Getting to Siem Reap
We travelled to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh by car. It took five hours but we did have a wannabee Lewis Hamilton driver at the wheel of our car. The road is in parts new and smooth, but there also are lots of road works where it is dusty and bumpy. It cost us to hire a car for the one way drive U$$80.
Our hotel the Lotus Blanc
There are some advantages to travelling in the low season. One was the five-star hotel we stayed at for nine nights was not very busy and doing some renovation on the third floor. I heard nothing while we were staying here. I had contacted the hotel before about getting a room with a bath tub for my wife. We were extremely lucky to get an upgrade to a suite for our stay. The staff, food, room, wi-fi, breakfast buffet, massages were all excellent. The best hotel we have stayed so far on our travels in South East Asia.
Around a million people live in Siem Reap and there are no skyscrapers or tall buildings so everything is a little spread out. Our hotel was a two dollar tuk tuk ride of 2-3 km to Pub Street and the central market. During our stay we ate at several restaurants from average to five-star dining. We ate at Haven a training restaurant which was excellent and went to a jazz evening and fine dining night at the Heritage suites restaurant. I also recommend visiting the Angkor National Museum before you visit Angkor Wat and the other temples to get some useful and interesting background about the construction and history of the temples.
Angkor Wat and the other temples
We spent 9 nights in Siem Reap and got a three-day temple. If its your first time to Angkor Wat then the following tips might be useful. First tip is decide on what pass to buy. We got a three-day pass for forty dollars each. They photograph you and we later found out that you should with your ticket get a map of where all the temples are in the area. We did not. There are one and seven-day passes as well.
Second tip visit the Angkor National museum in Siem Reap before you go to Angkor Wat. The museum gives you background information on the different eras, mural, history of the sites and an insight into the history of the area.
Third tip is going to Angkor Wat at 5am for the sunrise viewing and make sure you buy the ticket the night before. Fourth tip is go across the West Gate entrance causeway to the inner area. We went to the right side small lake for the sunrise and photos. It was fine and not as crowded as the left side.
Fifth tip use a guide if you can and make sure there a real one and accredited. We paid US$45 for a whole day. Money well spent. Tuk Tuk for the day costs between US$18-25 for the day. Depends on how much distance you cover. Sixth tips drink lots of water or fresh coconut juice. Lastly just enjoy the experience. Best bits were going down alleys to less visited areas and exploring the site. Mural Is fantastic.
We saw around 12 temples and below are some of the photos.
What did it cost?
Our accommodation was US$45 per night so for the week US$315
Meals, transport and attractions for the week cost US$620 for the week.
Some individual costs were the 80 dollars car ride from Phnom Penh to our hotel in Siem Reap. Eighty dollars for our two three day temple passes. A lot of meals at some lovely restaurants.
Per day average for the week worked out at US$135 per day or a total of US$935
All in a great week and we have a few more days in Siem Reap before leaving for Bangkok where we stay a week.