Cambodia has some special glow. This Southeast-Asian nation is home to some of the most incredible earthy and untouched ruins as well as stunning coastal beauty.
Tara spent a week in Cambodia, starting off in Siem Reap to explore the Khmer’ Empire’s incredible temples. Angkor Wat is truly one of the most incredible sights to be seen. This wonder should definitely be on your bucket list. We trekked out during sunrise to catch the glow arise over the majestic temple. From there, we went in to to explore all the intricacies of its ancient past. There are tons of different temples to explore within Siem Reap, each of which will blow your mind (see all of our favorites below). After our temple adventures, we set out south to stay at one of the most incredible and secluded eco-lux resorts, Song Saa. It really is heaven on earth. Our trusty travel gurus at Two Nights In helped plan this exotic adventure of our dreams! Of course, upon using them to book we got upgraded at our hotels and given the most wonderful service imaginable. (So definitely use them to book your travel!)
// STAY //
Phum Baitang // “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” The Zannier Hotel does simpicity to perfection. The sage green colors complimented by the natural woods and green expanse of rice fields makes this place one beautiful spot within Angkor Wat. The service is impeccable, every single person is extremely friendly and nice and makes you feel right at home. This is service and class taken to another level.
— We had a stunning Pool Villa, adorned with our own little private lounge gazebo and of course crystal blue pool. It was so beautiful to wake up to every moring.
— Make sure to visit the Spa Temple, an architectural vestige of Angkor in a serene setting within the resort. We had a Cambodian body scrub couples massage and it was heaven. They offer an array of treatments designed to balance and restore your body, mind and spirit using indigenous healing therapies − honouring your body as the sacred temple that it is.
— Make sure to visit the Cigar & Cocktail Lounge which pays homage to Cambodia’s colonial history in a century-old farmhouse, furnished with rattan wing chairs and oriental carpets. In addition to the extensive drinks menu, there are fine wines, vintage liqueurs, and premium cigars for smoking on the terrace.
— Our other favorite spot in the hotel was the Pool Bar; a stunning open-air setting with magnificent views. Overlooking the infinity pool, the bar is the perfect spot to get homemade juices while soaking up the Cambodian sun.
— The food at the resort is fantastic, perfect during every single meal. The breakfast buffet has a noodle bar, the dinner restaurants are fantastic, and we even got a private chef to come cook dinner for us at our private villa.
Song Saa // No words or photos can incapsulate the experience you get at Song Saa. First off, it’s hard to get to, which makes it even more special. It’s an extra plane ride and boat ride away from Siem Reap. Once you enter this magical eco-luxury resort, you are told to not wear shoes and just R E L A X in paradise. Song Saa is a sustainable resort, which focuses on giving back to the local community. It really is a very, very special place.
– The Over-Water Bungalows are pure magic. The view from your most comfortable canopy bed is your personal pool which infinities over into crystal blue waters. Taking a dip into the ocean from your hotel room is something everyone should experience.
– The food at the hotel is fresh, delicious, and changes themes every night so that you get to try a range of different offerings. They also offer cooking class with food cooked straight from the garden. One night, we had dinner IN their infinity pool overlooking the stary night.
– The spa situation at Song Saa is like no other. They have a stunning spa facility that is heavenly, upon which before each treatment you are blessed and given a Cambodia prayer wish bracelet. You can also choose to reserve your spa treatment upon an over-water gazebo, definitely do this! It was one of the most incredible experiences ever.
– The hotel offers a special Monk Blessing that must be arranged in advance, where they bring monks to the island to perform a special blessing for you and your travel partners. There is nothing quite like this.
– They also offer daily yoga overlooking the ocean, which is such a beautiful way to start the day.
// SIEM REAP TEMPLES //
Angkot Wat // Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage, is Siem Reap’s most iconic temple site. Located within the expansive Angkor Archaeological Park, it was constructed during the 12th century to worship the Lord Vishnu (a Hindu deity). This should be on your bucket list.
Banteay Srei // Known as the Citadel of the Women, this 10th century Hindu temple is one of the most well-preserved temples in Siem Reap. It takes about an hour to get to there by taxi, but it’s a must-visit for those looking to explore more temples beyond downtown Siem Reap.
Bayan // This incredible temple has approximately 50 stone towers with four faces of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara carved on most of them. Set in the middle of Angkor Thom, this is an absolute must visit!!
Ta Prohm // Ta Prohm Temple gained international fame after it was featured in Tomb Raider. It is now enveloped by huge trees and hanging vines, giving you the feeling of discovering a temple lost in the jungle. It’s so dope.
Angkor Thom // The largest site in the Angkor Archaeological Park, there are five 20-metre tall gates surrounding Angkor Thom, with intricate stone carvings of elephants and the four faces of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara while causeways leading to the gates are flanked with 108 statues of gods and demons.
Koh Ker // Prasat Thom, a large seven-tiered temple complex, is quite a magical experience. It does take over two hours to drive there from Siem Reap, but you will be rewarded by not seeing any other tourists. Spanning 36 metres in height, the stairway to top offers breathtaking views of Koh Ker.
** Most special thanks to Two Nights In for helping us plan this trip of our dreams. We highly suggest you use their services to book your travel. Justyna, the owner, has the best taste and will arrange any trip to perfection. Let her know we sent you! xx
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