01 Friday Nov 2013

The Angkor Wat International Half Marathon 2013

running-at-elephan-terrace

 

The Angkor Wat International Half Marathon will be held on December 01 2013. For runners who want to join this race we offer an online hotel booking options here on IRG Dream | www.dream.myirg.com .

Course: 
Specially established in Angkor Wat Ruins in front of the Central Sanctuary of Angkor Wat (Start & Finish Line). Passing Prasat Kravan – Prasat Bat Chun – Banteay Kdey – Ta Prohm – Baphoun – Bayon – South Gate – Basie Cham Krong – Phom Bakheng – Ta Phrom Kei – and back to the front of the Central Sanctuary of Angkor Wat (Finish Line). See Course Map (Acknowledged by AIMS and IAAF). Running course will be marked the number of kilometre. ChampionChip Check Point will be at Angkor Thom (Bayon Temple). Continue reading

24 Thursday Jan 2013

Nearest Trendy Boutique Hotels to Old Market/Pub Street, Siem Reap

In the past three years there has been a sprawl of development in the boutique hotel around Siem Reap city center.  Lately the city’s property keeps going up in value, it is sometimes very difficult for hoteliers to invest in any hotel development near the city center.   Although the demand for boutique hotels is still on the rise, there is only a handful of these boutiques near the center of town.

Karavansa Boutique Hotel and Karavansa Residence are among our top choices for boutique hotels in Siem Reap.  Both places are located across from one another.   Walking from the hotel to the Old Market or the Pub Street takes less than 5 min.  The hotel features a sleeping quarter in an old french colonial building, a rustic traditional Khmer house style restaurant, a rooftop pool, and a front yard green garden.  Their service is as superb as any five stars hotels in Siem Reap.  Our experience staying at this hotel has always been very pleasant.

Karavansara

La Niche d’Angkor Boutique Hotel is one of the nearest boutique hotels to the Old Market and the Pub Stret.  It is located on the infamous Wat Bo Road.  By foot this hotel is about two blocks from the Hip Hop club, situated on the roundabout right across from the Old Market.  What we like best about this hotel is its large-size swimming pool.  Since this is a boutique hotel with limited rooms, the pool never feels crowded.

swimming-pool-02

Other Boutique Hotels near the Old Market and Pub Street:

+ Pippeli Pensione

+ Soria Moria Boutique Hotel

+ Frangipani Villa Siem Reap

+ Viroth’s Hotel

17 Thursday Jan 2013

A hot air balloon ride in Siem Reap

After our island excursion in Sihanoukville we took a short flight to Siem Reap.  On day two, we managed to arrange a ride on the first hot air balloon in Cambodia.  I’ve been on a hot air balloon before while traveling in Egypt but riding one in Siem Reap is something that I cannot pass on.

Hot Air Balloon

We made a few phone calls and got ourselves a spot for the sunset slot.   Each reservation includes a free pick-up from the hotel.  About an hour before our scheduled flight’s time, a mini-van came to our hotel and we were greeted by the hot air balloon coordinator, making us felt comfortable that we got on the right pick-up van.  After a few rounds of picking up guests, we made our way to the outskirt of Siem Reap.   The drive was an experience on its own; we were taken to a rice paddy field, not far from the city.

Continue reading

04 Sunday Nov 2012

Top 5 Things To Do in Siem Reap: A Timeless Guide for Khmers and Foreigners

 

angkor Wat- Leny Keo

Angkor Wat – by Leny Keo (image above)

Siem Reap is one of the ancient city in Cambodia. It attracts millions of tourists from around the world.  For those first timers visiting Siem Reap, you may be asking  yourself, “what is there to do?”  This is my second time visiting Siem Reap, and these are five things that I recommend.

1-      Visit Angkor Wat and experience the sunrise

At Angkor Wat in the morning

In Siem Reap, there are more than a thousand temples.  The main tourist temple attractions are Angkor Wat, Ta Phrom Temple and Bayon.

Tip: It is also really amazing if we could wake up at 4 AM in the morning and watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat. You will catch the beautiful and unforgettable sunrise.

2-      Experience the Sunset

Bakeng Mountain by Leny Keo

Bakeng Mountain – by Leny Keo (image above)

The best place that has the landscape for watching the sunset  is Bakheng Mountian. We have to climb Bakheng Mountain around 4 PM.  The sunset will be around 5:30 to 6 PM. This is another amazing experience that should not be missed.  Have your camera ready, and find yourself a vacant space on this hill so that you can capture the eye-catching landscape of Angkor city and the sunset.

 

3-      Kissing the statue

bayon nose- credit Bun Leap

Bayon’s Nose – credited to Bun Leap (image above)

This is a bizarre yet amusing picture that attracts many people including me to take a photo at Bayon Temple. Having your photo taken in this position is so popular that every tour guide always recommends to their guests.

4-     Go Shopping at Night Market

Night Market-Leny Keo

Night Market – by Leny Keo (image above)

The best place to shop in Siem Reap is the night market.  At the night market, you can buy souvenirs such as the t-shirts, scarves, pillow cases, purses…etc. The price is reasonable and the products are good quality but be ready to haggled your way to a deal.

5-      Pub Street

Pub Street-Keo Leny

Pub Street – by Keo Leny (image above)

There are a lot of restaurants along Pub Street.  The food is good and cheap. You will be entertained with all kinds of music and drinks.  I tried the fruit punch and blue martini.  The night life starts from 7 pm until 2 am in the morning.

 

 

These are the five things that I want to do and see when I am in Siem Reap. If you have other special places and things to do that you have in mind, please share with me.

21 Tuesday Aug 2012

The Sothea – luxury boutique hotel in Siem Reap

The Sothea, once was called Alila Sothea Siem Reap, sprinkles light and romance as I reminisce about this place.  It’s true beauty, with Bali influence, is indescribable.  Located on National Highway 6, the hotel is built with a giant enclosed limestone wall, all covered in green leaves and vines.  At night, a glimpse of light flickers on the tiny wooden sign, THE SOTHEA, barely noticeable to the passing cars.   The word grandiose may be the right word as you enter the main front entrance.  A wall of paintings, some seem largely displayed and framed while some hang in disarrayed patterns, descending water steps creating a square moat surrounding a green patch of grass in the middle, and an open sky enclosure are at your presence as you pass through the main gate.   Running water from the water steps mimics the sound of dripping water drops, entertaining guests as they are greeted to the check-in counter.

While looking pass the check-in counter, a view to an outdoor pool is within reach.  I’ve attached a photo below.

The Sothea Hotel Siem Reap

Rows of pool lounge chairs are escorted along both side of the pool.  At the end of it, a giant white marble stone in the shape of a sleeping woman is placed in the middle.   The rooms surrounding the pool have the most exquisite access to it.  If you’re lucky, the rooms open to the pool with a floating deck.  On a hot summer day, the guest can lounge on their private floating-on-water deck or simply jump into the pool from their deck.

The room is another indescribable sight. The floor and ceiling are covered in dark-color wood, well polished that you can almost see your own reflection.  A white cover bed sheet gives a high contrast against the dark-color wood floor.  The furniture looks like they were selected from the Pottery Barn category, hand-selected for this Victorian style room.   I never forget the white porcelain shower tub with its animal-like shaped legs, silver in color, pronged on four corners on top of the bathroom floor.  The sense of calamity is washed away as soon as you set your foot into the bedroom.

Having stayed at The Sothea, I think 5 stars is understated for this hotel.