After our epic boarder crossing we jumped in a taxi and headed for Siem Reap, on arrival there we jumped a Tuk Tuk and asked to be taken to a cheap hostel. The first hostel we went to was fully booked so our driver took us to another cheap hostel, just off the main street.
We had no idea about Cambodia upon entering the country, but met an Aussie guy whilst going through customs who suggested some must see sights and things to do whilst in Cambodia.
The hostel was called Bun Seda Ankor Village, it was very neat and tidy, the staff were friendly and the prices were fair. It cost $15 each per night for a private room with bathroom, we decided to stay 3 nights there.
Our checklist for Siem Reap consisted of seeing the Floating Villages, night markets and the famous Anchor Wat as well as other temples that were scattered around this area of Cambodia.
Our first night we had dinner at the hotel, Tim ordered steak but could swear it wasn’t cow he was eating… Then we walked around the night markets where we bought a couple singlets and hippy pants and took in the busy atmosphere of Siem Reap.
The next day we walked around and observed Siem Reap during the day. there were so many poor, sick and injured people on the streets and a lot of children running around asking for ‘$1’. It was really sad to see 🙁
After lunch we asked a few Tuk Tuk drivers how much it was to go to the Floating Village. Everyone said different prices, but in the end we found a young guy that we liked named Tom. His charge was $10 and he would take us to buy rice to donate to local orphanage, floating village then to a large staircase in the middle of nowhere which gave us a panoramic view of Siem Reap. It was amazing to see how each house was owned by either a really rich family or really poor family, there was no in between.
We heard from some guys we met at the hostel that the rice you buy for the school at the floating village is really overpriced, so we thought we would go to a local store, buy the same amount of rice (for less than half the price in the village) and donate to a local orphanage that wasn’t visited by hundeds of visitors everyday.
The children at the orphanage we decided on were simply adorable, very polite and had the biggest smiles on their faces. Was great to see.
Tom then took us to the floating villages, where he left us to go on our 45 minute tour.
The floating village wasn’t the best, was cool to see the houses and how people maneuvered around living on the water, but as soon as we said we had already donated to another orphanage and weren’t going to donate to the school he became very grumpy and rude. He actually turned the boat around and took us back!
We couldn’t believe it when we saw that they had about 20 saltwater crocodiles in this one pen – didn’t look very stable at all! Surely the crocodiles could escape…
After the tour Tom took us back to our hostel, we asked if he would like to take us on the temple tour tomorrow and he gladly agreed. He said he would pick us up at 4:30AM, so early night for us!
We had a nice dinner on Pub Street and walked through the night markets to buy clothes appropriate to wear in the temples. Then we went to bed 🙂