Adventures Asia Journeys

SUNRISE AT ANGKOR WAT & TUK TUKS IN BANGKOK: CAMBODIA WITH GECKOS ADVENTURE PART I

Heading to Cambodia with a group of like minded travellers as well as seeing Angkor Wat at sunrise and travelling through the chaotic city of Bangkok by tuk tuk is a bucket list item I am so thrilled to of ticked off. Being our second small group journey I think we can officially say that we are addicted to this style of travel.

As we experienced so much in our 12 day Geckos Adventure Ultimate Cambodia trip and with so much to talk about we have broken down our time into 3 parts containing around 4-5 days in each release.

So, without further adieu here is our Ultimate Cambodia with Geckos Adventure: Part I.

Day 1: Lets Begin in Bangkok

Waking up at 7am in our hostel in the middle of Bangkok city excitment hit us as we realised today was the day our Geckos Adventure was to begin. The plan was to meet the group and tour leader at 6pm that night which gave us the entire day to see as much of Bangkok as we could in the next 10 hours.

Rewind to the the night before and we noticed that there were plenty of optional activities that we could undertake during the one day we had in Thailand. A quick call to Gecko’s sister company Urban Adventures left us in the same position – tourless – due to being already booked out days ago, maybe my past self wasn’t perfect at pre-planning? (Plan your tours in advance kids!)

Jess decided to use her instinct, travel planning skills and one Uber ride later catapulted us into the craziness that is Bangkok. Our day consisted of exploring the Grand Palace followed by Wat Pho, Wat Arun, The Golden Mount (including 3oo steps to the top), a tuk tuk ride, the Chatuchak weekend markets and a ride on the local skytrain before calling it a successful day.

Ultimate Cambodia Geckos

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Ultimate Cambodia Geckos

6pm arrived alongside 14 other travel companions and our tour leader Hai. We all gathered inside the hostel restaurant and received an introduction, breakdown of the trip and a quick rundown of where everyone else was from. Excitement started to build inside as we tried to get some sleep for the early morning wake up call.

Included Activities: None

Optional Activities: A lot – arrive the day before the trip and if you forget to book your tours in advance, watch our daily vlog below to see what we did.

Day 2: The Most Unique Border Crossing – Hello Cambodia

Our adventure began at sunrise as everyone piled into the private bus that would take us from Thailand to Cambodia. A few really organized traveler’s (note: not us) had already pre-organised their visa but instead we got to experience one of the most unique visa applications to date.

Without hesitation as if this was the norm, a local whipped out a polaroid camera, snapped our picture (for which I wasn’t even looking at) followed by shaking it and sticking it onto our Cambodian visa application form. $41USD later ($1 for the polaroid picture) we had an approved visa in our passport and a funny story to tell for years to come.

In terms of uniqueness, the day just continued to provide. We were excused from our comfy bus and informed that we would need to grab our belongings and walk across “no man’s land”, which personally looked like a scene from a dystopian disaster movie. We said our goodbyes to Thailand and leisurely strolled into Cambodia before making our way to Siem Reap.

Ultimate Cambodia Geckos

The rest of our day can be summed up as food related. We skipped “Bugs cafe”, went out with the #GeckosSquad into pub street and tried our very first Cambodian cuisine known locally as Amok but will personally be named “literally the best food ever”.

A 10 hour travel day was saved by incredible food, great company and unique border crossing.

Included Activities: None

Optional Activities: None

Day 3: Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Let’s tick the crown jewel off nice and early on the trip, sunrise at Angkor Wat! Some head to Cambodia just for this moment, this very early morning moment I might add.

As we travelled to Cambodia in the wet season we unfortunately did not have that fireworks moment where the sun peeks through the middle tower, instead the area just slowly got brighter. Did we still love it? Sure did, but if you want that firework touch we recommend you visit in the dry season.

Ultimate Cambodia Geckos

Ultimate Cambodia Geckos

Ultimate Cambodia Geckos

Ultimate Cambodia Geckos

We continued on our temple exploration day by seeing a 1000 year old masterpiece and my personal favourite – the overgrown temple where they shot Tomb Raider (I actually enjoyed that movie). You can’t go to Asia and not see temples (literally you can’t – they are everywhere), so being able to take in three temples with such a diverse range whilst also ticking off Angkor Wat! You can’t help but go to bed with a gigantic smile on your face.

Included Activities: Angkor Wat day pass and a guided tour (by your group leader) through 4 temples.

Optional Activities: None

Day 4: Who Wants to Eat Cockroaches and Tarantulas?

To catch your breathe and take it all in, this day off could not have come at a better time. Some travellers wanted to have a sleep in after yesterdays early wake up call but if you know anything about us – we were up and ready to explore.

As it’s a free day, what you do and how much you see is entirely up to you and best suited for your style of travel.

Included Activities: None

Optional Activities: A lot!

This is the only day on the tour where you really need to decide what you want as you may miss out, you simply cannot do everything listed and you do not need to. These are the optional activities we got up to and we can highly recommend both.

Flight of the Gibbon Zip Line ($129USD)

The funnest way to explore the jungles of Angkor is high speed and above the trees. Being our fourth zip line adventure to date we just cannot get enough of shooting through forest on zip lines. If you have never done it or scared of heights – try it out, you have our highest approval.

Ultimate Cambodia Geckos

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Urban Adventures Street Food by Night Tour ($47USD)

Going on a street food tour in Cambodia and being vegetarian was always going to be an experience. Luckily we had the perfect excuse to skip the spiders, cockroaches and duck embryos but if you want to try the local snacks this is the place to do it.

Alongside trying some new fruits (such as Durian – verdict: disgusting), veggies and sweets we still hailed the night as a success due to the marketplace we explored. This wasn’t a tourist trap, we were the only ones there. Looking back on our entire trip, this was one of the most local experience we had and we are so glad we did it.

Stay tuned for Part II…

You can book the Ultimate Cambodia trip for $1075 per person for 12 days through Bangkok, Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City.

Stephen and Jess signoff

Thanks to Geckos Adventure for inviting Flying The Nest to experience the Ultimate Cambodia Trip, and also thanks to Urban Adventures for the Street Food Tour, however as always all opinions are our own.

READ NEXT: GECKOS ADVENTURE ULTIMATE CAMBODIA TRIP

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