Day 1 in the Kingdom of Wonder, Part 1

After arriving and checking in to the hotel, I immediately called up the tuktuk driver I hired online. He's already at the hotel lobby by the time I freshened up and ready for the day tour. I briefed him my itinerary for the next two days and asked if he can suggest more. I intentionally did not hire a tour guide as I want to do it at my own pace and so as not be pressured. I told him my first day will be spend roaming around town center and visit the Cambodia Cultural Village. Rest in the afternoon to try to avoid the heat, come out at 4 in the afternoon to purchase one day ticket for the temples visit, and proceed to climbed up Phnom Bakheng to do sunset viewing atop the temple, dinner at this resto that offered buffet and cultural show, then proceed to town center for the night market. The next day will be spend for the temples visit. I told him I intend to visit 4 temple sites only unless he can recommend more.
He add no more, and told me he sensed that I really don't need a tour guide as he observed from the way I narrated to him that it seems it's not my first time as I practically covered all possible places of interest in Siem Reap. I felt good hearing him telling me that, my research seems worked well.

My hotel room

Hotel facade, there's merlion!

Off we go, first he brought me to this a place which later I found out to be a graveyard. He want me to see the oldest painting inside the temple, but it was locked the time we went there, he's more than disappointed than me.

Then he toured me around town, took some pictures and to familiarized myself where to go at nighttime to lounge. I planned to go bar hopping on my last night in Siem Reap, as it would be Saturday so its expected to be livelier than on a weeknight. He showed me the night market and to where the open street food stalls that come out during night time.

After that I asked him to bring me to the Cambodia Cultural Village. He was hasitant at first because he said there is nothing to see that morning there and said that the best time to go would be in the afternoon. The place is a mini Cambodia so to speak as it showcases some of the country's landmarks in miniature and villages. I told my driver I am interested to see the complex sans the shows. I found out later that in every section of the park has cultural presentation and scheduled mostly in the afternoon. I caught one during my visit, the wedding ceremony at Millionaire house. You need to pay 11usd to enter the complex. Upon purchasing the ticket you will be given a location map of the entire complex and the scheduled shows for the day.

Cambodia in miniature

Location map of the entire complex

Inside the Wax Museum

The Miniature Royal Palace

The Miniature National Museum

The Miniature National Monment

One of the Villages, Khmer Village
The floating Village

Millionaire House

Inside the Millionaire house, the wedding ceremony reenacted.

I ended my visit to the complex right after the show ended. There were still some section of the complex which I did not checked out as it was past noon already, and my driver must have been waiting already. True enough he was already outside waiting for me. He brought me back to the hotel, I took my lunch, a beef loc lac - a local dish which is beef marinated with lime sauce. Then nap time.