As promised my trip to Cambodia...
If it hadn’t been for the RM49.99 tickets to Siem Reap by Air Asia, I don’t think we would be heading for a holiday in
Both my husband and I were looking forward to this trip. I needed to really take a break from work and things at home and nothing would be better than taking a short holiday as early as the second month of the year.
So there we were…at around 10.15 am departing from LCCT Sepang… en route to Siem Reap. The flight took us about 2 hours. The flight was alright. Air
Having taken a heavy breakfast at the airport earlier, I wasn’t interested in the snacks. It was time for me to close my eyes for a short while. I must have dosed off even as the plane took off. When I opened my eyes, I saw the stewardess already pushing the food cart. Ha…ha …makan time for those who would like to purchase the snacks sold on board.
Two hours later the surrounding areas of Siem Reap could be viewed from air. Aha…almost nearing our destination. After a some what bumpy landing and upon coming to complete stop, the doors of the airplane were opened and we headed our way to the terminal building.
Immigrations clearance was smooth. We claimed our baggage after that and headed to the money changer to get some local currencies. Then we headed straight to the main exit door. There were like 10 tour guides waiting for their groups from this flight. Each one of them was carrying an A4 size paper with the guests’ names printed on them.
I found my guide in no time. We introduced ourselves and pushed our trolley to the van waiting at the airport car park. Our guide was Mao..a local guy who spoke relatively decent English. There was just the two of us in the group. Well…I didn’t mind it all.
From the airport we were taken to our hotel – Casa Angkor. On the way to the hotel we saw lots of newly constructed hotels along the road to Siem Reap town. Our guide explained that tourism is booming in Siem Reap now. During peak season, hotels can be fully booked. So…that explained why every little space available will be converted into hotels.
We arrived at Casa Angkor in 15 minutes. Actually the hotel is not very far from the Airport. The driver was driving like 50km/hr. No rush..he was just showing off his place. I guess it’s ok..coz we are on a holiday. We’ll take it easy for the next couple of days.
I was impressed with what I saw of Casa Angkor. It had beautiful interiors. Even though it’s a 3 star hotel..to me it didn’t seem so. There was a small swimming pool, a gym and also a spa. The spa had caught my interest obviously. I hope to be able to get myself fixed up with a nice massage before I return to KL.
We put our luggage in the room and then headed back to the hotel lobby. Our guide had waited for us there.
Next stop will be lunch. Yupp…we were hungry already by then so it’s time to eat. The guide took us to a restaurant called SeamHeap Restaurant. Lunch was vegetables and sea food considering we were not into the meat or chicken that was served.
Lunch was ok. If only it was a bit spicier..then it would have been better. After lunch we went back to Casa Angkor for a break before the program in the afternoon.
I managed to catch a short nap before our afternoon tour program. At around 2pm were met up with Mao again. The first stop for the visit was going to be a jewelry shop. Upon arriving at the hotel we were served with fresh coconut drink. The sales girl showed us precious stones like rubies, sapphires and garnets. The pieces there were ok..nothing really caught my eye. So…my purse was relatively safe for the moment…ha..ha.
We spent about 20 minutes at the jewelry shop. It’s considered very fast by my standards. I was lucky as there wasn’t anything I liked. The sales girl was very upset went we left. She had made an offer on a ruby pendant for RM350 to my husband. She started of with USD350 for the piece. After much of bargaining..she offered him the stone at RM350. Wow…what a bargain!! Unfortunately, I wasn’t really interested with the piece. So..it was no go. And that explained her disappointment with us.
Next stop was the
We moved around. The guide explained to us about wood and stone carvings. Pretty interesting…and I just salute their patience and determination in getting the work completed. I didn’t think I had what it took to be a good wood carver.
After visiting the
It took us about 10 minutes to reach the place. It was a muslim village with about 500 families living together in the area. When we got down from the van a guy greeted us with a salam. Then he began to speak in Bahasa Melayu. I was surprised as he spoke BM just like I do. Later he told he that he had visited
The village had a mosque called the Neakmah Mosque. My husband went to have a look inside the mosque with a few of the locals. He said the Imam was a young chap. By then I was already drawing enough attention of the locals around. In no time there were little children and ladies peeping through their windows looking at me. I just smiled and waved back at them….well…what else could I have done??
After spending some time at the mosque, we were off to our next stop..the Old Market. Just like other markets of the places we’ve been to the Old Market is no different. It sells local handicrafts and souvenirs to tourists. There were also food stuffs like rice and vegetables sold in the wet section of the market. One thing one MUST do at markets like this is to bargain.
The items sold were not too bad. I got myself a nice embroidered handbag and a few pieces of cushion covers made of raw silk. On my way out I spotted on raw silk materials. Ahaaa…this I just couldn't resist. The colors were so vibrant. So after much haggling with the seller, I got myself 4 meters of apple green raw silk material at USD8 per meter. Not too bad…coz I know for sure I would have to pay more for it back home.
And I was a very happy person after that…heh..heh.
Next stop was the Central Market. It’s almost the same as the Old Market. Most of the things sold are the same. My husband got himself a
The thing that amazed me here was the central area of the market. Jewelry is sold here. The whole place was dark when we first walked in. Then as we approached the sellers, they switched on the lights. When the place was lighted..wallah…we saw all the jewelries sparkling in the light. One lady wanted to sell me a white gold necklace and a ruby pendant for USD35. I wasn’t sure if the jewelry she was selling was genuine especially when her store was the least lighted. It could be fakes for all I know. I just ignored her calls and walked away.
By the time we got into our van, it was already dark. We were taken to dinner to a restaurant nearby. The restaurant served buffet dinner and we could choose from the whole spread. Just as what we had for lunch..no meat, only vegetables and seafood. We were entertained by locals dancing and singing during the dinner. Food was good and I was so full by the time we headed back to Casa Angkor.