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Eating and visiting temples in Siem Reap

IMG_5660Whilst in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh earlier this year, my friend Tracey and I travelled to Siem Reap to take a look around and of course to see Angkor Wat and other temples.  We stayed at a lovely hotel called J7 which is ideally placed in the centre of the city and a short Tuk Tuk ride to the bars and restaurants. Our whole trip was arranged by our friend Naomi who lives in Phnom Penh but unfortunately at the last minute she was unable to come along.

After a short plane and car ride, we arrived at J7 and were welcomed by a statue of Ganesha in the foyer and stunning drop lights in the evening over the swimming pool and outdoor area.fullsizeoutput_895IMG_5756After checking into our rooms we took a Tuk Tuk to Pub Street which is very popular with backpackers with local bars serving very cheap beers.  Not being a beer drinker, we decided to venture a little away to find other bars and restaurants.fullsizeoutput_899 We found great little paved/tiled alleyways off Pub Street that housed the lovely bars and restaurants we were looking for.  We ate regularly at these alleyways and I always enjoyed the food.  I always found the chef was willing to amend a particular dish to make it vegan so was never going to starve!fullsizeoutput_898fullsizeoutput_89aI enjoyed a great bowl of pasta at a gorgeous Italian restaurant, avocado and tomato on sourdough toast at a health cafe, delicious sandwiches and many other great meals. fullsizeoutput_89bfullsizeoutput_894

Before we arrived, Tracey had booked us into the Soffitel Hotel for a champagne lunch; what an amazing hotel – the grounds were beautifully maintained and inside was just amazing.fullsizeoutput_8a1fullsizeoutput_891

The buffet was extensive and champagne was flowing.  And at the Asian food section the chef made me a delicious noodle dish…yum!!fullsizeoutput_892fullsizeoutput_893The next morning we were up before 5am to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat.  We were picked up by a driver and taken to the temple area where there were already hundreds and hundreds of visitors waiting to see the same thing as us but our guide managed to find us a great viewing point where we saw the magnificent colours of the sun rising over the temple.  By this stage it was 5.30am and already thirty-five degrees!!IMG_5552IMG_5551We walked through the temple and its grounds and both of us were even blessed by a local monk; for a small fee of course.fullsizeoutput_8a9

fullsizeoutput_89cThe next temple we visited was Angkor Thom…this is probably my favourite with its amazing intricate carved faces.fullsizeoutput_8a7

fullsizeoutput_8a4fullsizeoutput_8a3We decided after visiting Angkor Thom to take a break as both Tracey and I were so incredibly hot;  the temperature had reached over forty degrees, so at 8am we drove back to our hotel.

That evening we went to an Asian themed cocktail bar called Miss Wong that I had found on-line and looked so good I knew we had to go there for a drink.fullsizeoutput_896Wow…what a find…it was sophisticated, dark and very glamorous!  Deep red walls, silk lanterns hanging from the ceilings and dark wooden furniture.  fullsizeoutput_8b7fullsizeoutput_8bafullsizeoutput_8abfullsizeoutput_8adEven the bathroom was glamorous…fullsizeoutput_8b6Miss Wong is named after a painting by Vladimir Tretchikoff  of a beautiful Asian woman.  I remember when we lived in Wales that my mum had bought the print and it was framed hanging in our lounge room.  What a lovely memory for me to see it again.fullsizeoutput_8b4This was not the only print in the bar, there were many; all different but in the 1930s Shanghai style.  fullsizeoutput_8b0fullsizeoutput_8aeWe ordered a glass of wine each and a few dishes including steamed shrimp har gow, dry fried mushroom pot stickers (dumplings to me) and vegetarian spring rolls (not a great photo I am afraid as it was dark and my mobile phone doesn’t take good photos without light).fullsizeoutput_8bb

So all in all a good time away in Siem Reap with a great friend.