Siem Reap, Cambodia was the first stop on our 3.5 month trip through Southeast Asia. Neither of us had backpacked before, neither of us had been to Asia before, and we were thrown into the deep end; I loved it!
Siem Reap Night Market
Stacey and I found this little market stall ran by an NGO called Grace Gecko. They teach impoverished women to create goods from natural and recycled items. It was really great to make purchases that benefit others.
On Stacey’s birthday we had a little moment of treating ourselves. We got 30-minute foot massages for $2.50. Not too bad, and it was a nice relief after three days of walking around Angkor Wat.
One day our tuktuk driver took us on a different route home from Angkor Wat, taking us right through this busy street during rush hour. It made my heart race to see tuktuks beside me filled with Buddhist monks.
Wat Preah Prohm Rath
This was the first practicing temple we experienced. This pagoda was beautiful, surrounded by murals, exquisite tiles covered the floors, flags hung outside and I absolutely loved seeing all of this in practice.
The Birth of the Buddha. His mother, Maya, reached up, grabbed a branch and gave birth and Buddha took seven steps.
This mural depicts The Temptation of Mara. When the Buddha sat beneath the bodhi tree and was about to achieve enlightenment the demon Mara sought to keep him from attaining that with violence, sex, death and more. It didn’t work.
This mural depicts the death of the Buddha. He reclined and slipped into Nirvana.
The Reclining Buddha inside of the temple.
Buddhist flags lined up outside of the temple.
Siem Reap Pub Crawl
Stacey and I aren’t really the typical, partying backpackers you hear about, but our last night in Siem Reap was Stacey’s birthday so we decided to partake in the Siem Reap Pub-crawl which ended up being a lot of fun. Our new friend Kailyn joined us as we moved from the X-Bar, where I got to be in a lovely competition for a bottle of whiskey. I lost because I couldn’t chug a pint in under 8 seconds…
The night continued at a hotel pool party and then lastly to a “House Party”. Really, it was a bar called House Party. It was a lot of fun to get to experience a typical backpacker party and it definitely did its job.
Siem Reap was a wonderful first stop and as our first stop will always be near the top of our list. We couldn’t have asked for a better first 5 days and we loved being thrown into the backpacker lifestyle.
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