Crossing the Vietnam~Cambodia border was hassle free. We paid the fixer on the bus $25 USD and he took care of the visa for us. We arrived at Phnom Pehn at around 7pm and had several hours to kill until our night bus bound for Siem Reap.
After a small incident with a tuk tuk driver regarding giving us our change back, we had dinner at a street stall and took a walk along the riverside. My first impression of Phnom Pehn is that it is very undeveloped since there is no skyline, no garbage cans and bad roads. If Hanoi was the rich uncle, Phnom Pehn would be the poor unknown cousin. However the riverside bars were decent and we had Angkor drafts for $0.6 USD each.
Eventually we got on the Giant Ibis night bus to Siem Reap. (A company I would recommend) and attempted to sleep as the bus drove though extremely bumpy dirt roads.
We arrived at Siem Reap at 530am , and since it was way too early to check in, we had breakfast and walked around trying to locate a bike rental store at 6am that was open. Eventually we managed to find some bikes at a hostel for $1.5 a day and we headed to see the temples of Angkor Wat by bike.
After paying our $20USD entrance fee we cycled to Angkor Wat. What a giant site.
Then we headed to the ancient city of Ankor Thom.
My favorite site was definitely Bayon due to its unique architecture and nice heads. Apparently this site is characterized by it’s poor craftsmanship, but I think it is beautiful.
Our last site was to see The Elephant Terrace and The Terrace of the Leper King. By the time we finished with this area was already 1pm and incredibly hot. I am sure we didn’t sweat so much when we were seeing the temples in Mexico. So we biked the long distance to the hotel where we checked in, showered and promptly crashed in bed. (Recall we had almost no sleep the night before on a very bumpy night bus).
At first we considered going back to Angkor Wat to see the sunset, but the pool from our $30 USD hotel sounded a lot more attractive.
At night we went to look for some real Cambodian food, and after hunting online we found a restaurant called Chanrea Dom Makara. For $10.5 we feasted on some delicious Cambodian food and beer. The food was so good, I actually forgot to take photos.
Early next morning to took the bus back to Phnom Pehn ( which took a painful 7 hours). Got ourselves a last Cambodian street food meal under the scorching heat, headed back to the bar with $2.5 pitchers of Angkor beer and finally took a tuk tuk to the airport.
All in all a very nice but a bit rushed trip. We will definitely go back to see Angkor Wat again as we only saw a small proportion of the ruins. As for Cambodia, the people are nice but not as friendly as those in Saigon . Tuk Tuk drivers are very insistent and the country is a lot poorer than Vietnam. Not a bad country to visit but there needs to be big improvement on infrastructure. ( public transportation or roads would be a start).