Buddha, smiling, serene or sleeping, he will bless you with his kind eyes from any corner in Siem Reap and Cambodia.
In Siem Reap you will be fortunate to learn about the magic of Buddha from the paintings on the wall of every temple, his life unfolds before your eyes in colorful depictions, detailed outlines and beauty that transcends time, culture and space.
That is what i have discovered when i visited the local market, central pagoda and Angkor Wat temple.
Walking through the many market stalls you will find Buddha’s smile and eyes following you, observing the sleepy women waiting for customers to buy traditional pants or skirt, magnets, silk scarves, t-shirts and wall art.
The market is very close to pub street, famous for the various and huge selection of bars and restaurants. Open all day, it gets really busy at night time, with tourists everywhere, loud music and colorful lights above you. It is really easy to find as there is a sign welcoming you to pub street. Be sure to visit the Temple bar, and enjoy great draft beer, food and cool decor.
If you prefer a low key place there are many local Khemer restaurants just across the bridge. One of my favorite places became Footprints cafe. My friend and i spent our mornings there, talking, enjoying great coffee, delicious breakfast and chilling among the fantastic book selection they have. It is a true gem for all book lovers and must when you are in Siem Reap.
From Siem Reap you can take many day trips to the temples and floating villages. Just be ready to spend around $25, find a good tour if you are traveling alone like me or find a good Tuk Tuk driver for your stay, using Facebook traveling groups, you will thank me later.
If you are looking for a great evening activity and eager to learn about the culture and life in Cambodia, art, performing arts is the best way to do so. I chose to visit the famous Phare circus and what an amazing experience it was! I bought my ticket, seat C for $18, my tuk tuk driver picked me up at 19.00 and the show began at 20.00. Energetic, engaging and emotional, you will discover the story of the young generations in Cambodia. Loved it so much and you will love it too!
Siem Reap has been very kind to me and surprised me with its beauty, colors and culture. I wasn’t expecting much from the city and put it down on my bucket list just for Angkor Wat, but keep following my posts on the temples and floating villages to find out why it has been a true gem for me.