Monday, May 21, 2018

Cambodia with my two toddlers!

I have always wanted to go to Cambodia. But lots of people told me to wait until the kids get older as a lot of walking needs to be done over there. 2018 come, and I'm done with waiting. I have always wanted to go to Cambodia since Tomb Raider game was a big hit back when I was 13.

This trip to Cambodia, particularly Siem Reap was a little special for both Love and I because it is our 10th country together. Our dream is always to travel the world. Also, my parents in law came along and I have always loved travelling with my family. It makes it more meaningful.

Siem Reap's main currency is USD and the plug is the same as us, so don't need a converter.

Upon arrival in Siem Reap, I booked a chauffeur to drive us around for the whole journey. The rate differs day by day according to where you planned to go. But on average, a van would cost us around 35 USD a day.

The moment I stepped in, I have this unfamiliar feeling, ones that I didn't expect. I have been to lots of countries in South East Asia, hence I expected Cambodia to be just like its neighboring countries, Thailand and Vietnam. But no. I feel safe here and the people is so sincere. The moment I arrived at the airport, the toilet is clean with water and all, I know it's gonna be a good trip.

The first day, we went straight to ticket counter of Angkor complex. Price per adult for one day pass in Angkor Park is USD 37, free for children below 12. If you purchase the ticket at 5pm onwards, ticket will be valid for the next day. Which means you can watch the sunset for free on the same evening!! Be careful with your ticket though, not to fold it and make sure you bring it the whole time in Angkor Park, as you will be charged USD 100 if you lose it.

Angkor Archaeological Park is listed in UNESCO World Heritage list and it includes multiple temples inside, among them are the Angkor Wat itself, Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple and other magnificent remains from the 9th to 15th century.

Right after we purchased our ticket for the next day, we went to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise. It was breathtaking, I feel like in a different world, I almost cried.

We started the day early the next day as we planned to see the sunrise at 5am but it was raining, hence we arrived in Angkor Park slightly later at 7am. The weather was Alhamdulillah perfect, cloudy, windy throughout with no rain.

We first went to Ta Prohm aka Tomb Raider’s temple. It was a long serene walk to the temple, the sounds of bird chirping and some faint sound of music, the smell of woods and the greenery around me, one of the beautiful relaxing walks I've walked and I will forever treasure.

We went to Bayon temple, named after Banyan tree where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

Dropped by at Phnom Bakheng temple and later to Elephant Terrace. Terrace of the Elephants is part of the walled city of Angkor Thom, carved with garudas, lions and of course lots of elephants.

Left the kids with my in laws in the van and both Love and I spent an hour just the two of us enjoying the beauty of Angkor Wat.

That night, we went to Art Centre Night Market and Pub Street which was next to our hotel for souvenirs hunting.

Then the next day, we strolled along Siem Reap, dropped by at the market and Hard Rock Cafe. But nothing could come close to our experience in Angkor Park.

My kids had fun, running around happily, safely. Enjoying the beauty and learned the art of photography. Long walks didn't affect them as they enjoyed it too much, they didn't even bother with the stroller after a while.

To sum it up, for me.. Siem Reap/Cambodia is the best SEA country I've been and easily made it to my top 3 favourite country list. Tak puas, I wanna go there again.

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