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Our last temples today will be the Bayon – a popular temple that have seen somewhere. The giant stone faces of Bayon have become one for the most recognizable images connected to classic Khmer art and architecture. Most of towers sporting four carved faces oriented toward the cardinal points.

Who the faces might represent is a matter of debate but you can not deny that these face make this place really mystery and a bit scary if you are here alone. Indochina tour Cambodia

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The smiley face is carved on most tower in Bayon

Now, since part 1, you might wonder, “where are the crowded tourists and visitors in these pictures?” Many friends of mine, they was surprised when I show them these pictures so I’m happy to share with you some tips here:

  • Don’t go in a common way. Most temples in Angkor have 4 gates with the main gate faces to the East and most of them can be entered. So, to avoid crowded people, let take start at the opposite gate in the West.
  • Travel in low season, from June to September. But, please aware that this is also summer time and the heat could be easy to knock you down.
  • Be patient but fast at the same time! Even following 2 things above, these temples are always busy. Just let people go first then you will have time for your photos and do it quickly if you don’t want to stay there forever.

Now, bring your camera with a huge memory card and a big bottle of water then you are ready for this!

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Are you looking for an ideal place for relaxing and enjoying in the uplifting moments spa in Siem Reap?

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If you visit Siem Reap, you have to get a massage. You have to try it because a) they’re incredible and b) they can be SO CHEAP. Come into exotic world of beauty, serenity and pleasure. Choose an individual treatment that is perfect for you. Spend an hour or an afternoon. You will enjoy a complete menu of treatment and therapies: scrub, wrap, facials, reflexology and body massage, Jacuzzi, outdoor shower, steam baths and much more. Indochina tours Cambodia

Spa in Siem Reap was inspired by traditional aspects of Khmer culture

Spa in Siem Reap was inspired by traditional aspects of Khmer culture

I like to think of the massage places/spas in Siem Reap in three tiers – you have your daily massage shops, then places that have a little more class, then the real deal spas that rival anything at home for half the price. The question isn’t if you should get a massage or not, but how many to get and where to go. There are some to be found that offer really excellent massages and other treatments across all of the price ranges:

1. Sokkhak Spa

In Khmer, Sokkhak means ‘tranquility’. They are using the combination of nature inspired décor with a soft, warm and tranquil atmosphere to relax, refresh and indulge our clients. we have carefully chosen products containing botanical and marine home-made ingredients with nature’s very own powerful herbs, to give the skin a vibrant and healthy glow and total body wellness. Don’t miss this place!

Open everyday from: 10am – 10pm

Add: Sok san street, Next to haven restaurant, (Old market area), Siem Reap, Cambodia

Tel: (855) 63 763 797

Web: sokkhakspa.com

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Spa in Siem Reap has been created for your complete relaxation, where tranquility prevails throughout the exquisite, elegant.

2. Frangipani Spa

Frangipani Spa was created in 2000 after discovering that good spa facilities were only available in costly five star hotels. Objective was to provide an excellent day spa service and they have tried to create a calm and comfortable environment, with a personal and relaxing atmosphere. Their staffs are professionally trained and qualified and use only the highest quality natural products. Cambodia travel packages

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 08pm. Last appointment at 07pm. Mondays closed.

Add:  No.24 Hup Guan Street, Siem Reap.

Tel:  +855 (0) 12 982 062or  +855 (0) 63 964 391.

Web: frangipanisiemreap.com

Coin VIP Frangipani SPA Siem Reap

Coin VIP Frangipani SPA Siem Reap

3. Bodia Spa

Conceived as a sheltering cocoon and using organic products, Bodia Spa is an absolute sensory experience dedicated to pampering both body and soul in the most natural way possible. The concept of the spa is presented with modern Khmer architecture and also reflects the traditional well-being. The spa itself is a space of physical, mental and spiritual healing. The calming aspect of the healing reflects traditional, non – clinical and holistic based therapies.

Open everyday from 10 am – Midnight, Last booking 10pm

Add: Old Market (Phsa Chas) above U-Care Pharmacy, Siem Reap

Tel: +855(0) 63 761 593

Web:  bodia-spa.com

Bodia Spa in Siem Reap

Bodia Spa in Siem Reap

4. Lemongrass Garden Beauty and Massage

Home of massage in Siem Reap. The wonderful team is fully trained and professional, and it is our aim to offer. After visiting Angkor Watand other surrounding temples, what better way to relax and enjoy more Cambodian culture then by having a traditional massage, or feel reborn with our wonderful health and beauty treatments.

Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm

Add:

– Location 1: 202 Sivatha Boulevard, Siem Reap, Cambodia (near Pub Street)

– Location 2: 105B Sivatha Boulevard, Siem Reap, Cambodia (near KFC)

Tel: (+855) 077 369 025 or (+855) 012 387 385

Web:  lemongrassgarden.com

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At the budget end, there are many good massages in town in a simple, unadorned but clean and air-conditioned set up that perfectly meets the purpose for which it was established.  They offer Khmer and oil massages, with a Khmer massage in a large, communal room with curtained off mattresses.

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Staffs at Frangipany Spa

After massage snack

After massage snack

Step into world of care, where time is left at the door and a new journey begins…

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I have seen hundred pictures about Angkor but when I get there, it’s still shock me with its marvelous. It’s beyond from pictures and since the first time I got there, I always try to come back.

First of all, Angkor is not all about Angkor Wat. This is a huge complex and Angkor Wat is only one of many temples in there and it’s also one of the most famous one.

I’m not trying to write details about these temples as it will take pages for one temples and I don’t have that much information. But, I will show you some of my photos and let the rest for you to find out when you get there.

To visit all temples in this complex, it might take more than a week and we usually don’t have enough time so here is some must see temples that you don’t want to miss in one day visiting.

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The West Gate of Angkor Wat

 

Number 1 spot is always Angkor Wat, the centerpiece of any visit to the temples in Angkor. Angkor Wat is visually, architecturally and artistically breathtaking. It is a massive three-tiered pyramid crowned by five lotus-like towers rising  from the ground. After years, some part of it is destroyed but this temple still well delivers a good taste from the past.

The next temples in our list is Ta Prohm. Located deep in a jungle, this temple is well known for tree-in-temple because of massive fig and silk-cotton trees grow from the towers and corridors. These trees are perfectly blended with the sky, clouds, rock and damaged-temples to create an amazing looking.

In Ta Prohm, there is a famous tree that everybody come here want to take a picture. And this tree is also on the big screen in the movie “Tomb Raider”.

The last temple will be in my next post and make sure you don’t miss it as I will share some tips to get a good picture with less people in there.

 

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Follow my last three posts, you can see that I start my trip in Cambodia from Mekong Delta in Vietnam, then take a speedboat to Phnom Penh, following by a long driving to Battambang and here is my final destination – Siem Reap.

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Siem Reap is totally different from other city because of the breathtaking Angkor Complex but before we start digging around these temples, I would like to show you how to move around this city in an easy way.

First of all is walking on our own foot. Siem Reap centre is very closely organised and you’re never far away from most of the town’s bars, restaurants, cafes and shops. A shaded walk up the riverside to the Raffles Gardens is also a really pleasant early evening stroll. Street crime in Siem Reap is really low, but take the usual precautions nonetheless, particularly after dark.  Cambodia Discovery tour

Next is the most common form of transport in Siem Reap – Tuk Tuk. You will find one or dozens of these guys everywhere in the central and nearby. A short journey in town is usually about $1 per person,max four people, and increased the further out you go. Half day hire can be around $8 to $10, and full day from $15 to $20, depending upon the distance involved.

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Each Tuk Tuk has a different decoration and you might find some are very unique or funny.

An environmentally-friendly option is bicycle. There are plenty of bicycle hire spots in town and this is one of the best ways of getting to see Siem reap. Check out the White Bicycle, a charity with several locations around town and Green e-bike, electric bicycles providing an noise-free and pollution-free option. Take extra care as traffic “rules” may differ from you home.

Other transports like taxi or bus are not available in Siem Reap. There are no metered taxis or bus services in this city. But, many hotels will arrange car hire for visiting temples or airport transfer. Or, you can take the bus to get to other destinations, not in town. About motorbike rental, you can’t rent motorbike in Siem Reap, unless it is part of a tour.

In my experience, hiring a tuk tuk to exploring around the temples will be the best choice as you don’t waste time on finding the way; don’t worry about parking places if you rent a bike or motorbike; the price is acceptable and you can feel the atmosphere of this area. A tuk tuk will cost around $14 to 20$ a day to cover all of the main temples and your driver can also act as a tour guide.

A little note about timing! Sunrise and sunset are the most popular times to view Angkor Wat so it can get very crowded. late morning and early afternoon tend to be the quietest times though it can be very hot so keep hydrated and avoid the sun where possible. Allow extra time to deviate from you intended route if you want to avoid the crowds.

You are now ready to explore the Angkor and I will show you my proud photos in the next post.

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You might hear that there’s really not many things to do in the city proper and it’s totally true. But if you love the peaceful time in Cambodia and you prefer to have more time to relax while experience Khmer’s Cultural or you are tired of busy city like Siem Reap, this city is completely fit for you.

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The symbol and the protected god of the city – Stick God, an old general.

To get to Battambang, it’s better to start from Siem Reap by car or by boat, both are fine as the distance is not too far and the road has much better conditioned than taking this trip from Phnom Penh. Tours Indochina

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Staying in Battambang, you will feel a peaceful in your mind as all of things are happening slowly and you can spend hours in a nice and cozy coffee shop. If it rain, it even make the time in Battambang more emotional.

To get your leg more active, you can try a bamboo sliding train in this city. It would be really funny when you get on a platform made by bamboo and call it “train”. And when two “train” meet each other on the rail, you can show your gallant to step aside, pick up your train to clear the path.

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The bamboo sliding railway. Only one!

Another place is Ek Phnom, an substantial early-11th century Angkorian-era temple ruin built as a Hindu temple under the ruler Suryavarman I. The temple is in rough condition, consisting of prasats on a platform with some Hindu themed carvings in pretty good condition. Cambodia travel packages

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Most of the temple is damaged by war and time.

In front of it is Wat Ek Phnom, a modern Buddhist pagoda, sits picturesquely next to the ruin and a small lake. The river road drive to Ek Phnom from Battambang passes through some absolutely beautiful countryside, along a palm lined Stung Sangker river and through several small villages.

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This is an interesting mixed between Hindu and Buddhism but the giant Buddha wasn’t finished.

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The Buddha Statue is so mystical and powerful

At night, the finest circus in Cambodia located in this town can be easy to help you entertain yourself and you can walk around for many local foods and beer garden!

This could be a good comma for your trip in Cambodia and let you have more time to think about life.

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A popular stopover town in Mekong Delta, Chau Doc is a one-night stop for travellers before leaving Vietnam to Cambodia.

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A part of Chau Doc Town

For years, this town has many investments from the government but all most everything is still in basic and this town offers you a peaceful and non-technology atmosphere. To be the last destination in Vietnam, most of travellers only spend one night in here as a result, they also miss a chance to see many great things of this town, which you can have a pure experience. Mekong river cruise

Stay here more than one night, you can visit Sam Mountain, the highest mountain in Mekong Delta (284m). This mountain is a popular place for local people workout. You will see a lot of people walk up and down this mountain to keep fit. There are about 200 temples and shrines in this mountain but on top, there is nothing too special but you will see the whole city with endless green field and it’s worth to climbing up there.

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The rice field seems never end!

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Chau Doc is one of the town has produce the largest crop in Mekong Delta.

And the most famous temple in Chau Doc is Ba Chua Xu Temple. A festival will be hold annually, last for 7 days from 23rd April to 27th April based on Moon Calendar. Thank to this festival, each year, more than 2 million visitors has come here to join and pray for their family. According to tales, people believe they can ask for anything if they worship enough and remember to pay back when they achieve.

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Main building of the temple is well maintain thanks to visitor’s payback.

From Chau Doc, there is another place that you might want to see is the Tra Su Mangrove Forrest. A stunning scene with full of green will let you come close to Mother Nature.

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A green scene to relax your eyes!

Before saying goodbye Vietnam, you can stand at the pier and look toward Cambodia and feel the great of Mekong River.

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A great view from Vietnam to Cambodia!

With these little things, I believe Chau Doc is worth for you to stay longer, take it slow and forget the rest of the world for a moment.

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Monks at Phnom Bakheng, Siemreap / Photo: hcao

Written by Mr Nam Ngo – Our Travel Consultant

 

You can ask anyone who has been to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap – Cambodia and they would tell you it’s the most stunning sight in all of Southeast Asia, and it is – one of my most favourite destinations. The massive complex of temples, located in the ancient Khmer city, speaks volumes of the brilliant and sophisticated of the Khmer people.

 

The temples are scattered across 30km and each stone monument  have its own story to tell, through carving on the outside depicting the battles and life style of the Khmer from the eighth to the tenth century BC. As you wander past 100m long stone bathing pool with its elegantly carved stone steps or the 40m long arched Khmer figure, it’s easy to conjure images of the people washing themselves or studying in the gardens around the outside. The 80 stone faces of Ta Phrom lit up under the mid afternoon sun create an eerie feeling for its visitors. This meticulously carved faced appear incredibly calm as tourists wander through their stone arches and follow their stories on the main walls.

A bride and groom-to-be at wedding photo shooting outside Angkor Wat / Photo: hcao

You can buy a one, three or seven-day pass to visit the temples and other monuments that form the complex of Angkor. Most of the important sites can be seen in three days, but trust me, you may be “wat-out” by the third day. A guide is essential to navigate through the sites, and you can hire a minibus, taxi or tuk-tuk to transfer from one monument to another. Be prepared for a lot of walking and climbing huge stone steps. Personally, I enjoy cycling from the Siemreap town to Angkor Wat, follow the path with thousand years old trees. A pleasant way to end your trip is to take a leisurely boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake, past a fishing village where homes, schools and playgrounds are all built on floating bamboo rafts.

 

Kids rowing boats on Tonle Sap/ Photo:hcao

Apart from the ancient Angkor is the active town where you can easily splurge another two or three days, wandering through the old market area, indulging in a massage, sipping Angkor beer on a high stools and people-watch on bustling Pub street at night time. The town is lit up at night with full range of restaurants, bars and hotels, and street food stalls of Khmer food. If you are jewellery/crafts addicted, it is the place to splurge the dollars, you won’t regret to bring this special things home.

Cute handmade figures / Photo: hcao

From Bangkok/ Vientiane, Hanoi or Saigon you can fly to Siemreap (easiest and fastest way, we will mention about boating/bus from Vietnam to Siemreap in one of the later post). Among those departure destinations, flight from Hanoi or Saigon are the most expensive choice since Vietnam Airlines is the only air carrier to fly this route. But the good news is, Vietnam Airlines often runs a Summer Promotion (launching in every April/May) and a Fall promotion (launching in every Aug/early Sept) that can save you 50% of the rates so the fare is only about US$89-119, exclude taxes, fees, charges. This year, the promotion is on sales for 17 days with travelling date from August 15, 2012 to August 31, 2012. Departure periods: from September 05, 2012 to December 20, 2012 and from March 05, 2013 to May 20, 2013 (except for peak periods and holidays).

 

For flight booking, please contact our Ticketing department:

Tel: (84 4) 2244 8899 | Fax: (84 4) 3972 6888 | Hotline: (84) 91 868 6428
bongsenvang@gmail.com | http://www.vietnamflightbooking.com

 

For tours and other arrangements, pease contact our Travel Consultants:

info@indochinavoyages.com | www.indochinavoyages.com

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