The Only reason I put Siam Reap on the list is Angkor Wat!! This complex of ancient city is a true calling for me, long before Angelina Jolie running around Ta Phrom. I’m so curious about that place! I love ancient ruin, I love artistic things, and Angkor wat seems to have it all. All my CS guests always put Cambodia and Angkor wat on their “must-visit” place! So….. no need further explanation, I will definetly visit Angkor Wat!!
My sister came to me with her biking-idea around Angkor Wat. She have researched it before, and looked like biking is become more popular lately. Sounds great though : biking around ancient city….. So, I agree instantly! The Angkor complex will open on sunrise, and closed on sunset! See, they invite us to watch the sunrise in Angkor Wat! So, we answer ur invitation!! I will be there by sunrise!! *throw my fist on the sky*
Well….. bike plus sunrise….. how it would sounds? Fun? Hard? Or really hard? Hahahha! It is hard! We have to start the trip at least 4.30 am, local time. I have my bike rented from the white bicycle, cos I attracted by its project. They rent the bike to support their social activities. Anyway, it is really easy to rent bike in Siam Reap, the price would be around 1-2 USD per day. Almost every hotel have it, I guess. SR is really touristic, every tourist there have 1 purpose, visiting Angkor, what else? The city was calm and easy, quite modern, lots of hotel and hostel. Everything in the city are meant to the tourist industry, even the bottled water on the street! It is twice expensive than average price we had for bottled water, everywhere in VN and PP!! But, we found little supermarket, with normal price somewhere on the main road, lucky we didn’t buy the one on the street.
After some discussion, we decided to rent car with air con, for those two old tourists, my uncle and aunt. It is cost 25-35 USD. Tuk tuk would be cheaper, of course, around 12 USD. Meanwhile, me and the two sisters will stick on the bike. Angkor complex is located outside of the city, it is 8 km long! The road is flat, but still….need a fit body to do this! It needs around 45 minutes to go!
Cycling to Angkor Wat is an awesome experience! I have never been on push bike since I move to Surabaya, around 20 years ago! I’m glad I still know how to ride it! We started it at 4.30 sharp. The sky was still dark, and I’m not really sure about our direction. With some help from the map and some signage on the road, I rowed my bike with fully confident. It was looooong way along the deserted road, the houses and building were getting rare, replaced by forest, and the sky were getting bright…. But…. I still haven’t seen any sign of Angkor Wat. Finally!! I saw it!! A black huge figure! Angkor Wat!! But I was taking the wrong way! Damn!! I should have stick on Charles de Gaulle road!! I didn’t pass the main gate, so, I didn’t got my ticket yet! I need to row again for a solid 20 minutes back and forth to get my ticket!! Aaaargh!! I missed the sunrise!!
But that’s OK, it was covered by cloud anyway….OK!! I will never ruin the whole excitement to be in Angkor Wat, with such small things like missing the sunrise, and rowing back to the main gate!! We had our breakfast on front of Angkor wat it self, that’s awesome! Angkor are actually a very big complex with thousands of ancient artifact. There are some main artifact, that made them must-visit :
- South gate of Angkor Thom
- Terrace of elephant
- Terrace of lepper King
- Ta Prohm
- Angkor wat
I visited them all, plus a few more ruin that looks interesting. That was the good things about ridding bike on our own. I can stop where ever I want, and for how long. When I was wandering around, I started to realize, why some people visit Angkor Wat area for 3 days! If I could, I would take 3 days ticket too!! Even if it is a complex of temples, the style are not the same. There are some styles, such as Bayon, Angkor Wat, Khleang, post-bayon, ect.
I was really happy to start the trip early on the morning, cos the sun was merciless! Another good thing is, the Angkor wat wasn’t full yet, so I can enjoy the silent between the great stones. Angkor are always full of kids selling things, they will gang up on you and yelling “one dolar misssssss” Thanks God they’re not allowed to go inside the ruin, or they will ruin my mood! Once again….. I will never ruin the whole excitement to be in Angkor Wat, with such small things like “one dollar misssssssssss!!!” I read on the travel forum, someone asked how to avoid the crowd on Angkor Wat? The answer was genius!! Don’t go! Indeed, if u only want to see Angkor wat, without any hassle, than u can search on the net, they have tons of information, no need to visit Angkor wat.