I’ve read much about Cambodia and how the Khmer nation was once South East Asia’s super power in the 9th till 13th centuries. Thus, I was more than thrilled to be able to visit and experience the country, especially in the heart of all the buzz: Siem Reap.
Siem Reap is well known for its many Hindu temples, one of which is the famed Angkor Wat monument. However, my visit had been everything but the temples themselves. This short 3 days trip saw me exploring the country side, its people, their villages and way of life.
I went on a bicycle tour led by a local guide who brought us on a long and slow ride through the idyllic villages that dotted the rural landscape. We first stopped by for a visit at the Hun Sen Rolous Primary School.
After visiting the school, we rode to the nearby Rolous Market.
By late morning, we were on the highway towards the floating village of Kampong Khleang. Unfortunately, it was the dry season, hence the entire village was “visible” right down to its wooden stilts. We drove on dry ground in what would have been under water during the wet season.
After visiting Kampong Khleang, we took a boat to check out the Vietnamese Floating Village on Tonle Sap lake.
We returned to Siem Reap by 5 pm, having enjoyed a good and productive full day’s tour. It had been an insightful and eye-opening experience of Cambodia minus all the hype surrounding the temples.