The bus ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap started at 11AM. I'm taking Giant Ibis. The reviews has been great and although I heard the journey will be bumpy and the road has an accident prone track record, I still braved myself for it. I am not going to Cambodia without stopping at Siem Reap.
The reviews of Giant Ibis bus service was great and the ride was smooth but unfortunately some services they pride themselves on gave me a bad aftertaste. The first was the lack of WiFi onboard the coach. The second was the available power plugs that was not working. I knew I will only be there for a day and I am not booking any hotel stay there so the power output was important to me. However, I was prepared just in case.
I reach Siem Reap at 6AM. The ride was bumpy but I guess I managed OK anyway. Upon reaching, I scoured for a tuk tuk guide who will get me to my destination and back. Reading reviews from TripAdvisor, I know it should cost me around USD15 for the whole trip. Anything less and I might be conned and anything more I should be ripped.
I found one who spoke relatively good English and his initial offer was already USD15. No need to bargain, I thought. Easy.
The entrance into all the temples along the route is pre-purchased near the Angkor Wat entrance. I got mine at USD20. I read somewhere they are USD25 so I'm not sure what's the actual price. The ticket will get you to every temple in the viccinity but do remember to keep your ticket. Almost every location I passed by would require me to show them. I would figure access should be hard if I lost or threw them away.
I spent a good 5-6 hours along the trail and taking my time soaking everything in. After that, I visited Artisan Angkor, a place where they show us their cultural and traditional products/offerings/handicrafts. I didn't buy anything though. I also visited their war museum to get a closer understanding of the Khmer Rouge war and the country's fight for freedom from tyranny.
On the final hours of the night before my bus leaves at 11PM, I visited the FCC Angkor to participate in the screening of the 10th Angkor Photo Festival. I didn't meet many people but like GTF and Obscura 2014, I was there to learn.
At 11 PM, I took the bus back to Phnom Penh for my rendezvous with my friends.