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:: Angkor Wat Driver - Cambodia : Siem Reap


Welcome to Siem Reap, a center of tourist place in Cambodia!

 

Siem Reap is the getaway to the Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia's eight wonder of the world, and it is a pleasant place to stay while touring the temples. Siem Reap is charm with old French shop-houses, shady tree-lined boulevard and a slow-flow river.

 

The town is actually a cluster of old villages, which originally developed around individual pagodas and later overlaid with a French colonial-era center.

 Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.Com Image Collection

Road to Angkor Wat


Note the colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the town center and around Old Market. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Angkor Archaeological Park encompasses dozens of temple ruins including Bayon, Banteay Srey and the legendary Angkor Wat whose artistic and archaeological significance and visual impact put in a class with the Pyramids, Machu Pichu and the Taj Mahal. 


The General View

Image courtesy of: kqube.com

View of Tonle Sap Lake & The Floating Village

 

The Siem Reap province is conveniently situated 314 km northwest of Phnom Penh (a capital city of Cambodia), along National Road No. 6. It can be reached all year round from this capital city, from the border checkpoint with Thailand-Poipet Border, from Banteay Meancheay Province, Utddor Meancheay Province, and Kampong Thom Province.


This province is accessible on directly from many of major cities in the region such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and many more...


From the capital city of Phnom Penh, the Cambodian national airline, the Cambodia Angkor Airways, operates many direct flight daily. The province can also be reached by speedboat along the Tonle Sap River, the great lake of Cambodia, from Phnom Penh and Battambang Pronvince. 

Siem Reap is a major tourist hub in Cambodia. The most recognizable of the temples, Angkor literally Capital Temple was built by King Suryavarman II during the early 12th century. The Angkor temple complex is north of the city. Recently the city has been a great deal of expansion hundreds of hotels, hostels, inns, guesthouses, restaurants, shops, catering to both international and Cambodian tourists have opened to serve the influx of visitors. 


The People & Language

Siem Reap covered 10,299km2 (3,976.50sqm) with the total population just over 1 million; the province captial is Siem Reap town is where you will probably stay during your visit. Our Check Inn Siem Reap is located just in the middle of the city center. The town is actually cluster of old villages, which originally developed around individual pagodas, and was later overlain with a French colonial-era center.

Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. The Cambodian language is derived from the Mon-Khmer (Austro-Asiatic) language family. It is renowned for being one of the largest set of alphabets; it consists basically of 33 consonants, 23 vowels and 12 independent vowels. Tourist may wish to learn a few spoken like "Thank You" stand for "Or-Kun", while "Hello" stand for "Sour s'Dey". However, English is widely spoken and understoond. French is the secon language after English; most elderly Cambodian speak French. The Chinese language is also widely spoken.

 Photo courtesy of TravelPod.Com

The Khmer Beauty Charm


How to reach Siem Reap

Siem Reap is accessible by direct flights from many major cities in the region including Bangkok, Danang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Paksé, Vientiane, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kunming, Seoul, Rangon, Taipei, etc.  From the capital of Phnom Penh, Angkor Air operates several direct flights per day to and from Siem Reap. There are also speedboats operating along the Tonlé Sap from Phnom Penh and Battambang Province.

Transportation

The best way to see the Siem Reap at a leisurely pace is to hire a car or a Tuk Tuk with a driver. You can of course drive yourself around, but it probably wouldn’t be as pleasant as having someone else to drive you especially on unfamiliar roads and through heavy traffic. Renting a motorbike is great for short distances within the city and for touring rural areas.

Tourists can travel to all parts of Cambodia by bus, taxi, motorbike, boat and aeroplane. Within the capital of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap Province and Preah Sihanouk Province, sightseeing can conveniently be enjoyed on a Reumork (Tuk Tuk). Buses are available from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Pursat, Battambang, Poipèt, Banteay Meanchey, Kratie, and Preah Vihear.

Boats are very popular means of transportation along the Tonlé Sap, Bassac, and Mekong rivers. These boats remove the hassle of meandering along the highways yet offer some spectacular scenery along the way. Cambodia Angkor Air, the National Flag Carrier operates to and from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap daily. In the capital of Phnom Penh and the province of Siem Reap, a Cyclo including a driver can be hired at a reasonable price; do agree on a price before the ride

Weather

Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia’s climate is hot and warm almost all year round. The climate is dominated by the annual monsoon cycle of rainy and dry seasons. The rainy seasons lasts from May to October, and the dry season from November to April. December to January is the cool months while the hottest period is in April. The average temperature is 27-28C.

The monsoon season may carry some rains but these quite often occur during the late evening and overnight and are unlikely to spoil your requirement.

Language

Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. The Cambodian language is derived from the Mon-Khmer (Austro-Asiatic) language family. It is renowned for being one of the largest set of alphabets; it consists basically of 33 consonants, 23 vowels and 12 independent vowels.

Tourists may wish to learn a few spoken phrases before or when visiting Cambodia. However, English is widely spoken and understood. French is the second language after English; most elderly Cambodians speak French. The Chinese language is also widely spoken. 

National Flag

The flag of Cambodia symbolizes the country’s religious dignity and royalty. Two large blue stripes representing royalty, embrace an even larger red stripe which represents the nation. The image of the white temple represents the nation’s religion. Generally speaking, the colors and image on the Cambodian flag personify the country’s slogan: Nation, Religion, and King.


National Flower

Romduol, a small yellowish-white flower, is the national flower of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Since ancient times, Cambodian women have often been compared to the Romduol flower because of its attractive fragrance; a unique scent that is prominent in the late afternoon and can travel over long distances with the wind. With its sturdy stems that measure up to 30cm, the Romduol plant can grow to a height of 12 meters. These plants are being planted to enhance public parks.


Religion

Theravada Buddhism is the prevailing official religion in Cambodia and approximately ninety percent of the populations are Buddhists. Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are also embraced in Cambodia. Since Buddha statues and images represent the revered Buddha, visitors are asked to treat all such statues and images with respect so as not to cause offence to local people. In Cambodia, regardless of religion, the country maintains a harmonized state.


Customs and Tradition

Cambodian culture and tradition have had a rich varied history dating back many centuries. Over the years, the people of Cambodia developed a set of unique tradition from the syncretism of indigenous Buddhism and Hinduism.

Cambodians have been raised to respect their culture and are very traditional in their way of life. Tourists will see the well mannered Cambodian expressing a friendly “Chumreap Suor” when they meet one.


Chumreap Suor

Cambodians traditionally greet with a Sampeah, which involves pressing the palms together before the chest with a slight blow and greeting with a polite “Chumreap Suor”. Customarily, the higher the hands are held and the lower the bow, the more respect is conveyed. Except when meeting elderly people or government officials, between men, this custom has been partially replaced by the handshake. Women usually greet both men and women with the same traditional greeting. Although it may be considered acceptable for foreigners to shake hands with a Cambodians, it is more appropriate to respect the custom and respond with a “Chumreap Suor”.


Traditional Dance

There are many classical dance forms in Cambodia, of which a highly stylized art form was once confined mainly to the courts of the royal palace and performed mainly by females. Known formally in Khmer as Robam Apsara, the dancers of this classical form are often referred to as Apsara dancers.

This dance form was first introduced to foreign counties and best known during the 1960s as the Khmer Royal Ballet. The first royal ballerina was Princess Norodom BophaDevi, a daughter of King Norodom Sihanouk.

The Apsara Dance is particularly inspired by the style form around more than a thousand Apsara carvings in the Angkor temple complex. As evidenced in part by these Apsaras (celestial dancers), dance has been part of the Khmer culture for more than a millennium. A visit to Cambodia is only complete when one has attended at least one such traditional dance performance.

Khmer Wedding

Traditional Cambodian weddings are intricate affairs that consist of multiple ceremonies lasting three days and three nights.

The wedding begins with the groom and his family traveling to the bride’s home bearing gifts to the bride’s family as dowry. Family members and friends are introduced, and wedding rings exchanged. Customarily, three traditional song announcing the arrival of the groom and the next is on the presentation of the dowry followed by a final song to invite the elders to chew Betel Nut, an age-old Khmer tradition. Then it is the Tea Ceremony, at which the bride and groom offer tea to the spirits of their ancestors.

To prepare the bride and groom for their life as a married couple, their hair must then be symbolically cut to represent a fresh start to their new relationship together as husband and wife. The master of ceremony performs the first symbolic hair cut; the bride and groom’s parents, relatives, and friends then take turn to symbolically cut the bride and groom’s hair and give them blessing and good wishes.

The final is the most memorable segment of the wedding. Family members and friends take turns to tie the bride’s and groom’s left and right wrists with “blessing strings”. The praises and wishes of happiness, good health, success, prosperity, and long-lasting love are acknowledged and witnessed by the loud sound of the gong and joyful cheers. Then, they throw palm flowers over the new couple accompanied by a traditional song. After the couple is pronounced husband and wife, the groom holds the bride’s fabric into the bridal room accompanied by a traditional song.

At the close of this wedding ceremony, all of the guests are invited to a wedding reception accompanied by an orchestra concert. The Khmer wedding is a rowdy and joyous event. Nowadays most families reduce the three-day and three-night ritual to a one-day affair.

Food

Khmer cuisine includes noodles, soups, grills, stir-fried, curries, salads, desserts, lots of vegetables, tropical fruits, and of course rice which is the staple food for Cambodians. Cambodian culinary secrets are rarely written down; the recipes were instead handed down from mother to daughter. From an ancient origin has come a traditional cuisine of unsuspected treasures: a unique blend of flavor and color that enhance the natural ingredients used.

Cambodians perfected the art of blending spice paste using many ingredients like cloves, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and turmeric. They add other native ingredients like galangal, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, cilantro, and kaffir lime leaves to these spices to make a rather distinctive and complex spice blend known as “kroeung”.

Although noodles are also popular, almost every meal includes a bowl of rice. A wide range of curries, soups and stir fried are usually served with rice. Being in a country that produces many rice varieties, tourists can enjoy the best aromatic grains and various types of glutinous rice. The latter is more commonly served with a salad or in desserts with fruits.

There are two other unique ingredients that give Cambodian cuisines their fabulous typical flavor. One is a pungent fermented fish paste know as “Pra-Hok” and the other, the “Kapi”, a fermented prawn paste.  These require an acquired taste for most but they are beloved by some who used them in many dishes or even taken as a dipping sauce. Collectively, these ingredients have become an important aromatic combination commonly used in Cambodians cuisines.

Typically, a Cambodian meal is served with rice and at least three other dishes. It usually includes a soup or “Samlor”, served alongside the main dishes. Each of the individual dishes will either be sweet, sour, salty or bitter; these exist side by side in harmony, sometimes even within a single dish, to offer an original melody. Chili is usually left up to the individual to add. In this way tourists are subtly ensured that they get a bit of every flavor to satisfy their palates.


Access to Cambodia

=> By AIR

Cambodia can be accessed through the Phnom Penh International Airport and the Siem Reap International Airport; both of which provide full services for passengers on international flights operated by many international airlines. Many international airlines are listed below:

International Airlines

1.Cambodia Angkor Air (K6): Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh- Phnom Penh, Siem Reap-Ho Chi Minh-Siem Reap, Phnom Penh-Siem Reap-Phnom Penh
2.Air Asia (AK): Kuala Lumpur-Phnom Penh-Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok-Phnom Penh-Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur-Siem Reap-Kuala Lumpur
3.Asiana Airlines (OZ): Incheon-Phnom Penh-Incheon, Incheon-Siem Reap-Incheon
4.Bangkok Airways (PG): Bangkok-Phnom Penh- Bangkok, Bangkok-Siem Reap-Bangkok
5.China Airlines (CI): Taipei-Phnom Penh-Taipei
6.China Eastern Airlines “China Yunnan Airlines + China Northwest Airlines” (MU): Kunming-Siem Reap-Kunming, Yunnan-Siem Reap-Yunnan
7.China Southern Airlines (CZ): Beijing-Phnom Penh- Beijing, Guangzhou-Phnom Penh-Guangzhou
8.Dragon Air (KA): Hong Kong-Phnom Penh-Hong Kong
9.EVA Air (BR): Taipei-Phnom Penh-Taipei
10.Far Eastern Air Transport (EF):  TPE-PNH-TPE (for a cargo flight)
11.JetStar Asia (3K): Singapore-Phnom Penh-Singapore, Singapore-Siem Reap-Singapore
12.Korean Air (KE): Seoul-Phnom Penh-Seoul, Seoul-Siem Reap-Seoul
13.Lao Aviation (QV): Vientiane-Siem Reap-Vientiane
14.Malaysia Airlines (MH): Kuala Lumpur-Phnom Penh- Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur-Siem Reap-Kuala Lumpur
15.Shanghai Airlines (FM): Shanghai-Phnom Penh- Shanghai
16.Siem Reap Airways International (FT): Bangkok-Siem Reap-Bangkok
17.Silk Air (MI): Singapore-Phnom Penh-Singapore, Singapore-Siem Reap-Singapore
18.Thai Air Asia (FD): Bangkok-Phnom Penh-Bangkok
19.Thai Airways International (TG): Bangkok-Phnom Penh- Bangkok
20.Vietnam Airlines (VN): Hanoi-Phnom Penh-Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh-Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh, Vientiane-Phnom Penh-Vientiane, Hanoi-Siem Reap-Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh- Siem Reap-Ho Chi Minh

Airport Tax: The Cambodian government has announced plans to change the airport departure tax system. From April 1st 2011, departure tax will now be included in all ticket prices. This is a welcome move and should facilitate smoother travel.

=> By LAND

Tourists can enjoy traveling to Cambodia by land from neighboring Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.

Access from Vietnam (through nine international border checkpoints)

1.Bavet (Cambodian side) and Mok Bai (Vietnamese side) On the Cambodian side, the Bavet international border checkpoint is located in Svay Rieng Province, and on the Vietnamese side, the Mok Bai international border checkpoint is located in Tay Ninh Province.

Tourists can reach Cambodia from Vietnam through the gates. Visas on arrival and e-visas are available there. They can get access to Phnom Penh by National Road No 1. The distance between Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh City is 230 kilometers. There are taxis at the border between two countries. The taxi fare to Phnom Penh City is approximately US$ 10 per person. On their journey, visitors can enjoy the beautiful landscape of the eastern Mekong area.

2.Kaam Samnor (Cambodian side) and Yin Soeung (Vietnamese side) On the Cambodian side, the Kaam Samnor international border checkpoint is located between Kandal and Prey Veng Provinces, and on the Vietnamese side, the Yin Soeung international border checkpoint is located in Ang Giang Province. From Vietnam, tourists can get access to Cambodia through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

3.Phnom Den (Cambodian side) and Tin Bienh (Vietnamese side) On the Cambodian side, the Phnom Den international border checkpoint is located in Takeo Province, and on the Vietnamese side, the Tin Bienh international border checkpoint is located in Ang Giang Province. Tourists can get access to Cambodia from Vietnam through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

4.Trapaing Phlong (Cambodian side) and Xamat (Vietnamese side) On the Cambodian side, the Trapaing Phlong international border checkpoint is located in Kampong Cham Province, and on the Vietnamese side, the Xamat international border checkpoint is located in Tay Ninh Province. Tourists can get access to Cambodia from Vietnam through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

5.Trapaing Srè (Cambodian side) and Bonue (Vietnamese side) On the Cambodian side, the Trapaing Srè international border checkpoint is located in Kratie Province, and on the Vietnamese side, the Bonue international border checkpoint is located in Binh Phuoc Province. Tourists can get access to Cambodia from Vietnam through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

6.Oyadav (Cambodian side) and Lethanh (Vietnamese side) On the Cambodian side, the Oyadav international border checkpoint is located in Rattanak Kiri Province, and on the Vietnamese side, the Lethanh international border checkpoint is located in Gia Lai Province. Tourists can get access to Cambodia from Vietnam through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

7.Banteay Chakrei (Cambodian side) and Dinh Ba (Vietnamese side) On the Cambodian side, the Banteay Chakrei international border checkpoint is located in Prey Vèng Province, and on the Vietnamese side, the Dinh Ba international border checkpoint is located in Dong Thap Province. Tourists can get access to Cambodia from Vietnam through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

8.Preak Chak (Cambodian side) and Ha Tieng (Vietnamese side) On the Cambodian side, the Preak Chak international border checkpoint is located in Kampot Province, and on the Vietnamese side, the Ha Tieng international border checkpoint is located in Kien Giang Province. Tourists can get access to Cambodia from Vietnam through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

9.Samrong (Cambodian side) and Mi Quy Tei (Vietnamese side) On the Cambodian side, the Samrong international border checkpoint is located in Svay Rieng Province, and on the Vietnamese side, the Mi Quy Tei international border checkpoint is located in Long An Province. Tourists can get access to Cambodia from Vietnam through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

Access from Laos

On the Cambodian side, the Trapaing Kreal international border checkpoint is located in Stung Trèng Province, and on the Lao side, the Norg Nokbiane international border checkpoint is located in Champasak Province. Cambodia can be accessed from Laos through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

Access from Thailand (through six international border checkpoints)

1.Poipet (Cambodian side) and Ban Klong Leuk (Thai side) On the Cambodian side, the Poipet international border checkpoint is located in Banteay Meanchey Province, and on the Thai side, the Ban Klong Leuk international border checkpoint is located in Sakeo Province.

Through the gates, tourists can reach Siem Reap, Cambodia from Thailand to visit the Angkor complex. Visas on arrival and e-visas are available there. Its fee is US$ 20 for each tourist and is US$ 25 for each businessman. It takes about 5 hours from the border to the Siem Reap town by National Road No 6 by taxi. A taxi driver charges US$ 15 for each passenger.

2.Cham Yeam (Cambodian side) and Hat Lek (Thai side)Visitors can reach Cambodia from Trat Province, Thailand through the Cham Yeam international border checkpoint located in Koh Kong Province. From Koh Kong Province, they can continue traveling to Preah Sihanouk Province. It takes around 4 hours to reach Preah Sihanouk Province by speedboat. A one-way taxi fare between Koh Kong Province and Preah Sihanouk Province is US$15 and from there, tourists can proceed to the capital of Phnom Penh by National Road No 4. The distance between Preah Sihanouk Province and Phnom Penh Capital is 230 kilometers. It takes 3 hours and a half by taxi or by bus. The taxi fare is around US$ 10 per capita, and the bus fare is between US$ 3-4. Visas on arrival and e-visas are available at the border gates, and entry visas into Cambodia can also be granted at the Royal Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok or in other cities of Thailand.

3.O'smach (Cambodian side) and Chong Chorm (Thai side) On the Cambodian side, the Osmach international border checkpoint is located in Oddar Meanchey Province, and on the Thai side, the Chong Chorm international border checkpoint is located in Sorin Province. Tourists can get access to Cambodia through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

4.Choam (Cambodian side) and Sangam (Thai side) On the Cambodian side, the Choam international border checkpoint is located in Oddar Meanchey Province, and on the Thai side, the Sangam international border checkpoint is located in Sysaket Province. Tourists can get access to Cambodia through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

5.Prom (Cambodian side) and Ban Pakard (Thai side) On the Cambodian side, the Prom international border checkpoint is located in Pailin Province, and on the Thai side, the Ban Pakard international border checkpoint is located in Chanthaburi Province. Tourists can get access to Cambodia through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

6.Dong (Cambodian side) and Ban Lem (Thai side) On the Cambodian side, the Dong international border checkpoint is located in Battambang Province, and on the Thai side, the Ban Lem international border checkpoint is located in Chanthaburi Province. Tourists can get access to Cambodia through the gates. Visas on arrival are available there.

=> By WATER

Cambodia can be reached by boat from neighboring countries and the world. The Sihanouk International Seaport and the Phnom Penh International Port are two main gateways to Cambodia. Visas upon arrival are available at the Phnom Penh International Port, but they are not available at the Sihanouk International Seaport.

The Sihanouk International Seaport receives international cruise ships that accommodate hundreds of visitors.

It is possible to reach Phnom Penh Capital by ship along the Mékong River from Vietnam. Phnom Penh is connected by fast local boats to the Upper Mekong River close to Laos or it is linked along the Tonlé Sap to Siem Reap-Angkor. By this means, visitors can enjoy the Mekong’s view and discover the new growth area of Cambodia full of natural resources, cultural heritage, and life styles of the Cambodian people.

VISA To Cambodia

All nationalities need to apply for a travel visa, except for nationals from the following countries: Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

A visa on arrival, valid for a thirty-day stay, is specifically granted at Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, and International Border Checkpoints. Visas are also granted at Royal Cambodian Embassy or Consulate abroad. The visa fee for a tourist is US$20, and the visa fee for a businessman is US$25. Visas can be extended at the Immigration Department in Phnom Penh City. A free visa (K) is expressly granted to the Cambodian living overseas.

The Royal Government of Cambodia has recently approved e-visas. All you have to do is complete the online application form available at the official website (evisa.mfaic.gov.kh), pay by credit card online, and include uploading a recent passport-size photo in JPEG/ PNG format. The visa will be approved within three business days, allowing you to breeze by that lengthy line and get a jump-start on your holiday.

The e-visa, valid for a thirty-day stay, is available only for a typical tourist visa for a single entry. It is currently not available for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Arab Saudi, Algeria, Sudan, and Sri Lanka. For a business visa, please apply at your nearest embassy or on arrival at all major check points.

Tourists getting such a visa online can enter and exit Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, Bavet International Border Checkpoint in Svay Rieng, Cham Yeam International Border Checkpoint in Koh Kong, and Poipet International Border Checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey.

Credited: Text courtesy of Cambodia's Official Handbook & Official website of the Ministry of Tourism - www.mot.gov.kh 

 

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Mr. Seiha Chhim

 

(+855) 12 825 771     

(+855) 16 825 771 
    
For local phone is

 

012 825 771

016 825 771 
 

E-mail= chhim47@gmail.com 

chhimseiha2005@yahoo.com

seiha2010@hotmail.com  
http://www.angkordrivers.com  


* Make arrangements for his services by email/sms/phone prior to your trip
* Drive you in and around the Siem Reap area at your request
* (new!) Make hotel reservations and recommendations for you
* Take you to the many temple sites in Siem Reap
* Talk to you in English
* Tell you about the history of the area, country
* Help you decide which sites to see in your available time
* Communicate via cell phone
* Adjust to your time schedule
* Take you to restaurants
* Help you with basic needs such as laundry, store, ATM
* Make suggestions about other Siem Reap sites and activities
* Pick you up and take you to the new Siem Reap airport
* Arrange an excellent official English
tour guide costs $ 25 a day ( Any language can be arranged upon request )
* Make your trip easy and fun! !
* Our service Free airport transfer in.sunset.Ice cool water.

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Contact Mr. Seiha Email: chhim47@gmail.com
Int Call : +855 12 825 771 or +855 16 825 771

Local Call: 012 825 771 or 016 825 771            
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