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

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Terry: we've visited 19 of the 25 top picks by the UK newpaper and when we visit Angkor Wat it will be #20. Also when we were in Bangkok years ago, we were taking 3 showers a day, shower am, touring am ,then shower, afternoon by the pool & then another shower. It was very hot & humid, probably similar to Siem Reap.  Thanks for your pictures & information.

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On 4/24/2019 at 8:51 PM, dabear said:

Terry: we've visited 19 of the 25 top picks by the UK newpaper and when we visit Angkor Wat it will be #20. Also when we were in Bangkok years ago, we were taking 3 showers a day, shower am, touring am ,then shower, afternoon by the pool & then another shower. It was very hot & humid, probably similar to Siem Reap.  Thanks for your pictures & information.

 

Appreciate this wonder follow-up from dabear.  Yes, I double-checked that list and we are at 18 of 25 on that list.  We'll have to work harder and smarter to catch up with you!!!  Great point on the heat in Bangkok and the need for three showers in a day for that hot and humid city.  Lots of "energy" and activity in Bangkok, but you need to pace yourself in such an intensely-challenging location.  

 

Very good other follow-ups and background info from iancal, smtcan, etc.  Keep it coming.  Great sharing!!   For hubofhockey, it was a very close, highly competitive NHL hockey game last night that the Bruins won in overtime.  Boston should have been more "welcoming and hospitable" last night.  Another big game Saturday night and then two games in Columbus next week.  Fun and exciting to watch!!

 

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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I noticed that Bonteay Srei is not in our one-day tour of Angkor.  Looking into this, it is not on the "small circuit" but on the "grand circuit".  We had nothing planned but a resort day on Saturday (leaving Sunday morning).  Does it make sense to purchase the 3-day ticket and spend an hour at Bonteay Srei?  Does a 45 minute tuk tuk ride each way make sense?  Looking at Terry's pictures and then seeing some video, this temple seems distinctive and possibly something I wouldn't want to miss.  We would still have the afternoon to relax at the resort.  Thanks.

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5 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

I noticed that Bonteay Srei is not in our one-day tour of Angkor.  Looking into this, it is not on the "small circuit" but on the "grand circuit".  We had nothing planned but a resort day on Saturday (leaving Sunday morning).  Does it make sense to purchase the 3-day ticket and spend an hour at Bonteay Srei?  Does a 45 minute tuk tuk ride each way make sense?  Looking at Terry's pictures and then seeing some video, this temple seems distinctive and possibly something I wouldn't want to miss.  We would still have the afternoon to relax at the resort.  Thanks.

 

Appreciate your excellent question and follow-up. YES, we found Bonteay Srei to be very special and different than the other locations that we visited in and around Siem Reap.  I compare it to being a little like a "jewel box"!!  It's your choice.  Relaxing is nice, but you always do that back home.  Tuk Tuk rides are also fun and cool as you move along going to and from your location.   Since you have the time, I would definitely give it serious consideration if you can make it "fit".  Let us know any other questions.  Happy to share more.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 45,496 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.

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1 hour ago, TLCOhio said:

 

Appreciate your excellent question and follow-up. YES, we found Bonteay Srei to be very special and different than the other locations that we visited in and around Siem Reap.  I compare it to being a little like a "jewel box"!!  It's your choice.  Relaxing is nice, but you always do that back home.  Tuk Tuk rides are also fun and cool as you move along going to and from your location.   Since you have the time, I would definitely give it serious consideration if you can make it "fit".  Let us know any other questions.  Happy to share more.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 45,496 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

 

We'll still have that Saturday afternoon to relax.  TripAdvisor is saying it's an hour visit and it looks as if most take a tuk tuk.   We'll skip the other places on the grand circuit and stick with small circuit on Friday and Bontaey Srei on Saturday.

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On 5/16/2019 at 8:06 PM, hubofhockey said:

We'll still have that Saturday afternoon to relax.  TripAdvisor is saying it's an hour visit and it looks as if most take a tuk tuk.   We'll skip the other places on the grand circuit and stick with small circuit on Friday and Bontaey Srei on Saturday.

 

Appreciate your plan and follow-up.  Sounds like you are headed in the right direction with these efforts. Yes, Bonteay Srei, is a little farther away, but is doable.  Fortunately, this unique location does not get as crowded since it is smaller and farther away from some of the other, more famous locations near Siem Reap.  

 

From the Telegraph newspaper in India a week ago, they had this headline: “There’s lots to do in Cambodia's Siem Reap”  with this sub-head: "Slow down the pace and enjoy the welcoming hospitality of a very sweet bunch of people."

 

This was the lead summary in this story: "Siem Reap is a one-horse town that basically caters to tourists who come to see the famous Angkor temples, some of which have been painstakingly and miraculously restored. Many are mere ruins and rubble but still full of magic and mystery. And others have become famous through movies like the Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones, full of magnificent wild fig tree roots, which grew around the temples after they were abandoned."

 

Here is another story highlights about Artisans d’Angkor that we visited last year: This sounds like it’s going to be a tourist trap but is actually a fantastic way of showcasing and promoting handicrafts of the region. It’s a Cambodian company that was created at the end of the 1990s to help young rural people find work near their village. They are trained by skilled craftsmen in nine different disciplines, from ceramics and lacquer ware to silk painting and jewellery. The company has almost 50 workshops all over Cambodia.

 

Full story at:

https://www.telegraphindia.com/culture/travel/theres-lots-to-do-in-cambodia-s-siem-reap/cid/1690341

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 220,375 views.

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Here are just a couple of visuals from their profile, including first from Ta Prohm temple.  Second is a sampling of the fun night-life in Siem Reap.:

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

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328985794_ScreenShot2019-05-18at8_40_19AM.thumb.png.9f3157180d798b5a9d21d1123c993bda.png

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So the company we are using doesn't use tuk tuks but air conditioned sedans.  I'm okay with that.  He'd give us a driver for the entire day for $48 but no guide for Banteay Srei and we wanted to add Preah Khan to round out our morning.  I suppose it would be nicer to have a guide like we have for the day one on the small circuit.  I can get a book on Amazon.  The driver will also take drive us to a restaurant at night.  Thanks for your tips.  

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On 5/18/2019 at 11:51 AM, hubofhockey said:

So the company we are using doesn't use tuk tuks but air conditioned sedans.  I'm okay with that.  He'd give us a driver for the entire day for $48 but no guide for Banteay Srei and we wanted to add Preah Khan to round out our morning.  I suppose it would be nicer to have a guide like we have for the day one on the small circuit.  I can get a book on Amazon.  The driver will also take drive us to a restaurant at night.  Thanks for your tips.  

 

Looks like our Boston friend has a "plan" and a good option to use.  A personal guide at Banteay Srei would be nice, but you can prepared ahead and adapt accordingly.  Good luck and report back after your trip about your experiences in Cambodia and SE Asia.   

 

From the Jakarta Post today, they had this headline: “First time in Siem Reap, what to expect”  with these highlights: “Traveling around Southeast Asia is not complete without visiting the magnificent Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Angkor Wat has become the national symbol of Cambodia. It is featured on the national flag and even local beer.  It may come as a surprise to some, but in Cambodia, US dollars are the most common currency used. It is better to exchange your money to US dollars rather than the Cambodian riel. Every transaction from food to transport is carried out in US dollars. For example, a short tuk-tuk ride from your hostel to the nearest bar or market would cost around $2 to $3. Further trips to tourist spots both in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap cost around $15 to $20 return. To avoid being overcharged by your tuk-tuk driver, ask your hotel to hire their drivers. Wherever you stay, your hotel will probably suggest that you spend the evening around Siem Reap’s Pub Street, where various eateries are lined up right in front of the night market.  Try Cambodian authentic dish Bò Lúc Lắc (beef loklak), which is available in almost every restaurant. This dish of sautéed beef over cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, pepper and soy sauce is served with warm jasmine rice and will make your mouth water every time you think of it.”

 

When to go?  Here was their suggestions: "The best time to visit Siem Reap is from December to January when the season is dry and sunny."

 

Full story at:

https://www.thejakartapost.com/adv/2019/05/20/first-time-in-siem-reap-what-to-expect.html

 

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 one of the visuals used to illustrate this article cited and connected above.  This was taken at sunrise!!  Look nice?:

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

420307947_ScreenShot2019-05-20at5_06_56PM.thumb.png.495fe876e07c78bdc550b240a36a18ac.png

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From the London/UK Daily Mail today, they had this headline: “What's what at Angkor Wat: It's one of the most prized (and crowded) sites”  with two of these key info items in the sub-heard: "Cambodia's three top tourist attractions draw 2.5 million people a year. Angkor Wat is Cambodia's national symbol, built in the 12th century".  

 

Here are some story highlights: As one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia, the 159 sq mile UNESCO site is not only the largest religious complex in the world, but also arguably, the busiest.  Its three top attractions: Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm - dating from the ninth to the 15th century - draw more than 2.5 million people a year. Successfully tackling the 'Big Three' in one day - and missing the masses - isn't easy, but it is possible. It takes careful planning, a wily guide and a lot of stamina.

 

Here are some of their key tips: "Do dress appropriately. Wear trousers or skirts that fall below the knees and tops that cover your shoulders, otherwise, you may be refused entry to the temples.  Do bring U.S. dollars as most prices are quoted in this currency.  Do bring small bills, which are useful for tuk-tuk taxi rides and tips.  Don't for one minute consider taking on the complexity of Angkor Wat on your own.  It's best to invest in a knowledgeable guide - who speaks perfect English."

 

Full story at:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-7118889/Follow-guide-Cambodia-wont-wrong.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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Here are two of the key visuals used to illustrate this informative article.:

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

786690880_ScreenShot2019-06-08at10_39_56AM.thumb.png.41e22ae8472dc9a15ca2e3e0358c911e.png

 

919311763_ScreenShot2019-06-08at10_39_39AM.thumb.png.e5650e8a65544f4a92a6d11757e4abda.png

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Posted (edited)

One of the benefits of working with a competent private guide or small tour group in Siem Reap  is his/her knowledge of what areas to visit and and  the times that they will be less crowded.   This is probably based on the guide's knowledge of the large tour schedules.

 

We never felt crowded (early March) at any site.  More than once we did see a large group or two arriving as we were departing.

 

We have had this same good fortune when avoiding cruise line tours in favour of small independents.   Most especially in places like Ephesus.  It is just one of the reasons why we prefer private tours.  Besides, of course, being able to give the trinket and trash stores a miss or having to wait an extra 20 or 30 minutes at a stop while someone goes off to find a missing spouse.

Edited by iancal

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