Our Arrival in Siem Reap, Cambodia

22-Oct-2013 • Siem Reap Cambodia

Marc and I visited Cambodia purposely to see the world famous Angkor Wat Temples. We were not disappointed. In fact, stunned is the more appropriate word to describe us when we first got a glimpse of the temples we were to explore throughout our stay. We were in awe by what we saw. The temples were simply magnificent. It's hard to believe it's been eight years since our visit. I do hope to return one day.

I remember seeing pictures of the Angkor Temples from a book inside Cody's Bookstore along Stockton and I knew then Marc and I had to go. Upon arrival in SIEM REAP's small but boutique like airport, we were met by representatives of the Steung Hotel where we were going to stay. At the time of our visit, the different city hotels sent their employees to the airport to pick their guests up. The ride was short and quick. The downtown area, where all the tourists congregated was small and walkable. The atmosphere along Pub Street where most tourists congregated was very lively. We eventually ended up hanging out there too in the evenings for dinner and shopping.

The Steung Siem Reap, our hotel during our very first visit to Cambodia. It was one of the most centrally located hotels we saw in the tiny city. It was perfect for us.

Shortly after check in, we began walking around to sightsee. We saw lots of hotels to cater to all types of budgets. Actually, as soon as we left the airport for downtown Siem Reap, we saw hotels right away on both sides of the very long street from the airport all the way to the city center.

It was the very first time for me to visit a city though with unpaved streets. We actually walked on dirt roads all the time. Although Cambodia had its own currency, US DOllars were widely used here. In fact, everywhere we went, we just paid in dollars.

Hotel de la Paix, now called the Park Hyatt, was one which stood out for its elegance and grandeur. The courtyard of the Hotel de la Paix, now named the Park Hyatt.

A quiet corner inside Hotel de la Paix

I knew the hotel stayed the same even though it had been taken over by a large chain because this exact same statue is still there in its exact same location. I checked it out on Tripadvisor.

A gate by one end of a small bridge

Our hotel was right next to a temple. This was the temple's gate.

This is how the temple looked.

A side view of the temple in the middle of a garden full of tall coconut trees.