Monday, October 7, 2013

Siem Reap, Cambodia - Day 2: Temple Run and Night Market

Part 1: Temple Run

Day 2 was our most tiring day back in Cambodia, as we scheduled to have our temple tour. As I've mentioned from my previous post, I wanted to go to Cambodia because of the beautiful temple that I saw in a Tomb Raider movie back in 2001. On our second day, I fulfilled that goal. Of course, we started with the amazing Angkor Wat.
We, along with dozens of other tourists, hoped to see the sunrise. However, since it was almost the start of the rainy season in Cambodia, we were not able to see any ray of light when we got there. That missed sunrise is one reason why I want to go back to Cambodia! Still, the our second day was still promising.

One of Angkor Wat's carved wall.
A closer look at the carved wall of Angkor Wat.
The Angkor Wat complex as we were leaving. As this was a temple run, there were other temples to visit. With our trusted tuk-tuk driver, Saram, off we went.

One of the temples we also visited was the Bayon temple. If you can enlarge the photo above and zoom in, you'll find that there are many stone faces carved in the temple. Some say the faces were of the king who had the temple built, but some believed that the temple was the king's tribute to some of their god/goddess/s.
This was my mom's accidental good shot. I wanted to take a picture in a dark and crammed space. My mama was too scared to go in there.
The worst thing that happened to me during this temple tour was that my camera's battery died. I forgot to charge it the night before, and being an amateur, I didn't have any spare battery (which I will buy soon for my next trip!). I was so bummed that I wasn't able to take a good picture of Ta Prohm, which was the temple featured in the 2001 Tomb Raider movie. I did have this picture from my instagram though:
It was under the reconstruction/conservation process, so the iconic tree root was the only accessible spot in the temple. Everyone was lining up to take a picture with it. We even saw some westerners not getting off their tuk-tuk unless its already Ta Prohm, asking "Is this the Tomb Raider temple?". Hence, taking a good picture of Ta Prohm and seeing its reconstructed/conserved state is my second reason why I want to go back to Cambodia someday! There were several more temples that we went to, such as the Angkor Thom, Ta Som, Pre Rup, and more. However, due to my camera failure, I won't be able to show them to you guys (sorry!). Still, Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm are three of the top most visited temples in Siem Reap, so I guess you guys already have a good idea what to see there. Plus, I have a lucky shot of this monkey hanging out:
We were literally a few meters away from him.

All through out our tour, my mama kept on saying "Naisip mo ba kung pano nila ginawa to?" ("Can you imagine how they did this?") in awe. I was kind of worried bringing our moms to the temple tour, especially since my mama have asthma (just as I do). But my mama loved it and was amazed as I was.

Part 2: Night Market

A trip would not be complete without a shopping venture. Since we dedicated our days in Cambodia for touring, we spent our first two nights eating at Pub Street and shopping at their Night Market.

On our first day, we already decided to go to the Night Market, and we successfully bought a lot of souvenirs for our friends and families. However, we had to go back again on our second day for a few more buys.
Danna and I loved these sarong pants because the prints were lovely. I got two of them!
Souvenir products in Cambodia are closely similar to those found in Thailand and other neighboring country, except, of course, those that features the temples.
Here's my mama haggling at her best. That calculator she's holding? That's the vendor's. She just grabbed it and bargained her price. My and Danna's moms were extreme hagglers; there came a point that we were both embarrassed, so we opted to distance ourselves. I, with Danna, took pictures around during those extreme haggling moments.
My mom hunting for souvenirs and Pinocchio. I wondered if he was for sale or just for display because its the only one I saw.
There were many things to buy in their Night Market. We decided to be traditional tourists, so we bought key chains and magnets (not pictured).
My mama also bought 10 souvenir shirts: for our family and for my uncle's family. If I remembered correctly, we paid $20 (You can use US dollars in Siem Reap). The best part was that the vendor appreciated that we bought too many he gave us one free shirt. It was like we paid $1.81 (roughly P78) for each of the 11 shirts! There were, however, some finds that we couldn't take home, such as these vintage film cameras. :(
To end our day, near the Night Market, we ate at our now favorite Cambodian cafe: the famous Blue Pumpkin!
Danna and I tried their cakes and they were divine! I loved my Cheesecake with Choco chips, which I plan to replicate soon. :)

So that was our day 2. It was tiring from all the walking. The air was too humid, but it was definitely worth it. If I come back, I know now to charge my battery and bring a spare! Also, if you plan on going shopping, don't be scared to haggle. Cambodians are mostly nice, and their English is quite good, so it's easy to communicate what you want to say. Most of all, enjoy the temples. They are truly magnificent!


  1. Ang saya and ang cute ni tita!

  2. Ang gaganda ng pics, Abi! Winner yung accidental picture mo at yung isang nagha-haggle mommy mo! Haha. ;-P

    1. Thank you! Scary mag-haggle ang mama ko. :P