After sleeping and taking a shower, I felt alive again. I was more than 24 hours awake because of our continuous trip from Manila to Ho Chi Minh City then from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh. We would have another long trip again on this day. This time we would travel from Phnom Penh (Cambodia’s capital) to Siem Reap City where the famous Angkor Wat is located. We’re back on the road again before 8am. This time our travel agency transferred us to a mini-bus (not the same bus that we used from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh). It would take us another six hours of land travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.
For those who couldn’t bear long hours of land travel, there’s a better option for you guys. There is an International Airport in Siem Reap so you could take a connecting flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap or from Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap via Air Asia. I think there’s also a direct flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap. Unfortunately, there’s no direct flight from the Philippines to Siem Reap. So for those who are on a tight budget like me, then it’s better to travel by land. Anyway, traveling by bus wasn’t so bad because you could get to see the local villages and observe the way of life of the Cambodian people.
Actually, after we left Phnom Penh, all I could see along the way were houses, rice fields and cows crossing the street. Hehe. I’ve read that agriculture is the major source of livelihood of the Cambodian people that’s why you could see rice fields almost everywhere. The next source of income is their tourism industry. That’s how agriculture and tourism play a very important role in their economy.
We had two stop overs on the way to Siem Reap. A perfect time to use the toilet and stretch our bodies since we had been sitting for a long time. Our first stop was at a small market where they sell liquors and souvenirs. Our next stop was at a local market where they sell Cambodian specialties such as insects and fruits.
For those who still don’t know, insects such as spiders and grasshoppers are native delicacies in Cambodia. These are popular foods for the locals. In fact, our hotel receptionist said baby snakes are delicious. Moreover, the American guy in our tour group said that the grasshoppers tasted good. I didn’t try it though. I’m not that adventurous when it comes to eating insects . Around 1pm, we finally arrived at the Sinh Tourist Hotel in Siem Reap. It was a pretty nice and clean hotel again.
After our lunch at the hotel, I went out for a walk with one of my friends whom I met in this tour. We just strolled around the city and took some pictures. After seeing only houses, cows and rice fields on our six-hour bus ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, I was really surprised to find Siem Reap as a modernized city. There were lots of hotels and foreigners around the city. I heard that the city has modernized a lot since its tourism industry started to grow.