Bagan in Myanmar and Siem Reap in Cambodia have, surprisingly, a lot in common. I mean there are all the half-gone temples, the prices which are way too high, the scams and the lack of any activity except the temples. Well, maybe you can tell by now, but this is not going to be one of these “Bagan is so amazing” posts,” simply because it is not! There are so many places a lot better to visit in Myanmar. If you are completely blown away by temples and religion, you might like Bagan. If you aren’t a fan of religion, saw 5 million temples before and want some action while traveling, like me, you might not enjoy Bagan (Or Siem Reap) at all.
South East Asia is just crazy, you can find everything here, and there are endless possibilities to have fun. It is mostly an up and down of your feelings – the one day you stand on top of a mountain and feel like a king, the next day you might want to die because the journey to the next city takes you the last piece of calmness and energy. In a town, you have so many good food choices you wish to get never full, in the next city you just want a burger because you can’t see rice anymore. Sometimes your heart beats faster because you get the warmest greeting from a young Thai woman in a restaurant, and sometimes tuk-tuk drivers attack you because you protect people from getting scammed. But after all, you’ll have the time of your life, and I’m sure you want to come back.
I traveled to all of the four countries one after another, and now on my way further down to Indonesia, I know that these countries – even though they seem similar – have huge differences. I can imagine living in Thailand and settle down in that country where I’m sure it was the first and only time I visited Cambodia. There were days of pure joy – reaching the top at a rock-climbing adventure or getting overwhelmed by the food choice on a night market in Chiang Mai. But also, days of pure frustration – while traveling for two days on shitty streets, in shitty busses, warm and with a headache only to make 400 km.
I traveled to all these four countries one after the other in around three countries, and it’s exciting to compare these countries to each other. You may think that these countries are similar to each other, but that’s not the case. There are vast differences, and one of these differences is the quality of Hostels. I think that’s a critical point when you are traveling for a long time and especially when traveling solo.
As a tourist you make mistakes, somethings are not predictable and some things you don’t know. But sometimes it’s good to read an article like this before you visit something. I should have done the same, so I wouldn’t feel the need to write this article. Should you read this, you might plan to visit Angkor Wat aswell, and I certainly don’t want to bring you of this Idea. There are just afew things you need to know before visiting.
No, not really. I want to be honest with you, and when I didn’t like something, I’ll tell you my honest opinion. Anyways, it’s not possible to love every country and Cambodia was one of these countries for me. Maybe you’ll have other experiences, but before going, it’s perhaps worth reading and see for yourself after.
Cambodia is expensive – yes it may be located in southeast Asia, but it is the most expensive country I visited until now. Why? What I heard is that the Chinese invest so much in this country located next to Vietnam and Thailand, so the prices rise steadily. Another reason might be that everything is paid in USD and often a coke or a beer cost 1 USD while it may cost 60 cents in Vietnam. These costs add up quickly. This day was indeed still a cheat day; there were some days I spent over 70 euros. Just an example is Angkor Wat – the entrance price is 37 USD, and you need either a tuk-tuk or a bicycle for which you also have to pay – it was the most expensive attraction in 3 months traveling.
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