3 Days in Siem Reap, Cambodia

I had always heard great things about Cambodia (and Cambodians), so I made sure to include 3 days in Siem Reap on my SouthEast Asia Itinerary. In hindsight, 3 days was much too short and despite the heat, Siem Reap is the one place I would like to return to for a deeper exploration.

I contemplated taking the bus from Bangkok, but ultimately, wisely, settled on a flight, which was under 1 hour and less than $100 on AirAsia. Even the airport felt exotic, with a distinct Polynesian feel. Cambodia was the only country which required a visa on this trip, but even that process was relatively quick – thankfully, I’d done my research and had extra passport photos on hand (and cash!)

Siem Reap

Upon arrival, I went straight to the transport desk and booked a $7 car to my hotel. Shortly after, I was checked into what may be my favorite hotel of all time! I absolutely loved Le Meridien Angkor! I arrived well before check-in, and while I waited for my room, was given a cold towel and mango juice. (Cold towels were a hit everywhere I went in Asia…so refreshing!)

Siem Reap

Siem Reap Street Food Tour

I had a bit of time to relax before I was scheduled for a food tour that I’d booked through Viator. For $47, I joined the Siem Reap Street Food Evening Tour. Various moto-taxis collected 5 of us from our hotels to meet our guide, Kim, at a local street market. Rather than warming us up to “weird” food, we started off right at the bug table, which included crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, beetles, worms, and frogs. One brave soul (the only man in our group) tried everything while us girls were a bit more squeamish. I did try the frog and snail, as those didn’t seem too exotic. (I’ll also note the cockroach involved a peeling of the shell, which pretty much made me throw up in my mouth)

Siem Reap

We then moved on to more palatable tables, such as fruit and sweets. I was excited to try jackfruit and durian, as well as other exotic items like rambutan. All of the fruit was good, although the texture of durian takes some getting used to. (Jackfruit is becoming a popular meat substitute in the States and I recently sampled it at the taco bar of Whole Foods!)

Siem Reap

After a bit of browsing and snacking, we headed to one of the grills, where Kim loaded up plates and we sat down for a picnic. Here we tried a little bit of everything, including quail, duck, more frog (this time stuffed with sausage.)

Siem Reap

Sweets are always my favorite, especially when they are coconut and rice-based…yum!

Siem Reap

After all of this eating, we jumped back in the taxis for a sit-down meal at a local restaurant. I was already stuffed at this point (not much appetite when it’s 100-plus degrees) but it was fun to try Amok, which is the local Cambodian coconut soup, served in a coconut shell.

At the conclusion of the tour, everyone headed over to Pub street, but this old lady had a 4am wake-up call for the next day’s Sunrise tour of Angkor, which you can read about here.

After the bike tour, I essentially had one day left in Siem Reap before flying to Phuket.  I didn’t have anything planned, but I woke up early (after pretty much going to bed at 3pm the day before!) and caught a ride into town to wander around and do some shopping. Until now, I was still traveling out of a small carry-on and hadn’t done much shopping, so this was my chance to buy any souvenirs as I knew I wouldn’t be going into town in Phuket.  As I strolled around, I was lured into a $4 foot massage while I sipped a fresh coconut shake.  As I relaxed into the chair, the masseuse’s sister excitedly talked me into a manicure as well.  They were both so sweet and filled me in on the “neighborhood gossip” before her husband drove me back to the hotel in his tuk tuk.

Siem Reap

As it began to heat up, it was time to head back to the hotel pool for the day. I also indulged in a facial at the spa, given that my skin was quite unhappy in this climate, but otherwise spent the day in the shade of a pool umbrella.

Le Meridien Angkor

In the evening, although room service was tempting me, I decided to head to the Foreign Correspondent’s Club for cocktails and dinner.

Siem Reap

The next morning, it was time to re-pack and head to the airport, for my final vacation leg in Phuket.

I loved everything about my 3 days in Siem Reap….except the weather! I really don’t do well in high humidity, so I spent a lot more down-time at the pool than I would have liked (even if it was a gorgeous pool!) The people I met were all incredible – despite a dark history as recently as the 80’s, they just seemed like wonderful people.  I would love to go back for another visit, and spend more time exploring.

For all of my Cambodia pictures, click here!

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3 Days in Siem Reap

This post is part of The Weekly Postcard over at Two Traveling Texans. Click the photo below to check out other great posts this week!

 

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25 thoughts on “3 Days in Siem Reap, Cambodia

    • Ha! I went to Panama last fall, which was like a “practice trip” for Asia – learned that a light gray t-shirt dress was a BAD idea…dark colors or white only 🙂

    • Thanks! I suppose I would get used to the weather if I stayed longer, but I will be more careful to plan my next visit when it is not so hot.

  1. It sounds like such a friendly place. And the facial and foot massage sound fantastic! Regarding all that food to sample, I think I would probably jump right in. I used to be very wary of new foods but now I take any opportunity. Sometimes it reveals a nice surprise. Other times not so much! I would convince myself that peeling a cockroach is no different to peeling a prawn…
    The only thing that puts me off visiting is the heat. I tend to struggle when it’s so hot. I guess it might be doable if the cold towels thing is easy enough to access.

    • Of course I cooked shrimp this week and your comment rang in my head while I peeled the shells…lol. Sometimes I may regret not doing something, but in this case, I do not regret skipping out on the crickets and cockroaches! Plus, that meant more food for our guide to eat!

  2. I saw huge spiders and what looked like snakes curled up on a cart along the street when I was there. It just gave me the shudders!

    • We did not see the tarantulas they eat, but I heard those are at another market. I wasn’t sad to miss them, that’s for sure!

  3. Looks beautiful and how cool is that food tour? Sounds like a great way to spend a couple of days. I’m sure I would have melted in the heat too but at least you had a beautiful pool to relax by! I’m a persons who likes to pack a lot in on each trip so some forced relaxation might be good for me! Thanks for sharing

    • That’s a good point – this trip was pretty ambitious and busy, so the downtime was good, I just need to go back and see what I missed!

  4. Hopefully the weather didn’t damage your trip too much! It’s not fun to be uncomfortable for sure, but it sounded like the food tour was fun and delicious!

    • Luckily the Meridien had a beautiful pool I could retreat to when the heat go to be too much!

  5. This looks awesome! Many of my friends growing up were from Cambodia so I know how friendly they are! We love traveling in Thailand so now I’m curious about Cambodia! Shoot! One more place added to the bucket list! I’ll go anywhere for good coconut rice desserts!

    • Hm, that is a good question. There is plenty of fresh fruit, and smoothies were popular. Do bugs count as meat? 😉

  6. I loved my time in Cambodia. I can’t say I enjoyed the food as much as Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia etc. But I did find the country to be so open-hearted and kind. The hospitality was amazing. 3 days is definitely not enough time. This post has made want to go back to the first country I ever travelled to solo.

    • Thailand and Vietnam are definitely better known for their cuisine, other than amok, I don’t know what food was distinctly Cambodian. I also want to go back, despite the heat, lol!

  7. I visited Cambodia for the first time last year and loved it – especially Siem Reap, I didn’t make it on a food tour, would have loved to that. I didn;t think 3 days would be enough either so decided to go for 7 – and still ran out of time to see everything on offer! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • I wonder how much time is enough?! I may try to go back in 2018, if my schedule (and budget) allows!

  8. I have not made to Cambodia yet, but I have been to Asia a few times. From those trips, I have learned that the hotels are more luxurious in Asia, so I would love to try the Le Meridan you stayed in. Also, the street food is so interested, doing a tour sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • Yes, the points value for hotels is much better than in the U.S. I pretty much have to do a food tour or I would be eating pasta at the hotel the whole time…I’m not very adventurous when eating, unless someone else is ordering for me!

  9. We’ve been debating that very question: How long in Cambodia? A week? A month? (We wish!!) Definitely long enough for a food tour – but we’d start at the fruit table too. And might just stay there for the jackfruit – love the stuff! We really enjoyed this post – thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

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