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Siem Reap On & Off The Beaten Track

Or how to discover (many) Angkor Temples around Siem Reap without the crowd and without straining your budget!


Angkor Wat from a Hot Air Balloon, Siem Reap

Seldom have we experienced such strong contrasts as in Siem Reap, the hub to visit the stunning Angkor Temples… On the one hand, the city itself and unfortunately the most famous temples like Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom & Ta Prohm have turned into a congested tourist mess and now represent mass-tourism at its worst. On the other hand, as soon as we headed a bit further afield, we could enjoy beautiful temples almost void of any visitors… Continue Reading →


Why Is Siem Reap Worth At Least 7 Days?

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Ankor Wat is only one of many temples in Siem Reap, but certainly the most famous temple in an area plastered with religious buildings. A visit to Cambodia is often seen synonymous with a visit to the largest religious building in the world! But there are a lot more other temples in and around Siem Reap than Ankor Wat! Continue Reading →


Roluos – The First Capital

Bakong, Roluos Temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Bakong, Roluos Temples, Siem Reap

After a long struggle with various vendors over who should get the business of selling us lunch, water, coconut etc… we distributed the business evenly among them. Heidi even bought some clothes, for the first time here, because the quality and design is usually not that grand here near Siem Reap. Continue Reading →


Beng Mealea – The Jungle Temple

Beng Mealea, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Beng Mealea, Siem Reap

Beng Mealea we saved for our last day of sightseeing, since it is so different from all other temples. It is completely unrestored, surrounded by dense vegetation and overgrown with trees. It is about 80 kilometers from Siem Reap, so we decided to invest in a stiff 60 USD taxi ride. Indeed, the last time we used a Tuk Tuk for a longer trip, Heidi was suffering endlessly: the dust in her eyes and behind her contact lenses would not disappear for days! Continue Reading →


“Ok, You Buy From Me!”


Street Vendors, mostly children, Angkor Archeological Park, Siem Reap

What makes Cambodia so different from Laos is its relentless street vendors. In Phnom Penh, it was the Tuk Tuk drivers and the motorbike-taxis we had to deal with. Apart from fending them off, they would feed us with incorrect information regarding opening hours etc… and so trying to convince us to go somewhere else with them, of course! Continue Reading →


Kbal Spean & Banteay Srei

Kbal Spean, Siem Reap

Kbal Spean, Siem Reap

A bit weary of temples? Head out to Kbal Spean, in the midst of the jungle, a 1.5 hour north of Siem Reap. The trip itself is scenic, since the road runs through a Cambodia as rural as it can be: rice paddies, villages with their characteristic stilt houses, lots of children walking to or from school, hardly any traffic… Continue Reading →




Angkor Wat from an Hot Air Balloon, Siem Reap

A few weeks before returning home, a thorough check into our finances revealed that Heidi was able to save some money over the year we were traveling. These unexpected modest riches made her light-headed. Continue Reading →


Angkor Thom


Bayon, Angkor Thom, Siem Reap

Between the 12th and the 16th century, Angkor Thom was the capital of the mighty Khmer Empire. The outer enclosure is still intact and encompasses the 9 square kilometers of what was once a striving city of an estimated one million people. At that time probably the most populated place in the world! Continue Reading →


Angkor Wat


Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

So why is Angkor Wat so much more famous than all the other splendid temples all around it? The main reason is that it was never abandoned, like all the other sites, when the capital of nearby Angkor Thom was moved to Phnom Penh in the 16th century. Until 1941 monks lived here and most important, took care of it. The other reason is that it is an architectural masterpiece of fine proportion and rich in details. Continue Reading →


Getting Around In The Angkor Area


Tuk Tuk to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Most people spend between 1 to 3 days visiting the various sites spread out over a vast area. So a visit naturally requires some kind of transport. Sporty travelers bike the 7 kilometers out to the temples and then the not so short distances between the sites, others hop on the backseat of a motorbike. We chose to hire a Tuk Tuk that took us around for three days, for 12 US per day. One day, we even went top class, more about this under “Extravanza”. Talking about money, tickets are 20 / 40 / 60, for one day / three days / one week. Continue Reading →