Part 4 is here to unveil more of our incredible journey in Siem Reap.
Prepare your hearts to absorb all the beauty this fantastic city has to give!
Something different happened in Southeast Asia, I don’t know what it was, but everyone is heart warming nice!
Not a little bit; huge amounts of kindness, honesty, love, respect, compassion, contentment, and the list goes on and on.
We most definitely have something to learn with these people.
Having the opportunity to appreciate their culture and their environment is something i’m grateful for. It’s an experience that here is complete, because people count, more than you think about when planning a trip.
I’m not saying everyone is perfect, but the majority of people are being consistent on giving their best and that’s impressive and of course welcoming.
I admire the grace, smiles and energy the place emanates.
Oh, The Energy
The mix of everything is mesmerizing.
There’s this energy that is hard not to feel. You don’t have to be a person that pays attention to this kind of stuff to get that something is going on in the air around here.
I am not sure how to explain it, it’s surreal, like an elevated dimension. Something you will just understand by feeling it.
If you like/want give it a go/practice meditation make sure to try some out here, sometimes is easy to let such things pass when we are entertained with the changes on the exterior world.
Exotic flavorful dishes all around and for all budgets.
Vegans don’t need to worry at all, even in between the temples, fresh fruits are available at small stands along the pathway and the restaurants offers traditional dishes that can be ordered without meat such as the recommended vegetable curry.
Street sellers with eye-catching unfamiliar fruits tasting like “i will never leave” can be found all around town.
Street food talking, try out some savory coconut rice cakes and fresh cane juice.
Here the restaurants we visited at the videos:
Vegetarian Restaurant, Vegan Friendly
Address: Wat Bo Rd, Siem Reap*
Vegetarian Restaurant, Vegan friendly
Address: The Passage, Pub Street Area, Siem Reap*
*They can be a little more complicated than usual to find due the lack of numeration.
Angkor Complex Restaurants
During the day while visiting the temple complex we ate at the restaurants around them.
There’s many distributed on the park, most of them will have no problems adjusting the dishes to be vegan.😄
Plenty of snack carts can be found around the city, make sure to try some, it’s worthy!😋
High end hotels are available but it’s a simple city.
If night markets, ruins, exotic food and alike enchants you, way to go.
But if you’re looking for golden handles on expensive looking modern streets with fancy shopping malls, not for you.
The energy in this place is inexplicable! It’s real, it’s powerful, it’s penetrating I wish you all could feel it.
There’s just this feeling of contact, relating, belonging, truly inner peace. Feels like a dream, too out of this world to be true.
When you do touch the temple walls it connects you to another time, the energy runs through your body.
If you’re silent enough you can even hear it!
I’m the worst kind of tourist: I am a toucher!🙀
It seems that looking isn’t enough, everything I like will sure be touched.I can’t help, it doesn’t feel the same otherwise.
The trees enlaced on the temple walls shine gold and attract you like a magnet.
If you ever made fun of “hippie tree huggers” a warning: you may here turn into one.😜
In our first time there I fell in love so deeply that I immediately knew it wasn’t the last one.
Our third time was anything but short of wonders, every single detail delighted me. It still does only by remembering.❤️
Apart from the famous temples everyone come after, there’s plenty of other ones to be seen.
Each of them magical, pleasant time awaits you!
Here a list in the order we visited on the videos:
Part 1 Wat Preah Prohm Rath Temple
Part 2 Pre Rup Temple
East Mebon Temple
Ta Som Temple
Neak Pean Temple
Preah Khan Temple Gate
Preah Khan Temple
North Gate Of Bayon Temple
Part 3 Bayon Temple
Ta Keo Temple-mountain
Ta Prohm Temple
Tomb Raider set
Part 4 Angkor Wat
Prasat Kravan Conservation Project
Part 5 Wat Damnak – Center for Khmer Studies
The tickets to visit Angkor Archaeological Park can be bought on a special building on the way in between the city and the temples.
Sales booths work from 5 am to 5:30 pm, the park working time is from 5:30 am to 5:30 pm(some temples will open later or close earlier depending on the location).
There are 3 kinds of tickets: 1 day costing usd 20, 3 days costing usd 40 and 7 days costing usd 60.
I highly suggest the 3 or the 7 days, as 1 day is not even near enough time to appreciate the park.
A million possibilities come to mind when you try to put yourself on the usage apex of the ruins.
From swimming at the club pools to having a gala dinner with this picturesque dressing characters in my mind.(off course that’s just pretend😝)
You’ll do it too, there’s noway other than wonder what did go on in every distinct place.
Every single detail has an explanation and it may blow your mind.
That’s why we advise you to get an english speaking guide for at least one day.
We thankfully did it, was a great learning experience.
One of the nicest/intriguing info we got, that we never would have come to terms on our own, was about the exit system of the temples.
In some exits there were no stairs, specially at middle ones, then stairs were available at the side exits.
The reason why is because they used to park elephants there to use as a transportation mean.🐘
Many fascinating facts to be discovered, definitely worth it.
Our 3rd time in Cambodia was once again remarkable and we are excited to share it with you!
You may never thought about it, but the people are a very important part of a place.
You can be delighted by the sea, but how good it would feel without the smiles of everyone around?
Good news are, the value of good heart won’t be lacking when traveling between Thailand and Cambodia!
They are the sweetest of all and this will count on the amazing experience you’re about to have.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s always a grumpy person everywhere, but we don’t know the battles they are fighting to be feeling this way so let’s be good-hearted as well, respect their pain and move on to other smiles.
To come across all of it, you’ll need some info:
By Bus + Taxi/Bus
To make it clear and easy I will divide this trip in 4 sections:
1-Bus from Bkk to Aranyaprathet:
From Ekkamai Bus Terminal several buses/minivans depart to the border, but for schedule reasons you’ll be better off with the first of the morning at 7:20am.If convenient for you location Mo Chit Bus Terminal also has early buses.
The ride takes around 4 -5 hours(ours took 4) costing 216 baht, it will stop walk distance from the border crossing.
In the past scams were reported of buses stopping on fake borders(with real visas, only more expensive ones), but this problem seems to be under control.
100% sure to be dropped at the right place when boarding the official government buses/minivans, as the ones in Ekkamai.
Is better to buy the ticket in advance as you aim for the first bus. *There’s a bus straight to Siem Reap as well, you can read more about it on “Back to Bkk” segment below.
Ekkamai Bus Terminal (Eastern Bus Terminal) – สถานีขนส่งสายตะวันออก (เอกมัย)
Also spelled Ekamai Bus Terminal BTS(skytrain): Ekkamai station – Sukhumvit line, exit 2
Mo Chit Bus Terminal – สถานีขนส่งหมอชิต
(Also known as Northern Bus Station or Chatuchak Bus Terminal) *Not to be confused with Mo Chit BTS skytrain station. BTS(skytrain): Mo Chit Station – Sukhumvit line, THEN TAKE A TAXI.
Best way to get there is by taxi.
As you arrive, a 7eleven will be at the corner on your right, walk that way and once you’re there turn left.
From there, walk straight through the rails and after crossing them you’ll see the immigration signs.
Just follow the signs over the way, if lost ask information for officials preferably, as this land border can be plenty of scams.
After exiting Kingdom of Thailand proceed to Cambodian immigration.
The Cambodian visa will cost you around 30 usd depending on your nationality(unless you have an e-visa).
There’s a paper with the wrong amount where the officials charge you, check before hand the price for your nationality and you can just politely thanks for the offer but as you are in person (there’s no processing fee) the amount is x and you know it.
Better to have us dollars, otherwise the exchange rate will rip you off.
Bring 3×4 photos, otherwise they will scan your passport photo and charge you for that.
3-Taxi or Bus/Minivan to Siem Reap: 3.1 Taxi-There’s a choice to me made, arranging your cab just at the border or at Poipet bus station.
Taxis can be easily arrange, there will be people offering such services, try to deal with the driver directly not a middle man.
The cost is 25 usd per car(not per person), bargain is a must to meet this price.The trip takes around 2 hours.
Make sure to set all details before embarking like if is an air-con cab, the drop point, around how long it will take, etc.
3.2 Free bus from Poipet border to Poipet Bus Station- Soon your visa is in hands, just outside the border office, will be a bus stop with a free shuttle to Poipet bus station.
It’s a short 20min way on air-con almost empty bus.
The advantage here would be taking a registered taxi.
It’s not impossible to do it at the border, but if it is a concern of yours, it has to be requested and double checked as they will try black taxis first.
At the bus station only the registered ones are permitted but as there’s just them there and nothing else nearby, bargaining is much more difficult, they will try to overcharge you and probably get it their way unless you have good tricks or get back to the border(possible with the free bus anytime).
We took our taxi at the station as we preferred the official ones just because it feels safer, it wasn’t easy but we got the 25 usd fare when threatened to get back to the city.
*This option can be skipped by finding a taxi deal at the border.
3.3 Bus/Minivan-If you don’t mind waiting for a bit and a little longer trip, bus and minivans are available.
The schedule will be determined by the amount of passengers, they will depart mostly just when they’re full.
The trip can double the time to 4 hours and normally minivans will be packed (broken air-con can be an issue).
Tickets will vary from 9-12 usd per person.
If in a group, taking a taxi will be cheaper and quicker.
4-Get to your hotel:
Here 3 scenarios can get going: your taxi brings you to the hotel(hard but not impossible), a free tuktuk brings you to the hotel or a paid tuktuk(around 4 usd) do the job.
We were lucky to gain a free ride to our hotel(we were skeptical at first, but it was true=]) by our new friend Dara, which we hired for touring the temples on the following days.
Keep the contact if you plan on using tuktuk service to tour the temples (unless they give you bad budget, plenty of tuktuks can be find everywhere in town)
*Back to Bkk:
To find a taxi for your way back with the desired price is easier in Siem Reap than at the border.
That can be arranged with the tuktuk driver you used to tour the temples, with your hotel or travel agencies around the city.
Remember that the fee is 25 usd for the car.
When in Poipet repeat the border crossing, go back to where the bus from Bkk left you and buy a ticket, you can check schedule at the picture below.
There’s two choices to be considered:
.One would be a bus that goes whole way back to Bkk including the border crossing(also does Bangkok-Siem Reap).
The con is waiting for all the other passengers to get their visa done, at the end this trip will consume many more hours than needed.
The pro is if you’re scared to get lost, this takes you to point A to point B.
.Second is taking a bus from Siem Reap to Poipet, that can be arranged with your hotel or stores around town.
When in Poipet repeat the border crossing, go back to where the bus from Bkk left you and buy a ticket, you can check schedule below.
By Train + Bus/Taxi
Another option is grabbing a train, tickets are extremely cheap but it takes quite long time.
The main issue is not spending time traveling, but what time you’ll be able to cross the border and complete the second part of the trip.
It is possible, it just need more effort to be done and there’s a small possibility of having to spend the night over in Poipet(border city), which is not the best use of your time.
Train to Aranyaprathet 275 departs from Hua Lamphong station at 5:55am, costing 58 baht and only available in 3rd class seats taking 5.5-6 hours.
Great alternative for those with tight budgets.
If doing round trip, train 280 from Aranyaprathet to Bkk departs 6:40 am with the same conditions.
Hua Lamphong – หัวลำโพง
(Officially “Bangkok Railway Station” – สถานีรถไฟกรุงเทพ) Address: Hua Lamphong, Rama 4 Road, Mahaphruttharam, Bangrak, Bangkok Address in Thai: ที่อยู่: หัวลำโพง ถ.พระราม 4 แขวง มหาพฤฒาราม เขต บางรัก กทม MRT: Hua Lamphong station – Blue line, exit 2 BTS(skytrain): *Interchange with MRT needed- Asoke station – Sukhumvit line, interchange with MRT blue line Website(Thailand Railway): http://www.railway.co.th/home *In this website you can check timetables, fares and seating options with pictures of all trains in Thailand.
I personally love the trip, not only the destination.Not everyone feels the same and for these people there’s the flight.✈️
Several companies offer this route, buying in advance will always help the price matter.
The trip describe above is safe, you don’t have to worry about that.
The kind of scams you can encounter would make you loose some money(not that much) at most by misleading you to believe fake information.
Extremely easy to avoid when you are aware of the possibility of it happening, it makes you extra cautious.
Things to be avoided: Do not change money at the border, do not believe people who approach you in the way saying the border is closed, do not pay for services you don’t need(you only have to pay for the visa, anything else is not true), do not leave your belongings unattended. Common sense and you’ll be fine.
We personally never experience any of the above(apart from the official trying to charge some extra fee as mentioned on border crossing segment) and you probably won’t too, but if someone try to mislead you and you are aware of your needs, nothing is going to happen.
If for some reason you realize someone tricked you 5 usd, don’t let it mess your travel, it may be a lot in Cambodia but is not really to you.Don’t worry, be happy!😉
Just besides Sun Island Eco Village Resort in Saracen Bay there’s a sign showing the direction for lazy beach trail that takes 20-25 min.
The walk is easy on an open, mostly shadowed pathway.
On the way you can hear the sounds of nature and nothing else, breathe fresh air and enjoy the landscape.
If you’re not feeling like walking, renting a boat to get you there is possible.
However the trail is really simple and pleasant, we recommend you to do it by land.
An inviting, basically empty stretch of sand, to relax as you wish.
Distinguishing from Saracen and its blues and whites, with clear light jade water and golden sand.
There’s only one hotel available, where you can find something to eat in order to spend the day over there.
Their passion fruit and mint juice was delicious, I suggest you to give it a try.😉
We tried both sides of the bay, we’ve been told that the sea was a little shaky that day and usually it’s even more clear.
Facing the ocean, the right side had more marine life and the left was deeper with more corals.
We saw many sea urchins, but the ones that got my attention were the white ones, something you will sure encounter as well if snorkeling in Lazy Beach.🐠
How to get to Koh Rong Samloem, Where to Stay and What To Do
Blinding white sand with calm light turquoise water.Just like heaven might look, but right here on earth for you to enjoy.
This is Rong Samloem island setting, one not easy to forget.
There’s no roads, cars or such.Only a dozen of simple beach front hotels(and unfortunately couple of piers).
With two trails departing from the main Saracen Bay, one heading to Lazy Beach(20 min walk) and the other to Sunset Beach(45 min walk).Any other transportation is done by small boats you can easily rent along the beach.
But first, as you know, you have to get there:
How To Get There
The way from Sihanouk to Koh Rong Samloem (not to be confused with the neighbor Koh Rong) is easy.
You just have to buy the fast boat tickets, available at most hotels, as well at small tour shops around the city.
Transportation from your hotel to Serendipity Beach pier is included at ticket price.
The available schedule includes boats at 9:00, 11:00 and 15:00.The ride takes 45 min and costs 10 usd one way.
There’s more then one company traveling this route, timetables are known for changing frequently and late boat departures are common.
The boat will stop at 3 piers in Koh Rong Samloem: Saracen Bay, Ecosea Resort and M’Pay Bay(11:00am boat doesn’t stop at M’Pay Bay) .
Be aware that when you buy an open return ticket, the company may keep available space at the boat for new buyers and leave you without option but to wait for other times or dates.
We had a bad experience with that.Unless you already know the exactly time and date you want to be back and leave it scheduled, you better of buying the return when you have your dates later on.
Saracen Bay is our recommendation due to convenience and looks.
As far as beach quality, I’m sure you’ll have no complaints (aside from not wanting to leave).It is paradisiacal, literally.
From Saracen Bay still you have 2 tracking trails available, amplifying your visit options without counting on a boat.
Comfort talking, food options are quite limited at the island, alternating restaurants can be a big deal when facing poor menu choices, and this will be only an option when staying in Saracen.
The food struggle is even worse for vegans, not many fruits and veggies are available, eating a fried rice with only one veggie on it is likely to happen until you find better options elsewhere.
Accommodation-wise, there’s no high-end resorts at the island.
Most of hotels are simple bungalows, some with limited electricity.
We booked two different hotels, but due to work emergency we left without actually staying at the second one.
In the other hand, if you’re looking for privacy and isolated feeling staying at Lazy Beach may be the best choice for you.
The fast boat don’t stop at this beach though, a boat ride or 20 min walk will be needed.
The golden sand beach and greenish ocean are a total different look from Saracen, making these 2 must see spots.
Things To Do
If you’re after some water fun ➡️ snorkeling, diving(even getting your padi ) and kayaking are available(and recommended!) at the island.
Feet on the sand is your vibe? Chilling at the beach and trekking to explore the island are great options!
What about night time? You can rent a boat for 40 usd (boat price, can be shared by a group) to swim with magical looking bioluminescent plankton contrasting with the dark sea.
If you ask my opinion I would say go on and do it all!Enjoy every aspect of this beautiful place!🌴
Sunny beach days, the best gift of nature in this world!
Following the desire of enjoying one of those, we came one more time to Cambodia, this time to explore the coastline.
Where to Stay?
We stayed at Otres Beach, one of the most famous stretches of sand in Sihanoukville and definitely the best choice.
After reading plenty of reviews we were surprised to find clear water, white sand and some snorkeling off the beach.The place exceeded our expectations.
What to Do?
We had a good time chilling at the beach, feasting contemplating the sea.
A must as well is a massage facing the ocean, relaxation won’t be a problem.🏝
Exploring along the beach is something we love to do, specially at long beaches, you can see the place at another angle.
Sihanoukville is booming, changing really fast.
In some areas trash may be a problem taking away the complete atmosphere, but life has taught me to look at the beauty of everything and forget the rest.
Prices are all in US Dollars, and everything is more expensive if compared with the neighbor Thailand(specifically at this area, Siam reap in the other hand is cheaper).
The city is the departure point to gorgeous Koh Rong Sanloem, an island which we gonna show you anytime soon.
Unfortunately our time in Sihanouk was reduced due to a work emergency, but at least we got a taste of the city.
We absolutely love to travel, so an international trip by land definitely brings joy to our minds just on thinking of it!😀
If you’re on our boat, check today’s post,where we gonna show you how we went from Bangkok city to coastal Sihanoukville and other travel possibilities you’ve got to this journey.
This is a trip for adventurous people who don’t mind small leg space and old buses. If you like more luxurious holidays or don’t have much time to spend traveling have a look at “By Air” segment below. To better explain the itinerary we divided it in 5 parts:
1-Bus from Bangkok to Trat
At Ekkamai Bus Terminal several buses depart to Trat(every 1,5 hour) but in order to make this trip work in it’s best timing, boarding the last bus at 11:30pm for an overnight trip is the right choice.
Ticket price will cost you 236 bath per person and will take 6 hours or less, with the possibility of buying a discounted open return ticket.We personally decided to buy the open return, which came with an attached timetable and booking phone number(the time can be selected in person at any Thai bus station as well).
They provide a bottle of water, unless you’re planing on sleep all the way there, bring some snacks.
Address: Ekkamai Bus Terminal (Eastern Bus Terminal) – สถานีขนส่งสายตะวันออก (เอกมัย)
Also spelled Ekamai Bus Terminal BTS(skytrain): Ekkamai station – Sukhumvit line, exit 2
2-Van from Trat to Hat Lek(Thai Border City)
Soon as you arrive in Trat walk to aisle number 13 and buy a van ticket to Hat Lek.Depending on how early your bus arrive you may need to wait a moment to purchase the ticket, there’s some simple Thai restaurants besides the station where you can have some breakfast while you wait.
Info we got was that the first van departed at 7:00am but we actually catch the first car that left at 6:30 that is even better to get you early to your final destination.If for any reason you want to embark a later time, they depart every 45 min until 5:00pm.
Van cost is 120 baht per person and it takes 2 hours until the border.
When in Hat Lek the van will stop very near the immigration office, impossible to get lost.
There will be many man trying to sell you sim cards, offering to carry your luggage, etc.There’s no need to feel pressured to buy anything, they’re harmless just a bit insistent😉.
If you do need help with your luggage, 1 usd is the fee(and maybe you don’t really need but still want help, feel free to tip them to carry your backpack💗).
Visa cost around 30 usd depending on your nationality, however corruption is a frequent happening at this specific border point with the officials overcharging it.
The visa forms are free and you don’t need to pay to have it filled for you, just politely denied the service and do it yourself.
Check the official embassy website for updated rates for your nationality and insist on it with the officers.Most of the times it will work if you stick with it, or at least bring the price down a bit.
We tried to push until the right fee and after few minutes on it they reduced a lot but not to the proper amount(5 usd lost each), we felt that there’s just a limit on what you can actually insist on a situation like this and it will depend on case to case how far you can go(extortion can and should be reported to your country embassy).Also we didn’t want to lose much time over this matter, unfortunately this is part of the process.
Bring money in US dollars otherwise the exchanging rate used for payment in Thai baht will rip you off.
3- Tuk Tuk from Cham Yeam(Cambodian Border City) to Koh Kong
Now you are in Cambodia!With your visa in hands and ready to proceed.
There will be drivers offering taxi/tuk tuk services at the immigration office exit(don’t worry about finding them, they will find you=]).
Bargain your price down until 3 usd and be clear about the location you want to be dropped.Here you can go to “Street 3” or directly to the bus station(more about it on next segment).Ride will take around 20 min.
Make sure to have usd change to pay the driver otherwise they will suggest you to change money where they can get some commission.
Also be sure to say a clear(gentle though) goodbye to you cabby as you get at your destination if you want to get a cheap price at your bus seats, if not, they will follow you around looking for commission.
4- 4.1Bus from Koh Kong to Sihanoukville or 4.2-Taxi from Koh Kong to Sihanoukville
4.1: Now you have 2 options, Street 3 or Bus Station.
At Street 3 you’ll find some small “travel agencies” selling bus tickets to Sihanoukville.
Few companies make this route, but if you are using the time line we are indicating, the convenient to grab is the one leaving the city at 10:00am.
This bus will have a stop, where you will have to change bus(wait time up to 30min in a simple restaurant).They have fruit available and cold drinks, to refresh while you’re waiting.Total travel time of 4:30 hours.
The start price will be 14-18 us dollars, bargain your ticket down to 9 usd(8 usd can be dealt by a skilled bargainer).
If you choose to go directly to the bus station, you may have less bargain window but from our experience it seems like many people are trying to sell the tickets and getting a good deal won’t be a problem.
Enjoy the view on the way passing through the Cardamom Mountains.
Based on the street signs if you pay attention you will see some elephants around too.🐘
Make sure to keep your valuables with you as there’s some occurrences on items been STILLED from passenger luggage(specially in night-time buses).
4.2: A private taxi to Sihanoukville can be found for 40 to 65 us dollars, it depends on you bargain skills and departure time. The run will take 4 hours.
Remember to ask which car will be used for the trip, if it has air-con, etc. Also be sure to explain that you want to be dropped at your hotel on arrival.
If you plan to leave Koh Kong in the afternoon will be very difficult to find a taxi, as is safer to get the trajectory done by day time.
5-Tuk Tuk/Taxi from Sihanoukville Bus Station to your hotel (if you chose 4.2 skip number 5)
Again, bargain is needed to find you a 3-4 usd(depending on your location) ride to your hotel.
As we had luggage we grabbed a taxi instead of the usual tuk tuk for the same price.
We end up paying 5 usd(just 1 usd more than we agreed), something that made the driver extremely happy.
He couldn’t hide his contentment and told us that he was a tuk tuk driver before and had just upgraded to that car as his new business.Happy warm heart people just like in Thailand.💝 Immigration working hours: 6:00am to 10:00pm Be aware of immigration working hours, specially when using private transportation.
We have done this route using 4.1 on our way to Sihanouk and 4.2(inverted) on our way back to Thailand.Both went great and are recommended.
Flights to Sihanoukville will depart from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.For detailed information about Bangkok Airports Click Here.
Sihanoukville Airport is located 20km from the city center, you will need to pick a taxi(20-25 usd to city center) or shuttle bus(6 usd per person) to your hotel after arrival.
Sihanoukville International Airport – អាកាសយានដ្ឋានអន្តរជាតិក្រុងព្រះសីហនុ Website: http://www.kos.aero/index.php?airport=KOS#anchor
*If you feel that you are being scammed, that someone is trying to take advantage of you, overcharge you, etc. refuse politely.Altering you tone of voice or angry face expressions will bring you nowhere in Cambodia. *All kind of small services will be offered to you along this trip, remember that their country suffers with poverty and you may be helping a lot when using this services.(It doesn’t mean you have to, feel free to denied as you wish) *If time isn’t a concern and you are into nature exploring, Koh Kong is a ecotourism destination including trails within the Cardamon Mountains and more. *You will need money in Thai Baht and US Dollars to complete this trip, changing it in advance(Bkk is a good choice) will save you some trouble. *Bring passport size photos for visa. *Forget the rest and enjoy your beautiful present moment in an exotic land!🎁
Are you in for an adventure?Let us know at the comments below!❤️