Back in Cambodia

Sorry we have been a bit quiet recently but it was the busy run up to our holiday time and then travelling to Cambodia. Yes, this article comes to you from Siem Reap, Cambodia.

A few of you regulars will recall we visited Cambodia this time last year, travelling around a lot of the country over nearly 4 weeks. This time we decided to focus on one area, Siem Reap. It is the location to base yourself and visit many temples or “Wats”.

This trip is for 10 days and is a combination of exploring the area and having a break. Last year we travelled a lot and saw a lot of this fascinating country. This year we have based ourselves in Siem Reap at the same hotel so only one lot of unpacking of our gear and no timetables or travel plans to worry about.

We arrived a week ago and there was a lot of flooding across the north of Cambodia. Many of the roads to the temples were under water, as was the centre of town. There was also a lot of flood damage to homes and farms in the region.

Floods in Siem Reap

Floods in Siem Reap - the roads held a lot of water

As part of our accommodation we have exclusive access to a Tuk Tuk from dawn to 10pm. Mr Tola the driver has been great and it makes getting around very easy. Last year we had to negotiate a price with a new driver most trips and then explain where we wanted to go, getting lost several times.

The first day we visited the famous Angkor Wat

View from Angkor Wat back to main gates

View from Angkor Wat back to main gates

There are metres and metres of amazing bas reliefs around most of the Temple.

Close up of a bas relief - Angkor Wat

Close up of a bas relief - Angkor Wat

Playing with the panorama on our new camera.

Panorama of Angkor Wat including the moat

Panorama of the Angkor Wat entrance with the moat

We even ran into some local wildlife near a small temple.

Local tree snake

Local tree snake - harmless according to our Tuk Tuk driver

These are the gates to Angkor Thom, a very large complex of temples. This was taken late in the afternoon, after the coach loads of tourists from across Asia had departed for the day. It is a terrific time of the day to explore.

The entrance gates to  Angkor Thom

The entrance gates to Angkor Thom - taken in the evening

The monks who live in the area have a prayer session in the evening.

A monk at Angkor Thom

A monk at Angkor Thom

Bayon, one of the huge structures in Angkor Thom.

Bayon - every tower has four massive stone faces

Bayon - every tower has four massive stone faces

This temple was way out the back of the complex, small but beautiful.

A small temple at Angkor Thom

A small temple at Angkor Thom

The Tomb Raider temple – Ta Prohn is worth getting to early in the morning. It is very popular, sometimes with a long queue to have your photo taken under “that” tree.

Ta Prohm, Cambodia

Ta Prohm, where the 'Tomb Raider tree' lives. This is one of the walls in the same temple.

Eating and drinking in Cambodia is very inexpensive. We usually spend about $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner for the two of us. That includes drinks.

Food Cambodia

One of Sue's favourite meals - salad

We are not sure if the alcohol is locally produced but the prices are cheap.

Pub Street drink prices - Siem Reap

Pub St in town is the backpacker, cheap eating and drinking area. These prices are for a "jug" in $US

So there you go. As we sit here, it is 6:30 am, temp is 28 c, humidity about 99%, it is raining heavily and we are about to head out on one last explore. Time to buy a poncho!

By the way, we have shared a lot more photo’s of this trip over on Our Hiking Blog’s facebook page, jump over and check them out if you are a Facebook user.


  1. says

    Hi! I’m stopping in via the Outdoor Blogging Network… I first read a few of your posts on the Overland Trek in Tassie and signed up to follow your blog. It sounds like you guys get to do some amazing treks and travels and I look forward to reading more and going back through your previous posts! :)

    These photos are gorgeous! I haven’t been to that part of the world yet (other than a visit to Bangkok as a child, doesn’t count!), you make me want to move it up on my travelling list! 😉

    • Frank says

      Loving the work you are doing at the Outdoor Bloggers network, well done!

      You will have to try and arrange a long trip to Cambodia, not so good for hiking as it is pretty hot but it is a wonderful place to explore by Tuk Tuk or bicycle.

      I should have linked to the articles from last year in the article but they are over here: Cambodia Trip 2010

  2. says

    Cambodia’s a fascinating country and Angkor Wat complex is just incredible. It wasn’t just the beauty of the temples but how many of them were in the area that really struck me.
    My wife and I spent a month there 5 years ago and your post brings back many good memories. Despite Cambodia’s horrific recent history and the atrocities most families have lived through the people are so open and friendly.
    See if you can pick up a copy of ‘First they killed my father’ while you’re out there – it’s usually in the collection of blurred photocopied books that you’re offered by the streetsellers and well worth a read.
    Enjoy your trip,

    • Frank says

      Thanks for the feedback Phil,
      The whole country is , as you say, fascinating. We bought a LOT of books last trip, including “First they killed my father”. It was a morbid but enlightening read (as have all the books that came out about the Pol Pot regime)

      A film that may interest you, that we saw at the Melbourne Film Festival recently, was Brother Number One

      In summary:

      a New Zealand documentary on the torture and murder of New Zealand yachtie Kerry Hamill by the Khmer Rouge in 1978. It follows the journey of Kerry’s younger brother, Rob Hamill, an Olympic and Trans-Atlantic champion rower, who travels to Cambodia to retrace the steps taken by his brother and John Dewhirst, speaking to eyewitnesses, perpetrators and survivors

      He was only one of millions but it is told in a heart wrentching fashion.

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