Cambodia — Siem Reap Tour, Cambodia

Taking the Tour

September 2015

The next stop on my travels around South East Asia was Cambodia.

I was based in Siem Reap at the Château d'Angkor La Residence.

For four days, I was picked up each morning at the Château d'Angkor La Residence for a private tour with a local guide and a driver.

I didn’t fully understand how the tour worked. I was taken around in a very comfortable, large air-conditioned truck/Jeep. The truck had a driver, who never spoke, and a guide who spoke English, but he was not a guide in that he never left the vehicle to show me around whatever we were visiting. The role of the guide was not unexpected as he had said he would not take me around the temples, etc., when I had booked him. He was more of a fixer — he planned the route and organised the various tickets and passes I needed to visit places like Angkor Wat Temple (អង្គរវត្ត). I got the impression that he owned the vehicle and employed the driver. The system worked, and I travelled around the various temples and sites of interest.

The tour consisted of the following:

  • Day 1 — Visit to Angkor Wat Temple (អង្គរវត្ត); Angkor Thom (អង្គរធំ); and Ta Prohm.
  • Day2 — Visit to Banteay Srei Temple (ប្រាសាទបន្ទាយស្រី), which is also known as the Women Temple; Banteay Samre and Pre Rup. There was a stop in a village to learn about the life of the local people.
  • Day3 — On day 3, I was supposed to have an early morning start to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat — however, this was abandoned because of the wet weather. During the day, I visited Preah Khan, Preah Ko, Bakong Temple and Lolei.
  • Day 4 — On the final day of the tour, I went to the Great Lake Tonle Sap and visited a floating village, Meay Chrey, by boat. On the way back, I tried some deep-fried crickets and grasshoppers. I also visited a War Museum.

My only complaint about the tour was that we often returned to the Château d'Angkor La Residence by mid-afternoon. It was not a full day.

When I was not on the tour, I explored the local town of Siem Reap on foot and tuk-tuk.