Naryn, Karthik, Martin and Raman's
Angkor Wat Expedition

 
30th Dec - 06th Jan 2002


Angkor wat during sun rise

Travel Report

Pre-Expedition Planning (Singapore):

We started planning for this trip a couple of weeks before i left San Francisco. The  initial idea was to fly directly to Siem reap from Singapore but when we checked the airfares for Siem reap it was way too high. I read through a couple of travelogues on the internet and decided on doing it in a  more adventurous (and cheaper) way by going to Siem reap by road from Bangkok through Poipet border crossing. The visa for Cambodia could also be obtained at the Poipet border crossing. Martin was to join us at Bangkok from Europe. The rest of us got our self a Thai airlines ticket to Bangkok for S$350 from Ramesh travels in Singapore. 
 

Day 1 (Sun 30 Dec) (Singapore / Bangkok)

I met Karthik at  Changi airport at 6.45am for our TG 402 flight to Bangkok departing at 8.25am. It was a pretty smooth journey. We used a airport taxi and checked in at First house, Bangkok. Naryn was at Asia Hotel.
Visited Khoa san road and got our bus tickets for Siem reap for 500bhat. Had a stroll that evening at Papong night bazaar. Later we had a great dinner at Papong sea food center.
    

Day 2 (Mon 31 Dec) (Bangkok)

We spend most of the afternoon just browsing thru shopping centers. Being a new years eve. We decided on taking the dinner cruise on Choa pha raya princess. Had to board the boat at Royal river city barge. Had a great dinner cruise. We went to Wat arun to watch the fire works display during the new year eve countdown. What a memorable way to end the year. Martin had his fancy camcorder to capture the fire works at Wat arun (we hope he cuts a DVD real soon). Later in the night we had a party in Naryn's room in Asia Hotel.
Dinner cruise on Choa pha raya princess

Day 3 (Tue 01 Jan) (Bangkok / Siem reap)

We had to start very early in the morning to get our 6.00am transport from Khoa san road. Had our morning coffee before we boarded the cramped mini van on our 4hr journey to Poipet (Cambodian border city). At the dusty boarder town we had to walk across the border and get our Cambodian visa. The officials in the border post weren't too friendly with us. But finally after the  visa were stamped  we waited for a couple of hours until we could get the Cambodian mini bus which brought us to Siem reap. This part of the journey was the most memorable since it was horribly bumpy and dusty for the next 8hrs.We reached Siem reap at 8.30pm. We checked into Golden Angkor hotel (a really nice place with friendly staff).
                      

Day 4 (Wed 02 Jan) (Siem reap)

We booked a taxi for $20 a day (a real bargain). We got our self a 3 day temple pass for $40 (you need this to visit the temples at Siem reap). We headed off first to Bayon. This temple is really a pile of rocks. The whole temple is badly damaged. You could still see some good sculptures. One unique feature in these temples were the huge face sculptures on the top. After lunch we headed over to Ta prohm. This temple  is badly overgrown by the jungle. Some good photo opportunities here.
Later in the evening we went to watch the sunset on Phnom Bakheng (Hill top temple). Virtually all the tourist in Siem reap can be seen here before the sunset.
We had our first glimpse of Cambodian dance during the dinner at Bayon II . We finally called it a day after a couple of beers at Zanzibar and liquid pub.

Bayon  Ta prohm

Day 5 (Thur 03 Jan) (Siem reap)

We got up at 5.00am in the morning and headed off to catch the sunrise at Angkor wat. At around 6am we could see the sun rising up behind the main Angkor wat temple. Took some great pictures from the main entrance. Actually a better place to watch this would be just in front of the pond (referring to the smaller ponds inside).
Later in the afternoon we fixed a guide (for $20) to walk us thru the Angkor wat temple. Had a good look at the superb monument. Amazed at how they could build such a fine structure nearly a 1000yrs ago. It also happens to be the largest Hindu temple in the world.
We immersed ourself again with some more Cambodian classical dance and dinner at Choa Pa Raya (actually we liked it better at Bayon II). We were back again at liquid pub for some more beers (Naryn's favorite place). 

Angkor during sun rise  Steep steps up the main shrine  Angkor  Angkor bass relief  Angkor wat  Angkor wat

Day 6 (Fri 04 Jan) (Siem reap)

Thanks to our taxi driver who recommended Banteay Srei temple to us. Its one of the most beautifully sculptured temples you can ever see in Siem reap. These places were heavily land mined a couple of years ago. But they are really safe now to visit.
Cooled off our afternoon with a long boat ride on Tonle sap lake we also saw the Vietnamese floating villages there. This lake is pretty big.
We were back again at our favorite Liquid pub after dinner. Our driver started to enjoy pool and beer with us. 

Banteay srei  Expedition team  Angkor wat  Liquid pub

Day 7 (Sat 05 Jan) (Siem reap)

Had a relaxing last day at Siem reap. Had a stroll thru the old market picked up a fake Lonely planet Cambodian guide for $2. Visited Liquid pub again for lunch the last time. As a farewell party we were given a few free beers. We strongly recommend this pub. Its a great place to socialize and unwind.
We checked out of our hotel for our 7.45pm  flight to Bangkok (Bangkok Air; $156 one way). After an hour flight we were at Bangkok. We checked in at Asia hotel.

Day 8 (Sun 06 Jan) (Bangkok / Singapore)

Visited Khoa san road for our morning coffee and breakfast. Walked around and tried to do a bit of shopping. We went back to check out from our hotel to get our 3.45pm flight (TG 409) back to Singapore.
What a great trip it was. The rest of the guys had to start work on Monday (07 Jan). I stayed on for a couple of days and left Singapore on the 09 Jan by JAL flight back to San Francisco.


Further travel tips for Cambodia can be found at http://www.travel-library.com/asia/cambodia/ or for Singapore at http://www.travel-library.com/asia/singapore/
All photo's taken by Raman Srinivasan.
If you have any comments or questions please e-mail me at:
E-Mail e-mail: esecssr@aol.com

Last updated 25 MAY 2002
This site is maintained by Raman Srinivasan, Livermore, CA