Sometimes, I really grateful to have AirAsia (AA) for introducing so many new unknown destinations to us Malaysians and one of them is Siem Reap. Prior to that, I had no idea where on Earth is Siem Reap and what’s good there. Little did I know that Siem Reap is actually a town of Cambodia and most importantly, UNESCO-listed Angkor Wat is located there too! I think to most of us, Angkor Wat is just a big temple with fairly good historical values and unique architectures. Well, it’s not that simple as you might think.
To start off our journey in Siem Reap, it’s best for you to know what’s behind Angkor Wat.
The Angkor Archaeological Park is home to the magnificent Khmer temple ruins of Angkor, including the legendary Angkor Wat, Bayon and dozens of other ancient ruins of the Angkorian-era (9th-13th century) Khmer Empire. The Park encompasses more than 400 square kilometers just outside Siem Reap City in northwestern Cambodia and is a World Heritage Site. [Source]
In 1992, the site was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List and was declared a World Heritage in Danger site, due to extensive damage as a result of abandonment because of war and other upheavals. [Source]
Our journey to Siem Reap was pretty smooth; no delays in flight, pretty good weather and everyone was in good mood. Except that I had high fever the night before but luckily subsided by the time we left.
Fast forward two hours later, we touched down Siem Reap International Airport. We did what most typical tourists must do; take photos with jet plane as backdrop. Hahaha.
We were the very last batch of people to actually went into the airport as we busy cam-whore. On the side note, this terminal was just opened not very long ago and I still could see workers putting finishing touches to it.
Nevertheless, fast forward again, we met up with our guide, John, who has been waiting for quite some time under hot scorching sun and he wasted no time introducing himself and welcoming us to his homeland.
We checked into our hotel first, Nokor Phnom which is just 10 minutes drive from the airport. I tell you, Siem Reap is actually a small town and most of the places are within driving distance. Okay, back to the story again, after we checked in, we went for our very first Khmer lunch at our own expense.
We had our lunch at this restaurant called Borey Savann. It was where my fever came back and thus I did not manage to sample their dishes.
And I had this for my lunch…
My one and only dish actually tasted quite good. I was actually more worried of my fever than the food as I afraid it will spoil the entire trip and make my friends worry. So, I tried to put up a cheerful look so everybody will actually think I’m getting better. (Friends, I’m so sorry with the mess that I brought up.)
Coming up soon… our first destination of the day.