APEC holidays were declared back in July 2015 which prompted me and my friends to set a vacation plan. Holidays for the private sector covered November 18 and 19, 2015 (Wednesday and Thursday). My friends and I thought about the possibility of going to Boracay. However, people started backing out one by one until I was the only one left who’s determined to push for an APEC get-away. I wasn’t very keen on going to Boracay alone given that I’ve already been there a couple of times. I started thinking of places I can visit given the following considerations:
- Somewhere I haven’t been to before
I haven’t been to a lot of places so I got plenty to choose from for consideration #1. I wanted some place which I can reach without any hassle either by land or air travel. Land travel in the Philippines for places worthy of a long vacation will probably take a couple of hours. I’d actually prefer enduring a long land travel with some company. Hence, I was left with air travel for #2 and that meant going to either a domestic destination or another country which doesn’t require a visa. When I was at this point, I was pretty much sold on doing a solo trip abroad. Consideration #3 meant I needed to choose a place which is backpacker friendly (hello dorm rooms and joined tours!) and wait for a promo airfare (hello seat sale!). These considerations led me to zero-in on (yup, you guessed it right!) Siem Reap. Once I’ve made this decision, the only thing left was to wait for a seat sale. On September 18, 2015, the heavens granted my wish and I was able to book a Cebu Pacific flight for November 15-19.
I started hunting for accommodation after booking my roundtrip flight. The choices I had were the following:
I ended up choosing The Luxury Concept Hostel since it’s the closest to Pub Street and has female dorm rooms. I booked a bed for 5D4N via Agoda. Browsing the hostel’s website led me to the Siem Reap Shuttle Tours. I decided to book their Angkor Wat (Small Circuit) and Banteay Srei (Grand Circuit) tours. I didn’t do anything else aside from these two temple tours. I considered going to the Apsara Dinner Show but I saw a lot of negative reviews in Tripadvisor so I decided not to go.
I got a taste of Siem Reap’s night life within the area of Pub Street with some of the people I met in the Small Circuit tour. We visited a couple of places but the ones I remembered are the Yolo Bar and Temple Club.
The YOLO Bar has a DJ booth which you can control. It has a laptop set-up which is connected to the bar’s speakers. You get to search YouTube for music to be played in the bar. I visited Temple Club with a friend for a dose of dancing before heading back to the hostel.
I pretty much spent day 4 resting from the previous day’s drinking and night out. I’m not sure if day 3’s happy pizza dinner was also part of my laziness during day 4. I only went out late in the afternoon/early in the evening for a foot spa and dinner plus some walking around the Night Market.
Note that you can use the local currency, Cambodian Riel (KHR), as well as US Dollar for transactions. When your USD payment is more than the amount due, you’ll normally receive your change in KHR. If you plan to bring USD, it’s better to have the small bills.
Below are the expenses for this trip: