Archive for the 'Sightseeing & activities' Category

Apr 09 2013

Swimming pools in Siem Reap: part 2

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

The Frangipani pool: cool, but a tad crowded.

At certain times of year life in Siem Reap without a pool verges on the tortuous. Many expats make a point of leaving Siem Reap as soon as April arrives and the elements unleash the most ferocious heat and energy-sapping humidity of the year. But with a bit of forward-planning it can be an excellent … read the full post

Mar 06 2013

Review: Siem Reap cooking classes with Beyond Unique Escapes

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

My Khmer chicken curry, also available in vegetarian and gluten-free varieties

The Cambodian cooking classes advertised by Sojourn Boutique Villas and tour operator Beyond Unique Escapes both come highly recommended — so highly that I’ve managed to use my inability to choose between the two as an excuse to do neither for quite some time. So, when a visiting friend booked us onto a half-day course, … read the full post

Feb 25 2013

Banteay Kdei

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Above the shrine at the entrance to Banteay Kdei.

Close to Siem Reap, with its own unique appeal and much quieter than your average Angkorian ruin, Banteay Kdei offers the perfect antidote the crowds at Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm. It is also conveniently close to the Big Three so you can easily add it to your one-day itinerary, enjoy a little … read the full post

Jan 02 2013

Siem Reap’s Royal Gardens

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Lotus flowers make a beautiful temple offering

A 15-minute stroll north from the Old Market, along the shady west bank of the Siem Reap River, with its ornate stone streetlamps and hotch-potch of animal and religious sculptures, leads you to The Royal Gardens, the Siem Reap city centre’s only open public green space. It is an area that provides visitors with a … read the full post

Dec 12 2012

Avoid the crowds at Ta Prohm: go to Preah Khan

In a dark, dark corner, an exquisite Devata

Preah Khan has lived long in the shadow of its older sister, Ta Prohm. But as the hordes pore over the broken paths and scaffolding of the older temple, the very fact that Preah Khan is so often overlooked has become an integral part of its attraction. You are freer to explore here, without rubbing … read the full post

Dec 08 2012

Balloon flights over Angkor

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Nice view, but worth risking life and limb for?

UPDATE: Here’s the Phnom Penh Post report. I am slightly claustrophobic  – demanding to be let off a Boeing 777 three hours into a flight from London to LA was a particularly memorable episode in the history of my phobia – so a flight in a hot air balloon has never appealed. However, many people … read the full post

Dec 05 2012

Banteay Srei temple: A really practical guide

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Far from the madding crowds: The wetlands walk at Banteay Srei

Once you’ve clambered over swarms of tourists in pursuit of that one photo of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom or Ta Prohm that doesn’t feature a crowd of total strangers, you may be tempted to call it a day with the temples after, well, a day. However, there are a number of smaller temples not far … read the full post

Oct 30 2012

Center for Khmer Studies talks

Wat Damnak

I should declare my interest first: my husband is the director of the Center for Khmer Studies, a research centre and library in the grounds of Wat Damnak, which makes him the only person I know who gets to go to work along fragrant, frangipani-lined paths, and settle down to his desk in a beautiful, … read the full post

Oct 07 2012

Quieter Angkor temples

More than two million people will come to Cambodia before this year is out, and it’s a number that’s projected to keep rising as the years roll on. The government is preparing for six million visitors in 2015 and, since most of them will presumably still be coming primarily to visit the temples, it’s going … read the full post

Sep 24 2012

Phnom Bakheng: A giant astrological calendar

Phnom Bakheng

It’s best known as a viewing point for sunset at Angkor Wat and if you’re fond of battling your way through the masses, all with cameras surgically attached to their faces or at a constant arm’s length from their body as though it’s in control of them and not they in control of it, then … read the full post

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