I have never booked any trip a week prior to departure, hence the trip in January to both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap is definitely out of the norm. It’s barely a month after my Sydney trip yet the wander-itch acted up while watching a documentary about Ang Kor Wat in Siem Reap and thought why not? A quick check on Google shows November- January being the ‘Cool and Dry’ season. That works well for me!
But flights’ availability and price altered my plan drastically. Direct flight tickets from Singapore to Siem Reap cost thrice the price from Singapore to Phnom Penh. What the!? Hence, the crazy plan of Flight to Phnom Penh – Bus to Siem Reap – Cambodia Angkor Air back to Phnom Penh – Return Flight to Singapore. And it is still way cheaper than the flight into Siem Reap, seriously? Yes, I lose quite a bit of time but I get to have a preview of Phnom Penh. Perhaps for future plan… For now, I only have Ang Kor Wat in mind.
Riverside Park and Wat Ounalom Monastery
It’s a short taxi ride from Phnom Penh International Airport to Giant Ibis Bus office. Most of the Giant Ibis Bus review seems to be good so I was hoping for the best. After collecting the bus ticket, I went on to have a glimpse of the streets of Phnom Penh, starting from the riverside.
Here’s the majestic Decho Meas Decho Yat (The Royal Warrior’s Monument) and Wat Ounalom Monastery near to the riverfront.
Preah Thineang Chan Chhaya
Preah Thineang Chan Chhaya (Moonlight Pavilion) is a beautiful pavilion built along the walls of the Royal Palace and can be seen without entering the palace ground.
Next up will be Wat Botum Park and Wat Botum Vathey.
Also went around a bit the neighbourhood before ending up at the Independence Monument.
My lunch was a simple yet very well cooked plate of fried rice at one local restaurant. Then it’s time to head back to Giant Ibis Bus office via a Tuk Tuk instead of walking under the fiery afternoon heat. And I do hope that the weather in Siem Reap will be kinder to me.
Giant Ibis Bus Ride to Siem Reap
The Giant Ibis bus seat is comfortable enough while moving along the bumpy road full of potholes and dust. But I am sure the dusty surrounding will be unbearable if the bus is not air-conditioned. I was so hoping that those riders on the unmarked expressway would put on face masks…
Then the uneventful journey was delayed due to a flat tyre. It took the driver and his colleagues quite a while to change the punctured one. So I get to see the Cambodia countryside while experiencing all the dust from the road. This went on for almost an hour before the bus journey continues. And I am finally in Siem Reap after 7.5 hours of bus ride.
STAY: Gloria Angkor Hotel review
Gloria Angkor Hotel is quite far away from downtown Siem Reap but there is complimentary shuttle service (Tuk-Tuk) available in the evening. The good-sized private room is comfortable though it can get a little noisy since the hotel is alongside a major highway. The Wi-Fi works well but I encountered a few power outages during the stay, which I understand it’s rather common in Siem Reap.
The staff of Gloria Angkor Hotel are friendly and helpful too, which made it a very pleasant stay. They also helped to arrange a Tuk-Tuk to pick me up early morning next day to Ang Kor Wat. Overall, I think it’s rather good value especially for the price I paid.