The name Siem Reap literally means "Siam Defeated". These days, however, the only rampaging hordes are the tourists heading to the Angkor Archaeological Park. This once quaint village has become the largest boom town and construction site in Cambodia. It is quite laid-back and a pleasant place to stay while touring the temples. It is a nice compromise between observing Cambodian life and enjoying the amenities of modern services and entertainment, thanks to a large expatriate community. Since Siem Reap is a major tourist destination, prices in some instances are higher than elsewhere in Cambodia. Expect to receive almost constant offers for motodop and tuk-tuk rides, along with everything else which drivers may be able to offer to you.
Be sure to pick up your free Siem Reap Angkor Visitors Guide and the equally free and useful Siem Reap Pocket Guide from your hotel/guesthouse. It contains lots of info on Siem Reap and the Angkor Archaeological Park, including hotel/bar/restaurant/shop info, travel info, and maps. For the eco-sensitive tourist, check out Stay Another Day: Cambodia, a detailed guide with local spots that support the environment and community. Another address is the ConCERT tourist office, a local NGO committed to raising the standards of responsible tourism and eco-tourism activities and providing information on the causes and effects of poverty in Cambodia, volunteering opportunities and eco-tours.
Travellers pay a USD12 domestic departure tax at the airport. Try to pay in cash as the credit card facilities are unreliable.
Siem Reap International Airport (IATA: REP) is the second largest airport in Cambodia. Its modern architecture is based on the traditional Khmer-style. Its facilities are limited. There are separate terminals for international and domestic flights.
The airport is served by:
- AirAsia (Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur)
- Asiana Airlines(Seoul-Incheon)
- Bangkok Airways (Bangkok)
- Cambodia Angkor Air (Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh)
- Cebu Pacific Air (Manila, Philippines)
- China Eastern Airlines (Kunming, Shanghai Pudong)
- China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou)
- Dragonair (Hong Kong)
- Jetstar Asia (Singapore)
- Korean Air (Seoul-Incheon)
- Lao Airlines (Luang Prabang)
- Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur)
- Silk Air (Da Nang, Singapore)
- Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Luang Prabang)
The airport is around 7 km from the town centre. Prepaid taxis cost USD7, see the prepaid booth just outside the terminal. Prepaid tuk-tuk rides for slightly less are also available. Thrill seeking solo travellers without much baggage can save money by opting for back of a motodop for USD2. Most hotels offer a free airport pick-up if you've booked in advance.
Major companies include Phnom Penh Sorya Transport Capitol Tours, and GST Express.
Try to book at least the day before travel. Travel agents and guesthouses will do this for a USD1-2 fee. Buses tend to leave in the morning or early afternoon. There are also night buses on some routes.
Many buses terminate at an out-of-town bus station to the east of Siem Reap, from where travellers will need to take a tuk-tuk into town. This should cost no more than USD2, or maybe USD3 if you're not keen to drive a hard bargain. Anything more will have your driver thinking you are a weak-willed idiot, rather than the generous, naive optimist you perhaps consider yourself to be.
If arriving from the west, consider getting off the bus as it passes through town on Hwy 6, say as it crosses the bridge over the river, before it reaches the bus station. If arriving from the east you have little choice but to face the touts.
Capitol Tours buses, however, terminate at the company's office in the centre of town, near old market, making them the most sensible choice.
- Phnom Penh (USD5) 6-8 hours by bus, a well traveled route by both locals and tourists, but often an uncomfortable trip as buses will make many stops and go slow. A more expensive (USD12), but far more comfortable option is by Wi-Fi-equipped minibus. Trip by minibus takes only 4-5 hours.
- Kampong Cham
- Battambang (USD3.75)
- Sisophon (USD3.75)
- Poipet (for Aranyaprathet, the main route into Thailand) (USD3.75)
- Anlong Veng (for Ban Pakard in Thailand) (USD4)
- Koh Kong (via Phnom Penh, a long journey)
- Sihanoukville (USD10) By a 10-12 hour overnight sleeping bus or daytime sitting bus. Should be booked at least 1 day in advance.
Be wary of the sleeper bus from Siem Reap to Vientiane. A second payment may be sought for travel onward after stopping for the border crossing. Unscheduled trip delays and an unexpected change to a different service may occur on-route. Be alert to issues of personal security and watchful concerning your possessions and luggage, especially whilst sleeping.
- To Bangkok: The ticket is valid for the whole journey but you will change buses in Poipet (USD8)
- From Bangkok: Agents in Kao San Road offer tickets to Siem Reap from 300 baht.
- Government bus from/to Bangkok: In 2013, the Transport Company of Thailand Government started a daily direct service from Bangkok (Mo Chit bus station) to Siem Reap and back. The trip is USD28 per direction, but is scam-free and fast. The Cambodian side of the company is named Nattakan.
- Ho Chi Minh City (USD15) 12 hours on a sleeping bus. Have your Vietnam visa ready and valid before taking this trip, visas for Vietnam are not available at a land border even if you have visa on arrival.
A more expensive and more time consuming option from Phnom Penh (USD35, 6 hr) or Battambang (USD20-25, 5 hr) is to take a Soviet-style hydrofoil across Tonle Sap Lake. These can be fantastic trips giving you the opportunity to view life on the lake, floating houses, working fishermen, and to get a suntan if you choose to sit on the roof of the boat. However, the trip can be ruined due to bad weather. Remember to use sunscreen and take a waterproof jacket. You may not be able to access your luggage during the journey (sometimes the baggage is available, sometimes it is not). If you have the time, it is better to visit the floating villages as day trips from Siem Reap rather than see them from the boat.
The port you arrive at is about 20 minutes south of Siem Reap by tuk-tuk. The drivers will try to charge you USD5 per person but the trip should not cost more than USD5 in total.
The quickest method of getting from the Poipet border to Siem Reap is a shared car. A four seater car costs USD25-45, depending on your bargaining prowess, and takes 2-3 hr. Even if you're travelling solo, it shouldn't be too hard to find others to share the expense.
Helicopters can be chartered to go nearly anywhere in the country. They seat 5-6 people. Prices start at USD1,000 for trips to some of the temples north of Angkor Wat. Companies include Helicopters Cambodia and Helistar Cambodia.
Travel to and around the Angkor Archaeological Park is extensively covered in its own article. The following is a discussion of travel with Siem Reap.
The city centre is fairly compact and flat.
- The White Bicycles, ☎ . Well maintained bicycles can be hired through various guest houses affiliated with this local charity that uses hire proceeds to fund youth education and clean drinking water projects in villages around Siem Reap. The website lists location where the bikes are available. USD2/day.
Many guesthouses will lend you bicycles either for free or cheaply (USD1-3).
Motodops (motorbike taxi) abound and will make sure you know where they are. Rides within town should only cost USD0.50 or 2,000 riel, although prices can double at night or during bad weather. Agree a price first. Full day can be arranged for ~USD10. Helmets for passengers are rare though may materialize if requested in advance.
Renting a motorbike is prohibited for foreign travellers in Siem Reap, though motorbikes rented elsewhere are permitted.
Petrol stations vary from first world forecourts to roadside stalls selling fuel of dubious quality in drinks bottles.
Tuk-tuks, like motodops, will call at tourists from nearly any street corner.
A trip within Siem Reap should cost USD1 regardless of how many people pile on. Most tuk-tuks can convey four people comfortably though the extra weight can make the low-powered bikes laboriously slow. Prices can double at night or during bad weather.
Ensure both you and the driver are in crystal clear agreement on the destination and total fare before departure. Payment is made on arrival and doesn't increase if the driver got lost or had to take a circuitous route.
Cars with drivers can be hired for single or multiple days. While all drivers are familiar with the area and happy to suggest good routes, most speak little English and are not actual tour guides. Licensed tour guides charge USD45-50 per day for a driver and English speaking guide. Drivers will likely ask for USD5-10 extra for trips to further temples such as the those of the Big Circuit, Banteay Srey and more for remote sites like Beng Mealea.
The taxis (USD7 fixed cost) from the airport to Siem Reap proper may provide a full day of touring for USD25-30.
- Siem Reap Transport Service, Siem Reap. A private tuk-tuk and car service providing transportation within Siem Reap and around the Angkor Wat temples. Private cars also available to and from Phnom Penh.
Most people come to visit Angkor Archaeological Park, which is thoroughly covered in its own article. The town itself has some worthwhile attractions and a number of beautiful modern Buddhist temples.
- Angkor National Museum, 968 Charles de Gaulle Blvd, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily, 08:30-18:00. Exhibits covering the history of the Angkor complex as well as Khmer culture and clothing using high tech displays and video screens. Some say the 1,000 Buddhas room is as impressive as it sounds. USD12.
- Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre, Sanday Village (3 km before the Landmine Museum on the road to Banteay Srey temple), ☎ . 09:00-1700. Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre is a community development project and tourist destination just down the road from the Landmine Museum and Banteay Srey temple. Revenue from admissions is used to pay families in remote villages who are farming butterflies for the exhibit. The project makes a real difference to the farmers' livelihoods and provides a wonderful experience for visitors as they can see spectacular local butterfly species flying close at hand in a beautiful tropical garden. USD4 adults, USD2 children under 12.
- Kampong Phluk Floating Village (off the Highway to Phnom Penh). This mangrove forest offers a much more authentic floating village experience than the one close to the Tonlé Sap ferry harbour. This fascinating village on stilts can be reached by tuk-tuk from Siem Reap. It takes about 1 hour to reach the village, depending on the road conditions and water level. Depending on where you buy your tour, your haggling techniques and your initiative to book a tuk-tuk and boat ride yourself the price varies between USD7-60 per person for a round trip. Beware of scams. When you reach the school in the village, your tour guide will give you pack of exercise books and pencils as "a payment to village for visiting them". The queue of pupils will be longer than number of books you have. Immediately you receive next pack but then you will need to pay USD9 for the second pack.
- Landmine Museum (6 km south of Banteay Srey Temple, 31 km from Siem Reap). This tiny museum was set up by local deminer Aki Ra to educate locals and tourists about the dangers of land mines. Piles of defused mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) lie around the site and the guides are mostly teenagers who were orphaned or injured by mines, many of whom live on-site. This is a very worthwhile attraction that brings home the scale of the problem and shows you a slice of real Cambodia. USD3.
- Phnom Bok. The highest hill in the area. Temple ruins - similar to those found atop of Phnom Krom and Phnom Bakong - can also be found on top of Phnom Bok. It lies 20 km to the north east of Siem Reap. Expect a tiring hike up the stairs. A guard may be able to show you around. Don't forget to check out the old howitzers from the civil war. Admission is free, no pass is needed for the Angkorian ruins.
- Phnom Krom. The hill which dominates the view, as you approach the floating village of Chong Kneas from Siem Reap. At the top, temple ruins similar to the other two hills can be found. This particular hill is popular for sunsets, as it can be viewed over the flooded plains during the wet season, and over incredibly vibrant rice fields in the dry season.
- Wat Bo, Samdech Tep Vong St and St 22 (east side of the river. Follow the road that continues from over Wat Bo Bridge). As one of the oldest temples it makes a nice contrast between the oldest and the glittering new ones, though the rough artwork wouldn't match the craftsmen of Angkor. The architecture of the ramshackle open air hall next to the main building blends French-style arches and balustrades with Thai-influenced Buddhist details. A forest of chedi surround the main hall, in between frangipani trees and some fine topiary.
- Wat Preah Prom Rath, Pokambor Ave. The glittering modern temple grounds give few hints as to its 500 year history. Though the lotus-themed architecture seems to emulate temples from over the border, the front gate integrates Bayon-style heads and a scene in relief of the Buddha seated under a tree, while armies fire arrows on one side and others are eaten by crocodiles on the other side, that looks like it could have been taken directly from Angkorian mural. Legend is that the site was established around 1500 when a famous monk landed ashore on a piece of his sinking boat. The boat wood was carved into the oddly foreshortened reclining Buddha installed in a swimming pool-like pit behind the imposing, yet despondent looking, seated Buddha in the main hall. Perhaps mimicking the construction materials origins, the reclining Buddha has taken on a sunken slant at the feet end. A pair of small weather worn cannons on either side of the hall are of unknown origin but their style, an embossed crown-like seal and mysterious numbers suggest a European origin.
- Wat Thmei Temple & Stupa Memorial to the Killing Fields. A large Buddhist temple. In the grounds is a stupa with glass sides contains bones and skulls of victims of Pol Pot's army. Be wary of people purporting to be guides or asking for donations. Also, several of the photographs on the display boards are actually of the holocaust in Nazi Germany. Take this attraction with a pinch of salt. Free, donations welcome.
- Pottery Classes & Painting classes, 130, vithey charles de gaulle (On the main Temple road very near the Angkor national museum, 30m after the traffics light on the right hand side), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. from 8 am to 8 pm. With the pottery class and clay class course, you can make your own ceramic artifact on the potter wheel. You can feel the potters sensation. After you finish your piece, you can add different designs on it with special potter's tools. With the painting activities, you can draw and / or paint your own design on a pot, cup, plate or other kind of ceramics products. All activities from $15.
- Backstreet Academy, Siem Reap, Road 60, Trang Village, Sangkat Slorkram - 200m East of Naga Bridge, (Opposite Angkor Village), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 08:00-06:00. An alternative tour experiences platform, they enable locals to offer authentic and unique activities to tourists such as fishing on the mekong like a local fisherman, coconut carving workshops, Cambodian Boxing, Apsara dance classes, even a fear factor challenge where you learn to cook insects which are sold by vendors along the streets in Phnom Penh. A social enterpise, they work with many underprivileged people who either serve as hosts or facilitators. The facilitators will pick you up from your hotel and translate for you. These facilitators are usually young students looking for work to pay for their education or orphans looking to transition into society. Transport is provided for most activities in Phnom Penh. A great way to interact with local people and take in the culture and have something memorable to bring home.
- KKO - Off Track Mountain Bike Tours, St 20, Wat Bo Rd (Close to the New Apsara Supermarket on Wat Bo Rd), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. KKO is a local charitable non-profit NGO. They offer unique Angkor park and countryside off-track tours. The entire profit generated from the bike tours flows back to the local KKO School. Booking is required. USD25-40 for a full-day tour.
- Sabai Jeep Adventures. Explore the Cambodian countryside in a vintage military Jeep. Ride in this iconic and historical vehicle. On tour your jeep driver will take you off the beaten path to discover the authentic, rugged, and fascinating Cambodia. Sabai Jeep Adventures tours start from Siem Reap.
- Shooting Range (Along Rd 67 to Banteay Srey, 3 km north of the road to Phmon Bok, turn right down the large dirt road when you see a blue and red sign like their flag with "4th Troops Training Centre", past the school and take the left (1 km), look for the sign "Shooting Range" at the 2nd base entrance on the right (720 m)). Armament and explosives availability apparently is only limited by how much you are willing to spend. Listening to the soldiers-turned-used car salesmen put the hard sell on a new machine gun is almost worth the trip. This is a true game of Russian roulette. Fancy pulling the pin of a 30+ year old grenade and possibly getting the faulty one? Make sure that whoever is supervising you is also willing to stand next to you. It can be a little bit difficult to find, and a tuk-tuk driver may know where it is. USD50 per AK-47 or M-16 clip, M-60 belt (50 rounds) USD80 (Nov 2011). Grenade throwing: USD30.
- Siem Reap Moto Tours, Wat Bo Rd, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Siem Reap Moto Tours offers guided moto scooter tours in the area around Siem Reap, Angkor. Specialist in Kulen Mountain Tours Booking is required. from 16$ for 1/4 day Baray Rider Tour to 105$ for Kulen Mountain Tour.
- Beyond Unique Cooking Class (Sivutha Blvd and Alley West), ☎ . Cambodian cooking classes in a village 10 min from town. Classes include a visit to a local family and information on Cambodian cooking customs and beliefs. Hands on classes for a maximum of six people unless you book a private group. USD22.
- Apsara Theatre (Wat Bo Rd), ☎ . 20:00-21:30. A flashy performance of traditional, popular and classical dances.
- Cambodian Cultural Village, Airport Road # 6, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Krus Village (between the airport and city centre, along national road number 6, 3 km from Siem Reap Airport), ☎ . Daily, 10:00-18:30. Cambodian culture in a nutshell, miniature of Cambodian landmarks, Cambodian traditional house replicas, and cultural performances. USD25.
- Smile of Angkor, Smile of Angkor Grand Theatre (Angkor COEX) (northeast outskirts of Siem Reap, direction Angkor. Turn right on Apsara Rd), ☎ . Nightly, 19:15-20:30. A lavish production of Cambodian traditional dances equipped with a large screen featuring Angkor civilization. “Smile of Angkor” is the grand epic show that revives the Angkor dynasty in all aspects; from foundation to prosperity, tale of folk customs, past to present. The performance expresses traditional Cambodian culture with the latest technology. USD38-48.
- We Are The Champions Performances by the Local Disabled Community, Night Market (Back of Night Market adjacent to Island Bar), ☎ . 20:30-21:15, every night except Sunday. A two act play written and performed by participants who share with great feeling what it is like to be disabled in Cambodia and the challenges of their lives. As many of the performers are in pursuit of education to better their lives they appreciate donations of school materials such pens and writing books. Free, donations encouraged.
- Angkor Photography Festival: Photography for Change. Annual festival that showcases outdoor projections and various exhibitions around Siem Reap of regional and international photographers. The festival is held during the last week of November every year, consisting of 7 evenings of outdoor projections and more than 10 gallery exhibitions across various venues in the city. The festival is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia and is also the biggest. It aims to highlight the work of Asian photographers and provides free workshops for 30 young photographers from the region every year, led by world renowned professionals, which are showcased during the event. There is a full time office/gallery for the festival located on the East river road near the Bopha Angkor Hotel. As well as the festival, the organisers support a local NGO working with street children, that promotes the arts and runs a photography course with students. Photography from these students is also showcased as part of the festival programme.
- The Annual Street Puppet Festival. An exciting pageantry with the concept of sticks and stilts manipulated puppets much like those which debuted in the opening parade of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and also quite similar to the Trinidad & Tobago Carnival.
- The Water Festival. This vast festival is probably the most extravagant festival in the calendar. Over three days starting with the last full moon day in October or the beginning of November up to a million people from all walks of life from all over the country flock to the banks of Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers in Phnom Penh to watch hundreds of brightly coloured boats with over 50 paddlers battle it out. The boat racing dates back to ancient times marking the strengths of the powerful Khmer marine forces during the Khmer empire. In the evening brightly decorated floats cruise along the river prior to and complimenting the fireworks displays. there is often a parallel festival at Angkor Wat and although it is smaller in scale it is just as impressive due to the backdrop of Angkor Wat. The festival marks the changing of the flow of the Tonle Sap and is also seen as thanksgiving to the Mekong River for providing the country with fertile land and abundant fish. It is at this time when the river flow reverts to its normal down stream direction. The remarkable phenomenon that is the Tonle Sap sees the river flowing upstream during the rainy season and then change direction as the rains cease and the swollen Tonle Sap Lake empties back into the Mekong River leaving behind vast quantities of fish.
The Khmer believe that Thai massage is derived from Khmer massage and that it is more relaxing as it requires less twisting and turning. The numerous Khmer-style massage shops mostly offer genuine massage and are not a front for sexual services. If you feel unsure what type they will give you, a safe bet is to opt for one of the blind massage services. The trained masseurs are the real deal. Some are inside the night market. Contrary to common belief, blind massage services DO OFFER special massages too.
- Fish Massage (around the Pub St area). This Thai fad has crossed the border. Dip your feet in a tank of fish and wince as they eat the dead skin off your toes. Trying a tank with feet already inside it will tell you if the fish are hungry. Some claim to have no piranhas while others offer a free beer to subdue any doubts. USD1-2 for 15 min.
- Frangipani Spa, 615/617 Hup Guan St (At the ANZ Royal Bank on the corner go a few metres south to the next (small) street and turn right on Hup Guan St. The spa is near the end of the street.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Wonderful spa with a nice atmosphere, peaceful rooms, and experienced staff. The massages actually feel like trained people are giving them. No special services or hidden fees. It is a nice place to go as a couple or alone. They have massage tables and air conditioning. Tasteful exterior surrounded by frangipani plants (partly obscuring their tasteful green sign saying "frangipani"). USD25-50.
- Lemongrass Garden, 7 Sivatha Blvd, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Lovely little spa with a relaxing atmosphere and experienced staff. 60 minute Khmer massages are USD10, while 90 minute Khmer massages are USD15. They also offer oil massages, "spiritual massages," and manicures/pedicures. Treatment rooms have air conditioning, and they provide a cool drink before treatment and warm tea afterwards. They also claim to pay higher wages than most places in Siem Reap, as well as provide other benefits to their workers. USD10-30.
Some travellers feel visiting an orphanage is a good way to make a positive contribution to Cambodia, while others feel that orphanage tours do more harm than good. The largest child protection group in the country has asked that tourists not visit orphanages--the great majority of Cambodian children in orphanages have living parents, but the tourist demand for orphans results in these children being separated from their parents. Whichever view you hold, orphanages and the aid organisations that support them are a significant feature of the Siem Reap economy. Many are scams, so it's worth doing a bit of research on them beforehand.
Some long running orphanages that have a good reputation are:
- Cambodian Children's House of Peace (Santepheap Orphanage), No.004 Phum Mondul 3, Sangkat Slorkram (Turn right off of Charle De Gaulle Blvd, just after the SOS School), ☎ . Sundays, 19:00. The Cambodian Children's House of Peace (aka Santepheap, which means Peace in English) is an orphanage in Siem Reap responsible for over 30 children. The children of the orphanage put on a traditional Khmer Dance show every Sunday night from 19:00-20:15 to highlight traditional Cambodian culture as well as draw attention to the orphanage in general. Free.
- The Sangkheum Centre for Children (Chey Village, a few km past airport on Hwy 6), ☎ . Children's centre for orphaned, abused or neglected children aged 2-18 receive basic care and additional enrichment classes to supplement their public schooling.
As elsewhere in Cambodia, US dollars, and to a lesser extent, Thai baht are preferred over Cambodian riel except for the very smallest purchase. Using riel for small purchases can be better than using dollars as retailers tend to round up USD prices.
The Heritage Watch non-profit organisation supports business that promote Cambodia's arts, culture, heritage and development. Certified businesses display either a gold or silver Heritage Friendly logo.
International ATMs in Siem Reap are plentiful and most banks will do cash advances from credit cards.
Arts and crafts
- Artisans d'Angkor, Stung Thmey St, ☎ . 07:30-17:30. A workshop in the city centre. Showcases traditional Cambodian handicrafts such as wood and stone carving, lacquering, gilding and silk painting. Visitors are conducted on a free guided tour where they can see the craftsmen in action. The boutiques display the many items produced. Tours available in Khmer, English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.
- Bloom Bags (Corner of St 7 & Hospital St). Sturdily made totes, messenger and laptop bags made from recycled fish feed sacks. Though you can buy cheaper knock-offs from the market, these are genuine and you can be assured that your money is going to the women who made your bag.
- Khmer Ceramics & Fine Arts Centre, Vithey Charles De Gaulle, Khum Slorkram (On the road to the temples; 30 m after the traffic light when coming from Siem Reap), ☎ . 08:00-19:30. Glazed stoneware bowls, plates, teapots and decorative objects made with traditional Khmer ceramic techniques.
- McDermott Gallery, FCC Building, Pokambor Ave, ☎ . Daily, 10:00-22:00. Elegant, friendly gallery with photographs of Angkor by John McDermott, called "the Ansel Adams of Angkor" by the New York Times. Also McDermott Gallery 2, on the passage between Pub St and the Old Market with world class photography of Asia by several different artists. Art buffs will want to pick up a copy of ArtVenues, a free guide to the galleries of Siem Reap.
- Samatoa, 98 Pithnu St (in front of the provincial hospital-Old Market area / Lucky Mall Siem Reap), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 08:00-22:00. Specialises in Cambodian natural silk products. Samatoa encourages fair-trade. From USD50.
- Theam's House Gallery, Veal Village, Khum Kokchak, ☎ . Daily, 08:00-19:00. Exhibits paintings and art created by the artist-designer Theam Lim, who has studied at Ecole Boulle and Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Theam's House Gallery and atelier are located in the house of the artist, built by himself, inspired by Khmer rural architecture, surrounded by a luxurious and tropical garden.
- Sombai, e-mail: email@example.com. The only local drink produced in Siem Reap, Sombai is made from rice wine infused with local fruits and spices. It comes in 8 different flavours: ginger-red chilli, mango-green chilli, pineapple-lime, anise-coffee, lemon-lemongrass, green tea-orange, galanga-tamarin, banana-cinnamon. Sombai bottles are beautifully painted and hand-decorated by local artists, reproducing the views of temples, the Cambodian countryside, Tonle Sap Lake and its floating villages as well as Khmer statues. It is available in 70 cl and 35 cl.
- Angkor Trade Centre (St 9 and Pokambor Ave). The mall, Cambodian-style. A reasonably extensive selection of packaged food, drinks whitening deodorant, imported alcohol and the familiar feeling of shopping in air conditioned comfort.
- Central Market (Sivutha Blvd and Achamean St). Eclectic collection of clothes and trinkets. Bargain. Most stalls carry the same selection so you can shop around and find the cheapest price.
- Psar Chas (Old Market) (St 9 and Hospital Rd). A range of knick-knacks and tourist junk. Some items purport to be antique, but they probably aren't. If so, most likely it has been stolen.
- D's Books, 82 Hospital St (A few doors north of Street 7). An extensive selection of poorly organised novels to exchange for the one you just finished reading. Generally the books here are in better condition than other places in town, though many new books are simply pirated photocopies that they sell for USD6. A few shelves of books in languages other than English can be found. Most novels USD7.
- iOne (Apple Authorized Reseller), 1776 Silvatha Blvd (Near KFC), ☎ . 09:00-19:00. Cambodia is possibly the cheapest place to buy a Macbook or iPod. Prices are in US dollars at same prices as in other countries, but there is no added tax.
- Lex Roulor Tattoo Shop, In the X Bar, at the end of Pub St, ☎ . 10:00-18:30. Lex Roulor's Tattoo Shop Siem Reap features a French artist with a personal and professional approach to each project. European hygiene standards. Interesting combination of Western old school style and traditional Khmer designs.
Eating options span the full spectrum of tastes and budgets from the rudimentary Asian staples and pizza to authentic Khmer and sophisticated fine-dining featuring exotic local ingredients. The highest assortment of restaurants are in few blocks north of the old market, but there are appetizing alternatives along Wat Bo Rd and hidden in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Old Market area
Though Pub St is better known for its bars, a handful of places serve great food, many with seating upstairs so you can escape the partying milieu on the street below. Crammed along The Alley is a wider selection of restaurants that offer a generally quieter and more intimate experience. The local restaurants lining Phsar Chas have extensive, yet near identical, menus of cheap fried rice and Westernised approximations of Khmer dishes. At dusk the Kindergarten on the corner of Street 8 and 11 becomes a jumble of small BBQ stalls, replete with billowing smoke, noise, and the persistently entreating peddlers. The phnom pleurng here is the cheapest you will find.
- Chusska, Street 7, ☎ . The only pure Indian vegetarian restaurant in Siem Reap.
- Common Grounds Restaurant (American Coffee Shop & Cafe), #719, St. 14 / Mundol 1, Khum Svay Dangkum (Behind Central Market, across street from U-Dara Guesthouse), ☎ . M-Sa, 07:00-20:00. Serving Western dishes; chicken tenders, grilled cheese, crispy chicken apple salad, German chocolate cake, seasonal muffins, cinnamon rolls and some Asian dishes. All profit goes to fund local humanitarian projects through NGO People for Care & Learning. Air-con & high speed Internet. USD3-7.
- Curry Walla, Two locations Sivatha Blvd & Night Market Rd, ☎ . Authentic vegetarian & non-veg Indian food.
- Ecstatic Pizza, #072 2 Thnou St (across from the Provincial Hospital), ☎ . 07:00-24:00. Italian and Khmer food. Has been operating since 1994. Many kinds of pizza and pasta dishes. You can request your own pizza with either thin or thick crust. Western & English-style breakfasts any time. Fruit shakes, soft drinks, draught beer, wine. Free delivery available. USD3-7.
- Fresh at Chilli Si Dang (Fresh), East River Rd (next to City River Hotel), ☎ . 07:00-14:00. Beautiful riverside garden out of the hustle and bustle. Local and Western food, play pool, relax on the balcony and use the free Wi-Fi with sunset views. Friday quiz, Saturday BBQ, Sunday roasts, specials everyday. USD3.
- Happy Herb Pizza, #069 Mondul 1 Khum Svay Dangkum. 07:00-24:00. One of many nearly identical "happy" pizza shops in a row in Siem Reap. Menu of Khmer, Italian food and reasonably priced pizza. But of course the draw is to ask for your pizza to be "happy" for the special ingredient, though unfortunately since the amount used is minimal, a happy pizza is more a novelty item than a party. If you are looking for the special ingredient instead of a meal, you may order pre-made or in a bag for take away. USD3-7.
- McBuddha Restaurant (Off Sivatha Blvd, on the road that goes to Artisans d'Angkor), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open seating, and the restaurant is run by a local Khmer family who serve everything with a warm smile. The owner used to be a tuk-tuk driver, he speaks English and can give you tips on places to see. The menu is extensive with Khmer and Western offerings, all cooked to order. USD2-7.
- Maharajah Restaurant (Royal Indian Cuisine Halal), Sivatha Rd (Old Market Area , Front Of Terrasse Des Elephants,), ☎ . 11:00-22:00. Fresh, hygienic and authentic preparation. They use real Indian spices and most of the food is Halal. Takeaway or home delivery is available. USD2-7.
- Mother Earth Restaurant (Fresh, organic middle eastern Cuisine), a07 Sivatha Rd (near Angkor market l), ☎ . 10:00-22:00. Fresh, organic, homemade and healthy. All ingredient for the kitchen are claimed to be from organic farming, they serve great salads, hummus, falafel, shakshuka, and kebab, all home made, fresh and healthy. Kidush every Friday at sunset. USD2-5.
- New Delhi Indian Restaurant, #070 Mondol 1, Svaydangkum Commune (opposite the provincial hospital north of Pub St), ☎ . , Indian dishes on the menu with many Indian specialties. All their dishes are authentic and prepared to order. From USD4.
- The Purple Elephant, Soksan Rd (Head straight up Soksan Road, over the cross road and continue about 200 m, on the left), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 11:00-late. Thai restaurant and bar. It's a little out from the centre, but worth the walk. USD1-5.
- Taj Mahal, Street 11 (near Pub St). Classic Indian dishes. All the food is halal.
- Tuchner's Eatery, #075 Mondol 4, Svaydangkum Commune (beside the provincial hospital), ☎ . Savoury dishes on the menu including rice boxes, paninis, salad bar and fresh cut fries. From USD8.
- Butterfly Garden. Vegetarian restaurant serving Western and Cambodian food. Vegan options available. In a quiet street (opposite Karavansera Hotel). A few butterflies though their stock is sadly depleted
- Chamkar, The Passage, Off Pub Street. Vegetarian restaurant with Cambodian food and numerous vegan options in the lively Pub Street area
- Father's Restaurant, Central Market, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 08:00-22:00. The menu diverges from the usual with fairly authentic Khmer and Chinese foods. The Western menu is not nearly as intriguing. Free Wi-Fi. Fried noodles: USD2; pure fruit shakes: USD1.
- Singing Tree Cafe, Entrance of Alley West. An unusual place combining home-style cooking with environmental displays. Large mostly vegetarian menu comprised of both authentic Khmer food and grilled sandwiches and fresh salads, juices, and shakes. USD2-5.
- Sunflower Restaurant, 2 Thnou St (north of Street 7), ☎ . The restaurant looks simple but the Hong Kong dim sum, Vietnamese pho and Chinese wonton soup provide a welcome variation from what you find elsewhere. USD2-7.
- Viva (Corner of 2 Thnou St & Street 9), ☎ . A bright orange Mexican restaurant. Burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas are reasonably authentic considering the location. They have some Khmer dishes if you want to eat more local food while enjoying the view over the balcony. USD2-6.
- La Volpaia Pizzeria Restaurant, #20-22, St 13, ☎ . M-F, 11:30-14:30, 17:30-22:00; Sa-Su, 11:30-22:00. Italian-style cuisine specialising in pizzas, pastas and grilled steaks. Air-con dining room, VIP rooms, outdoor and garden seating. USD5-17.
- Aha, The Alley. Lunch, 11:30-14:30, Dinner, 18:00-22:00. The stylish interior with Khmer and international dishes. Some say the taste doesn't quite meet those standards, but where else can you eat dried snake in such surroundings? USD7-18.
- L'Angelo (Le Meridien Hotel). Probably Siem Reap's most daring restaurant, serving fusionesque Italian cuisine like foie gras on a bed of white asparagus and balsamic vinegar ice cream in a setting so achingly modern that the only decoration is a cloud of black dots on the white wall. A full meal with a glass or two of wine on the side costs around USD100 for two.
- Le Malraux, Sivatha St. French cuisine and Khmer specialties, all made with local and fresh products. Central city location that opens early in the morning for breakfast.
- Meric at Hotel de la Paix, Sivutha Blvd. Acclaimed by some as the best Khmer restaurant in all Cambodia, it is set in a chic hotel with a minimalist modern feel. The chefs source the freshest and strangest) ingredients to build their multi-course seasonal menu (USD31+ optional wine pairing USD16+). A typical set will include dried snake salad and grilled frog. Arrive before 21:15 for the 4 course fixed price Khmer meal with wine selection. Sit in air conditioned comfort, or outside tables and lounge furniture. The hotel also has a modern bar with local art displayed.
- The Red Piano, Pub St. 2 floors. Serves a variety of Italian and other European food with Britney Spears music videos in the background.
Wat Bo Rd and environs
Outside of the main part of town in the sometimes dusty neighbourhood streets and area along Wat Bo Rd are some trendy restaurants and small local places serving the most authentic Khmer food.
- Green Star, Wat Bo Rd (At the south end of Wat Bo Rd, on the terminating street), ☎ . Some say it's not the most authentic Khmer or Asian food, though still tasty and well prepared. That it supports the Green Gecko Project might be enough to convince your tastebuds to compromise just this once. USD2-6.
- Madam Beergarden Under Construction ("Under Construction" is part of the name) (Wat Bo Rd, across from Soria Moria Hotel), ☎ . 11:00-14:00, 17:00-24:00. Thai and Khmer food in a nice atmosphere. Enjoy the garden or sit inside in funky environment. Cocktail, draft beer and soft drinks are served with lunch and dinner. USD1.50-5.
- Silk Lounge, Taphul Rd (S end, opposite The Villa Siem Reap). 07:00-22:00. The menu might be short but the flavour and presentation of their Cambodian and pan-Asian dishes won't leave you feel like you're missing out on anything. The Cambodian curry, Singapore chicken rice, and beef soup stand out. The daybed style lounge seating is OK if you are limber but they have some regular tables if you prefer to eat sitting upright. USD2-4.
- Selantra Restaurant, #0729, Wat Bo Rd (Opposite the French Cultural Centre), ☎ . 10:00-22:00. A limited menu of well-presented Khmer dishes and food from elsewhere. Stylish setting. USD3-18.
- Viroth's Restaurant, #246 Wat Bo Rd, ☎ . Stylish Khmer restaurant that is often so full you will have to wait for a table. The extensive menu is a mix of Khmer and Asian-esque dishes and with some vegetarian options. Some say the food is not spicy enough but the outdoor setting is nice if it is not raining. USD5-8.
- Alliance Art Cafe, Wat Damnak Rd. In a French colonial building built in 1953, on the former grounds of the French Cultural Centre. The cafe offers both French and Cambodian dishes within an art exhibition space. The food is good and it has a very stylish ambience. A good choice for a romantic meal or a business dinner. USD15-25.
- Cuisine Wat Damnak, Wat Damnak Market St (Behind Wat Damnak Pagoda, between Psa Dey Hoy Market and Angkor High School), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Su, 18:30-21:30, closed M. French food with Cambodian influence. Only has two tasting menus, no à la carte dishes. Indoor and outdoor seating. $19-$26.
The distinction between eating and drinking establishments is fairly blurry as even the most humble of restaurants can have an extensive cocktail list on their menu. Nonetheless, a vibrant drinking scene concentrated along Street 8, aptly dubbed Pub St, is where serious drinkers head for cheap beer, loud music and the sweaty backpacking hubbub scene akin to Bangkok's Khao San Road. The biggest and most well-known Pub St bars, Angkor What?, The Red Piano, Temple Club and Le Tigre du Papier, are easy to find.
Travelers looking for more subdued place to appreciate a quiet drink can seek out some of the smaller places along The Alley, The Lane and the adjoining streets. A few drinking holes offer a bit more than cheap drunkenness.
Most places have draught Angkor beer for USD0.50 and cans of other beers for USD1-2. Cocktails and spirits go for as little as USD2. Imported red and white wine, generally from the less prestigious wine producing countries, is widely available and cheaper than you would expect. Better quality Australian and French wines are available in more upmarket establishments at a correspondingly premium price.
- Linga Bar (The Alley). A sophisticated gay bar that welcomes all patrons. A good list of classy cocktails and decent wine to enjoy on the big lounges.
- Sports Bar (The Alley, West end). More than just a sports bar, with free pool table and 3 large HD TVs. Great place to watch rugby and football. Expensive drinks.
Pub St features two main late night bars, Angkor What? and Temple Club which are directly across from each other. Commonly late night bar-goers will also congregate and drink in the street between the two bars and consume their own alcohol there, which is readily bought at stalls or shops in the immediate area.
- Angkor What?, Pub St. sundown until late. The most famous backpacker bar in Siem Reap, located directly across from competing late night spot Temple Club. USD1 draught beers, USD2 mixers, USD6-8 buckets. Large Western crowd. Offers inside and outside drinking. Open until late.
- Banana Leaf Cafe, Pub St. Small contemporary street side café, with weekend live music. Efficient and professional staff will entertain the crowd until late. Great cocktails.
- Soup Dragon, Pub St. A restaurant/bar on one of the corners of the "bar" street in the old part of town. Great sunset vista from their rooftop with the added bonus being it is the same time as happy hour: two for one cocktails. Drinks range from USD2-4..
- X Bar, Pub St. 15:00-sunrise. Open air rooftop bar featuring a 2 m skateboard halfpipe, jam sessions every Wednesday evening, live DJs and bands every week and a resident tattoo shop with a French artist. Probably the best city views in town, and unusual sunset over the halfpipe. At the end of Pub Street, look up for the X.
- Asana Old Wooden House, The Lane, behind Pub St, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Food & cocktail bar. Restored in 2012, Asana is the last wooden house in the city-old market area.
- Little Pari, The Lane, behind Pub St. A delightful corner bar spinning some jazz tunes and dispensing cocktail infusions to a friendly expat crowd.
- Miss Wong Cocktail Bar, The Lane, behind Pub St. Tucked away from the rowdy chaos of Pub St, this sophisticated bar serves up delightful refreshing cocktails in a sultry red lounge plucked straight from 1930s Shanghai.
- Nomad Shisha Bar, The Lane, behind Pub St (beside Cambodia Soup Restaurant), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Other than the attractive woodland creature-like French Canadian man who owns this dollhouse small bar in the heart of Siem Reap, other reasons for visiting would be the seductively Arabic style decor: all gauzy drapes, velvet covered floor mattress seating and the first shisha menu in Siem Reap.
- Empire Shisha Bar Lounge, Artisan Angkor Street (opposite Golden Temple Villa Guest House), ☎ 069 511 668, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 17:00 till late. Authentic shisha experience, Persian-style lounge bar, the owner speaks English and Swedish. USD5.00 shisha pipe.
- FCC Angkor (Pokambor Ave, N of the post office). A branch of the legendary Phnom Penh Foreign Correspondents' Club, the FCC is the hippest place for a drink. A blend of modern style and colonial architecture with fairly steeply priced drinks, at least by Cambodian standards.
- Top Banana Bar (at the Mad Monkey Hostel) (Sivantha Rd and Street 5, at the top of the Mad Monkey Hostel). Rooftop beach sand bar on the top level of the Mad Monkey Hostel. Located 5 minutes from Pub St. Frequented by hostel guests and other backpackers in Siem Reap before going out to Pub St late night. Among the most popular bars not on Pub St. USD1 beers, USD2 mixers, and food available until 22:00. Closes at 24:00 when the crowd goes to Pub St.
- The Warehouse (Corner St 9 and 2 Thnou St opposite the Old Market). 10:30-03:00. Three floors of different styles. The ground floor tends towards raucous times while the 1st floor offers free pool, Nintendo Wii, a large flat screen TV for sporting events and a foosball table. The rooftop has a chic lounge atmosphere. Free draft beer offered at various times on Friday (with an Angkor Wat ticket), though courtesy dictates you have a drink or two before or afterwards or dine from the food menu.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
A seemingly inexhaustible range of sleeping options from upmarket hotels to grubby backpacker hostels, with many guest houses, boutique rooms, bungalows, concrete cells, wood huts and French villas in between, make finding a place to sleep one of the easiest things you will do on your trip.
Hotels are spread over the entire city but most larger hotels line the national highway to the airport, cheap backpacker hostels tend to surround the old market area and stylish boutique hotels a nestled in the trees along Wat Bo Rd. Small Khmer run hotels and guest houses, especially in the low season, can be surprisingly good value if you are willing to do a bit of hunting for one that hasn't been overrun by the guidebook toting hoards.
Accommodations at every price point generally offer hot showers, cable TV, Internet and airport or bus pickup. Some may include free breakfast, though don't expect much more than an egg on toast and a coffee.
- Arboretum Guesthouse, Sok San Rd, Stung They, Svay Dangkum (Sok San Rd, 1 min away from Pub St), ☎ , e-mail: , email@example.com. Check-in: on arrival, check-out: 11:00. Fan or air-con, balconies, satellite TV, hot water, free Wi-Fi, fridge. 24 hr reception, very friendly staff, European management. Close to town centre; 20 min from temples. Free plane, bus, boat pick-up. Singles from USD16. Doubles USD20. Family room up to USD52.
- Baphuon Villa, 117 St Wat Bo, Sangkat Slor Kram (Near the royal residence and Rte 6; 15 min from the Old Market and Pub St), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A 16 bedroom secluded colonial-style villa with a courtyard, parking area and tropical garden. The hotel offers a range of bright, spacious and clean fan and air-con single, twin, double, and family rooms. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, cable TV with 100+ channels, private WC, washbasin, and hot showers, complimentary toiletries, and mineral water. Deluxe rooms have fully stocked minibars. A variety of breakfasts are served and the hotel offers an evening meal delivery service and packed breakfasts for those viewing the sunrise at Angkor. The hotel has its own tuk-tuk drivers and a free tuk-tuk service for guests staying 3 or more nights. Bus tickets to all destinations in Cambodia and to other destinations in SE Asia are available at the 24-hour reception. Free tea and coffee available all day. Bicycle hire. Beautifully decorated with artefacts, travel posters and photographs from throughout SE Asia. Very friendly and helpful English-speaking staff. USD14+.
- Big Lyna Villa, ☎ . A Khmer-style wooden building. 10 double rooms with hot shower, mini fridge and sat TV. Free Wi-Fi and bicycle. Air-con, USD20.
- Bun Kao Guesthouse (email@example.com), 0556 St 22, Wat Bo Rd, ☎ . Check-in: on arrival, check-out: 12:00. Dorms USD4/night/person and en suite double, twin rooms USD14/night, triple USD18/night with air-con and balconies on each floor. Free Internet, cool water, atmosphere, free computers downstairs or Wi-Fi in room USD6-21.
- Earthwalkers, Sala Kanseng Village, Sangkat No 2. Clean, high-quality budget rooms. Restaurant, Wi-Fi, free breakfast, friendly staff and a nice pool/bar area. Run by Norwegians. Away from town. Dorms USD5.
- Garden Village Guesthouse & Hostel, 434, Group 4, Stung Thmey Village. Free airport pickup, free Internet (slow), restaurant. 80 rooms, dormitories are open-air stilted houses made from bamboo mats and thus quite cool and airy. Dorm bed: USD1; single: USD6; double: USD7; twin: USD8; triple: USD9;.
- Golden Mango Inn, No. 0658, Rd 6, Chongkaosou Village, Slorkram Commune (On Hwy 6, accessible by the slip-road next to the Total Petrol Station), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. A budget accommodation run by the Cheab family. Free services include pick up from airport and bus station, tuk-tuk rides to the Old Market and Pub Street, bicycle use, daily breakfast and booking of bus tickets and countryside or Angkor tours. All rooms equipped with air-con, cable TV, mini-bar, and hot & cold shower. Management and staff are cordial, competent and reliable. Pool, garden, and a small bar/restaurant. USD20-30.
- Golden Takeo Guesthouse, 123 Wat Bo Rd, e-mail: email@example.com. Well-presented rooms, surrounded by gardens with a cool rooftop terrace. Free breakfast, laundry, bicycle, and Internet. Fan, USD7; air-con, USD17.
- Green Town Guesthouse, St 21 Wat Bo Village Salakomrouek Commune (From airport, take Hwy 6 to Siem Reap, pass two traffic lights, turn right at the roundabout, cross the first bridge over the river, turn left across the river and take the first right. The guesthouse is 100m on your right. From the bus station take Road 6 in Siem Reap, turn left at the first traffic light, then take the second right. The guesthouse is 50m on the left), ☎ . Check-in: on arrival, check-out: 12:00. Backpacker-oriented, but draws a wide crowd. Clean, relaxed atmosphere with bar & restaurant downstairs. Western & Cambodian menu. 10 min walk from town centre. USD6 gets a large room with high ceiling, open windows, fan, hot shower en suite and 70 channel TV. USD10 gets the same with air-con. Wi-Fi throughout, free computers downstairs. USD4 get a windowless box that at best has cold water. If you fall for paying much more than listed here (prices start high), they may give a free breakfast. Security guard. Tours, tickets and local transport available. USD4-10.
- Hak's House, Build Bright Rd (Next to Build Bright University), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A Khmer family-run guesthouse with basic single and double fan or air-con rooms, cable TV, hot shower. Free Wi-Fi. All room rates include breakfast. Bus tickets can be booked. USD6-12.
- Home Sweet Home Guesthouse, 111 Wat Bo Rd, ☎ . Large rooms with en suite bath. The decoration is best described as Spartan and some visitors have found the cleanliness of the rooms and communal areas to be lacking. USD9-20.
- Hosteling International Siem Reap, 209, Wat Domnak Village, Salacomreuk Commune, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Brightly painted rooms. A dip in the hot tub might be good if everyone else doesn't get in first. Dorms USD5, private rooms USD8.
- Lovely Guesthouse (Wat Bo area, St 20 N of Wot Bo Rd, near crossing of New Apsara Market), ☎ , e-mail: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Free Wi-Fi, laundry + ironing USD1.50/kg, restaurant (USD2-3/dish), tours to Angkor Vat and district. Great value for the money. Rooms nice and cleaned every day. Their tuk-tuk drivers speak good English and are really great, and their breakfast options are both delicious and a great bargain. You can also arrange trips around SR and tours with them. Single/double start at USD5-6 with cold shower, USD8 hot shower.
- Mommy Guesthouse. Clean and tidy. Comfortable beds, slightly further out of town, close to old market. Free Wi-Fi. USD6.
- New Apsara Guest House, 107 Wat Bo Rd (Corner of Wat Bo Rd and St 20), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Family-owned and managed guest house with large balcony rooms. Clean comfortable beds, complimentary bottled water, mini-fridge, air-con or fan, 70 channel cable TV, en suite baths have hot water showers, free Wi-Fi, 24 hour security, free pickup from airport or bus station. Well stocked market with imported food, cold drinks, beer, wine, ATM, and restaurant on premises. USD7-15.
- Palm Garden Lodge, Soksan St, Svay Dungkum. Bright rooms with wood four-poster beds and fresh linen. USD9-25.
- Paradise Eco Resort, 1 Tuk Vil, N6 Baray (10 min from Angkor Wat temple), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Free bike, free Wi-Fi. French and English speaking. Nice atmosphere. Free swimming pool and garden. USD10+.
- Parklane Hotel, Taphul St, Taphul Village, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Very friendly hotel near city centre. Rooms have air-con, sat TV, fridge, Wi-Fi, en suite bath with hot water. USD20-40.
- The Prohm Roth Inn, ☎ . Bright and large double, twin and triple rooms, cable TV, fan and air-con, private en suite bath, hot shower. Green & clean, free pick up, Wi-Fi & breakfast. The same friendly local brothers also own Prohm Roth Guesthouse on Pub St, near the Old Market. USD7-25 (USD5-15 in low/rainy season).
- Rosy Guesthouse (Slar Kram Village), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Very popular long running guesthouse with bar, restaurant and large balcony overlooking the Siem Reap River. Comfortable and well kitted out rooms with hot water shower bathroom, large TV, DVD player, free Wi-Fi, fridge, fan and air-con. USD8-30.
- Sam So Guesthouse, 164 Wat Bo Rd (Opposite Street 21), ☎ , e-mail: , email@example.com. All rooms are big, clean, and have a private bath with hot water, air-con, or fan, large screen sat TV and a fridge. Free Wi-Fi and Internet in the lobby. Run by Cambodian family, friendly, helpful and reliable staff. English, German, Italian and French are spoken. Various tours by arrangement. Free breakfast and free pick up. USD9-20.
- Seven Candles Guesthouse, 307 Wat Bo Rd, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Run by the Ly family, comfortable clean rooms with private hot water bathroom, air-con, fan, and TV. 2 bottles of water daily. Laundry, onward transport bookings, and free Wi-Fi. The Ly family works hard making education available to the children of rural families; volunteers with the Ponheary Ly Foundation often stay here. Four of the family are licensed Angkor Wat tour guides, speaking English, French, and Russian. Breakfast is available for a small additional fee. USD20.
- Shadow of Angkor, 353 Pokambor Ave, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. In a French colonial building. Very clean, though not soundproof, rooms with air-con, hot water, satellite TV, free Internet. Run by a Cambodian family. USD7-20.
- The Siem Reap Hostel, 7 Makara St (Near the corner of Wot Bo Rd and Angkor School Rd in the Wat Dam Nak area), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. A comfortable hostel with air-con in all rooms. Free Wi-Fi. All rooms have balcony. Bar, restaurant, pool table, indoor swimming pool in the bar/restaurant area (clean and cool in the tropical heat), yoga room, cinema-style movie nights, local food tour, pool table. USD2 buffet breakfast for those in dorms, free for private room guests. The hostel has its own trusted tuk-tuk drivers with whom they work closely to ensure reliable service and have good English. They can be booked for trips at the front desk. Dorm bed: USD6 year round; high season (Oct-Apr) single, USD18; double: USD28; triple: USD36; low season (May-Sep), USD15-20-30.
- Sweet Dreams Guest House, House 126 Wat Bo St, Salakomrouek Commune (From airport take Hwy 6 to Siem Reap, pass two traffic lights, turn right at the roundabout, cross the first bridge over the river, turn left across the river and take the first right, the guesthouse is 100 m on your right. From the bus station take Road 6 in Siem Reap, turn left at the first traffic light, then take the second right. Call for free pickup from airport/bus station/boat station/train station), ☎ . Check-in: Anytime, check-out: 12:00. Family-owned guesthouse. Clean, relaxed atmosphere with bar & restaurant. Free computer & free Wi-Fi. Friendly staff willing to help with ticket booking and trips to Angkor Wat. USD2: single room fan & shared bath, USD4-5: single room fan & private bath, USD10: double room air-con & private bath.
- Tropical Breeze Guesthouse and Restaurant, 293 Wat Damnak Village (Cross river from Old market & Pub St, turn right and walk for around 5 min), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Bar and restaurant downstairs, Western and Cambodian menu. Large rooms with high ceilings, open windows, Wi-Fi, free computers downstairs, 70 channel TV, air-con or fan, en suite bath has mains pressure hot water. 24 hr check-in, security guard, security box in lobby (bring your own padlock). Free set breakfast menu of 56 items, including drinks. Tours, tickets and local transport. Visa or MasterCard accepted. Free pick up 24 hr by prior arrangement. USD8-20.
- Yellow Guest House, 363, Taphul Village, Svay Dangkum, ☎ , e-mail: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Very clean and well furnished rooms. Staff speak English, as well as several other languages, including Japanese and Thai. Computers and Internet in the common area and free Wi-Fi. No shoes indoors. USD3-16.
- Auberge Mont Royal d'Angkor, 497 Taphul St, ☎ . French villa style building with 30 rooms decorated with an Asian feel. USD35.
- Central Boutique Angkor Hotel. Locally owned and operated. Clean, comfortable hotel, not too far from the centre of town, with Western bathrooms, gardens and a pool. Air-con rooms from USD29 with breakfast included.
- City River Hotel (Steung Siem Reap St), ☎ . Comfortable hotel near the city centre. Airport pick-up. Internet in rooms. Accepts credit cards. USD60+.
- Claremont Angkor Boutique Hotel, 0017, Phum Wat Bo, Sala Kamreuork (Central Siem Reap City near the airport and close to Pub St, Psar Chas Market, and Angkor National Museum), ☎ . Offers spacious rooms and deluxe amenities. Serves free daily breakfast. Swimming pool, fitness facility, spa and body treatments. USD35+.
- The Cockatoo Nature Resort, ☎ . 7 rooms in a restored traditional Khmer house plus 2 Balinese-inspired grass-roofed cottages. Pool and lush gardens. Gourmet food served at main restaurant or poolside bar. Best to reserve on hotel website. USD35+.
- Frangipani Villa Hotel, 0603, Wat Bo Rd, ☎ . USD44-66.
- Golden Temple Hotel, 7 Makara Rd (5 min walk to the centre of Siem Reap), ☎ . Excellent Khmer-style quality for an affordable price. Pool, massage services. Staff will easily organise any trips you want to Angkor Wat or anywhere close by. USD55+.
- Men's Resort & Spa, ☎ . Male-exclusive gay hotel. The complex includes a boutique hotel with 10 stylish rooms, a large pool, a fitness centre, massage service and sauna/spa. USD49+.
- Mom's Guesthouse, 0099, Phom Wat Bo. One of the longer-running guesthouses in Siem Reap, now in a new, if somewhat characterless, building. Mom will be happy to make all sorts of travel and transport arrangements. Air-con doubles with breakfast, hot water and airport transfers included. USD25.
- The RiverGarden Siem Reap, 113 Mondule 3, ☎ . USD35-65.
- Shining Angkor Boutique Hotel, #560 Group One, Kok Chok Commune, ☎ . 21 rooms. Free tuk-tuk service one way to the centre of Siem Reap daily. It is a ~USD2 per ride back. Free pickup by tuk-tuk from the airport, and free breakfast of cold bacon and over-runny egg and toast. The staff are very friendly and helpful. Decor is traditional wooden furniture with Buddhist elements. Family-owned.
- Soria Moria Boutique Hotel, Wat Bo Rd. Clean spacious rooms and free Wi-Fi. USD40-65.
- Ta Phrom Hotel, Pokambor Ave, Mondul I, Sangkat Svay Dangkum (River front, next to Old Market), ☎ , , fax: +855 63 963528. Free in room Wi-Fi 24 hr, restaurant, wooden interior and beautiful statues, terrace, traditional atmosphere with French colonial exterior, friendly English speaking staff, in-room refrigerator, mini-bar, slippers, air-con, hot water and bathtub, cable TV, 24 hr services and 24 hr security. Lovely hotel with exceptional wooden interior, breakfast is included and free airport pick-up for longer stays. USD35-80.
- Tanei Guesthouse Siem Reap (Next to Artisan D’Angkor). Free in-room Wi-Fi 24 hr, free tea, coffee, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, restaurant, lobby, quiet garden, terrace, fresh atmosphere, mini-bar, friendly staff, English speaking staff, in-room refrigerator, electric lamp, slippers, alarm clock, traditional Khmer pictures, fan, air-con, hot water, cable TV, window, 24 hr services and 24 hr security. Free pick-up. USD12+.
- Villa Siem Reap, 153 Taphul Rd, ☎ . Several minute walk to shopping, restaurants and the old market. Runs excellent excursions to temples and floating village. USD18-45.
- Day Inn Angkor Resort, Oum Khun St, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Brightly painted and decorated with stylish touches, the 62 rooms all have a balcony or terrace view of the swimming pool and landscaped private gardens. USD88-108.
- Heritage Suites Hotel (Next to Wat Po Langka), ☎ . A roll top bath, private garden, and premium linen are uncommon little extras that could help you justify the price. USD140-275.
- Hôtel de la Paix (Corner of Samdech Tep Vong St & Sivutha Blvd), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Designed with Khmer influence and a touch of art deco, every room features an iPod preloaded with self-guided temple tours and a selection of music, LCD TV, terrazzo bathtub, and a separate shower. USD275-675.
- The One Hotel (The Passage), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. About as exclusive as you can get, the freestanding French colonial building has only one suite with street view balconies and a private rooftop Jacuzzi garden. USD250.
- Prince D'Angkor, Sivatha Blvd, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Upmarket hotel and spa. 10 min stroll from the centre of town. USD180.
- La Residence d'Angkor, River Rd, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The hotel is finished in stone and wood that reflects traditional architecture, centred around a baray-inspired swimming pool. USD395.
- Sokha Angkor Resort (Corner of Rd 6 & Sivatha Blvd), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. A new resort in the city centre with large salt-water pool and state of art lobby. The resort has 6 restaurants and bars. Guests stay at this beautiful resort can acquire temple passes at the lobby. USD140-2,200.
- Starry Angkor Hotel, No G4, Rd 6, Banteay Chas Village, Sangkat Slorkram, ☎ , fax: +855 63 968 124. Offers 127 rooms ranging from superior and deluxe Rooms; business, junior and Starry suites; all equipped with plasma cable TV with remote control, Wi-Fi, separated luxurious showering cabinet and bathtub. Facilities and services include Starry restaurant, swimming pool and fitness room/gym. From USD60.
- Suites and Sweet Angkor, Phum Krous, Khum Svay Daungum, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. If you can overlook the name, the nine villas set in tropical gardens offer privacy and each of the suites face a traditional Khmer lake that includes a private pool with a wooden terrace. USD165.
- Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa (Central Park), ☎ . Very luxurious hotel, beautifully decorated. USD155+.
Most locals are decent people just trying to make an honest living, but a few shady characters try every trick to take advantage of travellers' good will. Be alert to deceptive dealers but don't let suspicion ruin your trip.
Convenience stores have been known to give incorrect change and pocket the rest. Check your change before you walk out of the store and point out any short changing. Most likely they will admit to their "mistake" and give you the right change.
Street vendors and beggars in competition for generous travellers' handouts have developed cunning, if underhanded, techniques to get your attention (and money). The "beggar army" of young children will come up to you in the crowd and grab your hands, leading you to a shop where they will then try and have you buy food/baby milk/water for them. Baby milk powder seems to be a popular one. It might sound like a more humanitarian way to help than simply giving them money, but once you leave the store the goods you bought for them are sold back to the shop owners or to other locals and the cash goes to an adult. Young women with babies cradled in a krama perform a similar trick.
Donation-collectors for orphanages may approach you in the street claiming to be volunteer workers, showing you convincing photos of themselves in the orphanage and a clip board listing the generous donations made by foreign visitors. Though these young adults may be well groomed and speak excellent English it's possible that your donation will go directly into their pockets. A donation (either of money, or your time) to a recognised charity might be a better way to help.
Baby-milk scams may be encountered in the centre of town, outside supermarkets. A very poor looking woman will beg for some milk powder, pointing to her baby. If one cracks and buys the milk, she later returns it to the shop, and the money is split half-half.
Dollar bills need to be checked, as you will find out that you won't be able to change bills with any tiny cut. Fake dollar bills are also wide spread, and can even be issued from ATMs.
NGO safari should be avoided. Do not schedule any orphanage visit unless this is the main purpose of your trip.
Paedopilia scam is a danger for any Western male travelling alone to Siem Reap. Crooked NGO APLE ("Agir pour les enfants"), is trapping individuals with child-abuse related false allegations. Do not stay alone with young people (room, temple, school, countryside, stadium, car) and do not respond to any favour they ask of you (transport, phone call, help, use your toilet or a glass of water)
- Royal Angkor International Hospital, National Rte 6, Phum Kasekam, Khum Sra Ngea, ☎ . Owned by the Bangkok Hospital Group and caters specifically to tourists. The care is not cheap, but it is of a very high standard. There is a fully stocked pharmacy, general surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, pediatrician and other hospital services such as treatment for fractures and intestinal problems.
The numerous Internet cafés charge anywhere USD0.50-1.50/hr. Speed of connection, and speed of PC, very much depends from place to place. A free public Wi-Fi network covers the Pub St and Alley areas but it can sometimes be spotty and always terribly slow.
- E-Café (Sivatha St, north of Psar Chas). A cut above the rest in connection and service quality, as well as price.
- Hello Internet Cafe (Sivatha St, in front of Acleda Bank), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. High speed Internet. Low overseas call rate. Internet USD0.50/hr, and overseas call USD0.10/min.
Most hotels will have cable TV with many international channels such as BBC and CNN as well as those from surrounding countries. There are several FM radio stations, which include international broadcaster Radio France International on 92.0MHz.
- 3 Hours Laundry, Sivatha Rd (Near Thunborey Hotel). M-Sa 09:00-21:00. Washing, folding, ironing and delicate fabric handling for all your stinky shirts. As the name suggests, turnaround time is typically 3 hours. USD1 per kg.
- New Laundry Express, Tapoul village, Svay Dangkum commune, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Uses washing machines and dryers. USD1 per kg.
- Banteay Chhmar - the forgotten Angkorian complex in neighboring Banteay Meanchey Province. A bit ambitious for a day trip by tuk-tuk but makes for a wonderful excursion by helicopter (about USD2,200).
- Koh Ker - The ancient capital.