First Steps in Siem Reap: Surrounded by Temples and Locals

The beauty and sophistication of Siem Reap’s Temples

Cambodia– home, sweet home (at least temporarily)!

Before I came to Siem Reap, I remember some travellers saying on Twitter:

“Cambodia is the Land of Wonders”

                                                                                           “Siem Reap is a true treasure”

“Coming to Siem Reap was the best decision I have ever made”

And you know what…………That is absolutely true! This is the place I love being in- quiet and smiley, charming and surprising, adventurous and historical. This is actually all I need :-) so I can honestly say that Siem Reap is officially my new home.

Finding house was my no. 1 thing to do after I decided to become a Siem Reap expat. The no. 2 on my “must do” list was exploration of Siem Reap’s temples and they completely blew me away by their beauty and sophistication.

That’s the spectacular entrance gate to the Temple.

For how long? I can’t really say but there is one thing I am sure about- I am not moving anywhere right now.

Amazing colours and shape.

Funny snakes’ faces.

The faces carved into the rocks.

Some more and some less realistic.

Siem Reap is a magical place surrounded by artistic pagodas, temples and ancient churches. I love all of them. They are all so different and fantastic.

I decided to take sightseeing slow and visit one temple a week, but do it properly. I don’t want to take photos of it, look around and then go home. I want to read about its history, try to deeply understand the concept of each Temple and feel it.

I have already been to Angkor Wat Temples and I came back home speechless. This is the biggest and the  most extraordinary place in whole Cambodia. Beautiful (I will be posting some photos and publish new blog entries soon).

Getting along with locals

People is Siem Reap are very friendly and hospitable. They invite you to their houses to make you feel home here, say or sometimes scream “Hello!” on the street to you and keen waving and they smile a lot without a reason. It gives me such a positive energy and keeps me happy throughout the day. I am not afraid of being ripped off anymore. I trust them and believe. They seem to be honest and reliable.

Locals take a short nap between 11-1pm every day on a hammock.

Kids are also very adorable. They play around my house a lot kicking balls, singing songs and swimming in the river.

A photo of brother looking after his sister. So touching.

 

I have not made friends with many people here yet though. I am pretty busy with the Web Design business runni with Cez, having meetings with new clients, designing websites and trying to be focused on my blog as well.  Oh! I actually forgot to mention that :). I am doing some teaching in a Siem Reap primary school (just a few hours a week, not too much to develop myself as a teacher).

That’s me with a bunch of my little adorable monsters!

It’s been a very busy week for me and Cez and we hope it will stay this way. I will upload more photos of my students very soon.

What I have noticed here is that locals are so used to foreign visitors in Siem Reap. They speak perfect English so I have no problems interacting with them at all. Whether I go to the supermarket, a local shop or the fruit market people speak fluent English. That is good for me but the main disadvantage of it is that I have not learnt a single Khmer word!!!! It is so bad! I can’t even say “Thank you!” Shame on me! I promised myself to pick up some basic vocabulary and use it on regular basis. I might start next week.

Apart from locals, I make friends with some monks. They are here everywhere.

People here are not pushy apart from the tuk tuk drivers. Tuk tuk is a Cambodian taxi. There are no taxi cars here. You can get a nice ride by a tuk tuk (an auto rickshaw or three-wheeler) insted.

Me and Cez enjoying our tuk tuk ride.

I would never replace my bike with a tuk tuk anyway:).

 I ride my bike almost every day to get to know Siem Reap areas. I have already seen some pagodas and visited Siem Reap Buddhist temples. However, it’s still not enough to tell I know Siem Reap as my pocket.

One of Siem Reap Temples.

 

There are some more photos in our gallery “Siem Reap, Cambodia- First Impression” where you can see how fantastic statues can be and how stunning they look.

Stay tuned for more!

 

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1 Comment

  • So cool that you’re now living in Siem Reap… I loved that place and he temples are awesome. Obviously we were there only for a relatively short time. Would have loved to stay longer… If you happen to come across a really pink tuktuk with a guy named Date, say high from Tom and Simone from the Netherlands …:)

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