Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cambodia Travel Diary: Day 2 at Siem Reap

Day 2 was when we finally got to see the majestic Angkor Wat. This is the largest religious monument in the world. The term "Angkor Wat" means "Temple City" or "City of Temples". We went there early, but there were already a lot of tourists who also wanted to see this wonder.

Tip: Here in Angkor Wat they're more strict with visitors when it comes to clothing. Even if you may not share the same faith as them, we still have to respect their tradition and wear appropriate, non-revealing clothes. Avoid wearing spaghetti strap tops and short shorts here.

Relics inside Angkor Wat

It's also better to go early, since Angkor Wat is a temple complex, and if you're not inside the temples, you're out in the open with no shade. Umbrellas, hats, SPF, and bottled water are very handy things to bring.

Magsasaka OOTD. I love my giant hat from Cotton On! :D

Scattered throughout the Angkor Wat complex are various worship sites like this one.

We had to fall in line in order to go to the inner, highest point of the temple. This was the view from the top.

A lot of tourists took photos at this spot before leaving, and so we did, too. LOL! I loved how scenic this spot was, the water reflected the symmetry of the Angkor Wat temples beautifully.

After Angkor Wat, we dropped by the Terrace of the Elephants, part of the walled city of Angkor Thom, a ruined temple complex in Cambodia. The terrace used to be an audience hall and for public ceremonies.

Last temple for the day was Ta Prohm, AKA the "Tomb Raider Temple". I think this is the second most visited one because of Hollywood fame. Since Angkor Wat covers a vast area, some of the temples  are surrounded by and taken over by forests, this being the best example. I remember this part being the most tiring one, since it's easy to get lost inside this particular temple with several exit points.

After the temple run, we were starving so we wanted to go to a nice cold place with good food. Guess where we went?

Blue Pumpkin, of course! :D I had the pasta, while my friend had a double patty burger. *drool*

After our late lunch, we headed back to the hotel because of our scheduled shuttle to our afternoon activity: Quad Adventure Cambodia's Sunset on the Paddy Fields ATV Adventure! Long name, but THIS was my favorite memory here in Cambodia.

A short practice/training was required before anyone can ride the ATV. I rode one in Boracay way back in 2013, and I had a smooth ride. Quad Aventure Cambodia's ATVs were bigger and more detailed. I had a super short practice run with my instructor and failed. Haha! I couldn't drive it, but I can be a passenger.

We were provided with helmets and masks to protect us from the dust.

It was a long drive, and I thank Panda for taking me as his passenger. He had no choice! :D One funny/scary part was when we encountered a group of carabaos, and they stared at our friend's ATV. o_o

Finally, we reached the paddy fields and waited for the sun to set.

The cameras weren't able to capture the full glory of the sunset. The sun turned red and sinked into the clouds, and it really was the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen (so far). We left with wonderful memories this day.

We headed back to King Boutique Hotel to freshen up (since we were all covered with sweat and dust). We decided to eat at Pub Street and do a bit of shopping at the Night Market.

We chose Cambodia's Top Tables BBQ-BAR because they had fresh seafood on display, and we couldn't believe the price of the huge prawns! ♥
Fresh river prawn (1 pc.) ($2.75)
Beef skewer (1 pc.) ($1.50)
Pork ribs ($2.50)

Stir-fried rice with choice of beef, chicken, or seafood ($2.50)

Beef steak ($2.50)

Stir-fried rice with choice of beef, chicken, or seafood ($2.50)

The items we ordered we good for their prices. We liked almost everything, but I had my beef skewer sent back to the kitchen because it was undercooked. The staff weren't the friendliest, too.

After dinner was shopping! When I first came here, I wondered why people sold a lot of scarves. It's so hot here! Then I realized, people use it to protect themselves from the sun's rays, too. I've usually ignored scarves here in Manila, but they were all that got me excited shopping at Siem Reap. I was able to buy pretty ones for $2 to $4. However, it made me sad as well, since there was nothing else to buy here aside from scarves and few unique stuff at the grocery. (Bangkok still tops my list of shopping havens!)

Last thing we did on Day 2 was to have dessert at Project Y Frozen Yogurt at Siem Reap's Night Market. It's a social business run by volunteers, and each cup of yogurt you buy sponsors the education of a person in need. The staff here were very kind and engaging. I love the concept, and I loved the yogurt! You can have free tastes of the different flavors first before buying; they have banana, blueberry, mango, strawberry, chocolate, plain, etc! It's very creamy and less tart. It actually tastes just like ice cream, only lighter and healthier. It's the best yogurt we've had, and our group agrees unanimously.

Stay tuned for Day 3 of my Cambodia Travel Diary! :D

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