viroth on Wat Bo street. Beautiful ambiance in a serene outdoor setting where the food and place matches the price. Don’t miss this place when you’re there. (USD 3 above).

Next up comes the Khmer Kitchen that comes a real close number 2. Try their excellent Makohan Curry. The service is slightly slow but its worth the wait and get there before dinner time as the place is really famous and you will have to wait for a table. (USD 2 above).

Internet is about USD0.75 per half hour or cheaper in some places. There was this really fast connection near our guesthouse (red piano) in Siam Reap.

Read the previous posts on Cambodia below
You want photo? 1 Usd!
Siam Reap
Travelling in Siam Reap
Bayon
20th Century's Hell on Earth
Majestic Angkor
Temple circuit : Siam Reap

7 comments:

Coco Captive said...

Did u take that photo?? *gasp*
I soooo want to come to one of those temples!

Jeevan said...

This lotues is very strange visit and beautiful too. good info on Angkor Wat.

Coco Captive said...

And this photo is now my wallpaper.. with your permission.. :)

Art said...

the picture is mindblowing..

visithra said...

coco : i did ;) thanks dear ;) - hehehe yeah i know i was like that as well ;p - no prob on the photo ;)

jeevan : yep i know very unique - theres more coming

art : how r u? havent seen u around for sometime ;) thanks dear ;)

ashok said...

wah!

visithra said...

;)