About Karen G
Lives in Ames, Iowa
Since Oct 2009
50-64 year old female
Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
Historic Sites, Ancient Ruins
Ancient Ruins, Sacred & Religious Sites
Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
Bodies of Water
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Ancient Ruins, Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
The Rambutan (formerly the GB) was central to our enjoyment of Siem Reap and the area. Their manager, Tommy, sat down with us our first morning, listened to our wish-list and then crafted our entire visit to Siem Reap and Cambodia. I am a person who plans each detail of trips, and this was a first-time experience. We saw all we had ever hoped and even more under his behind-the-scenes planning. While promoted as a gay-friendly boutique hotel, we believe it is simply people friendly. Come here to relax by the pool or spend your days touring. Rambutan's restaurant has daily specials which are yummy, and great after a long day afield. Their guys at the bar whip up some wonderful drinks. My favorite was concocted with passion fruit!
The park and ticket cover the majority of the temple sites in the area.
Must see. Angkor Wat was the initial reason we traveled to Siem Reap as a new wonder of the world. It did not disappoint with it's vast outlying temples, a huge moat with a reconstructed bridge, and multi-leveled lotus central structure . . . . It is a fantastic archeological site. I was glad to have researched about the site beforehand so I could simply enjoy its grandeur.
The food was wonderfully prepared Khmer food. For me, it was worth the expense to order tea just to have it served in a cute little elephant teapot. Their service was excellent. They were exceptionally busy the night we went, yet they still found a spot overlooking their terrace.
Angkor Thom is a large part of the Siem Reap area of temples. The ancient bridge, wall and gates give another taste of Khmer life. Within lies the Bayon, another must see.
The Bayon Temple is a place of contemplation and great beauty. One truly feels small when surrounded by all of the faces carved into the structure. There were lots of people present the day we went, but with so many nooks and crannies, it was still possible to find a spot for a picture.
Atmospheric. Ta Prohm was my mind-picture of being within the ruins of a long ago civilization. If you have to remain close to Siem Reap, Ta Prohm is a site which gives the best feel of how temples were overgrown by the forest. The strangler fig trees were awesome with their roots threatening to encase the site.
Our favorite. The food was excellent and we enjoyed eating either in the garden or interior.
Just plain fun as a break from art, history and trekking. The staff is professional and we as a mature couple in our 50s and 70s had no problem. We enjoyed our time flying through the treetops. The staff even used our camera to take pictures of us.
"Lost" in the forest, Beng Mealea is a must see if you are wanting to view a site close to how it was discovered. Walkways make viewing the ruins doable for most. I loved to see a site still captured by the strangler figs. Enjoy viewing Cambodian life today as you travel to the site.
Hotel manager recommended Viroth's as one of his favorites in Siem Reap. The food, service and atmosphere were very special. We had salads, main courses and desserts all from their special daily menu board. It could have been an expensive meal in other parts of the world. In Cambodia it was fine dining without the fine dining price. Viroth's is a bit different than other eating experiences in Siem Reap and we are glad that we had the opportunity to dine with them.
Don't miss a day on Tonle Sap Lake. It adds another layer of depth to a Cambodian vacation. The floating villages provide a completely different experience of people's day to day lives. Kayaking around the villages and taking a trip out to see the birds were fascinating. Traveling from Siem Reap to the Tonle Sap Lake boat, we walked past houses and a market which was another opportunity to see local life in Cambodia.
Kompong Phluk is a village of stilted houses located in the Tonle Sap Lake. It is possible to take a dugout canoe ride around the village and through the flooded forest of mangrove trees. I even got to paddle the canoe! It is Impressive to see people going about daily activities who have carved out lives within this environment.
Another great restaurant in Siem Reap. The food not only tasted great, it was plated specially. Fun.
Day trip: Saw rice field work between Siem Reap and bamboo train. Bamboo platform ingenious use of rail line destroyed in Pol Pot era. Fun ride through countryside. Wanted to make this a part of our trip because it is not certain how long it will last before regular trains are running again. Interesting privately run brick kiln at end of ride.
Long day trip from Siem Reap. Because of skirmishes in this area, I considered not adding it to this guide. However, the Preah Vihear area was one of the most memorable days we spent touring in Cambodia. The site overlooked Thailand and was beautiful. The architecture was different from what we had viewed elsewhere, and we had the opportunity to view the military presence of both Thailand and Cambodia in the area. The most challenging parts of our day were the ride in the back of a pick-up truck up the mountain and spotting a small non-poisonous snake. However, we had our Cambodian guide with us who assured us no hostilities were taking part in the area during that time.