To explore ancient temples surrounded by rice paddies and moats within dense jungles was our prime reason to visit Cambodia – to understand Angkor Wat and it’s nearby hidden temples – It turned out to be a great historical, gastronomy and cultural experiences for the entire family.
Another aspect of going to Cambodia was to get hands on some really authentic antique statues of Shiva, Vishnu, Buddha, Lingas, etc. that are about 100 to 350 years old and they are everywhere and affordable; but make sure to hire a guide who is well known in the community and recommended by your hotel.
THE ROUTE AND PLACES
Stop 1 – Siem Reap
The town of Siem Reap, especially the central market area – Sivatha Blvd – is very touristy and you should hang out here in the night -expats, night market, live music, good pubs, good food and road side foot massages (hand and fish).
Day 1 – Early morning Angkor Wat sunrise (depending on the season) and a full visit and in the evening visit Tonle Sap floating market by boat (ok to skip!).
Day 2 – Early morning (6 am) visit to central market where locals go to eat and buy and later visit Angkor Thom with Banteay Srei (a must!).
You should be able to interchange Angkor Wat with Angkor Thom due to weather as sunrise is a must see at Angkor Wat; also hire a local guide recommended by your hotel, even it may cost you a bit more, because there is lot of history (ancient and recent) and culture behind these monuments – It is the oldest and the biggest temple in the world.
We spent the third day visiting antique houses, handicraft shops and silk farm – Flew back to Bangkok the following day for our next stop to Krabi Thailand.