In the years that I have been travelling it is almost guaranteed that if there is a place you would expect me not to like I’ll do the opposite and fall in love with it. Take my first trip overseas, India. Never in a million years would I have expected to even go there, let alone love it. The same thing happened with Singapore. I was barely excited about the trip, but it turned out to be one of my favourite places in the world!! You can read about it here if you want to see pictures of me having the time of my life.
So I should have known better when I found myself on a nice little familiarisation trip through Infinity Holidays. One of the perks of being a travel agent (not that I am one now) is that on occasion wholesalers and tour companies etc offer trips so you can learn first hand what their product is like. I have to admit that I was excited, but I had no idea what Cambodia would be like. It was never on my radar. However what I found there was the most amazing mix of relaxation, adventure, and culture.
The hotel we stayed at was the Hôtel Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort. As soon as you walk into the foyer you are met with a beautiful floral aroma. The grounds of the hotel are absolutely stunning. My favourite spot was the day spa where I spent many hours. The rooms were beautifully styled and the beds were unbelievably comfortable. They even had an Emma friendly restaraunt where I unexpectedly had a beautiful carbonara.
What can you do in Siem Reap?
For someone that knew very little about Siem Reap and Cambodia in general before I left I was amazed to find such a busy place. With it’s main Tourist attraction being Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples, you will find the town is full of other tourist resorts.
To explore Angkor Wat you’re definitely going to need some form of transportation because the compound is a lot bigger than I expected. The most popular way to get around from what I could see were the motorised Tuk Tuk’s or Rickshaws, however we were invited on a bike tour. That’s right!! Virtually a full day on a push bike. For me the only down side was the uncomfortable bike seat, but I will definitely warn you that you will need some form of fitness. The track is flat, but when you mix it with the heat and the walking around all of the temples it can become a little overwhelming.
No cultural visit would be complete unless there was a visit to a local town. We spent a morning on a guided boat tour of a local fishing village. Although it was clear that the kids were used to seeing tourist after tourist from their amazing performance of Gangnam Style, it was interesting to see a functioning community that is so different from my own. The drive to and from the village was quite long but there was plenty to talk about with our guide including opportunities to ask questions and learn about the culture.
If you’re looking for some cheap drinks and restaraunts then you can’t go past Pub Street. As the name suggests it’s a street filled with eateries and clubs. Even if you’re not into that kind of thing it’s still worth a look.
After spending 4 nights there my favourite part of the trip was the lifestyle. I can confidently say I have found my perfect travel day. It would be hard to beat waking up in the morning, having a buffet breakfast, exploring something new, having a massage, sitting by the pool, having dinner, relaxing, and going back to bed.. and then doing it all again the next day.