Visit the floating village
Kompong Pluk is less than an hour from Siem Reap and is a village built in and around a river. We took an exciting ride there in our tuk-tuk along the winding bumpy roads. I loved watching the crowded city streets melt into quiet countryside. We finally reached Kompong Pluk and were escorted to a houseboat just for us. Though we visited during rainy season, the skies were bright blue and the water calm.
I call this “Young Man and the River” – love the contrast of the background and the lone figure.
Note: It can sometimes be worth letting your hotel book your tours, especially if they offer discounted rates with preferred partners. Or you can see if tour operators will offer lower prices if you try your luck.
Explore the temples
Siem Reap is full of ancient, beautiful temples. I’ve already listed my favorite temples here. It can truly take your breath away when you stop and actually realize that you are stepping foot on a temple that was built more than 1000 years ago in a time when cranes and drills didn’t exist. Remember to go to Angkor Wat (the largest religious temple in the world) and Ta Prohm (the fusion/invasion of the jungle into the temple is amazing!)
Night Market shopping
The Night Markets are a fun place to look for Cambodian silk and gifts. I was determined to get cotton/silk table covers to commemorate our anniversary (traditional second anniversary gift) and finally found them at the Night Market. The Old Market by Bar Street has a small night market as well but I preferred the main Night Market.
The most common items being sold were pieces of silver jewelry, t-shirts, silk linens, and masks. Every stall may have slightly different pieces so have a good idea of what you want to purchase. Of course, bargaining is a must, but I didn’t bargain as aggressively as I normally do. I saw so much more poverty, yet resilience, in Cambodia that I actually preferred to give vendors more money.
More pictures on Flickr here!