We often forget how much our moms have taken care of us and don’t give them the attention they deserve. What better way to pamper them, than going on a trip together to Siem Reap – the city of temples.
Here are 10 things you can do to make the trip even more special!
- Ride a Bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap or vice versa and visit 2 countries at once.
It was my mom’s first time abroad and she was able to see 2 different countries in one go. Passport stamps are always nice! And we saved paying for one night in a hotel by travelling. We went on the bus at 1 am and when we woke up at around 6 am, we were already at the border between Cambodia and Thailand. Cambodia’s immigration was a breeze too.
We travelled for 2-3 more hours after reaching the border. We spent that time talking, sightseeing and taking short naps before we reached the bus station in Siem Reap.
Tuktuk drivers will be waiting there to offer you their services, tours and hotels. I already talked to a tuktuk driver online before we arrived so we just waited for him to take us to our hotel.
- Get a nice hotel with a pool at Siem Reap.
Make your mom feel extra special by staying in a nice hotel room with a pool so she can relax there after a tiring tour day. Hotel rooms in Siem Reap are really affordable. You can get rooms for as low as $10 or less, but if you look for deals, you can get really nice ones at the $20 range.
I decided to go the extra mile (and penny) and looked for a 5 star hotel.
I was able to get a room in a 5 star hotel (Lotus Blanc Hotel) for less than $50 with one way airport transfer, a complimentary welcome drink, coffee and tea, and breakfast buffet! The room was HUGE!
My mom was so EXCITED once she saw the room! I promise it was so worth it!
- Ride a Tuktuk to tour you around the temples
Tuktuks are everywhere in Cambodia and it’s something you definitely don’t see everyday, unless you live in Thailand. It’s like a cross between a Chinese Rickshaw and a Motorcycle. My mom and I had fun riding this as we toured around the temples. Our driver was very warm and provided us with cold bottled water everytime we went back from the temples.
- Eat Breakfast at Angkor Wat
One of the most memorable things my mom and I did was to eat in one of the temples while waiting for sunrise at Angkor Wat. The sun didn’t show up, but we enjoyed the food and pictures we took while we were there. So it didn’t matter even if we didn’t see the sun.
There are hotels who offer a Private breakfast service at Angkor Wat for a price. But I just asked our hotel the night before if they could pack us some breakfast from the breakfast buffet so we could take it to the temples, and they agreed. The next day at around 4:30 am, our breakfast was all ready to go with us to the temples. Yogurt, bread, coffee, juice, fruits and stir fried noodles were some of the treats they prepared for us.
- Bargain for Souvenirs with the Locals in different languages and currencies.
We were so amazed by the locals as they always seemed to know what our Nationality was. We were even more amazed when a girl started selling to us in the Filipino language complete with Filipino expressions, they even accepted Philippine Pesos, Baht and US Dollars.
Our own tuktuk driver spoke Chinese too. He said that Cambodians typically aim to speak 15 different languages. And learn it in a Pagoda with monks and sometimes other volunteer travelers. How awesome is that!
- Eat Khmer food.
In our 3 days in Cambodia, my mom and I ate in the 5 star way and the normal way without breaking the bank.
We ate Beef lok lak and Fish Amok in the Hotel Restaurant and were treated like queens. The meal cost around $35.
We also ate in the local restaurants with 5 star ratings on TripAdvisor such us LUV U restaurant and TRY ME restaurant (Both are a ways off of pubstreet) But the food was superb! Here we paid at around $8 for 2 dishes and 2 drinks!
We also tried Barbecued Frog, chicken soup and fish curry while touring around the temples. Yum!
Pubstreet is the loud touristy area where foreigners come to eat, shop and drink. It’s also where you can find edible insects such as scorpions which is a must try, it’s actually yummy.
Souvenir shops, money changers, massage parlors and loads of restaurants and tuktuks everywhere! We ate our first dinner here and took pictures, exchanged money and bought a sim card.
- Do a mini Photoshoot in the Tomb raider temple- Ta Prohm.
We were lucky enough to be approached by a local and he took us around and took pictures for us. He only asked for a tip once I asked him how much he would charge us. I gave him $10, but the pictures he took of us were definitely worth more. We would never have thought of doing it the same way he did.
- Ride or Take Photos with an Elephant in Phnom Bakheng
It was our first time to see Elephants up close and personal and had I just brought more money (Which I didn’t think to bring) I would have rode the Elephant up the hill. It cost $20 per person. So I just took photos beside them. J It was still AWESOME!
- Sunset in Phnom Bakheng
Choose to ride an Elephant up, or just trek up, but be there by 3:30 or 4pm to catch the sunset as they only allow a specific number of people. Earlier would be better as a lot of people go up to catch the sunset. Bring a tripod to take self portraits too, the view is really nice up there.