I have always wanted to visit Cambodia and my wish finally came true. I booked a cheap promo ticket on my favourite budget airline Jetstar Asia. A return ticket without baggage only cost me SGD68.00 . What was really special about this trip is it was my first solo trip ever. I don’t know what was I thinking. Friends called me crazy for wanting to do a solo trip to a third world country.
The day came and I boarded flight 3K 599 from Singapore. I had butterflies in my stomach as it was my solo trip. The moment I was at the departure lounge, all I wanted to do was to run away and cancel my trip. Of course, I wouldn’t be stupid enough waste my money.
After reassuring myself, I boarded the plane The plane took off at 6am but I did not manage to catch photos of the sunrise as the it was going to rain. Here are some uninspiring photos of the sky. I really need to brush up on my photography skills.
I arrived in Siem Reap at 7.00am (GMT +7) and was met by my tuk tuk driver Theur. Theur is 34 years old married with a wife and 2 kids. Earlier on I booked a bed online at The Siem Reap Hostel for only SGD11.00 per bed per night. Airport pick up is SGD7.00. Siem Reap Hostel is centrally located. Only 5 minutes walk from the Old Market.
Along the way,Theur asked me if he can be my tour guide for Angkor Wat and I agreed. For sunrise of Angkor Wat,I need to wake up early and meet him at 5am the next morning. I really hate this. =(
The Siem Reap Hostel is 20 minutes away by tuk tuk. When I reach the hostel, I was pretty impressed. Here’s why.
After checking in, I headed down to the Old Market for lunch. As I walked down the streets,I noticed how undeveloped this city is which makes it really special. Dusty roads and little kids playing catch. They even have a communal television cafe for the whole neighbourhood. I randomly popped over this little cafe for lunch.
Heaven was great. Meat was tender. I decided to roam the streets after lunch. I have fallen in love with Siem Reap. The city is peaceful and so full of life. The locals are smiling at me non stop. Not that I looked funny or anything. Its always in their nature to smile. The old shop houses makes Siem Reap’s French colonial past visually prominent.
Had to wake up early in the morning to meet Theur at 5am at the lobby for my sunrise view of the magnificent Angkor Wat. Theur brought me to an official temple ticket booth about 10 minutes away from my hostel to purchase the temple pass.
Temple Pass Prices:
1 Day Pass —> USD 20.00
3 Day Pass —> USD 40.00
7 Day Pass —> USD 60.00
**Author shall not bear responsibility due to change of prices**
Sunrise view of the magnificent Angkor did not go as planned as it was raining and the sky was dark. At 5am the entrance of Angkor Wat was pretty crowded. The moment I entered the temple compound,there was an air of mystery. I don’t know how to describe but it was a special feeling.
Angkor Wat,built for the King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag and the prime attraction for visitors. Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian Hindu architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs and for the numerous guardian spirits adorning its walls.