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.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
1 Siem Reap International Airport (REP IATA). This 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. Siem Reap is served by flights from East and Southeast Asia; from further away you can transfer for example in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing or Kuala Lumpur.
The airport is around 7 km from the town centre. Prepaid taxis cost $ 10, 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 $ 9. Most hotels offer a free airport pick-up if you've booked in advance. (4/17)
Bus is a common way for getting around Cambodia with a range of bus companies serving Siem Reap, with several daily departures and arrivals (especially from Phnom Penh). 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 $1-2 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 $2, or maybe $3 if you're not keen to drive a hard bargain. 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.
Domestic services are frequent — for instance Phnom Penh is served by a dozen companies some of which have a departure every half hour during the day. The bus trip from the capital is 6-8 hours and tickets are around $10 depending on the company. This is 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, but far more comfortable option is by Wi-Fi-equipped minibus. Trip by minibus takes only 4-5 hours.
Other places with services include Kampong Cham, Soung, Battambang ($6-8), Sisophon, Poipet (for Aranyaprathet, the main route from Thailand), Preah Vihear ($12) and Anlong Veng (for Ban Pakard in Thailand). Destinations further away include Koh Kong (via Phnom Penh, a long journey), Sihanoukville ($15-25) by a 10-12 hour overnight sleeping bus or daytime sitting bus that should be booked at least 1 day in advance, Banlung ($24), Mondulkiri ($18-24.50), Stung Treng ($20) and Kratie ($24).
Buses in general start in the morning, though there are also night buses on this route. The journey takes about 8-11 hours including the time it takes to pass through immigration and customs at the border.
Starting from from Bangkok, agents in Khao San Road offer tickets to Siem Reap from 300 baht. In the other direction tickets cost $11. The ticket is valid for the whole journey but you will change buses in Poipet.
There are also some more expensive services; the government bus daily direct service from Bangkok (Mo Chit bus station) to Siem Reap and back. The trip is $28 per direction, but is scam-free and fast. The Cambodian side of the company is named Nattakan. Giant Ibis direct bus to Bangkok: the Cambodian premium transport company Giant Ibis offers daily direct transport for $32, departure time 7:45. The buses have free WiFi, power supply and generally good service, including free pick-up from partner hotels/ hostels in Siem Reap.
Ho Chi Minh City ($18-27) 12 hours on a sleeping bus. If you use this in the other direction, have your Vietnam visa ready (if your nationality needs one) 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 ($35, 6 hr, possible to book online, all seats are provided on a first come-fist serve basis so no benefits of reserving it online) or Battambang ($20-25, 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.
2 Phnom Krom Port. The port you arrive at is about 20 minutes south of Siem Reap by tuk-tuk. The drivers will try to charge you $5 per person but the trip should not cost more than $5 in total.
The quickest method of getting from the Poipet border to Siem Reap is a shared car. A four-seater car costs $25-45, 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. Walk past the roundabout to negotiate a cheaper taxi fare, otherwise you will pay more by being in the police controlled pricing cartel area. Do not get on the "government approved" tourist bus unless you want to pay more for taxi's minibus, etc.
By private transfer
Family or group of tourists can book a private transfer to Siem Reap. It is comfortable, but expensive way. Comfort-class transfer from the Poipet costs $65-75.
Helicopters can be chartered to go nearly anywhere in the country. They seat 5-6 people. Prices start at $1,000 for trips to some of the temples north of Angkor Wat. Companies include Helicopters Cambodia and Helistar Cambodia. Helicopter transport is also available from other cities, e.g. from Battambang ($1,600/helicopter) or Phnom Penh ($4,700/helicopter).
Travel to and around the Angkor Archaeological Park is extensively covered in its own article. The following is a discussion of travel inside 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. $2/day.
Many guesthouses will lend you bicycles either for free or cheaply ($1-3). Bicycle rental shops in town mostly don't open earlier than 7am, so if you want to ride to Angkor Wat early in the morning, rent one the day before.
Motodops (motorbike taxi) abound and will make sure you know where they are. Rides within town should only cost $0.50 or 2,000 riel, although prices can double at night or during bad weather. Agree a price first. Full day can be arranged for ~$10. 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 $1 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 $45-50 per day for a driver and English speaking guide. Drivers will likely ask for $5-10 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 ($7 fixed cost) from the airport to Siem Reap proper may provide a full day of touring for $25-30.
- Siem Reap Transport Service. 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.
- 1 Angkor National Museum, 968 Charles de Gaulle Blvd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. $12.
- 2 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.
- 3 Wat Damnak (East side of Siem Reap River, just east of Art Night Market, on Wat Damnak Road). A landscaped temple with many stupas, a small decorative pool, and a school on the premises.
- 4 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.
- 5 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.
- 6 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. $4 adults, $2 children under 12.
- 7 Butterfly Paradise, Kantrak Village (5 km from Psar Chas Market on Butterfly Paradise Road), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 09:00-16:30 Sunday to Friday. A park with butterflies amongst many species of plants and flowers, with waterfalls and ponds. $10 Adult, $7 Child, $4 Khmer Adult, $2 Khmer child.
- 8 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 $7-60 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 $9 for the second pack.
- 9 Landmine Museum (6 km south of Banteay Srey Temple, 31 km from Siem Reap), ☏ . 07:30–17:30. 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. $3.
- 10 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.
- 11 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.
- 12 War museum (National Hwy 6 heading west, turn right after Cultural village), ☏ . 8am-5:30p.m.. Collection of old (mainly Russian) tanks, artillery, landmines, handguns etc. Also some history background about the Cambodian civil war is displayed. Worthwile for a 1-2 hour visit if interested in military. 5 $.
- 1 Angkor Pottery Center (3 km South of Old Market on Road 63), ☏ . 08:00-17:00. Daily pottery classes for beginners as well as professionals in pottery making, carving and glazing by local potter, Mrs Paruth Hann. Make your own design and take your glazed pot home as a souvenir. An enjoyable experience whilst supporting an enterprise creating fair wage jobs for the poor village women in Siem Reap. $7-20.
- 2 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), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. from 08:00 to 20:00. With the pottery class and clay class course, you can make your own ceramic artifact on the potter wheel. After you finish your piece, you can add different designs on it with 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.
- 3 Backstreet Academy, Siem Reap, Road 60, Trang Village, Sangkat Slorkram - 200m East of Naga Bridge (Opposite Angkor Village), ☏ , ✉ 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, take in the culture and have a memorable souvenir.
- 4 KKO - Off Track Mountain Bike Tours, St 20, Wat Bo Rd (Close to the New Apsara Supermarket on Wat Bo Rd), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. KKO is a local charitable non-profit NGO. They offer unique Angkor park and countryside off track bike tours and mototours also to the countryside. The entire profit generated from the bike tours flows back to the local KKO School. $30-$40 for a guided full day biketour and $45-$60 for a full day mototour. Booking is required. $25-40 for a full-day tour.
- 5 Sabai Motobike and Jeep Adventures, ☏ . Explore the Cambodian countryside on a guided motobike adventure or in a Jeep. On tour, get off the beaten path to discover authentic, rugged, and fascinating Cambodia. Sabai Moto and Jeep Adventures tours start from Siem Reap.
- 6 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. $50 per AK-47 or M-16 magazine, M-60 belt (50 rounds) $80 (Nov 2011). Grenade throwing: $30.
- 7 Beyond Unique Cooking Class (Sivutha Blvd and Alley West), ☏ . Daily 9.30am-3.30pm. Cambodian cooking classes in a village 10 min from town. The classes are three hours long and 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. $24.
- 8 Apsara Theatre, Wat Bo Rd, ☏ . 20:00-21:30. A flashy performance of traditional, popular and classical dances.
- 9 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. $25.
- 10 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. $38-48.
- 11 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. Contrary to common belief, blind massage services do offer special massages too.
- 12 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. $1-2 for 15 min.
- 13 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.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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"). $35-75.
- 14 Lemongrass Garden, 7 Sivatha Blvd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 11:00-23:00. Lovely little spa with a relaxing atmosphere and experienced staff. 60 minute Khmer massages are $15, while 90 minute Khmer massages are $22. 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. $10-70.
Children are not tourist attractions, and especially orphaned children. Some visitors 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 to visit orphanages. The great majority of Cambodian children in orphanages have living parents, who rent them to the orphanages. Most are scams and have histories with severe child abuse. It is strongly encouraged that you do not support this 'business'.
However, some transparent and genuine, long running orphanages that have a good reputation are:
- 15 Cambodian Children's House of Peace (Santepheap Orphanage), No.004 Phum Mondul 3, Sangkat Slorkram (Turn right off of Charles 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.
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 $ 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
- 1 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.
- 2 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.
- 3 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.
- 4 Samatoa, Kolkran, 11 Road 63, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 08:00-22:00. Specialises in Cambodian natural silk products. Samatoa encourages fair-trade. From $50.
- 5 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.
- 6 Georges Rhumerie. Infused. Alcohol made in Siem Reap, composed of 10 flavours, inspired by Cambodian fruits and taste. It can be found at Georges Rhumerie restaurant for a free tasting during the day, and also at night. The packaging comes in 2 forms, one normal composed of cardboard, making it legit for the picky custom agent, and the other one more traditional, best for a gift, made by villagers around Siem Reap.
- 7 Sombai Cambodian Liqueur Shop & Workshop, 176 Sombai Road, Salakamreuk Village (Head to ISSR and Quad Adventure Cambodia, pass by the police station turn left just after the bridge. Straight over 200 meters to a lovely traditional wooden house behind a red wall and a black gate), ☏ (Khmer), (Khmer), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 8AM-8PM. This shop is the factory outlet of the locally-produced infused liqueur called Sombai. The beverage comes in nicely hand-painted bottles. The shop offers free tasting and a general presentation of the brand. Also available: a range of non-alcoholic products that also come in hand-painted bottles and jars. It is recommended to book in advance.
- 8 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.
- 9 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.
- 10 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.
- 11 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.
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.
- 1 L'Annexe French restaurant, Sok San Road 17259, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 16.00-22.30. French food. Exquisite cuisine made by a passionate chef, who prefers excellence and quality before all. Subtile and creative cuisine in a friendly atmosphere, Bringing authentic French cuisine, wines and hospitality to Siem Reap $4.50-17.00.
- 2 Neary Khmer Restaurant, ☏ . 16.00-22.30. Local food along with good vegetarian options. $4.50-17.00.
- 3 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. $3-7.
- 4 Curry Walla, Two locations Sivatha Blvd & Night Market Rd, ☏ . Authentic vegetarian & non-veg Indian food.
- 5 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. $3-7.
- 6 Factory Pizza and Bar (Rico Pizza and Pasta), Little Pub Street New street A (between Pub street and riverside), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 5pm - 00:00 everyday. Restaurant with decoration factory and street art. Located in front of Pub street. There is pizza, pasta, cocktail and beer. 3$ - 11$.
- 7 Taj Mahal, Street 11 (near Pub St). Classic Indian dishes. All the food is halal.
- 8 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
- 9 Chamkar, The Passage, Off Pub St. Vegetarian restaurant with Cambodian food and numerous vegan options in the lively Pub Street area
- 10 Father's Restaurant, Central Market, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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: $2; pure fruit shakes: $1.
- 11 Peace Cafe, East River Road. 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. $2-5.
- 12 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. $2-7.
- 13 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. $2-6.
- 14 La Creperie Bretonne, Lane 10A, between Pub Street and Street 7, ☏ . French restaurant owned by a Belgian expat. Excellent meats, crepes and a wide beer collection. $ 10-20.
- 15 Molop Wat Damnak Restaurant, Rambutan lane (south of Wat Damnak Pagoda Rambutan Ln), ☏ . Mon-Sun 7:00-23:00. Cosy restaurant offering Organic Khmer and Western food of high quality. The vegetables are from the uncle´s farm, which can also be visited on a nice and educating half-day tour. Plenty of vegetarian and even vegan options available. They also offer cooking classes for Khmer cooking. The dishes are rich and delicious, and not too spicy. Always serve some spicy peanuts. Main dishes from about $3.
- 16 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. $5-8.
- 17 Georges Rhumerie restaurant, Wat Damnak, next to quad adventure, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. from 6PM , closed on Sunday. Features Creole fusion dishes with a nice Cambodian touch coming from home-style chilli and chutney. The cocktails are made better through the use of the Georges infused rum. 1 to 8$.
- 18 HAVEN, Chocolate Road, Wat Damnak area (West of Angkor High School), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Mon-Sat 11:30-14:30 and 17:30-21:30, Closed on Sunday. Training restaurant teaching disadvantaged young adults. Cambodian, Asian, Western Food, with many vegetarian/vegan options.
- 19 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 costs around $100 for two.
- 20 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.
- 21 The Dining Room (Park Hyatt Hotel), Sivutha Blvd. Formerly known as Meric when this was the Hotel de la Paix, the name-change has not blunted the quality of the food, which is excellent. 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 ingredients for both Khmer tasting menus, as well as a la carte dishes. Sit in air conditioned comfort, or outside tables and lounge furniture and enjoy the nighly music and dance performances that commence at 20:00.
- 22 The Red Piano, Pub St. 2 floors. Serves a variety of Italian and other European food with Britney Spears music videos in the background.
- 23 Cuisine Wat Damnak, Wat Damnak Market St (Behind Wat Damnak Pagoda, between Psa Dey Hoy Market and Angkor High School), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 24 Cafe D’Angkor (Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor) (Across from the main park next to the Siem Reap River, within view of the Royal Residence). This restaurant is inside the colonial-era Raffles Hotel. Main courses include western and Khmer dishes, and range from $20 to $30. Both the food and services were excellent. There are other restaurants in this hotel.
- 1 Sister Srey Cafe, 200 pokambor St, Siem Reap, Siemreab-Otdar Meanchey (a one minute walk from the old market). Run by two Australian sisters. Located in an old colonial building. Excellent coffee. Wonderful atmosphere.
- 2 The Hive, Behind Hotel Riviera, Central Market Road. Cosy, chic cafe offering excellent coffee. Healthy meals.
The majority of bars and pubs of Siem Reap are concentrated in on a strip called Pub Street and its surrounding alleys. Although peaceful during the day, the streets in the Pub Street area which is just a block away from the historic Psah Chas (Old Market), comes alive with lights and music. Tourists, both local and international alike, starts pouring into the bars and pubs and give the streets almost a nightly street party scene.
Started in the late-1990s by a local business called Angkor What? Bar and followed by its rival, Temple Bar, from the across the street, Pub Street is often recommended as a must-see attraction in Siem Reap.
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 Street", 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, with Angkor What? and Temple Club engaged in a running battle playing pop music across the street at very loud volumes.
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 $0.50 and cans of other beers for $1-2. Cocktails and spirits go for as little as $2. 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.
These are hostess clubs popular with the locals, room charges are about $5-10 per hour, beer is $2-4. Most of these places are fronts for prostitution. Many of these places have two menus. One for Cambodians, which has cheaper prices, and one for foreigners, which have higher prices. If you see that the beer is $4, they probably gave you the foreigner price.
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.
- 3 Khmer Pub Street Beergarden KTVs (on Khmer Pub Street). close 02:00. There is a strip of local Cambodian bars near the Platinum KTV. If you walk past it, there is a whole 2-3 block street full of local cambodian bars. Menus are not in English and few employees speak English, but the prices are good. These are restaurant/bars, they have young women sitting at the entrance, and you can have one accompany you for $1.50. Beers are $1. $.50 for draught beer.
- 4 Score 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.
- 5 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. $1 draught beers, $2 mixers, $6-8 buckets. Large Western crowd. Offers inside and outside drinking. Open until late.
- 6 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.
- 7 X Bar, 102 Sok San Road, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 8 Asana Old Wooden House, The Lane, behind Pub St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Food & cocktail bar. Restored in 2012, Asana is the last wooden house in the city-old market area.
- 9 Little Pari, The Lane, behind Pub St. A delightful corner bar playing jazz and dispensing cocktail infusions to a friendly expat crowd.
- 10 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.
|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.
- 1 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), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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. $14+.
- 2 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), ☏ , ✉ 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. $20-30.
- 3 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. $6 gets a large room with high ceiling, open windows, fan, hot shower en suite and 70 channel TV. $10 gets the same with air-con. Wi-Fi throughout, free computers downstairs. $4 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. $4-10.
- 4 Mad Monkey Hostel, Sivattha Road (Down the alley way right next to Hyatt Hotel), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 13.00, check-out: 11.00. Popular hostel with large pool, friendly vibe and one of the busiest backpacker bars in town. Upstairs on the rooftop there is a beach bar which is a very popular meeting place for backpackers. Rooms from $10 a night and dorms from $5. Rooftop beach sand bar on the top level of the hostel frequented by hostel guests and other backpackers before they go out to Pub Street on late nights. $1 beers, $2 mixers, and food available until 22:00. Closes at 24:00. $5.
- 5 New Apsara Guest House, 107 Wat Bo Rd (Corner of Wat Bo Rd and St 20), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. $7-20.
- 6 Sam So Guesthouse, 164 Wat Bo Rd (Opposite Street 21), ☏ , , ✉ 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. $9-20.
- 7 Seven Candles Guesthouse, 307 Wat Bo Rd, ☏ , ✉ 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. $20.
- 8 The Siem Reap Hostel, 7 Makara St (Near the corner of Wot Bo Rd and Angkor School Rd in the Wat Dam Nak area), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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. $2 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: $6 year round; high season (Oct-Apr) single, $18; double: $28; triple: $36; low season (May-Sep), $15-20-30.
- 9 Tropical Breeze Guesthouse and Restaurant, 293 Wat Damnak Village (Cross river from Old market & Pub St, turn right and walk for around 5 min), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. $8-20.
- 10 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 $29 with breakfast included.
- 11 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), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Offers spacious rooms and deluxe amenities. Serves free daily breakfast. Swimming pool, fitness facility, spa and body treatments. $35+.
- 12 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. $35+.
- 13 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. $49+.
- 14 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. $25.
- 15 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 ~$2 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.
- 16 Ta Phrom Hotel, Pokambor Ave, Mondul I, Sangkat Svay Dangkum (River front, next to Old Market), ☏ , , fax: . 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. $35-80.
- 17 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. $12+.
- 18 Kouprey Hotel, Top Town Road, Krous Village, Svay Dangkom, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Situated near Cultural village 100 m away from National Hwy 6. Much smaller than the resort hotels on the main street, but therefore much more quiet and great ambiente. Free airport transfers are provided. $ 30.
- 19 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. $140-275.
- 20 The One Hotel (The Passage), ☏ , ✉ 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. $250.
- 21 Prince D'Angkor, Sivatha Blvd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Upmarket hotel and spa. 10 min stroll from the centre of town. $180.
- 22 La Residence d'Angkor, River Rd, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The hotel is finished in stone and wood that reflects traditional architecture, centred around a baray-inspired swimming pool. $395.
- 23 Sokha Angkor Resort (Corner of Rd 6 & Sivatha Blvd), ☏ , ✉ 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. $140-2,200.
- 24 Starry Angkor Hotel, No G4, Rd 6, Banteay Chas Village, Sangkat Slorkram, ☏ , fax: . 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 $60.
- 25 Suites and Sweet Angkor, Phum Krous, Khum Svay Daungum, ☏ , ✉ 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. $165.
- 26 Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa (Central Park), ☏ . Very luxurious hotel, beautifully decorated. $155+.
- 27 Anantara Angkor Resort, National Road no. 6, Khum Svay Dangkom, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. They offer butler services, free wi-fi, fitness centre and outdoor pool. Chatra restaurant offers a walk-in wine cellar, Flame bar Starting from $ 205.
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)
For general information on health in Cambodia, see the article on Cambodia.
- 1 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, paediatrician and other hospital services such as treatment for fractures and intestinal problems.
The numerous Internet cafés charge anywhere $0.50-1.50/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.
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.
- 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 $2,200).
- Battambang - Cambodia's second largest city with Buddhist temples, shrines and statues.
- Koh Ker - the ancient capital, much less touristy than Angkor.
- Kampong Thom - a gateway to the world heritage listed ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk.
- Phnom Penh - the modern capital, with the Royal Palace and sites related to the gruesome Khmer Rouge regime and the Cambodian genocide.
- Thailand - the border crossing at Poipet is a couple hours away, and there are several daily buses to Bangkok
- Tonle Sap Lake - Southeast Asia's biggest lake with floating villages and a rich biodiversity.