Bucket List Travel Is Back

Bucket List Travel Is Back

“Wonders of the world” and “bucket list” are terms that come up frequently in the travel industry and are often inappropriate. But there is no doubt that Cambodia’s top tourist destination, Angkor Wat, easily qualifies for both. In terms of ruins and man-made sites, few in the world can compare. I’ve been to most of the large pyramid complexes, Machu Picchu, Coliseums and other special places in Mexico and I put Angkor Wat before anything I’ve ever seen. It’s also bigger, so it’s more worth the extra trip.

For the past two years, I’ve been predicting a surge in “bucket list” travel as the pandemic helps people realize that life is short and unpredictable, and the things you put off may never happen — and, who knows, What’s the next shoe drop might be? Traveling has become easier again as it reopens after the pandemic shut down, so if Angkor Wat is one of those places you plan to see “one day” – and it should be – you might just want to go now .

It’s also become cheaper and easier.Cambodia only reopened to tourism in November, last month Bloomberg The report said that 83% of Cambodia’s population is fully vaccinated, placing it among the top 10 best countries in the world, noting that “now is the perfect time to visit Angkor Wat… In Siem Reap, Cambodia, travel has just begun to reopen, creating A glimmer of hope for locals and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for tourists.” A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Why go? For starters, the scale of Angkor Wat is staggering, much larger than most people who have read it or seen pictures would expect. The name literally means City of Temples, and it’s not a single building, or even a group of buildings, but multiple sites containing about 1,000 buildings spread over 154 square miles — seven times the size of Manhattan ! It was built in 500, from 9th to 14th Over the centuries, the Angkor Archaeological Park has a lot to offer, of which the eponymous Angkor Wat temple is just a part – but a vital one. This is the one in the lake in front of it in the postcard. Technically, Angkor Thom is a different ruined city nearby, but it’s also a must-see. The same goes for Ta Prohm, the overgrown temple in the jungle best known for filming the original Tomb Raider movie. There are many other important temple sites including Ta Som, Ta Nei, Preah Khan, Preah Ko, Pre Rup, East Mebon and Banteay Srei etc, some of which are hidden gems and local secrets that are rarely visited by western tourists, and Very empty and often overcrowded alternative to the main event. You get the idea – I was there for a few days, and when I hit the highlights, I left a lot unseen and planning to return, you could easily spend a week in the area.

The area is widely misunderstood by tourists who think it will become a popular wonder like Machu Picchu or Giza, go for a day and take some selfies. The gateway to Angkor Wat is the modern city of Siem Reap, which also has many hotels, shopping, dining and other worthy tourist attractions such as floating villages, silk farms, cultural centers, and even a beautiful and good golf course. In between, you’re talking about an area, not an “attraction” or monument, which can be part of a larger trip to Cambodia and/or Thailand, or a great holiday destination in its own right. While there are luxury hotels here, Cambodia is a great place to be, and the park tickets, guides, and food are great value for money.

So what’s new? I was staying at Anantara Angkor Wat when I visited and I loved it. I chose it because Anantara is one of those hidden foreign luxury brands that many American tourists don’t know about, but not for long. Owned by a former American pizza mogul, the fast-growing Thailand-based luxury chain has just expanded into Europe, with luxury golf resorts in Portugal and top city hotels in Rome, Dublin and Budapest. They also own NH hotels, including the new NH New York, some of the more prominent Anantara hotels include the Royal Livingston in Victoria Falls, The Palm in Dubai and Natadhu Private Island in the Maldives, while the flagship Siam hotel could easily be Bangkok of the finest luxury palaces. Anantara was an early entrant in the growing culinary tourism niche and was the first luxury chain to launch Spice Spoons, a company-wide branded culinary school program that offers courses based on local cuisine in every region. I have stayed at Anantara resorts from Bali to Africa to South East Asia and have never been disappointed so I chose them to go to Angkor Wat and it was great. it’s better now.

While most of the top hotels here are in the crowded downtown Siem Reap, this resort is set outside in a peaceful and secluded tropical setting, but only minutes away from the archaeological park. It has delicious food, it’s own activities, and when you come back from a long day of exploring – usually before sunrise – it’s a haven of escapism and relaxation, with spacious and scattered accommodation, alfresco Dining options, a large high-end spa and a gorgeous pool complex. It has Spice Spoons cooking classes focusing on Khmer Cambodian cuisine, and four dining options.

Now that Cambodia is back online, Anantara is attracting tourists back with its first all-inclusive package that is both user-friendly and great value for money. Angkor All Inclusive Discovery Package includes accommodation, daily breakfast, Chef’s special tasting menu for daily lunch or dinner, one afternoon tea at the Jungle Temple or Design Dining (Personal Bespoke Meal) (Lunch or Dinner set at 900) in the Jungle The ancient temple, away from the tourist route, very private, an unforgettable and unique experience) per stay, 1 day guided sunset quad bike (ATV) adventure, 1 day guided country bike tour, and most importantly Yes, daily tours tour the Angkor Archaeological Park in a private car with an English-speaking guide and include temple passes. All made for two people, the great thing about this bag is that it’s customizable to get any length from three nights or more. Packages start at $565 a night and include meals, rooms and a full-day guided tour of the ruins, among other features—all for less than the price many luxury resorts now charge for a room with nothing.

Travel safely!

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