Siem Reap Trip 2015 – Day 1

angkor wat

Angkor Wat Entrance during sunset

In January 2015, I’ve went to Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia, with my girlfriend. It was a 6 days trip, and we planned to cover as much POI as possible in Siem Reap. Before the trip, we contacted a tour guide & driver, Mr Asean, whom serviced my friend’s previous travel to Siem Reap and highly recommended by him. We took the earliest flight of the day, and by the time we touched down, it’s merely 8am. We checked in to our hotel and began the tour to War Museum followed by the Angkor Wat National Museum.

Flak Gun from the 1970s

With a purchase ticket at the War Museum, visitors are entitled to have a tour guide assigned to walk you through the site, providing information of various artifacts on display and the modern history of the Khmer Region. We spent roughly an hour at the war museum, and we learnt a lot about the war that has happened in the modern days of Khmer and its conflicts. Photos of suffering civilians touched our hearts, and looking at various deadly weapons that’s being used in those war is heartbreaking. Weapons such as landmines, rifles, machine guns, war planes, tanks and even handmade booby traps are on display.

After war museum, we went straight to the National Museum. Not much photos were taken there, due to most of exhibits are photography prohibited. However, it’s highly recommended that whoever plans to visit the various sites in Siem Reap, to visit this museum before hand to understand the history of Cambodia. Through the exhibits, you will be more appreciative towards various historical sites that you are going to visit in coming days. Otherwise, those ruins and statues are just “some rocks” to you. With both museums visits concluded, we went for a lunch and rested until late evening to purchase the multi-day visitor pass to Angkor Sites. It’s a norm for visitors to purchase the ticket late in the afternoon, and proceed to see the sunset at Angkor Wat.

Tuk tuk ride to Angkor Wat

Sunset at West Gate of Angkor Wat

Moat at Angkor Wat (widest in Khmer Region)

We concluded the first day with a dinner at Koulen Restaurant, where you get to watch dance shows while enjoying the buffet dinner. Dances of different themes or background stories were performed, including the story of monkey king and a fish, traditional fishing, battle of good and bad…etc.