If you looked forward to seeing Siem Reap because of Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider movie, that makes two of us!

Cambodia to my imagination is that intimate, culture-rich country where texture is everywhere and goodness is inherent.

It’s a spot in Southeast Asia where people in the streets are happy tripping, vibe is chilling, and the future of what it can be is bright.

The Batcave

Les Bambous Boutique Hotel (found via Airbnb)

Airport

Siem Reap International Airport

Places/ Things to Do Only in Siem Reap

 

Visit the Tomb Raider Movie-Famed Temples

There are the 3 major temples that should not be missed. The rest are just a miniature or a look-a-like

  • Angkor Wat Temple

    • photos full of sunrise shots and huuuge temples
  • Bayon Temple

    • photos full of God portraits in concrete
  • Ta Prohm Temple

    • photos full of trees
First of, plan your temple trip.
You must be warned of the immense size of the grounds, plus the heat, and the miles of walking.
Plan ahead if you intend to go back to your hos/tel mid day to rest and freshen up or you’d rather rest in the area and eat out.
This is to know how to deal with your tuktuk/service driver.

Read, chill, or just soak in the vastness of the moment

Have a conversation with your partner while resting your feet in the nearest pavement

Watch the sunrise feeling like a midget amidst an age-old fortress and the magnanimity of the universe

 

Observe the locals

Watch the sunrise in Angkor Wat with the rest of the whole of Siem Reap

 

Get lost in the temples and go walking with your friends, with a camera

 

Hike the steep stairs towards the temple Gods’ summits

 

Shoot the sunrise with the rest of the competing cameras for field view and get a stunning shot!

 

Remember your childhood while realizing the widest age disparity in front of you– that of the kid and the temples

 

Take some really artsy photograph and be pleased with yourself

 

 

 

Set foot and experience where Angelina Jolie shot Tomb Raider

 

 

Watch the Angkor Wat sunrise with friends fresh in bed clothes and not caring a damn inch! :p

Sit like a child complete with swaying legs and wear your best vacation hat ever like your life depends on it!

Then at night, after all the temples and the culture, visit the:

Night Market
Pub Dsitrict

for food, party, trinkets, and a lot of novelty items you might only find in this corner of the planet.
Time was scarce (as always) but Siem Reap didn’t disappoint , nevertheless.
It was that place breathing with culture and history but turns itself into an ultra-vibrant mecca full of a fusion of Westerners and Asians, the world, basically, just having a good time, sober or (usually) not!
It was a happy place, literally and the poetry of it. You will run across young and old who seem to be high with something constantly laughing like they carry none of the worries of the modern world.
It was totally refreshing!
It was contagious! You immediately just want to keep laughing yourself just because everyone is!
The Pub District can get tourist trap-y, so be smart enough to choose which (restaurant, bar) location is fair or just plain rip-off.
Amidst all the strolls and the tuktuk rides, the “just one dollar” street kid vendors, the pricking heat, the decent and respectful tour amongst the Gods, the wrestle mania for (body, camera field view) space in the temples, and muscle-soring shopping you’ve  subjected yourself upon, all that’s essential to say is,
 

Have a really, really great time! Laugh hard. Make fun of everything. Pose like you just don’t care.

and then go back with another set of friends! : j

That caps off my Ho Chi MinhPhnom Penh– Siem Reap Travelthon. If you just got here and you want to read the rest, you may start here: Why Vietnam has automatically dropped from my priority to-go list