Cambodia from the get go was all about Angkor for us, so much so that at times we completely forgot about where we actually were. This was after all Cambodia, home to a people that have been through so much at the hand of the humanity’s most ruthless dictators.
There is more to Cambodia than the Angkor Temples, but we decided to concentrate on them, as they were the reason we were there after all and considering the previous leg of our trip in Vietnam, where the amount of bus travel left us exhausted, we didn’t want to spend more time on busses than at sights.
People we met in Vietnam who kept telling us Phnom Pen is completely worth missing if it means spending more time at Angkor, but it is there where you can see more of Cambodia’s more tragic recent history, which I regret missing out on, as it is always interesting to learn from humanity’s worst.
With regards to cost, I had read that Cambodia was cheaper than, but our experience didn’t match up. In terms of food, we were extremely to have found the Golden Temple Villa and restaurant, as its food was extremely tasty, in good portions but very cheap in comparison to the restaurants we see in Pub Street.
Even with the good, cheap food at the Golden Temple Villa, we ended spending than we did Vietnam. What I think makes it even more expensive is that they don’t even use the local currency, the Kip, and mostly use the US dollar as legal tender. Below are some of the number from the trip:
- Average on meals per day = $15 between two people and two meals each
- Average on accommodation per night = $20 for a double room, with TV, Bathroom, A/C and Breakfast.
Highlights and low points?
How can the Angkor Temples not be a highlight?? Raquel and I found it all simply breathtaking! It is one of those sights that lives up to all its hype! But we found everything actually quite organized, from the very hi-tech tickets with your photo on it, to the roads inside the parks, all quite well maintained.
What was our favourite temple? I think I loved Bayon, because everywhere you looked, there was a face staring at you blended into the stonework. Raquel on the other hand seemed to love Ta Phrom with all it’s jungle mystique (Keep in mind she had never even seen Tomb Raider, so had no idea what awaited her before she arrived).
Low point? Well we can’t actually seem to think of something that really put me off Cambodia. The people were friendlier than in Vietnam, but seemed to keep to themselves. Cambodian markets were not as annoying and aggressive as walking in streets in Vietnam, but they did hassle you to buy from them.
I think the only low point is that everything is directed at Angkor, that finding information about other areas is not that easy and people do not seem that interested that you head in that direction anyhow.
All in all, our week in Cambodia was great and the temples were simply fantastic and definitely worth the trip to the country!