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Siem Reap: Tips, Ideas, Options??!!

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From two different top business publications are articles pointing to the key reasons to make sure that Siem Reap and Cambodia are on your "must visit" list.  From Forbes today , they had this headline: “Four Reasons Why Cambodia Needs To Be on Every Traveler's Bucket List”  with these highlights: “Until recently, Angkor Wat has always been Cambodia’s biggest draw. Situated in Siem Reap, the sprawling temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the largest religious monuments is the world and was originally built in the 12th century as a Hindu temple. Today, Cambodia is an add-on destination no more and has a fresh appeal that goes well beyond Angkor Wat: with a growing number of attractions from north to south and a new riviera to boot, the country is on the cusp of being Asia’s next new 'it' destination.”

 

Nearby to Angkor Was, the Forbes write shares: "Siem Reap is home to a burgeoning contemporary arts scene that includes both local and expat artists. 'You have great galleries displaying art and plenty of opportunities to meet with the artists themselves,' says local art specialist Robina Hanley."

 

From Bloomberg Reports on April 17, they had this headline: “Angkor Wat Is Great, But It’s Time to Give Siem Reap Its Due”  with this sub-head: "The famous jungle ruins may be Cambodia’s crown jewel, but there’s more to take in now at this tourist town, as artists, chefs, and eco-conscious hoteliers reshape its identity."

 

Here are some of the Bloomberg story highlights: “Angkor Wat rightly claims a spot near the top of many travelers’ bucket lists, but for most of the area’s 2.5 million annual visitors, the standard visit is about three days—just enough time to wander through the archaeological park’s central ruins and get sufficient selfies. That strategy is a mistake. The city of Siem Reap, a genuine beauty, is home to about 140,000 Cambodians and riches worth lingering for.”  For dining, they suggest: "Cuisine Wat Damnak is the first Khmer restaurant to have made it to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list."  And: "Chef Mengly Mork recasts street food and traditional countryside cooking with a modern flourish at Pou Restaurant & Bar."  And: "Pok likes to dine on Cambodian classics such as fish amok and beef lok lak at the restaurant Devatas on her way back from Banteay Srei."

 

Full stories at:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/shivanivora/2019/04/22/four-reasons-why-cambodia-needs-to-be-on-every-travelers-bucket-list/#453e27637b80

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-17/siem-reap-travel-guide-sustainable-luxury-hotels-restaurants

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

SE Asia/Mekong River, Etc.!  Live/blog from early 2018, first adventure through SE Asia, stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok, before exploring all over Vietnam and Cambodia, seven days sailing on the Mekong River. Now at 46,091 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2591474

 

Here is one of the visuals used by Bloomberg to illustrate their profile on Seim Reap.  Shown is Ta Prohm Temple, part of the Angkor Archaeological Park.:

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We would say spend at least two full days there.  Hire a guide with an AC vehicle.  He/she will know the top sites and how to beat the crowds.

 

Start touring early.  Finish by 2:30.  Head back to your hotel by 3PM for a swim, a cold beer, and relax.   Head out at 7ish to town and have a great meal.  

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We're there for three nights and 2.5 days.  We plan to spend one full day (sunrise) at Angkor Was and other temples, but the rest of the time enjoying Siem Reap as well as our resort hotel.  It's after a long cruise and we're not going for overkill on the temples.

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10 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

We're there for three nights and 2.5 days.  We plan to spend one full day (sunrise) at Angkor Was and other temples, but the rest of the time enjoying Siem Reap as well as our resort hotel.  It's after a long cruise and we're not going for overkill on the temples.

 

Our plan is to split things up a bit but definitely plan to relax at the pool/spa! I think we'll have 3 days total - 2 full days, one afternoon and one morning + early afternoon (our flight leaves at 8pm so we're going to book the hotel that last night so we can shower & pack before heading to the airport and not worry about having to get up and check out of the hotel, or get sweaty touring and then have to get on an airplane....) 

 

I definitely want to see loads of temples. But for me, splitting up days works better than one really long day touring followed by 2 full days relaxing....

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We were all 'templed out' by the end of he second day.  It truly is an amazing site and we were so glad that we went.  Three nights was enough for us.  No doubt some people could spend much longer.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hoyaheel said:

 

Our plan is to split things up a bit but definitely plan to relax at the pool/spa! I think we'll have 3 days total - 2 full days, one afternoon and one morning + early afternoon (our flight leaves at 8pm so we're going to book the hotel that last night so we can shower & pack before heading to the airport and not worry about having to get up and check out of the hotel, or get sweaty touring and then have to get on an airplane....) 

 

I definitely want to see loads of temples. But for me, splitting up days works better than one really long day touring followed by 2 full days relaxing....

 

Originally, we had a 2-day tour splitting the temples up over 1.5 days, with the second part of the second day at Tonle Sap village on stilts..  Our days at Angkor Wat now is long, but only because we are seeing the sunrise over Angkor Wat and leave at 4:50 am.  After that, we return to the hotel for breakfast, see temples in the morning and Angkor Wat for 2 hours plus after lunch.  

 

We are only seeing Angkor Thom (Bayon Temple, Baphoun, Big Reclining Buddah, Royal Enclosure Wall, Elephant & Leper King Terrace) and then Ta Prohm on the small circuit road.  Then we'll eat lunch near there and visit Angkor Wat after lunch.  We're back at our hotel by 4 pm.  While it's an 11.5 hour day, it's really broken up by breakfast and lunch.  

 

Our flight from Singapore after our cruise, arrives at 2 pm, so we'll have some time to relax on day one, but not go out too late.  We do get a full day after our tour to enjoy Siem Reap, the resort, and grab a nice dinner.  We could have seen more and had a day planned on the second full day, but I think we're good with that one day at the temples.  We had considered the sunset also that day at Angkor Wat.  After doing some reading, it's nice, but not as beautiful as the sunrise and we would be too tired.  The original plan was to do sunset on the first day and sunrise on the second day.  

 

Oh, we're staying at the J7, which is really nice and that's another reason to do more resort time.

Edited by hubofhockey

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We are doing quite a bit of the first day and a half touring with the river cruise so right now I'm sort of playing it by ear on what I'll want to do with the extra time - I know we'll get a guide but have a little time to figure out what exactly we want to do. Well, we have 3 1/2 months to figure it out 😉

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As a result of complicated air arrangements we're doing 2 nights in SR. After our cruise we'll fly to SR and have an afternoon and evening to relax, , possibly a massage, dinner, night market & Pub street. Next full day sunrise but not sunset tour with hubofhockey. Following morning our flight leaves back to Singapore to stay overnight & depart early next morning home. We're staying at Golden Temple Retreat, which is a 5 star botique resort, & includes breakfast, one Khmer Royal dinner, massages , Aspara performance, etc. all in the price.

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Posted (edited)

Appreciate these super great comments and follow-up from iancal,  hubofhockey,  Hoyaheel and dabear.  Excellent sharing and very helpful.  Perfect point by iancal about considering your timing. It gets very warm here and maybe even super hot in this part of Southeast Asia.  Smart for  "Start touring early.  Finish by 2:30.  Head back to your hotel by 3PM for a swim, a cold beer, and relax.   Head out at 7ish to town and have a great meal." 

 

To aid those planning for options for Siem Reap, below are some of my sample visuals from our exploring thee early last year.  More on my full live/blog linked in the initial post on this thread.

 

On this first day in Siem Reap, we traveled from our downtown hotel by the cute, cool and fun Tuk-Tuk vehicles (powered by a motor bike) to the most famous of the temples here. Angkor Wat is considered the largest religious site/monument in the world. Many call it a "Wonder of the World" and we strongly agree. On a site measuring 402 acres, it was originally constructed as a Hindu temple of the God Vishnu for the Khmer Empire. But it was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. It took about 40 years to construct this huge and spectacular complex from sandstone with its highly-detailed design. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century.   Sadly, none of my pictures can come close to reflecting its magnitude, the craftsmanship, the various water moats, walls, towers, etc. That day, the smog was making long camera shots harder, etc.   Due to this "visibility challenges", it did not seem worth it to get early the next morning to attempt a "sunrise" view.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling for "down under” wonders. Exciting visuals with key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 219,855 views.

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From Angkor Wat, the first picture gives a small sense of the large towers and a few of the other nearby walls and buildings. Sorry about the smoggy air making this view not very clear. Yes, there were lots and lots and lots of people here. But, it is so large, that Angkor Wat can better absorb the massive crowds. Second is a closer view (with nice sun highlighting of the stone) showing just one of the many entrances for this massive structure.:

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Here are more, closer details from Angkor Wat and its amazing collection of stone carvings, etc. Below's visuals today include a Buddha religious site inside, people climbing up to the highest towers of this sprawling structure and two older monks inside this religious site.: 

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First, here is one of the nearby buildings for visitors to stop at before entering the larger, more massive, main structure. Second shows my wife and with some of the intricately-carved stone in the background. Yes, it was sunny and hot, but we were fortunate to be here in the morning. Today's high was about 88F, even in their winter season. It does get much hotter here in the afternoons or as they move into their warmer seasons.:

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Edited by TLCOhio

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In case I did not communicate clearly, YES, we were hyper-impressed with Angkor Wat. It is the "Star of Stars" and deserves its reputation as a totally amazing, world-class site. Next, below starts a few visuals from a nearby, but different, monument/religious site called Angkor Thom.

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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Did we see any of the famed monkeys at Angkor Wat? Yes! Need some evidence and proof? See below!  Are these cute and expressive faces?:

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In front of Angkor Wat in its water moat, here was one of the pretty flowers that I captured on my camera. Like?:

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When departing from Angkor Wat, we saw these elephants getting ready to offer rides. One of the members of our group was going to be taking this ride this afternoon. The cost? $35. Seem like fun?:

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At Angkor Thom, it is about the faces that are so super impressive. Plus, so much awesome carving in the stones, etc. Below are a few of my visual samples.:

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For Cambodia, our guide traveling with us has been Fin. His father was a professor who was "lost" during the Killing Fields period. His knowledge, style and good humor has been very enjoyable and enlightening. His home is in Siem Reap.:

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As we traveled the short distance from Angkor Wat to Angkor Thom, we crossed a stone bridge. Below is a small sampling for only two of the many interesting stone carvings on this structure.:

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Below finishes up just a small sampling of the many wonderful sights and sites from this one morning's activities in Siem Reap and at its nearby religious monuments.

 

Also on the next day in Siem Reap, after we had to get checked out of our hotel, we had some time to sample near to our hotel, grab a quick bite to eat for lunch, look for any final shopping bargains, etc. For lunch, we had a wonderful sample of local food. It was "Cambodian Curry" with an Angkor Beer. Lots of rice served with in. Worked well for both of us to share at a total cost of $4 US dollars. Great bargain. Very tasty!!

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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When stopping at Artisans Angkor in Siem Reap, we had a tour of a small part of this overall, multiple-site development project that teach young adults traditional handicraft techniques. We learned about their production techniques. PLUS, could you have guess this one?, they had a very large, large "shopping opportunity" after our tour. Not cheap items, but they were of a high quality with many creative potentials. They even offered "free shipping" and took credit cards. By the way, most items, food, drinks, etc., here in Cambodia are priced in U.S. dollars. Their local currency here is not that valued, nor very stable.:

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Without too much commentary needed, here is that sampling during a couple of hours for street life, markets, people, etc., on the streets and shopping areas of Siem Reap.  Loved this time sampling more of "real life" in this town that is a more manageable size than Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok or Hanoi.:

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Here was something unusual and different to see in Siem Reap. It's a truck delivering ice. We do not often see such deliveries made back home in the USA.:

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Below is part two of the "street samples" from early afternoon in and around Siem Reap.
 
Our Park Hyatt hotel nicely blended both elegance and contemporary design. It has the double blessing of seeming like a resort and residential building. The guest rooms were large at 376 sq. ft. and offered a home-away-from-home feel. There are two different pools, one salt on the ground level and another up on the second floor. Will share more details via my visuals later. There is Khmer-inspired contemporary art, custom furniture and a nice decor pattern in each room. Lots of great design touches in the rooms. Even buttons to open the drapes and sheers. From the DK Eyewitness book, they noted: “An architecturally modern and chic place, this Art Deco hotel has a centerpiece courtyard crowned by a banyan tree, which is surrounded by a bar and minimalist rooms finished in dark wood.”

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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Here is my final quick sampling of markets, street action, etc., in Siem Reap. Fun, interesting, manageable city with lots to see and do without the "hassles" of a big, big city. As shown below, motor cycles are used to pull various "truck-like trailers". Yes, there is an Irish Bar in Cambodia!:

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Here is the final look at our wonderful and classy Park Hyatt hotel that is ideally just a couple of blocks from various markets, Pub Street, etc.:

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Posted (edited)

When we arrived in Siem Reap and after lunch, our first visit was to Banteay Srei, a 10th-century Cambodian temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Built largely of red sandstone, lending itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which still can be seen today, this first of four temples seen over the two days, was like a "jewel box".  Different in scale and very special.  Not as crowded and busy as Angkor Wat!!
 
At Banteay Srei, the buildings are somewhat miniature in scale, compared to the standards with other, larger Angkorian construction. They used red sandstone, which can be carved somewhat like wood. Consecrated on April 967 A.D., Bantãy Srei was the only major temple at Angkor not built by a monarch. Its construction is credited to the courtiers who served as a counsellor to Powerful King Rajendravarman II. Below and on the next post are twelve of my visuals to give a small sampling for what we enjoyed when visiting at this historic site. Just over a thousand years old, right? That is certainly real history!!

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany: Live/blog, June 2017 from Portugal to France along scenic Atlantic Coast.  Now at 28,065 views.  Many interesting pictures, details for history, food, culture, etc.:

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For Banteay Srei, this modern name means "citadel of the women" or "citadel of beauty".  This temple was only rediscovered in 1914 and its detailing was very impressive to my eye and those visiting in person. BUT, being carved in dark sandstone, my pictures do not always do justice to its true artistic appearance and detailing. Notice in the final two pictures below the monkeys and carved figures?:

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Edited by TLCOhio

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Banteay Srei lies near the hill of Phnom Dei, about 16 miles northeast of the main group of temples that once belonged to the medieval capitals of Yasodharapura and Angkor Thom. For our first visit to a temple in the Siem Reap area, it was good to start at this smaller, more compact site. By contrast, Angkor Wat is so totally massive. And, more crowed with throngs of tourists!!
 
As shown in these and added pictures in Southeast Asia, the air quality at Siem Reap and other places was not always perfect or ideal. That "haze" showed up in a major way if trying to take some long-distance pictures.

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

For latest live/blog, see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East.  Connect at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

 

Here is the second group of visuals from visiting at Banteay Srei. Lots of cute, classy detailing at this temple/monument with its reddish shades of carved stone.:

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After going to Banteay Srei, we visited Ta Prohm, which, unlike some of the other temples, has been left relatively untouched. Tree roots grow over and through the walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. In the first round of post, I did not have a chance to share any visual from Ta Prohm. Now, they are coming at you. Fun!!

 

Does this Ta Prohm temple seem familiar? There's a good reason!! Much of the more recent "fame" for Ta Prohm can be credited to (or blamed on) the movies, especially the Tomb Raider series and actress Angelina Jolie. This 2001 action-adventure film was based on the popular Tomb Raider video game series featuring the character Lara Croft. Although the film was "creative" in taking visual liberties with other Angkor temples, its scenes of Ta Prohm were viewed as faithful to the temple's actual appearance.  Portions of the film were shot on location at Ta Prohm temple and at Angkor Wat. Tourists visiting Siem Reap have the Ta Prohm temple billed as "the Tomb Raider" temple.

 

Built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, it was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm is in much the same condition in which it was found: the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. UNESCO inscribed Ta Prohm on the World Heritage List in 1992.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Panama Canal? Early 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through Panama Canal.  Our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Now at 26,545 views.

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Here are a few of my visuals from Ta Prohm with its unique trees growing up through this historic stone walls and structure.:

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Below are a few more visuals from our experience exploring around the fascinating and twisting stones and elevations at Ta Prohm. Yes, we could feel the spirit for being a "Tomb Raider" and/or Hollywood star within this unique setting. Plus, more below from wonderful and charming Siem Reap.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

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Here are a few more examples from being at the Ta Prohm temple near Siem Reap.:

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At Ta Prohm, one of our Avalon travel group, Frances, wanted me to take her picture. Yes, I said, but I wanted show off BOTH her and this special location. Lighting was not easy or ideal in this setting. You see the results! Helped by some fill flash. Frances had lost her long-time husband just a few month ago and was attempting this big trip by herself. Our group embraced her from our first meeting in Bangkok and she was grateful for our mutual connection. She is now back in western Canada.:

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Here is a night view of our Park Hyatt hotel in Siem Reap that we enjoyed so much with its excellent, luxury design, plus its great, handy location.:

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For our first evening in Siem Reap, we were flexible to be able to pick our own dining choice. From my research, here is the location. It was Viroth’s, a long-time, upscale restaurant that boasts an extensive menu of Khmer and other Asian favorites. It is set in a chic, contemporary, intimate and mostly outdoor setting. Their website: www.Viroth-Restaurant.com and they are at 99 Wat Bo Street.  TripAdvisor ranked them: #53 of 790 Restaurants in Siem Reap. It was a little east of the river and our hotel. From the DK Eyewitness, they mentioned them and noted their “lovely setting”. Very good food, setting, service, etc. You can see a couple items of "evidence" below.:

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As noted earlier, Siem Reap was a super, personal favorite given its amazing combination of being a great historical site, plus with its nice handy size with many dining, shopping options, etc. And, the people here, as in most of Cambodia and Southeast Asia, were wonderfully kind, welcoming, etc. Below are some additional visuals from Siem Reap. 

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

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For night "action" after our dinner, here are a few visual samples, including for famed "Pub Street". It was just a few blocks from our hotel and offered lots of music, people, beverages, etc. This includes a lighted bridge across the river in the middle of Siem Reap shown in the fourth picture. Shopping places were open in the evenings with plenty of opportunities to "negotiate", etc.:

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From the super-star religious historic site of Angkor Wat, here are a couple of additional visuals. This includes a sample of the highly-detailed carvings that were accomplished on many of the walls as a part of this massive location.:

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Below is more from two of the "Best of the Best" from the historic religious sites near Siem Reap. This includes Angkor Thom. On page six, posts 104-105, I did not have the time/opportunity to give much background on Angkor Thom. Here is more: 

 

Angkor Thom means in Khmer, literally, as "Great City". It was the last and most enduring capital city of the powerful Khmer empire. This location was established in the late twelfth century by King Jayavarman VII and covers an area of 9 km², per Wikipedia. Within this area are located several monuments from earlier eras as well as those established by Jayavarman and his successors. At the center of this "city" is Jayavarman's state temple, the Bayon, with the other major sites clustered around the Victory Square immediately to the north. Angkor Thom was established as the capital of Jayavarman VII's empire, and was the central point of his massive building program. One inscription found in the city refers to Jayavarman as the groom and the city as his bride.

 

This Angkor Thom city lies on the west bank of the Siem Reap River, a tributary of Tonle Sap, about a quarter of a mile from the river. The south gate of Angkor Thom is 4.5 miles north of Siem Reap, and a little over a mile north of the entrance to Angkor Wat. The walls, 26 feet high and flanked by a moat, are each nearly 10,000 feet long. That is big, but not nearly as massive as Angkor Wat.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Kotor/Montenegro:  Exciting visual samples, tips, details, etc., for this scenic, historic location. Over 45,028 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439193

 

Here are three more visuals that have not been posted previously from Angkor Wat. This includes in the second picture of Henry and Jane from Wisconsin standing next to the highly-detailed stone carving that were seen in so many parts of this massive religious complex. Yes, the monkeys were cute here at Angkor Wat!:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

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As posted earlier, our next stop after Angkor Wat was nearby Angkor Thom. This location is so much about the "faces" that were large and carved in the stone. Here are three additional views/samples from Angkor Thom.: 

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To complete the sharing for what we loved, experienced and enjoyed in and around Siem Reap, I have just a few more visual samples to share. Hope folks do not mind this much detail and/or too many visual samples. 

 

From Angkor Wat, I did consider and have the time to do one of two exciting potentials for this world-class site. One potential was to see this large site from a helicopter. That would allow observing the entire Angkor Wat complex sprawling beneath and a stop at the less-often visited, 11th-century Preah Vihear Temple. The other option would be to avoid the crowds at Angkor Wat and do an early sunrise monument viewing. I could have arranged a tuk-tuk (about $25 in cost) to reach a viewing point for Angkor Wat early in the morning.  Why not as I could have done either of these creative tour potentials? 

 

For the time period when we were here in February, photography at a distance seems fairly blurry and marginal due to the poor air quality. Sorry!! Plus, the helicopters are limited (understandably) in how close that they can get to Angkor Wat. Both of these would have been nice, exciting ideas. BUT, it was "clear" that weather/photography conditions would not yield images worth the time and effort for doing either of these options. 

 

For our Park Hyatt hotel, they had elegant, large rooms with Khmer-inspired contemporary art with a sophisticated residential feel. Their farm-to-table Cambodian culinary were nice and tasty.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Athens & Greece: Many visuals, details from two visits in a city with great history, culture and architecture.  Now at 30,174 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1101008

 

 

Here is a visual sample for what it looked like as we were traveling in a Tuk-Tuk in going to some of these historic sites near Siem Reap. This way of transportation was fun and cool!! The Tuk-Tuk's open set-up allowed for lots of breezes to help us in the battle against the heat that can be so very challenging here.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

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At our Park Hyatt hotel in Siem Reap, here are a couple of visual samples. First, is its lovely interior courtyard that we could enjoy when doing their lavish morning breakfast. Or, later in having lunch or dinner here. Second is a small sample for just one of their two pools at this hotel. Both hotel pools were very creative in their design and with the nearby spa options. One pool was salt water. The other with fresh water. These hotel options allow needed R&R time after doing so much walking and climbing when touring Angkor Wat, etc. Yes, get in good shape to be prepared for the hard work when exploring these massive religious sites.:

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For our second evening in Siem Reap, our Avalon group went to a private Apsara Dance performance with an extensive dinner included. We enjoyed this sampling of ancient Khmer culture that was brought to life with talented dancers, singers and musicians. Here are a few of my visuals to prove that we did not suffer too much in doing this evening activity in Siem Reap.:

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Posted (edited)

Terry, thank you for all of the information and pictures.

 

Quick question - Did you get any vaccinations before travel to Cambodia (or Southeast Asia as a whole)?

 

Also, I am interested in an Aspara show in Siem Reap, but not an included buffet.  Is this doable?  I noticed that your dinner was included, but was it buffet or menu?

Edited by hubofhockey

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From the London/UK Daily Mail in May 2018, they have this headline: best landmarks in the world: Angkor Wat still No 1 with these highlights: Cambodia's sprawling temple complex Angkor Wat has been revealed as the world's best-rated landmark for another year running in TripAdvisor's annual Travellers' Choice Awards.  The best-rated U.S. landmark is Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, with its famed prison attracting millions of visitors each year, while the Tower of London comes top of the pile in the UK and 15th globally.

 

Ranked third worldwide is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. At the 19th position in the world is Dubai's Burj Khalifa. In December, 2018 at the end of our Athens to Dubai cruise involving our first visits to the Holy Lands, Egypt, Middle East, etc., we were able to see these two top UAE attractions. By that time, we will have seen 18 of their top 25 world attractions. This includes ranked as number 17, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) in Bangkok, Thailand, that we saw in January during this same Southeast Asia adventure. 

 

Full story at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-5753935/TripAdvisor-reveals-best-landmarks-world.html

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany: Finished June 2017 sailing on the Silver Spirit from Portugal to France along the scenic Atlantic Coast, plus great pre- and post-cruise experiences. Many interesting pictures and details on history, food, culture, etc., from my live/blog at: 

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2511358

 

From the Daily Mail, here is the visual used in their article about Angkor Wat being ranked number one in the world, again!! Brings back nice memories from being there earlier this year!!:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

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5 minutes ago, hubofhockey said:

Terry, thank you for all of the information and pictures.  Quick question - Did you get any vaccinations before travel to Cambodia (or Southeast Asia as a whole)?  Also, I am interested in an Aspara show in Siem Reap, but not an included buffet.  Is this doable?  I noticed that your dinner was included, but was it buffet or menu?

 

Appreciate these great follow-up questions from our "neighbor" in Boston.  Notice that you are a fan of the NHL Boston Bruins, right?  Hope you treat our Columbus Blue Jackets well during the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs.  Watched last night's exciting win by the Bruins against Toronto. But to lessen the tension in Boston, we'll hope for a quick and solid 4-0 sweep by our team from Central Ohio.  Great history and traditions associated with your NHL team.  

 

In our prep for visiting Southeast Asia, we had already gone through various shots and vaccinations for doing the Amazon River in 2015 and South Africa/Botswana in 2016.  Therefore, I don't remember the exact requirements for Cambodia, etc.  It is best to go to a travel medicine specialist.  In many cases, a family MD is less likely to have that detailed knowledge, current meds, etc.  In general, things were not too bad for this part of the world, but you want to check accordingly and be sure.  

 

As to our Apsara Dance performance in Siem Reap, this was arranged and included as a part of our overall "package" through our planned Avalon travel program for our group.  If seeking such a Apsara program, I would do a Google search and/or check on the TripAdvisor site.  Or, if you are staying at a larger hotel, their staff could be helpful as to your options and potentials.  Any other questions and/or info needs?

 

Don't be shy!!  Happy to share as much as possible.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

SE Asia/Mekong River, Etc.!  Live/blog from early 2018, first adventure through SE Asia, stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok, before exploring all over Vietnam and Cambodia, seven days sailing on the Mekong River. Now at 46,091 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2591474

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We had five nights in Siem Reap after our Singapore to Hong Kong cruise in March.  We flew from Hong Kong with Cathay Dragon and stayed at a small hotel - La Residence Blanc d' Angkor.  We were very impressed with the hotel because the service was excellent.  The rooms were clean and decorated in local style.  We were picked up from the airport in a tuk tuk which was an adventure, because an English speaking member of the hotel staff came to meet us, as well as the driver.  Three passengers, two suitcases and to small bags really tested the limit of the tuk tuk.  We discovered later that the driver spoke good English, as did most of the staff.

 

We arrived in the evening of the first day and left in the morning of the last, so had four days to explore.  We found it best to go out early and return to spend the afternoon by the pool then go out for the evening.  Our tuk tuk driver took us to the temples  and on a countryside tour as well as short trips around town.  Some people we met recommended an air conditioned car, but we enjoyed the tuk tuk experience and at $20 a day it was unbeatable.

 

Many of our experiences were the same as the OP, but my photos are not nearly as impressive.  One different event was Phare the Cambodian circus, which features young people who have been educated by a charitable organization, both basic studies and music/acrobatics.  It was interesting to see the talented performers, although the story was rather hard to follow.

 

On balance, I think we could have managed with one day less, but the extra time meant that we could have a more relaxed schedule and given the fact that our hotel was only $35 a night including breakfast the extra day was fine.

 

The temples were busy, but not nearly as crowded as we expected.  There was no difficulty getting around except for the staircases in dark sections which were rather daunting  for two seniors.  I could understand why the original stone stairs had no hand rails, but when new wooden ones had been built  in some places the addition of a rail would have been appreciated.

 

 

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Terry, I've been a Bruins fan since the days of Bobby Orr.  Also, a huge Patriots fan and we're spoiled here in New England with so many championships lately, but we need to get by your Jackets first.  It all begins tomorrow night in Boston.  I feel like Bruins in 6.

 

Smtcan, Terry has great pictures from everywhere.  Always enjoyed Terry's pictures from Europe.  For some reason, I'm more excited about this trip to Southeast Asia though.  Look forward to reading his SE Asia blog.

 

 

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We were there for 3 nights. We found a highly recommended travel agent who provided a visa service for Vietnam.   We were crossing by land and a prearranged visa was required.  Took two days-he sent our passport by courier to the consulate in Battambang.  

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