My last post about our SE Asia trip will conclude with a couple other activities that we did – one which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend as a must-do, and the other as a very much must-do.
We’ll get the Floating Village out of the way first. I was underwhelmed by it. This isn’t to say that the attraction wasn’t interesting. It was just a bit too far out and a bit too expensive to waste time on if you’re on a time budget. The Floating Village is about 30-45 minutes drive from Angkor Wat. From there you pay $20 to hop into a boat and take another 30 minute boat ride down a river to the lake where floating houses reside. Remember, the $20 fee is in American money, so in relation to everything else, it’s really expensive.
It was a nice day, so the boat ride wasn’t too bad. But at the end of the day, all you really saw were a lot of poverty-stricken shacks. In that sense, it’s good to see in that it reminds one of how much the rest of the world actually lives, and how we should be grateful for everything that we have. And seeing this community living literally on the water (floating schools, stores, etc.) was very unique and something that I hadn’t ever seen anywhere else before. But at the end of the day, I’d probably skip it for more time at Angkor Wat or other activities.
What was cool? The Cambodia Quad Bike tour we took. Now this is an activity worth doing. The $35 we spent on taking the ATV tour in my opinion was the highlight of Cambodia. This isn’t a knock on Angkor Wat by any means, but when I travel I do like to get my heart racing a bit and get the adrenaline going; this tour was the fix. If you do sign up for the tour, sign up for the sunset ride.
The ATV tour takes you out to the countryside where you can ride through the rice fields past water buffaloes, beautiful landscapes, and Cambodian farmers at speeds up to I would say 40-50 mph. Our guide, Heng, was great as well, stopping at various points to let us take photos and take photos of us. But the best part of the tour was the sunset. We stopped at a rice field with practically no one else around. In front of us a family of about 50 ducks marched along without a care, and a water buffalo chilled beside us. The sunset itself was incredible, so serene and vibrant with color. Whereas the Angkor Wat sunrise was amazing to see because it was both iconic and awe-inspiring, the sunset we saw in the rice fields was spectacular because of the zen-like calmness it brought. I can’t imagine a better way to have wrapped up what was such a whirlwind trip.