I have just come back home from a trip to Cambodia. During my time in Siem Reap, I have used both advice on the Internet and my own experience from the previous journeys. Intending to share with you several exposures of a Cambodia trip, I decided to write this post. I hope this article will help you have an excellent time in Siem Reap.
If you come from the United States, you don’t need a visa but a passport, which costs $20. Although it is quick and straightforward, the two critical items must be carefully prepared.
About currency, while the Cambodian money is riel, the natives prefer dollars, as they get more benefits than from riel. I didn’t know that, so I wasted time and fees in exchanging to riel. It is ok to pay in riel in stores and restaurants, but the total bills are a bit more expensive than pay in dollars. Another note is that don’t bring high-value cash on you, just $1, $5, and $10 are enough. Also, do not expect to spend coins in Cambodia, only use money paper.
It is no doubt that Siem Reap is the most well-known tourist attraction in Cambodia, with the immense Angkor Wat and a chain of sacred temples. I have some exposures of a Cambodia trip for you when you visit the pagodas. Even when you can travel to these places by yourself, I strongly suggest you ask your hotel staff to hire a driver and guide for you to have a useful and memorable Cambodia trip. Don’t worry about the cost since it is affordable. It is also a good idea to contribute to the local economy as most of the tour guides do not come from a wealthy family. Your guide will provide you a lot of helpful information while the skillful driver will use his air-conditioned car to transfer you from a temple to another. The weather is scorching hot so that a car will be much more comfortable than a tuk-tuk.
Another thing you need to know is that you will need a temple pass, $20 per day (lower prices for more days), you can tour the vast majority of the temples, comprising Angkor Wat. Each pagoda entrance has guards checking the passes, so you cannot enter inside if you have no pass. Also, you need to show American dollars to pass the check.
Influenced by the tropical climate, the weather is relatively hot and humid; therefore, you should bring with you bottles of water, hats, sunscreen, and a clean shirt to change into during a long day trip.
Online advice always tells me to avoid the rainy season, which was one of my most concerns when I planned my trip. However, I rapidly realized how different the rainy season from the dry season was. In the rainy season, the downpour happens once every two days. During my journey, it rained for about 20 minutes each afternoon. Hence, I still had dry weather to go out, and rain did not sound that bad. Therefore, one of the exposures of a Cambodia trip is that don’t feel bad for a downpour, just enjoy it.
I always organize a plan before traveling, particularly when I know I will have a lot of places to stop. Of course, I spent several days planning this trip; however, when I got off the plane, I realized it was a waste of time. A plan may be essential in high season, but not the time I visited Siem Reap. There were numerous tour guides around hotels, who were trained and had a lot of experience, so it was not difficult to hire one in the last minute. Additionally, as an experienced traveler, I recognized that you could find out where to go and what to do much more quickly than planning based on the data you had collected from the Internet when you were home. Especially, Cambodians follow a slow lifestyle; thus, you may want to take short breaks during the tour, which you cannot do if you build a schedule in advance.
Like the majority of visitors, I spent only three days in this city. It is just adequate to head to temples, go around the town, as well as relax a bit. Nonetheless, if you have more time, staying in this place to explore more exciting things.
Fortunately, I had time to pay a visit to the renowned and alluring Tonle Sap lake, one of the most vibrant ecosystems all over the world. I passed a handful of villages and encountered some local people, and they smiled at me. I learned how hospitable and humble they were. It is one of the main reasons why I want to spend more time in the nation. It was really a precious and relaxing trip so that I could widen my knowledge about life, culture, and people there. My last exposures of a Cambodia trip are, spending more and more time in the lovely city, you will definitely pick up plenty of wonderful things.