*non-halal pictures ahead
Before heading to Siem Reap, I googled places to visit and couldn't find much besides visiting the temples-Angkor and lake-Tonle Sap. The trip ended up quite unplanned and impromptu. So now that I'm back, here my list of things to do during the day (which is either free or won't cost you much money) and if you decide you have enough of temples :)
No.1 : Visit a Cultural Village
I know most people will consider skipping this because its 'just another tourist trap'. However, this cultural center that I visited was very well managed and informative. We could see many workers and craftsmen hard at work. I don't know if this is just for show or not but we were informed that the management is using this platform to increase awareness of local art. There are workshops and trips to farms if you are interested to know more. Best part, its free. No entrance fee required. (Artisans Angkor)
No.2 : Wet Markets, Dry Markets
I love markets. The more local, the better. Interesting, so very colourful. I like wandering around the narrow aisle, packed with goodies, tempting me, playing with my senses.
No.3 Have a meal with the locals
This is definitely for the brave hearted and those with strong stomach. Join the locals as they sit, cramped up against the pathway, so narrow that you'll get a butt rub every time someone passes by. I am ashamed to say that I wasn't brave enough. Even though I was tempted too, my weak stomach protested strongly. A tip : Order whatever your neighbour has. No menu provided.
No.4 Shopping, shopping, shopping
Even though I am a traveller, first and foremost, I am a girl. I can't deny the fact that bright, shiny baubles never fails to captures my attention. That's just me. But I'm sure there are other things that you can shop for too.
No.5 Street StrollingIf cramp spaces and narrow aisle isn't your thing, Siam Reap streets are interesting enough to spend some time strolling them. Although I got to say that as the day turns hotter, the storekeepers turn crankier and lazier.
No.6 Ride a Tuk Tuk
Any trip within Siam Reap costs only 1USD. So hop onto one, drive through town, and enjoy the breeze that provides a respite from the hot weather. Tip : Please discuss and decide on a price/ location with the driver before departure.
No.7 Visit the Killing Fields Memorial
We wanted to visit the Killing Fields but as that was in Phnom Penh, we had to compromise and visit a Stupa Memorial to the Killing Fields. Not sure if its worth the trip as its further outskirt and all it has is just a singular stupa with glass sides containing bones and skulls of victims of Pol Pot's army. I guess its worth it if skulls and bones are not a daily thing for you :) Time require to snap pictures and walk around : 5-10 mins
No.8 Park yourself at a local fruit store
No matter what the fruits are, they normally taste different than at home. Even if they don't, convince yourself that they do :)
No.9 Have an ice-creamWeather in Siam Reap are usually hot, dusty and hot. So have an ice-cream or two. Savour them slowly, and rest from the hot sun.
No.10 Enjoy a large glass of fruit juice
Sometimes, hot days means taking things slowly. So find a cafe, grab a chair and spend the afternoon away with a glass of icy cold fruit juice and a good book. Travelling does not mean cramming your time visiting tourist's attractions. It sometimes better to take a step back and just enjoy being there.
So that's it - my 10 things to do during the day time in Siem Reap. Let me know if you do any of them :)
Have a good trip!