Friday, 3 July 2015

Journey Back in Time - Mystical Angkor. 5Days 4Nights Travel Itinerary in Siem Reap, Cambodia (Outside Circle)

Well, the third day was reserved for a trip to outside circle, approx. 70km from the main temple complex. We traveled further north, through the Cambodian country-side, up to Banteay Srei and Beang Mealea, a more secluded area away from the city. 

Our first stop was Banteay Samre built in the middle of the 12th century by the similiar King who built Angkor Wat. The architecture at Banteay Samre is a mixture of both Angkor Wat style as well as Bayon style.
Banteay Samre, built in the mid of 12th century by the same King who built Angkor Wat
Banteay Samre, built in the mid of 12th century by the same King who built Angkor Wat
One for the album
One for the album
After the first temple visit, we moved on to Banteay Srei. Along the way, we saw locals transporting pigs on the back of their motorbikes on the road. We also made a stop at local village homes for a real taste of palm sugar candy & sea coconuts along the way.
Ancient statue in Banteay Srei (Citadel of Beauty)

Beautiful carving details in Banteay Srei (Citadel of Beauty)

Beautiful carving details in Banteay Srei (Citadel of Beauty)
Well-preserved statue in Banteay Srei (Citadel of Beauty)
Well-preserved statue in Banteay Srei (Citadel of Beauty)
Banteay Srei’s beauty makes it one of the highlights of anyone visiting the Angkor temples. Banteay Srei, which means “Citadel of Women,” is a relatively new name for the temple. We were told that the local believes that women built the temple as its intricate designs and adornments are too fine to be carved by hands of men. Another interesting fact about this temple is that it was built by a Brahman who was a tutor to the royal family. Banteay Srei is a very unique to us because it was made of pink sandstone and contains carvings that are considered the most elaborate carvings found in Cambodia.  

The highlight of our day 3 trip was definitely "Beang Mealea", by far the most mysterious temple in Angkor that we've seen. Beang Mealea is one of the remote and largest unrestored Khmer temples we've visited for this trip. There were fewer tourists here, maybe due to its proximity from the city center. We were told that the temple was not opened to the public until late 2003.  We had to travel further (one hour drive) to get there from Banteay Srei Temple. We paid US$5 entrance fees (not included in the Angkor Pass) to this ancient temple located at the other corner of the world. We were told that the temple was founded in 1990 and the history of this temple remains unknown. Some says Beng Mealea was built in early 12th century by the same king who built Angkor Wat and was devoted to Hindu God Vishnu.  
Well preserved Naga
Ancient ruins of Beang Mealea
Jungle-covered ruins of Beang Mealea
Jungle-covered ruins of Beang Mealea
Jungle-covered ruins of Beang Mealea
Jungle-covered ruins of Beang Mealea
One for the album
Some pillars are relatively in good shape
Guardians of the temple?
The entire surrounding amazed us. The temple is not huge, we spent approx. 2 hours enjoying this magnificent sight. We explored every corner of the ruins and climb wherever we want to get from one corner to another under the giant hanging roots like no boundaries. There were guards in this temple, who took us through dark passageways and climbing up these piles of sandstones. Wow very adventurous! Like Indiana Jones in a mission of discovery in the lost world! 
Crumbling ruins of Beang Mealea
Crumbling ruins of Beang Mealea
Crumbling ruins of Beang Mealea
Beang Mealea - Like Indiana Jones in a mission of discovery!
Beang Mealea - Like Indiana Jones in a mission of discovery!
Beang Mealea - Like Indiana Jones in a mission of discovery!
Crumbling ruins of Beang Mealea
Crumbling ruins of Beang Mealea
Up to a collapsed tower 
Chengy has succeeded in conquering her fear in this ancient temple. What about you?  **Tips:  This temple is mostly ruins and stones. One word: You need to be fit if you want to see the best views by having to climb the walls, roofs, passages and block of large and unstable sandstones with limited fences. A pair of good shoes is recommended.

We spent our final day by visiting a village in Tonle Sap Lake located about 16 km southeast of Siem Reap. From Beang Mealea, it took us approx. 1 hour, 30 minutes’ drive to reach Tonle Sap Lake village port before we boarded a boat to Kompong Phluk. Tonle Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and farms a variety of fish, which feeds about half of Cambodians, one important commercial resource in Cambodia. There are 3 floating villages at Tonle Sap, namely: Chong Khneas (tourist trap), Kompong Phluk and Kompong Khleang (located southeast and the furthest).  

Along the way we passed through long stretches of forested areas, paddy fields and dried out grasslands with long, red, orange dirt roads ahead. The condition of the roads leading to Kompong Phluk was really bad & bumpy too.  

This place also reminds us of the floating village at Inle Lake, Shan State in Myanmar.
Upon arrival, we boarded a smaller rowing boat that took us through the village and mangrove forests. We were told that during the dry season, stilted houses may rise up to six meters in the air exposed by the lack of water. At this time, most villagers move out of their permanent stilted homes and build temporary houses.

Kompong Phluk in Tonle Sap
Kompong Phluk in Tonle Sap
Children of Kompong Phluk
Children of Kompong Phluk
Kompong Phluk in Tonle Sap
Located within the floodplains of Tonle Sap, Kompong Phluk is a village of tall stilted houses (up to 6-8 meters high) surrounded by serene flooded mangrove forest, murky brown waters and over 100 varieties of waterbirds, over 200 species of fish and other endangered wildlife species! A visit to the village provides a good insight into the way of life of the people there. Along the way, we saw houses, market boats, schools and fishermen fixing their nets. The village was friendly, smiles from children and waves and shouts of “bye bye” from the children follow our boat as we make our way back to the same dock.  We paid US$15/person for the private boat ride to Kompong Phluk. Whah, that didn’t sound right. The entire journey took us about 2.5 hours. At about 4.30pm we headed back to the port and return to Siem Reap downtown.  
**Tips: Kompong Phluk will appear different depending on the season you visit. We highly suggest that you visit this village when the water rises up to floor level of those houses and when the mangrove forests are flooded with water. Even though it is somewhat “touristy”, it’s still interesting, and worth seeing! 

That night we ventured down to Angkor Night Market near downtown (pub street) again and enjoyed a little Khmer food at the Red Piano Restaurant and Blue Pumpkin Restaurant. 
Red Piano Restaurant: Pan fried pork chops (US$5.50), Pan fried chicken breast (US$6.00), Stir fried pork slices with shredded ginger served with rice (US$3.75), Cambodian curry served with rice (US$4.50), Amok Fish served with rice (US$5.75), Fruit juices and shakes (US$2.00-2.50)
Blue Pumpkin Restaurant: Vanilla & brownies, vanila (bourbon vanilla beans) and mango flavoured ice-cream US$1.60 (1scoop), US$2.90 (2scoops), US$3.95 (3scoops)
Wanna try local made?
Remember to try the mango flavoured ice-cream from Blue Pumpkin
Day 1: 22 May 2015 
Penang International Airport (PEN) Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) 
 Capsule by Container Hotel at KLIA 2 (3 hr stay) 

Day 2: 23 May 2015 
Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) Siem Reap International
Airport (REP)  
Small Circle 
Morning: Angkor Thom South Gate (Bayon Temple, Baphuon, Phimeanakas) - Terrace of the Elephants - Terrace of the Leper King - Chaosay Tevoda – Thomanon - Ta Keo 
Afternoon: Ta Prohm - Banteay Kdei -  Srah Srang – Angkor Wat (Sunset) – Preah Palilay – Tep Pranam – Prasat Suor Prat
L/D: Krousar Khmer Restaurant / Angkor Village Apsara Theatre Khmer Set Dinner  

Day 3: 24 May 2015 
CAMBODIA (SIEM REAP) 
Big Circle
Morning: Angkor Wat (Sunrise) – Return to Hotel for morning breakfast - Preah Khan Temple - Neak Pean Temple 
Afternoon: Ta Som Temple - East Mebon - Pre Roup Temple – Prasat Kravan
B/L/D: Continental Breakfast at Malika d'Angkor Boutique Hotel / Angkor Flower Restaurant / Triangle BBQ Bar Restaurant (Pub Street)

Day 4: 25 May 2015 
CAMBODIA (SIEM REAP) 
Outside Circle
Morning: Banteay Samre - Banteay Srey - Beang Mealea
Afternoon: Kompong Phluk (Tonle Sap Lake)
B/L/D: Continental Breakfast at Malika d'Angkor Boutique Hotel / Red Piano Restaurant / Blue Pumpkin Restaurant (Pub Street)  

Day 5: 26 May 2015
Siem Reap International Airport (REP) → Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) → Penang International Airport (PEN)
B: Continental Breakfast at Malika d'Angkor Boutique Hotel   

Places of Interest / Suggested time spent / Entrance Ticket(s): 

Places of Interest
Recommen-
dation
Suggested Duration (hour/minutes)
Entrance Ticket Fee(s) in USD
Small Circle Tour
Angkor Thom South Gate
✪✪✪
10 – 15 minutes






Included in the 3-day Angkor Pass (USD40/pax)
Bayon Temple
✪✪✪✪
2 hour
Baphuon
✪✪✪✪
30 minutes
Phimeanakas
✪✪
15 minutes
Terrace of the Elephants
✪✪
10 - 15 minutes
Terrace of the Leper King
✪✪
10 - 15 minutes
Chaosay Tevoda
✪✪✪
2 hour
Thomanon
✪✪✪
15 minutes
Ta Keo
✪✪
45 minutes
Ta Prohm
✪✪✪✪
2 hour
Banteay Kdei
✪✪✪
30 minutes
Srah Srang
✪✪✪
10 – 15 minutes
**Angkor Wat (Sunset) at Phnom Bakheng
✪✪✪
1 - 2 hour
Preah Palilay
✪✪✪
10 – 15 minutes
Tep Pranam
10 – 15 minutes
Prasat Suor Prat
15 minutes
Big Circle Tour
Angkor Wat (Sunrise)
**wake up early!
✪✪✪✪
1 - 2 hour


Included in the 3-day Angkor Pass
(USD40/pax)
Preah Khan Temple
✪✪✪✪
1 - 2 hour
Neak Pean Temple
✪✪
45 minutes
Ta Som Temple
✪✪✪
45 minutes
East Mebon
✪✪✪
15 – 30 minutes
Pre Rup Temple
✪✪✪
1 hour
Prasat Kravan
30 minutes
Outside Circle Tour
Banteay Samre
✪✪✪✪
    15 – 20 minutes
3-day Angkor Pass
(USD40/pax)
Banteay Srey
✪✪✪✪
    20 – 30 minutes
Beang Mealea
✪✪✪
        1 – 1.5 hour
USD5/pax
Kompong Phluk (Tonle Sap Lake)
✪✪✪
         1 - 2 hour
USD15 / pax for boat ride to Kampong Phluk
** Phnom Bakheng Temple (for sunset view) – proper attire (no shorts, no shirts without sleeve) 
Market(s):
What to see / buy:
Angkor Night Market
Jewelry, cloths, accessories, paintings, souvenirs and decorative items, etc.
Angkor Old Market
Jewelry, cloths, accessories, paintings, souvenirs and decorative items, etc.
Siem Reap Art Center Night Market
Jewelry, cloths, accessories, paintings, souvenirs and decorative items, etc.
Angkor Pub Street
Bistros, cafes, pubs, restaurants, souvenir shops and street vendors
 
As Khiem says it, we are all “templed-out”. It was a temple-tastic trip for all of us and we enjoyed every single moment of it. We explored every little corner of it, just like travel back in time! There were so much to see, experience, explore and discover ie. Khmer food, culture and dance, majestic architecture, common languages – “One Dollar Madam”. We have to admit that Siem Reap is so intense in terms of human contact, we won't forget the people especially the children there. 

We hope you’ll find our experience of this journey helpful. We’ll be back again!

And of course, not to missed out our driver, Pros Bou, who has a tuk tuk, a car and a van. He was extremely kind, responsive and friendly which made this trip well worth it.

Air Itinerary Details:
AirAsia: Penang – Kuala Lumpur (KLIA2) – Siem Reap / Siem Reap – Kuala Lumpur (KLIA2) – Penang
From             To                    Flight          Date            Dep          Arr
Penang           KLIA 2           AK6121           22 May        2320           0020
KLIA 2           Siem Reap     AirAsia 542   23 May          0650          0750
Siem Reap     KLIA 2           AirAsia 543   26 May          0835           1135
KLIA 2           Penang           AK6114           26 May         1435            1530

Travel Package (AirAsiaGo – inclusive of return tickets and hotel):
◊Two return tickets from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) → Siem Reap (REP
◊Deluxe Room for 2 person at Malika d'Angkor Boutique Hotel (inclusive daily breakfast) = RM730 nett (inclusive of taxes & other charges) = RM365nett/person   
  Accommodation(s):  
Malika d'Angkor Boutique Hotel
Address: Krom 7, Phoum Sala Kanseng,  Khum Svay Dangkum,  Siem Reap
Website: http://malikadangkor.com/ e-mail: book@malikadangkor.com 
Telephone: 855 (063) 767 789 
Fax: 855 (063) 761 405 
Room Type: Deluxe Room (inclusive of (i) daily continental breakfast, (ii) free wireless
internet, (iii) free one-way airport transfer 

Local Transportation: 
Car / Tuk Tuk Driver(s): Pros Bou
Telephone: (+855) 12 733075, (+855) 93 733075 
WeChat ID: boup936
LINE ID: prosbou 
Facebook: Siem Reap Tour & Sightseeing
e-mail: prostuktuk@gmail.com 
Rate: USD135/6 person(s) = USD22.5/pax. Inclusive of wet tissue, petrol, daily cool
drinking water, headset , return airport pick-up service.
Types of package(s):  
◊Tour via Tuk tuk: USD12 (small circle), USD15 (big circle), USD70 (outside circle via van)  
◊ Tour via air-conditioned van USD30 (small circle), USD35 (big circle), USD70 (outside
circle)  

Entrance Pass/Fee(s):   
Angkor Pass (entrance ticket to all the Angkor temples and monuments in the Siem Reap
area)
Entrance fee(s):  USD40/3-days visit or USD20/1-day visit per one week validity
Please visit this site for more information

Angkor Village Apsara Theater Dinner  
Menu: Khmer Set   
Price: US$27/pax   
Time: 19h30 to 21h30  
Address: Angkor Village Resort, Phum Traeng, Siem Reap , Kingdom of Combodia 
Tel: 855-63-963561 
Fax: 855-63-963363 
Mobile: 855-89-555263 
Skype: mithuna.tep 
e-mail: welcome@angkorvillage.com (Ms. Mithuna TEP) 
Website: www.angkorvillage.com   

Note: All entrance / transportation fees and accommodation rates/charges listed on this post are based on our (chengywong.blogspot.com) travel dates (2015) and therefore subject to change(s). ©chengywong.blogspot.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.  

Read more about our travel experiences @ Siem Reap here:  
Journey Back in Time - Mystical Angkor. 5Days 4Nights Travel Itinerary in Siem Reap, Cambodia (Small Circle)
Journey Back in Time - Mystical Angkor. 5Days 4Nights Travel Itinerary in Siem Reap, Cambodia (Big Circle) 

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey” – Fitzhugh Mullan
   
Welcome to Small World! This blog is not a travel agency, but rather a personal site which allows us to share our past travel experiences in a straightforward and far-reaching way. We often made great use of other peoples travel blogs and sites every time we plan for our travel itinerary as they often contained most updated information and invaluable resources from their past travel experiences.  We hope that you will find every piece of information & images contained within our blog handy and useful. Thank you very much for reading our post(s). If you find this blog worth a read, please feel free to leave a comment/testimonial or click "Like/Share" if you love reading them all. xoxo Both Chengy & Camel are passionate travelers who enjoys speaking to young keen travelers about the freedom to get cultured and to taste the fullness of life. Feel free to contact them if you need any travel advice, guidance or tips or if you have any burning questions with regards to your upcoming trip(s)/ journey
- Be inspired but more importantly be inspiring –

No comments:

Post a Comment