Asia ’24 #17: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Asia ’24 #17: To Siem Reap

Read this blog: The one where we catch the wrong coach … initially

Friday 29th March 2024

From Phnom Penh we were booked to travel by GiantIbis coach to Siem Reap from where we would visit Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom – the remnants of the once great Khmer Empire. The bus was scheduled to leave at 08:45 and we had to get there at least half an hour beforehand so we had a relatively early start and booked a Grab car to take us to the coach station from the hotel.

We checked in at the departure point, were directed to take a seat in the waiting area and after a while we handed our suitcases over and boarded the bus. We had expected it to be much busier, given our destination is one of the major tourist sites in Cambodia.

TravellingHerd-Asia ’24: Nicely settled in our seats on the wrong coach

Shortly before the bus was due to depart, a member of staff came running up to explain that we were on the wrong coach. Thankfully we managed to disembark and reclaim our luggage from the hold before it was too late.

TravellingHerd-Asia ’24: the correct GiantIbis coach to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh

The bus which would actually take us to Siem Reap was significantly busier. The journey took about six hours with two comfort breaks and a stop for lunch. We were also provided with a bottle of water and a croissant.

TravellingHerd-Asia ’24: on board the right coach to Siem Reap

Once we arrived in Siem Reap, we checked into the hotel and despite the heat, set out on a walk to get our bearings.

Unsurprisingly, with Robert planning the route, this took us past Pub Street to ensure that he could find it later [see Selfie of the day].

TravellingHerd-Asia ’24: Daytime at Pub Street

We also saw the Art Market Pedestrian Bridge, a covered wooden construction linking the Art Market to the Old Market which is illuminated at night.

TravellingHerd-Asia ’24: Art Market Pedestrian Bridge, Siem Reap

The Hard Rock Café which proved to be conveniently close by is housed in a colonial style building which must have previously been important in a different way. Matilda was delighted to find that they served Hoegaarden on draft.

TravellingHerd-Asia ’24: Hard Rock Café, Angkor

Robert is counting and this is the 46th hard Rock Café he has visited. Having slaked our thirst we returned to Pub Street to drink cheaper beer and find something to eat. Although not normally a fan of cooked avocado, Matilda pronounced the deep fried avocado to be delicious. Sitting right next to the street, we found we were regularly approached by street hawkers, some of whom are children, trying to sell us what Robert likes to call ‘tourist tat’.

TravellingHerd-Asia ’24: Our 46th Hard Rock Café, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

We checked the weather forecast for the next few days and as Saturday was due to be a few degrees cooler than Sunday we decided to visit the ancient sites of Angkor the next day. Many people get up early and go for sunrise, but we felt that we would rather have a lie in.

Selfie of the day:

TravellingHerd: Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Dish of the day:

TravellingHerd: Deep fried avocado, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Route Map:

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