“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
Monks in Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia © Jojie Alcantara 2012
[ updated Oct.11, 2016 ]
A year before this trip in 2012, I took the lengthier and more arduous road to Siem Reap via Ho Chih Minh, Vietnam, a long bus ride (7 hours) across the border to Phnom Penh, and another 5-6 hour ride to Siem Reap.
With my heavy luggage and camera gears, it was the path I took to reach the haven of ancient temples. Though it was a good decision (mainly having to watch around four movies of Angelina Jolie straight, since they love her for showcasing Tomb Raider shot in Cambodia to the world), it was a literal pain in the butt.
A year after that long trip, Philippines’ largest national flag carrier, Cebu Pacific, became the only airline flying direct from Manila to Siem Reap when it launched its flights on April 19, 2012. It is a thrice weekly service, utilizing one of Asia’s youngest aircraft fleets.
“Adventurous backpackers usually travel by land from Ho Chi Minh or Bangkok to Siem Reap, just so they can visit Angkor Wat, part of the Angkor World Heritage site. Now, Cebu Pacific can fly them to Siem Reap on its trademark lowest fares,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.
According to the UNESCO World Heritage Center, Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. The Angkor Archaeological Park contains the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th century, including the famous Temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon.
Flights for CEB’s Manila – Siem Reap – Manila route are scheduled to depart Manila at 7:50pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, arriving in Siem Reap at 9:30pm. Return flights will leave Siem Reap at 10:30pm, and arrive in Manila at 2:10am.
I was happy to have been part of the maiden flight on 2012 to fly back into the arms of Siem Reap once more, along with invited media delegates from Mindanao and Visayas.
I did another temple run the second time around. I have chosen two different paths, and both have led me to happiness and lots and lots of wonderful photos. 🙂