The night bus from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap was interesting. They call it the hotel bus, we had two double beds on the bottom (they are bunk double beds) and you can almost stretch out completely on a – very – thin double bed. The window is from the bottom of your mattress to the top of the bed above you. You can’t really sit up so are forced to lie down, where you can watch out of the window. It was a pretty cool experience and, of course, the kids absolutely loved it. It was a bit rickety as the roads in Cambodia are not always in great shape so quite bumpy. However, we all slept most of the way on the 13-hour trip.
We lucked out with the hotel we booked, it was clean, spacious and most importantly it had a swimming pool. It is getting hotter now and it is great for the children to have a nice cool swim at the hottest of the day.
Of course, Siem Reap is where Angkor Wat is and this was the main purpose of our stay. The town of Siem Reap is surprisingly nice, lots of French architectural influence although a bit of a party town as well. They even have a street called pub street and you guessed it is full of pubs.
We spread our Angkor Wat visit over three days, there are so many associated temples and buildings to see that you really can’t do it all in one day. More importantly, after about 4 or 5 hours of walking around in the heat looking at temples, the children get understandably tetchy. A one day pass costs $20, whilst a three day pass cost $40 and you can use the three days within a week (so you can take a break as well).
On day one we saw some of the bigger temples and The Royal Palace. On day two we saw some smaller temples and Ta Prohm (the overgrown Tomb Raider temple), we were meant to see Angkor Wat too but decided to keep that for the morning of day three when we were all fresh. It was all mesmerising and so interesting. There are many stories behind these temples (Hinduism, Buddhism, Kings, Khmer Rouge, The French etc. etc.) It was pretty challenging to get our head around it all!