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12 In Cambodia/ TRAVEL

South East Asia Travels Part 2 | Battambang + Siem Reap

Today I’m sharing the second part of our South East Asia adventures, but you can find Phnom Penh here! On the morning we travelled to Battambang I came down with some horrible food poisoning. I so wish I’d felt better in Battambang as it was such a lovely and laid-back little city. I stayed in the hotel while Alex had a little wander but I’m really glad I felt well enough for the bamboo train the next day.

All trains were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s, so after the regime locals worked hard to clear the tracks which had become overgrown and dotted with landmines. They introduced bamboo trains – rickety and about the size of a double mattress which trundle along the warped tracks somewhat precariously. Now, it is mainly a tourist attraction which will apparently not be around much longer as they are bringing ‘proper’ trains back in.

It was a unique and magical experience to be hurtling through Cambodian countryside with really not a clue about where you are or where you’re going! Which turned out to be a group of huts with friendly people selling food and clothes. When we met with another train, the driver simply lifted our train off the track and we waited on the side while it passed by. And then we were off to Siem Reap…

Siem Reap is a must-do if you’re in Cambodia. It’s completely impossible to capture the vastness of the temple of Angkor Wat through photography. Angkor Wat was amazing, but what I didn’t realise was that there is a whole complex of temples which take days to get around! We went to Angkor Wat, Bakong, Banteay Srey, Bayon, Ta Prohm… and possibly some others too ha. Angkor Wat is obviously a must-see but also Ta Prohm (famous for being used in Tomb Raider) as it is so atmospheric with the giant crazy trees growing through the ruins. However I would recommend exploring some more off the beaten track, because the temples are most magical when they’re not full of other tourists waving selfie sticks.

Recommendations: 

In Siem Reap I would really recommend finding a tuktuk driver that you like to take you around the temples each day. Compare some prices, chat to some drivers, and go with someone you trust. We used the same driver 3 days in a row and he was so wonderful and even put refreshments in the back for us! Go to the Landmine Museum at some point – again I feel like it’s really important to learn about Cambodian history and there are a lot of people around Cambodia who have been injured by landmines, including kids. The Landmine Museum was really interesting and is helping support children who have been affected by the landmines.

Have you been to Siem Reap? What did you think? X

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    laurenonlocation
    March 24, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I haven't made my way to Asia yet, but I'm absoluetly dying too! This looks unbelieveable!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ DaydreamsofSummertime
    March 24, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Your Asia posts are making me want to go back there so much! Angkor Wat was like the worst day of my life though! I drank like 10 pints of really cheap beer the day before and spent my time there walking around in 40 degree heat trying not to die from my hangover haha!

  • Reply
    Polly Rowan
    March 24, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    South East Asia is an amazing place Lauren! I'm already planning my next trip haha x

  • Reply
    Natalie | Circus & Bloom
    March 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Oh my goodness, how fun! I really, really, really want to visit Cambodia. My husband and I lived in South Korea for a year but never made it west. Thank you for sharing your experience!

    Circus & Bloom
    β™₯β™₯β™₯

  • Reply
    Kelly
    March 25, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    i've never been but this place looks absolutely amazing and so breathaking.. so much history. i'd love to be there πŸ™‚ hope you have a beautiful, lovely time Polly!

    xo,
    Kelly

    β™₯ β™‘ β™₯ β™‘ Creme de la Chic β™₯ β™‘ β™₯ β™‘

    Hope you're having a beautiful day! xx

  • Reply
    Rachel
    March 25, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Ooh I'm off to Siem Reap in May so this is very timely! Great tips, and totally agree about selfie stick waving tourists. What is with that?! Anyway, I'll do my best to avoid them and get in as much temple time as possible. It looks completely amazing. Thanks for posting this!

  • Reply
    Polly Rowan
    March 25, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    It's an amazing place if you ever get a chance to go! X

  • Reply
    Polly Rowan
    March 25, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    It was like nowhere I've ever been before. Thanks Kelly, have a beautiful day yourself. xx

  • Reply
    Polly Rowan
    March 25, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Oh amazing Rachel! Let me know if you need anymore tips/recommendations. I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time! X

  • Reply
    β‰ˆ CARMEN β‰ˆ
    March 25, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    I just want to go so I can see those massive, ancient trees. It's like seeing the past.

    :] // β–² itsCarmen.com β–²

  • Reply
    Rachel
    March 26, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    I could always use tips and recommendations – places to eat? Other things to see besides temples? Your absolute favourite temple? Thank you in advance πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Polly Rowan
    March 27, 2015 at 4:03 am

    They're even more impressive than the temples I swear! X

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