Friday, 15 September 2017

5 Days 4 Nights in Siem Reap 2017

Angkor Wat Temple

Siem Reap City is located at northwest in Cambodia. It is a must visit when you travel to Cambodia. Angor Wat temple was built during the 12th century and it is the largest religious building in the world. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Siem Reap also has a lot of activities to do. Here are the recommendations of my recent trip.

Accommodation - Onederz Hostel Siem Reap ( 9USD per night)

4 Dorms

Group and Solo Tours

I stayed at Onederz Hostel Siem Reap which is next to Angkor Night Market. One night cost 9USD for 4 dorms. The room is clean and has your own personal locker to put your belonging. However, the locker unable to fit luggage.

Pros:
1. Rooms and common areas are clean and comfortable.

2. Each of the beds has its own reading light and electric socket.

3. Just a few minutes walk to Pub Street and the Riverside night market.

4. They have 2 swimming pools.

5. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are cheap and delicious. Breakfast only cost 2 USD. Lunch and dinner cost 2 USD onward.

6. The staffs are friendly and helpful. They always recommend popular activities and etc.


Cons:
1. There is no Breakfast.

2. You have to deposit 5 USD for the room and 5 USD for a towel.

3. The lockers only can fit a backpack.

Activities 


1. Angkor Wat Temple (with Tuk Tuk Service) - http://www.jointheridetour.com








Angkor Wat Temple is a must visit in Cambodia, Siem Reap. It is the largest religious monument in the world! 

Pros:

  • Gorgeous sunrise (Angkor Wat Temple) and sunset (Phnom Bakheng). 
  • Architecure of the Temples are totally WOW!
Cons:

  • Food and Drinks are expensive. *Bring your own food and drinks*
  • Avoid 12pm - 3pm. It's so HOT!
  • Entry fee too expensive! 37 USD - 1 Day?!?!?!
Tips:
  • Wear comfortable shoes - lot of walking and steep climbing
  • Get entry ticket before the day you visit. After 5pm - You get to see additional sunset in Angkor Wat Temple
  • Put sunscreen! The weather is killing!
  • Get a tour guide 
  • Be early for sunrise to avoid large crowd

2. Tonle Sap - Phluk floating village (18 USD per person)


Young Cambodian fishing

Selling notebook and pens 
Fishing nets
Tonle Sap - Floating restaurant

Tonle Sap - Largest freshwater in Southeast Asia

Tonle Sap- Beautiful sunset

I went on a tour to Tonle Sap - Phluk village arranged through the hostel. The package which included tour guide, bottle of water, entry fees, and two ways transportation to hostel. 

Pros:
  • Experience the local lives
  • Biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and beautiful sunset
  • Tour package included everything that you need. You don't need to spend anything in the village
  • Kids are very friendly

Cons:

  • Avoid dry season
  • A group of ladies will approach and asking to buy notebooks and pencils for the children
  • Slightly expensive for the tour
  • Avoid Buddhist Day - Not allow to fish

3. Siem Reap War Museum - Entry Fee 5 USD







The War Museum Cambodia is a great place to learn and understand during Khmer Rouge.

Pros:

  • Great history about Khmer Rouge rule and World War 2
  • Large collection of soviet tanks, artillery, AT-guns, and etc.
  • Free tour guide - Remember to give some tips
Cons:
  • Lot of mosquitos and flies






The Angkor Silk farm offers free guided tours of the process from the mulberry bushes cultivation to the production of silk fabrics and accessories. They will provide free shuttle bus from Artisans Angkor main site in Siem Reap to Angkor Silk farm. It is 20 mins away from Siem Reap downtown.

Please book the free shuttle bus in advance to avoid disappointment.


5. Visit Local Village - http://maxther.com/listing/half-day-cycling-off-beaten-track-of-siem-reap/





It is a great experience to get local insights into the process of making local handicrafts, their farming activities and local rice winery business.

More detail: https://travellersdiari.blogspot.sg/2017/07/travel-like-local-with-maxther.html


6. Old Market (Phsar Chas)





Phsar Chas is one of the oldest markets in Cambodia. You can buy fresh food, local snacks, and souvenirs over there. If you buying souvenirs, please try to bargain because they always offer 50% - 80% more of the market price.

I will recommend you to visit between 9 a.m to 10 a.m. It is because the place may get stuffy in the afternoon. 


7. Pub Street


A street full of pubs and restaurants. I will recommend you to try temple bar which is run by locals. Most of the pubs and restaurants offer 0.50 USD draft beer.


8. Made in Cambodia Market - Highly Recommend by Locals



If you planning to buy good quality that made in Cambodia, I will definitely recommend you to "Made in Cambodia Market". This market is small but they sell tons of various souvenirs that made in Cambodia. 

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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Travel like a local with Maxther


When you travel to Siem Reap, you always go to Angkor Wat and a few famous museums. Do you want to try a unique way to explore and learn how the locals live?

I tried half day cycling - experience the off-beaten track of Siem Reap through the help and thoughtful suggestion by Maxther.com. They specially customise for my activity for my like.

Before I start my activity, my tour guide share about the village and simple greeting.

This is my tour guide, Bunsorng. 

Here are the activities:

1st Stop: Local Market

A short stretch of the local market that sells everything what the local need. When we arrived, there were not many people in the market. My tour guide shared that locals always go to the market at` least twice a day. It is because they do not have a refrigerator at home.








I tried their local snacks, Khmer sticky rice cake. There was two flavours, banana, and pumpkin. I prefer pumpkin sticky rice.

2nd Stop: Rice Paddies

I did not get a chance to see the process of making noodle because I arrived late morning. But my tour guide explained the process of making noodle. They using the manual machine to make noodle daily. Every day they need at least 50-kilogram rice to make the noodles for the locals.




3rd Stop: Handmade Rattan Basket

A traditional handmade rattan basket that passes down from the older generation. 


We stopped at one of the houses to take a look how it makes from rattan to a beautiful basket.  The young woman said that it takes her to finish 3 hours if she focuses doing it. Her husband will help her to collect the rattan from the nearby river. 



4th Stop: Rice wine (included small pigs, ducks, and chickens farm)

Rice wine is very popular in South-east Asia. Commonly used for cooking. 

I learnt the process of the brewed rice wine. It takes a few weeks to brew a rice wine. For the leftover rice, it will feed the pigs, ducks and chickens.   

I tried freshly brewed rice wine. The smell was sweet. 











5th Stop: Handmade Piggy Bank

Our very last stop at a family house that produces handmade piggy bank. 

Piggy banks are very popular in South East Asia. Since I was young, my mother bought a plastic piggy bank for me. In Singapore, we usually saw plastic piggy bank instead of clay. 

I learnt the process of making a piggy bank from the clay. It's a traditional way of making and moulding their clay into animal forms. The owner is very creative because he designed different type of animals even angry bird. 







Additional Information

Cycling estimated distance: 17 - 20 km

Cycling Environment: Flat terrain, dirt road

Fitness Level: 2/5 

What to wear: Comfortable clothes and covered shoes

What it included: Local snack and drink

Where to Book: http://maxther.com

Promo code: MAX-DIARI
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