Jul 05 – Siem Reap Town and Angkor National Museum

We got a homey-breakfast set included Cambodian style baguettes, papaya-pineapple jam, rambutans, mangoes and black tea. How good it was!
To start a new day here, we decided to walk to the other side of Siem Reap River, heading to the Central Market where I saw lots of funny stuffs and many products with labels “made in USA” and they are very cheap. On the way, there are many kios selling fruits-esp bananas; just like those in VN.

After that, Evan wanted to sit down and do some writing. So, Brian and I went to the biggest park in Siem Reap and the national museum. It was not really far from our hotel but walking under the hot sunlight made us tired. That park is so big and cool. It is like a park I saw on my friend’s photos in France. Ah, we also saw a lot of bats and a big bee hive on trees.

Funny bug made from guns

Angkor National Museum is awesome. From outside, I bet you will be impressed by its modern and special articheture.

When we got inside, we deposited all bags and went to the ticket desk to purchase a 12-dollar admision ticket (it is free for tour guides and tour leaders though).

Angkor National Museum is a profound cultural landmark in Siem Reap placing in the area of 20,000 Sq.m. which combined together The Museum: The world-class museum that reveals the legend of Golden Era of Khmer Kingdom, and The Cultural Mall: The one of tourist and local visitor attraction cultural landmark providing tourist facility and lifestyle recreation services for the community.

Looking at the museum map, I thought we could not finish to visit all galleries there. However, all are designed to help visitor to get through all of them logically and then visitors can have a basic knowledge about Cambodian culture, history and art. There are classified as below

Briefing hall – “an 80-seat theater for an entertaining presentation which will introduce the museum and its many amenities”

At that time, just Brian and I visited and sat in that room. Brief information about the museum-first impression is always important, people say.

Exclusive Gallery : 1,000 Buddha Image – just like its name. This is the place where you can see about 1,000 buddha statues; any size; any materials.

In front of the room you can see a place where you can shake a box of bamboo sticks on which there is a number until one of them falls down. Then, you will get a piece of paper which has the same number with that on that stick. It is kinda like a prediction in a month or something. In Viet Nam, we call it ‘xin sam’

Gallery A: Pre-Angkor period
Gallery B: Pre-Angkor Period: Religion and Beliefs

Gallery C : The Great Khmer Kings

– King Chaiyaworman II, the King who brought the two kingdoms of Jen-La together as a single kingdom during the years 802 – 850 C.E.
– King Yasoyaworaman I, the King who established Angkor as the capital between the years 889 – 900 C.E.
– King Suriyaworaman II, the king who built Angkor Wat between 1116 – 1145 C.E.
– King Chaiyaworaman VII, the king who built Angkor Thom between the years 1181-1201.
History shows that there were 4 particularly notable Khmer kings that should be explored in order to gain a deeper understanding of the Khmer history.

Gallery D : Angkor Wat

Gallery E : Angkor Thom

Gallery F : Story from Stone

Gallery G : Ancient Costume – we almost skipped this one because of time lacking

And here all overview of that museum

That is so much impressive to me who love to visit museums (kinda weird for the Vietnamese eh?! because most of people I know do not like to go to the museum if they are not forced to do that). We had like 2 hrs there. Just enough to see all we need to see. Brian is very helpful and friendly when he explained/answered my questions. I just thought I need some pieces of information about Cambodian history and culture before visiting Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Meanwhile, what I gained was too much. I hardly remembered all of them. Then, Evan bought a book and Brian talked some to me. I think I know much. I love to spend time talking with him about Vietnamese culture and history.

We got back to the hotel and had a quick lunch with Evan and Paul @ a next door food stall – my xao – stirred noodle with fried egg, chili sauce and vegetables. It is delicious and easy to make. It is hot though.

We got back to the Pub Street and took a tuk-tuk to Angkor Wat. Paul said if we bought tickets @ 5pm today, we could have free admission to enjoy sunset @ Angkor Wat and our tickets were still available for the next day. So, why not? We all came here to enjoy sunrise and sunset @ Angkor Wat. It is kinda far to walk to the Angkor Wat ticket box. So, biking and taking tuk-tuk are both good. It was so fun that they took photo of me and put it on my ticket. I love that way but still do not know why they do that. I will find out reasons soon. I still keep my ticket.
Below are some photos of Angkor Wat on sunset and a bit rain

Yay, dinner at a French style restaurant – Le Grand Cafe. I love it! I love to try new food and learn to make it. I got goat cheese and porc de fillet (or something like boneless sliced pork with smashed potato and sauce) and a big dish of ice-cream for dessert.

Awesome day!


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