So, you’ve visited all the temples in Angkor Wat and feeling inspired to see more of this wonderful country. There is so much more to see! Since I only had 5 days in Seam Reap I was limited to sightseeing around this town. If you have 1 or 2 days here is what I would suggest you do.
A true glance behind the scene. You won’t find here hotels, cars or asphalt roads. Locals don’t live this way. Instead get ready for a bumpy 40 min ride to the floating villages. Tall 8-10 meters’ wooden houses along the river all look the same. Kids playing around, dogs walking, a countless number of small boats. It all looks surreal. As if you stepped in the different era. It is hard to believe that people still live this way. It is different. It is nothing you’ve seen before. As we were floating on the boat along the villages kids were following us and waving. Their happy smiles will make you smile back. Tiny bare feet children dressed very poor but radiating so much positive happy energy!
If you get a chance step off the boat, walk around. You might be able to see how monks live, what they cook, how they pray. Everyone there is very friendly and welcoming.
Located in 65 km or 1.5 hours away from Siem Reap.
As you make it to the top you will see what is called Lingas. Ancient Cambodian people were practicing both Hindu and Buddhism (and still do now). Under the running spring water, you will find thousands of hidden stones symbolizing man and woman reproductive organs. Some people to believe those waters are a saint and drink it.
The main attraction of Kulem mountain is the 2000-year-old temple. A giant Buddha statue is something not to be missed. There is also what is to believe a Buddha footprint. Monks, people praying and spiritual live music make that place memorable. Temple is surrounded by local villages and jungles. Interesting to walk around and observe the local way of living.
There are also few waterfalls connected to the river. You will find Cambodians and tourists taking a dip in the refreshing cool waters. I remembered this place with the bunch of butterflies landing right in front of you and sounds of falling water. Very green and tropical.
Make sure to try the red bananas which are grown only in the mountains. It tastes a little bit sweeter than yellow ones but sure look way cooler!
Traditional Cambodian massage
For a small 5-8 $ fee you can experience a great traditional massage. Different from the most I’ve tried. Includes a lot of stretching and twisting rather than deep tissue massage. Great relaxation after all day of climbing the ruins of Angkor Wat.
Located right in the center of town the Old Market is a fun place to check out. Many handcrafted clothes, jewelry, souvenirs are sold here for very cheap. I didn’t have an appropriate outfit to visit temples so I made a stop here first thing by arrival. All prices are negotiable. Don’t be shy to bargain and get yourself a deal.
Cambodia left a sweet spot in my heart. I was blown away by authenticity and kindness of its people. As a solo female traveler, I always felt safe and welcomed. Incredible Asian hospitality here in Cambodia is a whole another level. For as poor as this country is you will never find any negativity or anger. The term “stress” simply doesn’t exist here. I admire their kindness and envy the happiness they radiate. A perfect country for backpacking or soul healing trip!