angkor wat


10 May 2014

When I first mentioned the idea of travelling to Cambodia to my friends, they were rather apprehensive about it – muttering words like “it’s dangerous”, “what a random place to go to” and “it’s such a boring place”. On contrary to what they said, my trip to Cambodia was really safe and not boring at all – the rich history and unique cuisines definitely kept me on my feet!

The highlight of my trip there has certainly got to be my visit to the beautiful Angkor Wat. And while it was definitely memorable to have been able to see the extremely detailed architectures there up-close, what made my journey there worth it was actually the fact that I was able to witness the spectacular view of the sunrise that everyone seems to love! I was there by 5 in the morning and I was absolutely stunned by the large amount of people who were streaming in at 5.30 just to catch the sunrise. As the place is usually crowded in the morning, it is important for you to know where to sit for an optimal unobstructed view of the sunrise. Here’s a hint – you will have to get off the main walkway and sit on the steps of the outpost buildings! While you are walking around and enjoying the sites, I would definitely advise you to remain cautious of the monkeys there. They are definitely not shy when you approach them – I had to learn this the hard way when one particular monkey actually took my guidebook and ripped a page off! How smart is that?

The next best thing that I did while in Cambodia was actually visiting the majestic Royal Palace. What kept me in awe while I was there was actually the extravagant Silver Pagoda. Not only was the floor covered with five tons of gleaming silver, there were solid-gold statues of the Buddha adorned with diamonds, and even staircases which were made of Italian marble! If I recall correctly, on top of the entrance fee that you would have to pay, there is also a need for you to pay extra to bring your camera into the venue (however you will not be able to take pictures inside the pagoda itself).

On top of the activities that I mentioned above, I went for a river cruise along the central riverfront too, which was rather comforting after a long day of walking around! After, I visited the famous Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21), which used to be prison where thousands were tortured, but is now converted into a museum, a memorial and a testament to the madness of the Khmer Rouge regime. It was definitely a difficult place to visit, but, like other Holocaust Museums, places like these teaches us that horrible things like this should not happen again.

Aside from all this sight-seeing, I decided to spend some quiet time at the beaches of Sihanoukville (Cambodia’s port city). While I was at the Ochheuteal Beach, I absolutely loved the company of friendly Khmers who were always willing to smile, and also the delicious (and cheap, I must add) seafood that I had! The beach was really the perfect place to relax after a few days in the city.

To sum it up, my trip to Cambodia was really enriching and I enjoyed every minute of it. Three days may have been a little short but it was just enough for me cover the spots that I wanted to see. I will definitely be going to Cambodia again, perhaps for a longer trip – not to sightsee, but more to just sit back, relax and enjoy the ambience. One of the most beautiful places I’ve been to, Cambodia is right up there on my favourite cities visited list!

If you are interested in travelling to Cambodia, feel free to contact the travel experts at Flight Centre Singapore (6692 9778) on the best tour packages to Cambodia available for your trip there!

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