Inquiry Submission By scubabe
Thought I would post my day trip to the above places in case it helps anyone.
Hired a driver & left Siem Reap at 7.30. Arrived Kbal Spean about 8.30am. Was planning on getting a guide there but there was no-one there. Clean toilets at parking area. Take water with you on hike as nothing once in park.
We were the only people there. Lovely walk to the top of the river. Only one path so can?t get lost. Need average fitness & reasonable shoes. Walk is uphill for 1500m. There are some little shelters on way up if you need a rest. Beautiful butterflies.
River carvings can be seen at the top but these were a bit disappointing. But then follow the river down (veer right & not back the way you came) to see the 1000s lingas in the river bed & some rock carvings. Follow the path & climb down the wooden ladders to the waterfall. I had my swimming costume so I had a ?shower? under the waterfall. We were lucky & had this place to ourselves. Then we continued the hike back down. On the way back quite a few groups were starting out. It?s humid in the forest but mostly shaded. We spent 2.5hours there but could easily do it in under 2 hours. We enjoyed doing something different than just temples. I don?t think it?s a must do but was interesting.
Then it was a quick drive to Banteay Srei. Beautiful intricate red sandstone temple. Very hot here with no shade. Some good information on the boards before you enter if you are like us & don?t have a guide. We then spent some time walking around the complex via the nature reserve (not necessary if you are short of time).
We stopped for lunch at Devatas. Lovely restaurant overlooking fields/water pond. Fantastic food (I recommend the pomelo salad) & friendly service. Limited English but not a problem.
Then drove to Pre Rup to explore. This is a nice temple but you need to have good knees as lots of big steep stairs to climb. Lots of people go here for sunset but we didn?t stay.
Then my favourite temple Banteay Kdei. I had never heard of this temple but so much to see.
Back to our hotel for a swim & drink. Walked to Pub Street area & are at Khmer Kitchen. Lots of travellers here. Nice staff. Food a bit average but seemed very popular.
Tuk tuk to Phare Circus for 8pm show. A bit like a local cirque de soleil. I highly recommend this. It?s really hot in the arena so go prepared. They lend you hand fans. We pre-booked our tickets on line & glad we did as it was sold out.
The next day we had a relaxed morning to recover from our busy day & then went to a floating village tour with community first tour group. I also recommend this. You are taken out to one of the further villages where we were the only small tourist group. Also stop along the way for some local snacks at roadside stall & bakery. Sunset on the lake. Back to Siem reap by 7.45pm. They nicely dropped us off at a restaurant we wanted to go to.
Dinner at Sita Sousdey. Fantastic food. Authentic local food. Small local restaurant run by very friendly family. Bit of a wait for the food but worth it.