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===Activities===
 
===Activities===
  
*<do name="Clay classes" alt="Khmer ceramics & Fine arts centre" address="Vithey Charles de Gaulle (Temple Road)" directions="" phone="017 843 014" url="http://www.khmerceramics.com/" '''[http://www.kko-cambodia.org Khmer for Khmer Organisation]''' hours="8AM- 10PM" price="From $15" lat="13° 22' 4.2276" long="103° 51' 39.6102">With our ''Clay Class'' course, you can make your own ceramic artifact on the potter wheel or by modeling the clay by hand. You can feel the potters sensation and have fun at the same time.
+
*<do name="Clay classes" alt="Khmer ceramics & Fine arts centre" address="Vithey Charles de Gaulle (Temple Road)" directions="" phone="017 843 014" url="http://www.khmerceramics.com/ Visit website" email="info@khmerceramics.com" hours="8AM- 10PM" price="From $15" lat="13° 22' 4.2276" long="103° 51' 39.6102">With our ''Clay Class'' course, you can make your own ceramic artifact on the potter wheel or by modeling the clay by hand. You can feel the potters sensation and have fun at the same time.
 
After you finish your piece, you can add different designs on it with our special tools. You can also learn traditional 'Kbach', Khmer carving ornament.</do>
 
After you finish your piece, you can add different designs on it with our special tools. You can also learn traditional 'Kbach', Khmer carving ornament.</do>
  

Revision as of 04:04, 28 April 2014

French colonial architecture still dominates the streetscape.

The town of Siem Reap in northern Cambodia is the primary gateway for the Angkor Archaeological Park.

Contents

Understand

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's quite laid-back and a pleasant place to stay while touring the temples and 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 many 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 ecotourism activities and providing information on the causes and effects of poverty in Cambodia, volunteering opportunities and ecotours.

APSARA (the acronym is based on the French for the "Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap" and also the Sanskrit for a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology) has a very informative website detailing the history and architecture (in 6 languages) and endorsed by the recently deceased King of Cambodia.

Get in

By plane

Departure Tax
The International departure tax of US$25 fee is included in the ticket price. The $12 Domestic departure tax is still paid at the airport. Try to pay in cash as the credit card facilities are unreliable.

Siem Reap International Airport (IATA: REP, ICAO: VDSR) 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:

The airport is around 7 km from the town centre. Prepaid taxis cost US$7, see the prepaid booth just outside the terminal. Prepaid tuktuk rides for slightly less are also available. Thrill seeking solo travellers without much baggage can save a few dollars by opting for back of a motodop for US$2. Most hotels offer a free airport pick-up if you've booked in advance.

By bus

Major companies include Phnom Penh Sorya Transport [4] Capitol Tours, and GST Express. Mekong Express comes highly recommended for its safety record and because the staff checks your ticket before giving you your luggage back (preventing theft).

Beware of "direct" buses from bangkok to Siem Reap. They are part of a multi-stage scam, where visitors are tricked into paying extra for the visa, and exchanging their money at a poor rate. They contain many delays, making the trip last for as much as if teen hours. If you find yourself in one of these scams, cut your losses and find your own way throught the border and Siem Reap via minibus. The shuttle bus from right after the border, and even the bus station it leads to, is all a part of the scam. However, a new company "NATTAKAN (Cambodia) CO., LTD" started operating a direct bus from Siem Reap to Bangkok for $28 including pick up from the hotel. You still need to get off the bus at the border, go through customs and get the visa but it is a lot smoother and scam-free as compared to the options in the past, you ride the same bus from Siem Reap to Bangkok. The bus departs from their office along Sivatha Road near KFC restaurant where tickets can be purchased.

Try to book at least the day before travel. Travel agents and guest houses will do this for a US$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 tuk-tuks are needed to get into the town. This should cost no more than US$2, or maybe US$3 if you're not keen to drive a hard bargain. You should not have to pay any more than this.

If arriving from the west, your bus will probably by-pass Siem Reap and still drop you off at the bus station to the east of town.

Capitol Tours buses, however, terminate at the company's office in the centre of town, near the old market, making them the most sensible choice. Update April 2013: My Capitol bus terminated at the bus park the same as all others, and I was told by the office that this is standard practice now. They also won't advertise their prices anymore.

Domestic services

  • Phnom Penh ($7 taking 7-8 hours - Jan 2014; long stretches of the highway are being repaired or widened at it's a slow journey at present)
  • Kompong Thom ($7 taking 3.5 hours - Jan 2014; buses to Phnom Penh will drop you off in Kompong Thom, but you have to pay the full fare to Phnom Penh)
  • Kampong Cham ($9 taking 7 hours - Oct 2013)
  • Soung
  • Battambang (US$3.75)
  • Sisophon (US$3.75)
  • Poipet (for Aranyaprathet, the main route into Thailand) (US$3.75)
  • Anlong Veng (for Ban Pakard in Thailand) (US$4)
  • Koh Kong (via Phnom Penh, a long journey)

International services

Laos

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.

Thailand
  • To Bangkok: The ticket is valid for the whole journey but you will change buses in Poipet (US$8)
  • From Bangkok: Agents in Kao San Road offer tickets to Siem Reap from 300 THB. These are often part of a scam, and the journey can take more than twelve hours.
  • To/from Bangkok there is a direct bus run by Nattakarn Bus Company that leaves Mo Chit bus station at 8am. You do not change buses in Poipet, but must alight to go through border formalities. The cost is around 900฿ ($28) Arrival and departures in Siem Reap are from outside KFC on Sivatha Rd, where the company maintains an office.

If travelling independently to the Aranyaprathet/Poipet border, see those towns' articles for advice on how to reach the border, survive immigration and avoid the "Government" bus scam.

Vietnam

By boat

A more expensive and more time consuming option from Phnom Penh ($35, 6 hr) or Battambang (US$20-25, 5 hr) is to take a Soviet style Hydrofoil across the 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 sun-tan 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 will not be always 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 than to see them from the boat.

By Train There is a railway line from Phnom Penh to Poipet (Sisophon being the nearest station to Siem Reap), but no trains currently run in Cambodia. The train to AranyaPrathet from Bangkok leaves twice a day and costs only 48฿ in 3rd class. As of April 2014, Thai citizens travel free which means the train is often crowded and sometimes late.

By shared taxi

The quickest method of getting from the Poipet border to Siem Reap is a shared car. A four seater car costs US$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.

By helicopter

Helicopters can be chartered to go nearly anywhere in the country. They seat 5-6 people. Prices start at US$1,000 for trips to some of the temples north of Angkor Wat. Companies include Helicopters Cambodia and Helistar Cambodia.

Get around

city map of Siem Reap
Roadside petrol Cambodia-style

Travel to and around the Angkor Archaeological Park is extensively covered in its own article. The following is a discussion of travel within Siem Reap.

On foot

The city centre is fairly compact and flat.

By bicycle

  • The White Bicycles, +855 92 332 730, [5]. 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. US$2/day.

Many guest houses will lend you bicycles either for free or cheaply (US$1-3).

By motorbike

Motodops (motorbike taxi) abound and will make sure you know where they are. Rides within town should only cost US$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 ~US$10. Helmets for passengers are rare though may materialize if requested in advance.

Renting a motorbike is prohibited for foreign visitors to Siem Reap, though motorbikes rented elsewhere are permitted.

Petrol stations vary from first world forecourts to roadside stalls selling fuel of dubious quality in old drinks bottles.

By tuk-tuk

Tuk-tuks, like motodops, will call to tourists from nearly any street corner.

A trip within Siem Reap should cost US$1 regardless of how many people pile on, though many drivers now try for $2 and getting them down to $1 can be challenging. 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. Most drivers are honest and don't try to overcharge.

Tuk to the Wats - Tuk Tuk & Tour Service: Reliable Tuk Tuk Service providing transportation in and around Siem Reap as well as tours to the famous temples of Angkor Wat, Beng Melea, Roluos Group, Banteay Samre, Banteay Srey and Kbal Spean. Tour options include trips to the floating village of Kompong Pluk, Koulen mountain and waterfall, Tonle Sap & Phnom Krom, village tours and homestays. http://www.tuktothewats.com]

By car

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 US$45-US$50 per day for a driver and English speaking guide. Drivers will likely ask for US$5-US$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 (US$7 fixed cost) from the airport to Siem Reap proper may provide a full day of touring for US$25-30.

  • Siem Reap Transport Service, Siem Reap, [6]. 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.
  • Siem Reap Mister Theavy Car Service, Siem Reap, [7]. Angkor Tour and Guide Service provides you with a typically Khmer friendly and welcoming chauffeur service. With 15 years of experience, Mr. Theavy will kindly drive you around Siem Reap area, will organise pick up from Siem Reap airport, will guide you through Angkor Temples, and will tell you about his incredible personal story during the Khmer Rouge era.
  • Siem Reap Driver & Transport, Siem Reap, [8]. Fleet includes a large 15-passenger van, Lexus SUV, cars, or Tuk-Tuks, according to your needs and budget. English-speaking drivers can help you make the most of your experience. Airport and bus station transfers.

See

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.

The reclining Buddha at Wat Preah Prom Rath
Piles of mines, Landmine Museum
  • Angkor National Museum, 968 Charles de Gaulle Blvd, +855 63 966 601 (), [9]. Daily 8:30AM-6PM. 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. Exhibits cover Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom rather well, however the museum does not function as primer to the whole Angkor Archaeological Park. US$12.
  • Angkor Silk Farm (Artisans Angkor), Puok District (National Road 6 (20 minute drive from the centre)), (+855) 63 5555 768, [10]. 8am-5pm. Close to Siem Reap centre yet located in the lush and charming countryside, Angkor Silk Farm is a great place to go to when you want to take a break from visiting the Angkorian temples. Discover at Angkor Silk Farm how incredible the silk-making process is: from a silk worm to a cocoon, from a simple thread to a high-quality fabric, you will go through all those different stages by understanding the traditional Cambodian weaving techniques. Free shuttle buses depart at 09.30 and 13.30 from Artisans Angkor's main center in Thmey Street (2 minute walk from the Old Market). The visit is free. 0$. (,30-40minutes)
  • Khmer ceramics & Fine arts centre (http://www.khmerceramics.com/), Vithey Charles de Gaulle (Temple Road), (0)17 843 014 (), [11]. 8AM-10Pm. We cordially invites you to visit our ceramic production and revival training centre, workshops and kilns, as we assist present and future generations of young Cambodians to revive the rich ceramic heritage of the Khmer Empire. FREE VISIT.

Temple Around Town

  • Wat Preah Prom Rath, Pokambor Ave. The glittering modern temple grounds gives a few hints to its 500 year history. Though the lotus themed architecture seem 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 his other, that looks like it could have been taken directly from Angkorian mural. Legend holds it 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 Prohm Rath - modern but quite boring, might as well stop in on your way to the museum.
  • Wat Preah Enkosa - average little temple.
  • Wat Preah Enkosei - interesting little temple, painted orange.
  • Wat Po Lanka - little temple painted white.
  • Wat Bo - two large brand new temples and one old white one. The new ones, almost finished, have been under construction since 2011.
  • Wat Damnak located behind the market on the south-eastern side of the river.
  • Wat Kesararam located slightly north of the town center. Close to the Museum.

Do

Activities

  • Clay classes (Khmer ceramics & Fine arts centre), Vithey Charles de Gaulle (Temple Road), 017 843 014 (), [12]. 8AM- 10PM. With our Clay Class course, you can make your own ceramic artifact on the potter wheel or by modeling the clay by hand. You can feel the potters sensation and have fun at the same time. After you finish your piece, you can add different designs on it with our special tools. You can also learn traditional 'Kbach', Khmer carving ornament. From $15. (13° 22' 4.2276,103° 51' 39.6102)
  • KKO Off Track Mountain Bike Tours, +855 (0)93 903 024 (), [13]. KKO is a local charitable non-profit NGO. They offer unique Angkor park and Countryside off track tours. Profits generated from the bike tours flows back to the local KKO School. $25-$40 for a guided full day tour. Booking is required. (,8 hour) Khmer for Khmer Organisation
  • Angkor Wat Putt (Mini Golf Fun For Everyone), Khnar Village, Chreav Commune (2 km from Old market vai Angkor High School road), 012 30 23 30, [14]. 08:30-23:00. 14 hole Miniature Golf Course with 9 replicas of the Angkor Temples, including Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Bayon, Banteay Srei, Preah Vihear and the Terrace of the Elephants. The course is set in a large, well maintained garden with a bar and seating area. $4-7.
  • Swim at Makan Makan restaurant (Infinity pool 17 meters), 137 BBU road same entrance as The Pool and Palm Villa (300 meters from BBU (Build Bright University), 077 35 96 77, [15]. 08:30-21:30. Pool is 17 meter by 7,5 meter and has a waterfall to sit under and relax. The pool is set in a large, tropical garden with a restaurant, bar and seating area. US $4,- plus a free soft drink or beer.
  • Swim at Kanell restaurant (nice quite pool), 7 Makara Street (400 meters from the old market on High School road), 077 20 71 00, [16]. 10:00-22:00. The Pool is very private and the atmosphere in the garden is very pleasant. Best of all this is one of the top rated restaurants in Siem Reap based on Tripadvisor reviews and the staff is very friendly Free with a $5 Drink or Food purchase.
  • Play Soccer with the locals Location the facility has 3 small turf fields and games start every hour, you can easily pick up a game anytime between 5pm and 9pm every night. The Cost is around $1/hour depending on the number of players.
  • GUNPLAY TATTOO GUNPLAY TATTOO On Sok San Road, next to Ecstatic Pizza, near Karma Bar and Tuk Tuk Bar. Go West on Sok San Road toward Garden Village, Gunplay is on the left by Ecstatic Pizza and Karma Bar. +855 (0) 819 38306 Open 5:00pm-12:00am or later. $30 minimum. Spacious, modern shop with hospital sterilization. 2 American artists and 1 Khmer artist. Specializing in custom tattoo designs, from fine line black and gray to bold color. Sak Yant and Traditional Khmer Bamboo Tattooing.
  • Lex Roulor Tattoo Shop, In Blush Boutique on first floor, in the Lane, right behind Temple Bar., +855 97 304 2827, [17]. 10:00-18:00. European hygiene standards. Air conditionned shop. Interesting combination of traditional Western designs and traditional Khmer designs, dotwork and old school.
  • Motorbike Tours Go on a trip with Ride Cambodia Motorbike Tours. Although they're based in the coastal town of Sihanoukville, they offer motorbike trips across the whole country which can start or finish in Siem Reap.
  • Sabai Moto Adventures [18] operates daily moto bike tours to the countryside, remote villages and ancient temples. Great for all levels of riders. Get off the beaten path and see the real Cambodia as you explore areas seldom visited by tourists. Sabai Adventures.
  • Shooting Range, (along Road 67 to Banteay Srey, 3kms 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 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. Its GPS location is 13°29'7.49"N 103°57'22.78"E. US$50 per AK-47 or M-16 magazine; US$80 per M-60 belt (50 rounds) (Nov 2011). Grenade throwing: US$30.
  • Offroad biking tour of the temples Camouflage Tours have organised routes all around the Angkor area that keep you mainly on small off-road tracks rather then on the usual road based circuit. Find them by following Pub Street over Hospital Street then 50m up adjacent street. $49 for a full day with lunch, drinks and good bikes.

Cooking classes

  • Asana Khmer Cocktail Class, Street 7 / The Lane, +855 12 508 248, [19]. Khmer cocktail principles and techniques taught by the Manager of Asana (Old Wooden House). Hands on classes for a maximum of six people - unless you book well in advance for a private group. Booking is required: email="booking@asana-cambodia.com". US$15. (,1 hour) Khmer Cocktail Class
  • Beyond Unique Cooking Class, cnr of Sivutha Bvld and Alley West, +855 77 562 565, [20]. Cambodian Cooking Classes in a village location 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 for a private group. US$22.

Cultural performances

  • Phare, The Cambodian Circus, Comaille Rd (behind Angkor National museum, in front of Angkor Century Resort and Spa), +855 15.49.94.80 (), [21]. daily, 19.30, gates open at 19:00. "Unmissable" -Lonely Planet. Siem Reap's most unique, authentic, home-grown, top-rated (TripAdvisor) evening entertainment. Has Khmer essence, vibe, energy and emotion. An extension of the NGO school Phare Ponleu Selpak Artistic Center in Battambang, but here the show is different, professional and daily performed.
  • Old Sala Khet,, (). contemporary dance with Bob Ruizjendaal as Artistic Director and Nick Coffill, Producer.
  • Apsara Theatre, Wat Bo Rd, +855 63 963561, [22]. 20:00-21:30. A flashy performance of traditional, popular and dances.
  • Cambodian Cultural Village, Airport Road # 6, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Krus Village (between Airport and Siem Reap city centre, along National Road 6, 3 km from Siem Reap Airport), +855 63 963098, [23]. 10:00-18:30 daily. Cambodian culture in a nutshell, miniatures of Cambodian landmarks and ethnic traditional houses together with cultural performances. US$15.
  • Smile of Angkor, Smile of Angkor Grand Theatre (Angkor COEX) (North east outskirts of Siem Reap, direction to Angkor turn right to Apsara Road), +855 63 655-0168, [24]. 19:15-20:25 nightly. A lavish production of Cambodian traditional dances equipped with multimedia large screen, featuring Angkor civilization. Grand epic show that revives the Angkor dynasty in all aspects; from foundation to prosperity, tale to folk customs, past to present. The performance expresses the traditional Cambodian culture with the latest technology. US$38-48.
  • We Are The Champions Performances by the Local Disabled Community, Night Market (back of Night Market adjacent to Island Bar), +855 12 676826. M-Sa 20:30-21:15. 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.
  • Sabai Culture Tours, +855 88 372 3121 (), [25]. Sabai Culture Tours takes you to where it all began. Tours are for those wanting to gain a better insight into the life and history of the Khmer people. Many of the techniques applied by artists, craftsmen and religious practitioners have been handed down from one generation to the next over the course of two thousand years and are still being used today in Cambodia. Sabai Culture are authentic tours that share traditional Cambodian heritage with you.

Massage

The Khmers believe that Thai massage is derived from Khmer massage but is more relaxing as it requires less twisting and turning. The numerous Khmer style massage shops are mostly (and this means "mostly" as oil massages may lead their hands to wander...) genuine massage and 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. But as of April 2012, contrary to common beliefs, blind massage services also offer special massages.

  • Fish Massage, (around the Pub St area). The Thai fad has swum over 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. There have been no documented cases of HIV transmission via environmental sources; however, hepatitis C is rarely acquired via environmental sources. $1-2 for 15 mins.
  • Bodia Spa, New Street A, Behind UCare Pharmacy, Old market area Siem Reap, Cambodia, +855 63 761 593 (), [26]. Great spa with a nice atmosphere, peaceful rooms, and experienced staff. It has been design by Lisa Ros, a French-Cambodia Architects based in Siem Reap. Rotin furnitures are from Riem, a Cambodia Artist. There is no special services or hidden fees. It is a nice place to go as a couple or alone. $25-$50.
  • Frangipani spa, no. 615/617 Hup Guan St, Siem Reap, Cambodia, +855 (0)63 964 391 (), [27]. 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. They are on a short side street behind Samdech Tep Vong St which isn't always shown on tourist maps. At the ANZ Royal bank on the corner go a few feet south to the next (small) street and turn right on Hup Guan St. The spa is near the end of the street with a tasteful exterior surrounded by frangipani plants (partly obscuring their tasteful green sign saying "frangipani"). $25-$50.
  • Lemongrass Garden, 7 Sivatha Boulevard, Siem Reap, Cambodia, +855 12 387 385 (), [28]. Lovely little spa with a relaxing atmosphere and experienced staff. 60 minute Khmer massages are $US10, while 90 minute Khmer massages are $US15. 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. $10-30.

Orphanage visits

Some visitors feel visiting an orphanage is a 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.[29] 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:

  • The Sangkheum Center for Children, Chey Village (a few km past airport on Hwy 6), +855 12 675 637, [30]. Children's centre for orphaned, abused or neglected Cambodian Children. Children aged 2-18 receive basic care and additional enrichment classes to supplement their public schooling.
  • Cambodian Children's House of Peace (Santepheap Children's Home), No.004 Phum Mondul 3, Sangkat Slorkram (turn right off of Charle De Gaull Blvd, just after the SOS School), +855 92 407 077, [31]. 07:00 Sunday. The Cambodian Children's House of Peace (aka Santepheap, which means Peace in English) is a home for vulnerable and disadvantaged children in Siem Reap, responsible for over 30 children. The children put on a traditional Khmer Dance show every Sunday night from 7PM-8:15PM to highlight traditional Cambodian culture as well as draw attention to the children's home in general. Free.

Festivals

  • Angkor Photography Festival: Photography for Change, [32]. 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. It aims to highlight the work of Asian photographers and provides free workshops for 30 young photographers from the region every year 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 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 Annual Street Puppet Festival. An exciting pageantry with the concept of sticks and stilts manipulated puppets much like those seen at the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and also at the Trinidad & Tobago Carnival.

Buy

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 US$ prices.

The Heritage Watch [33] 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. Canadia Bank's ATMs are recommended as they don't have additional fees. Other banks charge 3-5$ for withdrawals using foreign cards.

This provides them with an income which they can use to keep their children in school, and gives them skills which lead to stable employment for them.

Art and craft

  • Angkor Artwork, 0090 Salakamreuk village (After Angkor high school on the right to Thmor Meas Road, 500 meters down the road on the left, opposite a big blue hangar.), +855 12 327 680, [34]. 09:00-19:00. Lacquer and gilding workshop managed by Eric & Thierry Stocker. One of the most talented lacquer in France, Eric Stocker introduced lacquer works in Siem Reap through Les Chantiers Ecoles (Artisans d'Angkor) back in the late 90's.
  • Artisans d'Angkor, Stung Thmey St (2 minute walk from the Old Market), +855 63 963 330, [35]. 07:30-17:30. Artisans Angkor is a Cambodian social-enterprise showcasing impressive traditional Cambodian handicraft skills in wood and stone carving, lacquering, silver plating and silk painting. Visitors can enjoy a free guided tour (in Khmer, English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese or Korean) around the different workshops of the main site located in the city. This inspiring visit will make you understand and appreciate the Khmer cultural heritage. Their boutique displays high quality items produced by the craftsmen and women, which makes Artisans Angkor a great place to buy souvenirs.
  • AHA Angkor Handicraft Association, Road 60, Trang village, Sangkat Slorkram, +855 78 34 14 54, [36]. Siem Reap artisans are known for their craftsmanship and creative talent. Their love for culture is expressed in the unique handicrafts and artworks they produce. Many shops and markets in Siem Reap Province are proof of the diverse handicraft sector. As demand is high, so is supply. Local producers compete against imports of China, Thailand and Vietnam. Most tourists though would like to buy a souvenir made by artisans in Siem Reap Province. For this reason the Angkor Handicraft Association (AHA) with the support of the Provincial Government decided to introduce a Seal of Authenticity. It helps you to distinguish local products from imported items. There is a market who sell only AHA certified products. Visit http://aha-kh.com/ for more information.
  • Bloom Bags, cnr Street 7 & Hospital St, [37]. Sturdily made totes, messenger and 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 woman who made your bag.
  • Friends 'n' Stuff, Between Wat (Pagoda) Polanka & Catholic Church, #8A,B Phum Slokram and Morning Market, [38]. Families and caregivers of the children and young people Friends-International NGO works with learn how to make products which we sell in the shop.
  • 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), +855 1784 3014, [39]. 08:00-19:30. Glazed stoneware bowls, plates, teapots and decorative objects in made with traditional Khmer ceramic techniques.
  • McDermott Gallery, FCC Building, Pokambor Ave, +855 12 274 274, [40]. 10:00-22:00daily. Elegant, friendly gallery with photography 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 severeal 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), +855 63 965 310 (), [41]. 8AM-10PM. Specialized in Cambodian natural silk products. Samatoa encourages fair-trade. From USD$50.
  • Sombai Infused Rice Spirit Shop, 14-26 Salakamreuk Village (Off Thmor Meas road (after Angkor high school on the right) 500 meters down the road on the left, opposite Angkor Artwork, just before a big blue hangar), 095 810 890 (English) ; 077 57 91 30 (Khmer), [42]. 09:00-20:00 daily. This shop is the factory outlet of the locally produced infused rice spirit called Sombai. The beverage comes in nicely hand-painted bottles. The shop offers free tasting and a general presentation of the brand. Being located in a private place, it is highly recommended to book in advance. (5$ to 18$,)
  • Theam's House Gallery, Veal Village, Khum Kokchak, +855 78 20 81 61, [43]. 08:00-19:00 daily. The gallery exhibits paintings, designer-made artworks created by the artist-designer Theam Lim who has studied at Ecole Boulle and Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, together at Paris. Theam's House gallery and atelier are located in the house of the artist, built by himself inspired by the Khmer rural architecture surrounded by a luxurious and tropical garden.

Alley West

  • Alley West is one of the most beautiful streets in Siem Reap, if not the most. You will find art galleries, restaurants, fine shops, a hotel, bar and a tattoo studio.
  • PAPAYA best t-shirt, #39 alley west, [44]. 12:00 to 22:00. Papaya t-shirt is the most original t-shirt brand in Siem reap. Quality, original design and responsable business are the Papaya's guideline. A great selection for man, woman and kid.
  • Angkor Tattoo, #57 alley west. 14:00 to 22:00. Siem Reap's premier tattoo studio. All equipment is sterilized and one time use. Experienced western artists and health standards.

Beverage

  • Sombai bottles. 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, Coconut-Pineapple, 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 70cl, 33cl and 16cl. contact@sombai.com. Sombai

Markets

  • Angkor Trade Centre, Cnr Street 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. Fixed US$ prices..
  • Central Market, cnr Sivutha Blvd and Achamean St. Has an eclectic collection of clothes and trinkets. Don't forget to bargain. Most stalls carry the same selection so you can shop around and find the cheapest price.
  • Made in Cambodia Market (Shinta Mani Market), Between Shinta Mani Hotel and Cassia Restaurant. 4pm to 9pm. A monthly market (first Saturday of each month) with ONLY Cambodian products, most of them being made in Siem Reap (whereas the other markets are full of products coming from Thailand, Vietnam or China). Free tastings of infused rice spirit and free entertainment included (circus show, singers, marching bands,etc.).
  • Psar Chas (Old Market), Between Street 9 and Hospital Rd. A range of artifacts and tourist junk. Some items purport to be antique, but it probably isn't, and if it is, then most likely it has been stolen.

Others

  • iOne (Apple Authorized Reseller), 1776 Silvatha Blvd (near KFC), +855 63 761 019, [45]. 9AM-7PM. Cambodia is possibly the cheapest place to buy a Macbook or iPod. Prices are in US dollars at same rates as in other countries but there is no added tax.
  • D's Books, #82 Hospital St (a few doors north of Street 7). Probably the best selection of new and pre-loved books in town. Generally the books here are in better condition than other places, and there's a variety of genres to choose from. A few shelves of books in languages other than English can be found. Most novels $7.

Eat

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 largest assortment of restaurants are a few blocks north of the Old Market but there are numerous appetizing alternatives along Wat Bo Road and hidden among the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Old Market area

Though Pub St is better known for its bars a handful of places are known for great food, many with seating upstairs so you can escape above 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 erupts into a a rabble of small BBQ stalls, billowing smoke, noise and the persistently entreating peddlers. The phnom pleurng here is the cheapest you will find.

Budget

  • Chusska, Street 7, +855 12 212 138. 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 the street from U-Dara Guesthouse), +855 63 965 687. M-Sa 7AM-8PM. 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.
  • Curry Walla, Two locations Sivatha Blvd & Night Market Road, +855 63 965 451. Authentic vegetarian & non-veg Indian food.
  • Ecstatic Pizza, #072 2 Thnou St (across from the Provincial Hospital), +855 12 436 869, [46]. 7AM-midnight. 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. US$3-7.
  • New Delhi Indian Restaurant, #070 Mondol 1, Svaydangkum Commune (opposite the provincial hospital north of Pub St), +855 16 840 326, +855 92 510 779, [47]. Indian dishes on the menu with many Indian specialties. All their dishes are authentic and prepared to order. From US$4.
  • Maharajah Restaurant (Royal Indian Cuisine Halal), Sivatha Rd (Old Market Area , Front Of Terrasse Des Elephants,), +855 92 506 622, [48]. 11AM-10PM. Fresh, hygienic and authentic preparation. They use real Indian spices and most of the food is Halal. Take-away or home delivery is available. US$2-7.
  • Mother earth Restaurant (Fresh, organic middle eastern Cuisine), a07 Sivatha Rd (near Angkor market l), +855 63 966-236. 10AM-10PM. Fresh, organic, home made 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. US$2-5.
  • McBuddha Restaurant, (Off Sivatha Blvd, on the road that goes to Artisans d'Angkor), +855 97 967 7223 (). 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. US$2-7.
  • The Purple Elephant, Soksan Rd (Head straight up Soksan Road, over the cross road and continue about 200m, on the left), +855 978402873 (). 11AM-late. Thai restaurant and bar. It's a little out from the centre, but worth the walk. $1-5.
  • Taj Mahal, Street 7 (near Pub St). Classic Indian dishes. All the food is Halal.
  • Tuchner's eatery, #075 Mondol 4, Svaydangkum Commune (beside the provincial hospital), +855 19 886 329, [49]. Savoury dishes on the menu including rice boxes, paninis, salad bar and fresh cut fries. From US$8.

Mid-range

  • Father's Restaurant, Central Market, +855 92 963 242 (), [50]. 8AM-10PM. The menu diverges from the usual with fairly authentic Khmer and Chinese foods. The western menu is not nearly as intriguing. Free WiFi. Fried noodle: US$2; pure fruit shakes: US$1.
  • Makan Makan, 137 Themey Village (Same entrance as The Pool and Palm Villa, 300 metres from BBU (Build Bright University), +855 77 359 677. Halal kitchen with Khmer and Western dishes. The name Makan Makan comes from the Malaysian/Indonesian word for eating. Fresh food and no MSG usage. Popular for breakfast, lunch and dinner in combination with swimming in the infinity pool with waterfall. Swimming and use of towel free if you spend $US6 per person in the restaurant. Pool open 7 AM till 9 PM Friendly staff. US$3-6.
  • Marum, Between Wat (Pagoda) Polanka & Catholic Church, #8A,B Phum Slokram, +855 17 363 284 (), [51]. Marum is the latest addition to the Friends-International vocational training restaurants. Featuring a winning mix of creative local cuisine, Marum is named after the Moringa, or 'Tree of life' - very appropriate, as customers will be enjoying a fantastic dining experience that helps build a new life for the students in training there!.
  • La Volpaia Pizzeria Restaurant, #20-22, St 13, +855 63 764 184, [52]. M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM and 5:30PM-10:00PM, Sa-Su 11:30AM-10PM. Italian style cuisine specialising in pizzas, pastas and grilled steaks. Air-con dining room, VIP rooms, outdoor and garden seating. US$5-17.
  • Sala Bai (hotel-restaurant school), 155 Phoum Tapoul St, +855 63 96 33 29 (), [53]. 7-9 & 12-14, mon-fr. The restaurant is part of a training school for 100 disadvantaged young people, the food is delicious, choice between Asian and Western. US$8 (daymenu 3 course).
  • Singing Tree Cafe, Entrance of Alley West, [54]. 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, fruit juices and shakes. US$2-5.
  • Sunflower Restaurant, 2 Thnou St (North of Street 7), +855 92 245 915, [55]. The restaurant looks simple but the Hong Kong dim sum, Vietnamese pho and Chinese wonton soup provide a welcome variation to what you find elsewhere. US$2-7.
  • Viva, Cnr 2 Thnou St & Street 9, +855 17 838 854, [56]. 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. This restaurant usually has a fair number of people in it while most restaurants are empty. $2 for a margarita, $5 for what they call a 'bucket', which is a weiss beer glass filled with margarita and a much better value. Pizza here is only moderately tasty. US$2-8.
  • Khmer Kitchen, Old Market, 85563964154. This restaurant is one good option to eat variety of Khmer food with a reasonable price. $4.5.
  • New Leaf Book Cafe, A short walk East of Old Market, near Angkor Trade Centre, 855-63 76 60 16. 7.30am-9.30pm. Newly founded not-for-profit cafe/restaurant that serves traditional Khmer cuisine. Beautiful decor/ambiance and great food. $5-10.

Splurge

  • Aha, The Alley. Lunch 11:30AM-2:30PM, Dinner 6PM-10PM. 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. US$7-18.
  • The Red Piano, Pub St. 2 floors and serves a variety of Italian and other European food with Britney Spears music videos in the background. The Chicken Cordon Bleu (chicken filet with ham and cheese inside then deep fried) is their specialty. Best known as the favourite haunt for Angelina Jolie when filming Tomb Raider at Angkor
  • L'Angelo, Le Meridien. 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 US$100 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 (US$31++ optional wine pairing US$16++). A typical set will include dried snake salad and grilled frog. Arrive before 9:15PM for the 4 course fixed price Khmer meal with wine selection. Sit in airconditioned comfort, or outside tables and lounge furniture. The hotel also has a modern bar with local art displayed.

SOK SAN ROAD

Sok San Road is directly across Sivatha Blvd from Pub Street. Restaurants, hotels and massage parlors line the street. The second block of Sok San Road has been developed more recently and has many new establishments. Happy Pizza is a special pizza with a special 'herb' sprinkled onto it, which has a psychoactive and physiological effect on the body. You may have to ask for it to be added.

  • Coffee Break Cafe, (2nd block of Sok San Road, across from Karma Bar.), 097 999 5188 / 093 995 188. 6am-10pm. Delicious fresh ground and brewed imported gourmet coffee, espresso, cappuchino, latte. Breakfast and lunch menu available all day.
  • Happy Angkor Pizza, Sok San Road (From Sivutha Blvd go West On Sok San to the second block. Its on the north side of the street), 012 356 044 / 011 414 276 (), [57]. 8am-10pm. Pizza and Calzone 20 toppings happy option, free delivery
  • Happy Herb Pizza, Sok San Road, 070 777 472 / 012 838 134 (), [58]. Monday to Thurday 07:00AM - 11:00PM, Friday to Saturday 07:00AM - 12:00 Midnight, Sunday 07:00AM - 11:00PM. Pizza, pasta, sandwiches, burgers, Khmer food, free delivery.
  • Happy Dreamily Pizza, Sok San Road (Across from Tuk Tuk Bar), 092 229 259 / 069 366 369.
  • Ecstatic Pizza, Sok San Road (Between Gunplay Tattoo and Karma Bar), 011 928 531 / 092 25 55 65 (), [59]. Large menu, pizzas, sandwiches, breakfast all day, Happy Shakes

Wat Bo Road and surrounding areas

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.

Budget

  • Green Star, Wat Bo Rd (at the southern end of Wat Bo Rd, on the terminating street), +855 9 225 5241. Some say it's not the most authentic Khmer or Asian food though it is tasty and well prepared. That they support the Green Gecko project might be enough to convince you to patronise them. US$2-6.
  • Madam Beergarden Under Construction (Under Construction is part of the name), Wat Bo Rd (across from Soria Moria Hotel), +855 89 479 593. 11AM-2PM, 5PM-midnight. 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. US$1.50-5.
  • Silk Lounge, Taphul Rd (Southern end. Opposite The Villa Siem Reap). 7AM-10PM. The menu might be short but the flavour and presentation of their Cambodian and pan-Asian dishes wont leave you feel like you misses out on anything. The Cambodian curry, Singapore chicken rice and beef soup are recommended. The daybed style lounge seating is ok if you are limber but they have some regular tables if you prefer to eat sitting upright. US$2-4.

Mid-range

  • Selantra Restaurant, #0729, Wat Bo Rd (Opposite of French Cultural Centre), +655 12 569975, [60]. 10AM-10PM. A limited menu of well presented Khmer dishes and food from elsewhere. Stylish setting. US3$-18$.
  • Viroth's Restaurant, #246 Wat Bo Rd, +855 12 826 346, [61]. 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. US$5-8.

Splurge

  • Alliance Art Cafe, Wat Damnak Rd, [62]. 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. US$6-18 but the food is good and it has a very stylish ambience. A good choice for a romantic meal or a business dinner. US$15-25.

Breakfast

Early morning tourists wanting to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat can find coffee and a quick breakfast available at "Panda Pearl Cafe" located on Sivutha Blvd close to "Terrasse des Elephants". It opens at 4 A.M.

Drink

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 which some consider to be akin to Bangkok's Khao San Road. The reality is that it is much more relaxed and attracts wider age range and socio economic group than KSR. The biggest and most well known Pub St bars, Angkor What?, The Red Piano, Temple club and Le Tigre de Papier, are easy to find. Street entertainers in the evenings add to the fun.

Visitors 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.

Most places have draft Angkor beer for US$0.50 and cans of other beers for US$1-2. Cocktails and spirits go for as little as US$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.

Bubble tea, also referred to as Boba tea, and real fruit smoothies are non-alcoholic options.

The Alley

  • Linga Bar, The Alley. A sophisticated gay bar that welcomes patrons of all preferences. A good list of classy cocktails and decent wine to enjoy on the big lounges.

Pub Street

  • 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 US$2-4.
  • Banana Leaf Cafe, Pub St. Small contemporary street side café, with week-end live music. Efficient and professional staff will entertain the crowd until late hours. Great cocktails.
  • Xbar, Pub St, [63]. 3pm til sunrise. An open air rooftop bar featuring a 6ft skateboard halfpipe, jam sessions every wednesday evenings, 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.


Sok San Road (Bar Street)

  • Siem Reap Party House, Sok San Road | Siemreab-Otdar Meanchey, Cambodia, Siem Reap 0000, Cambodia (Sok San Road West of Night Market intersection on the right), +855 883724456 (), [64]. Beautiful Restaurant and Bar with American, Asian, Cambodian, Italian and Australian Cuisine. Sunday Brunch. Music venue.


  • Tuk Tuk Bar, Sok San Road, Phumi Siem Reap, Takev, Cambodia (From Sivutha go West on Sok San 400 Meters, look for the Tuk Tuk Bar on the right), +855 (0) 88 355 6149, [65]. 24/7. A Tuk Tuk converted into a unique bar, comfortable seating, food and drink. Popular night spot for travelers, locals and expats. Mixed drinks start at $1.50.


  • KARMA Café- Bar, Sok San Road, Siem Reap, Cambodia 17000 (Sok San Road West, Bar Street Area, between Ecstatic Pizza and Green Curry), 093 441 528, [66]. 12 noon until 4am or later. A mellow low vibes haven. Full Mental Jacket potatoes from open till late and relax with some cold drinks in a friendly ambiance in the evening.

The Lane

  • Miss Wong Cocktail Bar, The Lane, behind Pub St. Tucked away from the rowdy chaos of pub street, this sophisticated bar serves up delightful refreshing cocktails in a sultry red lounge reminiscent of 1930s Shanghai.
  • Little Pari, The Lane, behind Pub St. A corner bar playing jazz tunes, and serving cocktails to an ex-pat crowd.
  • Asana Old Wooden House, The Lane, behind Pub St, +855 92 9987801 (). Food & cocktail Bar. Restored in 2012, Asana is the last wooden house in the city-old market area.

Around town

  • FCC Angkor, Pokambor Ave (North of the Post office), [67]. 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.
  • The Warehouse, corner Street 9 and 2 Thnou St (opposite the Old Market), [68]. 10:30AM-3AM. 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 table football table. The rooftop has a chic lounge atmosphere. Free draught 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.
  • Nomad Shisha Bar, Artisans d'Angkor Street (Opposite of Artisans d'Angkor beside Ladybug Guest House), 060 870 112 (), [69]. 6pm until late. Other than the attractive woodland creature-like French Canadian man who owns this bar in the heart of Siem Reap, other reasons for visiting would be the seductively Arabic tent 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 (), [70]. 5pm till late. Persian-style lounge bar, the owner speaks English and Swedish. $5.00 Shisha pipe. .

NOTE: As of April 2014, the government has banned all Shisha pipes due to allegations that substances other than tobacco were being smoked.

  • Panda Pearl Cafe (Panda Pearl), Sivutha Blvd. and Street 9 (across from Terrasse des Elephants), 077532086, [71]. 8AM-12AM. Our goal is to give you great tasting smoothies and bubble teas made with natural, original recipes using the highest quality ingredients and done in a sanitary way. Bubble Teas are becoming popular all around the world, but we take it up a notch with natural ingredients: no powders, no syrups. We also want to introduce the tourists of Siem Reap to the local fruits and flavors that so many Cambodians already enjoy. Under $5.

Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget US$5-30
Mid-range US$30-100
Splurge US$100+

A seemingly inexhaustible range of sleeping options from upmarket hotels to grubby backpacker hostels, with a myriad of 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 are nestled in the trees along Wat Bo Road. 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 water 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.

Most hostels are can be booked through Agoda, Hostelworld, Hostelbookers, Booking.com, etc but some of their cheaper rooms are not advertised online. Best to walk in and ask.

Backpacker hostels

  • Two Dragons Guesthouse, #110 Wat Bo Village, Street 20, +855 63-965-107 (), [72]. Single room from 6$/night with A/C, fan and private bathroom with hot shower. Free Wifi, free coffee/tea, laundry 3$/kg. From 6$.
  • Bun Kao Guesthouse (bunkaosiemreap@gmail.com), #0566, St 22, Wat Bo Rd (wat bo road / area of G.H), +855 63 966-589/12652756, [73]. checkin: on arrival; checkout: 12pm noon. Dorms $4/night/person and ensuite double,twin rooms$14/night,triple$18/night with air-con and balconies on each floor. Breakfast is inclusive, except for those is the dorm. Free computer access downstairs or WiFi in room , : from $6 to $21.
  • Earthwalkers, Sala Kanseng Village, Sangkat No. 2, [74]. Clean, high quality budget rooms. Restaurant, Wi-Fi, free breakfast, friendly staff and a nice pool/bar area. Away from town. US$15.
  • Garden Village Guesthouse & Hostel, 434, Group 4, Stung Thmey Village, [75]. Free airport pickup, free internet (slow), restaurant. 80 rooms, Khmer-style private room and dormitories are open-air stilted houses made from bamboo mats and thus quite cool and airy. The place is quite noisy at night with a bar on the 3rd floor and a Khmer bar next door. Dorm bed: US$1; Khmer-style single private: US$2.50; single: US$6; double: US$7; twin: US$8; triple: US$9;.
  • Green Town Guesthouse, Street 21 Wat Bo Village Salakomrouek Commune (from airport take Highway 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., the guesthouse is 50 m on the left), +855 12 963749, [76]. checkin: on arrival; checkout: noon. Backpacker oriented but draws a wide crowd. Clean, relaxed atmosphere with bar & restaurant downstairs. Western & Cambodian menu. 10 min walk from town centre. US$6 gets a large room with high ceiling, open windows, fan, hot shower ensuite and 70 channel TV. US$10 gets the same with air-con. Wi-Fi throughout, free computers downstairs. US$4 dollars 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 also available. US$4-10. (13.358465,103.859785)
  • Hostelling International Siem Reap, 209, Wat Domnak Village, Salacomreuk Commune, +855 8 959 1169 (), [77]. Brightly painted rooms. A dip in the hot tub might be good if everyone else doesn't get in first. Dorms US$5, private rooms US$8.
  • Lovely Guesthouse, Wat bo area, Street 20 (north of Wot Bo Rd, near crossing of Apsara (new) market/minimart), +855 12 242429, +855 12 717228 (), [78]. Free WiFi, laundry+ironing US$1.50/kg, restaurant (US$2-3/dish), tours to Angkor Vat and district. Their tuk tuk drivers speak good english, and it's possible to arrange tours with them. Good breakfasts, and good value overall. single/double start at US$5-6 with cold shower, US$8 hot shower.
  • The Siem Reap Hostel, 7 Makara St (Highschool Rd) (near the corner of Wot Bo Road and Angkor School Road in the Wat Dam Nak area), (), [79]. A comfortable hostel with air-con & Free WiFi throughout, including the rooms, which also have a balcony. Bar, restaurant, pool table, indoor swimming pool in the bar/restaurant area (clean and refreshing), yoga room, cinema style movie nights, pool competition every Tuesday night & a 3 hour happy hour. The staff can organise guides, drivers & book onward travel, and are helpful. The hostel has its own tuk tuk drivers whom are honest and speak good English. They can be booked for trips at reception, which ensures no overcharging or scams. Dorm bed: US$6, double: $US28; triple: US$36 (less out of high season).
  • Sweet Dreams Guest House, House 126 Wat Bo St Salakomrouek Commune (from airport take Highway 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), +855 92548600. checkin: Anytime; checkout: noon. Family owned guesthouse. Clean, relaxed atmosphere with bar & restaurant. Free computer & Free Wifi. Friendly staff willing to help with ticket booking and trips to Angkor Wat US$2: single room fan & shared Bathroom, US$4/5: single room fan & private bathroom, US$10: double room air-con & private bathroom. (13.358465,103.859785)
  • Paris Angkor Hotel (reservations@parisangkor.com), # 517 Taphul Village, SvayDong Commune, Siem Reap Central Area, +1 408 663 9073, [80]. Paris Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap offers furnished bedrooms with Cable TV, wireless internet access, bathtub and shower. The hotel is located near city attractions like Wat Kesararam, Luky Mall and Clinic Sokpheap. : from USD15.00.
  • Baphuon Villa (reservations@baphuonvilla.com), House Nr. 117, Slor Kram, Siem Reap City, +1 408 663 9073, [81]. The guesthouse has fan and airconditioned rooms complete with hotel amenities. Located near the Royal Residence Park and Angkor National Museum and situated about 1.5 km from Night Market and Pub Street : from USD10.00.
  • Dynyka Guesthouse (reservations@dynyka.com), House Nr. 117, Slor Kram, Siem Reap City, +1 408 663 9073, [82]. Offers air-conditioned hotel rooms with balcony overlooking the Angkor Wat Temples and smoking and non-smoking facilities. Located at Street Charlie Degual, Trang Village in the City of Siem Reap 10 minutes away from the airport and bus station. : from USD12.00.

Budget

  • Angkor Saphir Hostel, (near Royal Palace and next to the stone bridge of Siem Reap River), +60 3 5021-9379 or +1 408 663-9073 (), [83]. checkin: 10:00; checkout: 12:00. only 15 minutes drive from the Siem Reap International Airport and within walking distance to the Old Market. air conditioned with free breakfast. Single Room from US$18 Double Room US$20.
  • Arboretum Guesthouse, Sok San Road, Stung They, Svay Dangkum (Sok san road, 1 minute away from the famous Pub Street), +855 63 963 240 or +855 97 314 2956 (), [84]. checkin: on arrival, by internet or here; checkout: 11 am. Fan or air-con, balconies, satellite TV, hot water, free Wi-Fi, fridge. 24hr reception, very friendly staff, European management. Close to town centre; 20 minutes from temples. Free plane, bus, boat pick-up. : Singles from US$16. Doubles US$20. Family room up to US$52.
  • Big Lyna Villa, #659, Street 22, Wat Bo Rd, +855 63 964 807, [85]. A Khmer style wooden building. 10 double rooms with hot shower, mini fridge and satTV. Free Wi-Fi and bicycle usage. air-con double: US$20.
  • Bliss Villa, close to the Old Market in walking distance to bars, restaurants and the popular Pub Street and Pub Street Alley. (blissvilla@asia.com), +855 63 630-0978, [86]. checkin: 12; checkout: 12. Air-con, Wi-Fi, Tour Services and Clean Rooms! This is a great spot slightly off of the tourist path but close enough to walk to everything. The rooms are clean and spacious, especially on the top floor and it is but a five or so minute walk to the street of pubs. $12+.
  • Boomerang Guesthouse, Sivartha Road (Southern end of Sivartha Road near a roundabout), [87]. 5 min walk to Pub Street but far away from the noise. Basic rooms with Free Wifi. The double room is a worthwhile upgrade from the small windowless single room. Fan single: US$3; Fan double: US$7; air-con: US$10.
  • Boutique Cambo Hotel, 100 meter from Road No. 6, Salakanseng, Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap, +85512215708 (), [88]. Offers Superior, Deluxe and Family Suites. Rooms come with air conditioning, LCD TV, bathtub, mini bar and free breakfast. The hotel has a restaurant, cafe, bar, swimming pool, airport transfers and many other services. From US$15..
  • Cheysokha Guesthouse, National road 6, Phum Chong Kaosou, Sangkat Slorkram, Siem Reap City, [89]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Located in Chong Kov Sou Bus Station in Siem Reap City. Air-conditioned double and twin rooms. air-con double: US$15.
  • Dara Reang Sey Hotel, National road Nº 6, Phum Chong Caochou, Khum Slor Kram, +855 63 963434/5, [90]. All rooms are equipped with cable TV, IDD telephone, in-Room safe deposit box, in-Room Coffee/Tea making facility, alarm system, bath/ shower with hot water, high speed wireless internet, air-conditioner and mini-bar. Some of its facilities and services are garden, snack bar, non-smoking rooms, designated smoking area, elevator, outdoor swimming pool, BBQ facilities, meeting/banquet facilities, business centre, VIP room facilities, souvenirs/gift shop, restaurant, parking, bicycle rental, ironing service, car hire, Wi-Fi internet access, airport shuttle, Concierge service, 24-hour front desk, laundry/dry cleaning and babysitting/child services. Rates start at 25.20 USD.
  • Golden Butterfly Villa, Stung Thmey, Svay Dangkum (located next to Golden Temple Villa), +855 92 646439 (), [91]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. A beautiful Khmer-style hotel located in a quite street adjacent to the Pub Street. The owner's family also runs Golden Temple Villa. Free services include pick up from airport and bus station, Wi-Fi in rooms and the lobby, a 30-min Cambodian massage and bicycle use. All rooms equipped with air-con, cable TV, fridge and hot & cold shower. The staff are very friendly and informative. There is a restaurant at the ground level which serves both Khmer and Western food. $18-$25.
  • Golden Mango Inn, No. 0658, Road 6, Chongkaosou Village, Slorkram Commune (located along National Road No. 6, accessible by the slip-road next to the TOTAL Petrol Station), +855 63 76185 (), [92]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 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. Other facilities include a pool, a garden and a small bar/restaurant. $20-$30.
  • Golden Takeo Guesthouse, #123 Wat Bo Rd, (), [93]. Well presented rooms, surrounded by gardens with a cool roof top terrace. Free breakfast, laundry, bicycle and internet. Fan single: US$12; Fan double: US$14; air-condouble: US$17.
  • Green Park Village Guesthouse, #304, Road N. 6, Group 10, Dorkpo Village, Slorkram Commune (Between Phsar leur Market and ANZ royal bank), +855 63 965059 (), [94]. This faraway guesthouse (3km from Pub Street) is located in a quiet location at night but within a stone throw to the massive Phsar leur Market. $7 for a big single ensuite room with a TV. Free breakfast (generous portion), free water refill, free coffee & hot water, free tuktuk to town (but not the way back), Wifi, free bicycle. The mood is friendly and attracts a quiet clientele. US$7-$18.
  • Hak's House, Build Bright Rd (next to Build Bright University), +855 12 540 336, [95]. A Khmer family-run guesthouse with basic single and double fan or air-con rooms, cable TV, hot shower. in room Free Wi-Fi. All rooms rate includes breakfast. Bus tickets can be booked. reservation@hakshouse.com USD$6-12.
  • Home Sweet Home Guesthouse, 111 Wat Bo Rd, +855 63 760 279, [96]. Large rooms with en suite bathroom. The decoration is best described as spartan and some visitors have found the cleanliness of the rooms and communal areas to be lacking. From US$9-20.
  • Ivy Guesthouse, (behind ANZ Royal same road as the Riviera hotel), [97]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. 5 min walk to Pub Street. Clean basic rooms. The $1 Tapas night are popular. There's a nice hangout area on the first floor with a TV. double ensuite:$7, air-con double: US$15.
  • Mandalay Inn, (near southern roundabout at Sivatha Boulevard), [98]. checkout: noon. "Looks expensive but not" is written on the outside. Indeed, this centrally located hotel is rather a midrange one, despite its low price. Staff are very welcoming and helpful and the rooms are clean and cosy. Has Wi-fi & TV. fan-double: US$9.
  • Mommy Guesthouse, #026 taphul, Svay dongkum. * One of the longer-running guest houses in Siem Reap, now in a new if somewhat characterless building. Mom will be happy to make all sorts of travel and transport arrangements. US$25 for air-con doubles with breakfast, hot water and airport transfers included.
  • Palm Garden Lodge, Soksan St, Svay Dungkum, [99]. 20 min walk to Pub Street and a bit hard to find. Bright rooms with wood four-poster beds and fresh linen. The new building has better (but smaller) rooms and newer TVs. All rooms are ensuite. Free breakfast. $7-25.
  • Paradise Eco resort-Siem Reap, 1 Tuk Vil, N6 Baray (10 min from Angkor Wat temple), +855 63 655-2525 (), [100]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12 noon. Free bike, free WiFi for guests. French and English speaking. Nice atmosphere. Free swimming pool and garden. From US10.
  • Parklane Hotel, Taphul St, Taphul Village, (), [101]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Very friendly hotel near to city centre. Rooms have air-con, satTV, fridge, Wi-Fi, en-suite with hot water. $20-40.
  • Popular Guesthouse, 033, group 10, Viheachin Village, Svaydangkum commune, (), [102]. 10 min walk to Pub Street. The rooms are basic, clean and the bed comfortable. Free wifi at the restaurant area on the first floor. Fan single: US$4.
  • Sam So Guesthouse, 164 Wat Bo Rd, (opposite Street 21), +855 12 602956, +855 97 669 9813 (), [103]. All rooms are big, clean, and have a private bathroom with hot water, air-con or fan, large screen satTV and a fridge. Free WiFi 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. US$11-20.
  • Seven Candles Guesthouse, 307 Wat Bo Rd, +855 63 963 380 (), [104]. 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 on making education available to the children of rural families; volunteers with the Ponheary Ly Foundation often stay here. Four of the family are licenced Angkor Wat tour guides, speaking English, French and Russian. Breakfast is available for a small additional fee. US$20.
  • Side Walk Coffee Hotel, Taphul Street, Taphul Village, Svay Dangkum commune, Siem Reap City, (), [105]. Side Walk Coffee Hotel offers budget accommodation in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Single, Double and Family Rooms are available for occupancy with fan or airconditioning unit. Free wifi, coffee and tea. US$15.
  • Temple Villa, (near southern Wat Bo road). checkout: noon. Spacious and comfy rooms with balconies in a calm atmosphere just 300m from the river. Wifi, Pool, TV. Air-con is about 5$ extra. However, staff is not exactly service-oriented, the restaurant is below average and the rooms sometimes smell. off-season fan-double: 10$.
  • The City Garden Villa, National road No.6 , 665 Group 7 Salakangseng, Svaydankom, Siem Reap City, (), [106]. The City Garden Villa offers budget accommodation at the heart of Siem Reap City. The hotel has fan and airconditioned wood-finished rooms complete with amenities. Angkor Wat Temple is just 15 minutes away and 10 minutes away the famous Old Market. US$3.50.
  • Tropical Breeze Guesthouse and Restaurant, 293 Wat Damnak village (over river from Old market & Pub St, turn right and walk for around 5 min), +855 63 966 445 (), [107]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12 noon. Bar & restaurant downstairs, Western & Cambodian menu. Large rooms with high ceilings, open windows, Wi-Fi, free computers downstairs, 70 channel TV, air-con or fan, en suite 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. US$8-20. (13.350774,103.855200)
  • Rosy Guesthouse, Slar Kram Village, +855 63 965059 (), [108]. Very popular long running guest house 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 WiFi, fridge, fan and air-con. US$8-30.
  • Shadow of Angkor, 353 Pokambor Ave, +855 63 964744 (), [109]. In a French colonial building. Very clean, though not soundproof, rooms with air-con, hot water, satTV, free internet. Run by a Cambodian family. From US$7-20.
  • The Prohm Roth Inn, #072, Street 20, Wat Bo Rd, [110]. Bright & large double, twin & triple rooms, cableTV, fan & air-con, private en-suite, hot shower: US$5-25 ($5-15 in low/rainy season). It was $5 for a single private ensuite with TV (Dec 2013). Green & clean, free pick up, WiFi & breakfast. The same friendly local brothers also own Prohm Roth Guesthouse on Pub St, near the Old Market.
  • Velkommen Guesthouse Siem Reap, Group 4, Mondul lll Village (100 meters east of Angkor National Museum Traffic Light), +855 12 477 270 (Eng/Nor). +855 12 477 271 (Khm) (), [111]. Large clean comfortable rooms (aircon, ensuite bathroom, hot shower, large comfortable beds, cable TV, wifi, security box, fan, wardrobe... Friendly helpful english speaking staff, open bar, restaurant, pool table, plasma TV with DVD player, super fast WiFi (3.5 Mbps), room service, daily room cleaning with fresh towels & linen. Swimming pool 5 min walk, Night market 15 min walk, Pub Street 15 min walk. Angkor wat 5km. Tuk-tuk & charity bicycles available. $5 aircon dorm, $16 private double aircon. (13.367993,103.861914)
  • Yellow Guest House, 363, Taphul Village, Svay Dangkum. Commune, +855 12 275 848. +855 63 690 0297 (), [112]. 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 as well. There's a no shoes/flip-flops policy indoors, so the floors are kept clean. From US$3-16..

Mid-range

  • Angkor Spirit Palace Resort and Spa, [113]. Located just outside of downtown, this hotel offers a beautiful garden and pool that is truly worth spending the late afternoon lounging. The building is really quite impressive and built with many elements of traditional Khmer architecture. The rooms are simple, but comfortable. Airport transportation and rides into town are included in room rates. Easy and reasonable temple driver access by tuk tuk. Price = $30+ US
  • Auberge Mont Royal d'Angkor, 497 Taphul St, +855 12 630 131, [114]. French villa style building with 30 rooms decorated with an Asian feel. US$35-.
  • Casa Angkor Hotel, 52 Oum Chhay St. ☎ +855 63 966 234, [115]. Colonial Architecture Hotel. Great location in Siem Reap’s Old French Quarter. It offers an outdoor pool, dining options, spa and free Wi-Fi. From US$40 with buffet breakfast included.
  • Central Boutique Angkor Hotel, [116]. 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 US$29 with breakfast included.
  • City River Hotel, Steung Siem Reap St. ☎ +855 63 763 000, [117]. Comfortable hotel near the city centre. Airport pick-up. Internet access in rooms and accepts credit cards. From US$60.
  • Claremont Angkor Boutique Hotel, No.0017, Phum Wat Bo, Sala Kamreuork, Siem Reap ☎ +855 63 966 898, [118]. Offers spacious rooms and deluxe amenities. The hotel is located in central Siem Reap City near the airport and close to Pub Street, Psar Chas Market, and Angkor National Museum. Serves complimentary daily breakfast, with swimming pool, fitness facility, spa and body treatments. From US$35.
  • The Cockatoo Nature Resort, ☎ +855 63 969 069, [119]. 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. From US$35 during low season (May-Sept). Best to reserve on hotel's own website; enquire for current promotional offers.
  • Frangipani Villa Hotel, #0603, Wat Bo Rd, +855 63 963 030, [120]. Superior room from US$44, pool view from US$66, balcony room from US$55.
  • Golden Temple Hotel, 7 Makara Rd. ☎ +855 12 756 655, [121]. Excellent Khmer-style quality for an affordable price, rooms starting at US$55. 5 min walk to the centre of Siem Reap. Pool, massage services. Staff can organise trios to Angkor Wat or elsewhere close by.
  • Men's Resort & Spa, ☎ +855 63 963 503, [122]. Located in the heart of Siem Reap. "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. Rooms from US$49.
  • Mom´s Guest House, 99, Wat Bo Street, Siem Reap. ☎ +855 12 630170, [123]. Centrally located, it is one of the few best family-run guesthouses currently operational in Siem Reap. Short walk to the Old Market and Pub Street. 10 minutes drive to the temples. Free breakfast, swimming pool, wifi and free pick up from the airport. Rooms from US$25.
  • The Pool and Palm villa, ☎ +855 77 359 677, [124]. Located near Build Bright University (BBU). The resort includes two villa's: Khmer-French style and modern with stylish rooms, a 17 metre long infinity pool, 8,500 square metre garden, restaurant. Rooms from US$ 38,- (low season) to US$100,- (family room with living room high season).
  • The RiverGarden Siem Reap, 113 Mondule 3, ☎ +855 63 963 400, [125]. Standard rooms start at US$35, superior from US$45, deluxe from US$65, Khmer Cottage from US$45.
  • Soria Moria Boutique Hotel, Wat Bo Rd, [126]. Clean spacious rooms and free WiFi. US$40-65.
  • Tanei Guesthouse Siem Reap, (next to Artisan D’Angkor), [127]. Free in room WiFi 24 hr, free tea & coffee, swimming pool, jacuzzi, restaurant, lobby, quiet garden, terrace, fresh atmosphere, mini-bar, friendly staff, English speaking staff, cleaning room, in room refrigerator, electric lamp, slippers, alarm clock, traditional Khmer pictures, fan, air-con, hot water, cableTV, window, 24 hr services and 24 hr security. Room rates from US$12 include free pick-up.
  • Ta Phrom Hotel, (river front, next to Old Market), Pokambor Avenue, Mondul I, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, ☎ Resv +855 63 380 117, +855 63 760 087, Fax: +855 63 963 528, [128]. Free in room WiFi 24 hr, restaurant, wooden rounded stairs lobby, wooden interior and beautiful statues, terrace, traditional atmosphere with French colonial exterior, friendly staff, English speaking staff, cleaning room, in room refrigerator, mini-bar, slippers, air-con, hot water and bathtub, cableTV, 24 hr services and 24 hr security. Room rates US$35-80. A hotel with strategic location within walking distances to Old Market, Pub Street and Night Markets. Siem Reap Art Centre Market is just across the river. Lovely hotel with exceptional wooden interior, breakfast are included and free airport pick-up for longer stay.
  • Shining Angkor Boutique Hotel, #560 Group One, Kok Chok Commune, +855 63 963 096, [129]. 21 rooms. Free tuk-tuk service one way to the centre of Siem Reap daily. It is a ~US$2 per ride back. Free pickup by tuk-tuk from the airport, and free breakfast of bacon, egg and toast. The staff are friendly and helpful. Decor is traditional wooden furniture with Buddhist elements. Family owned.
  • Villa Siem Reap, 153 Taphul Rd, ☎ +855 63 761 036, [130]. Several min walk to shopping, restaurants and the old market. Runs excellent excursions to temples and floating village. Standard rooms from US$18, superior from US$25, deluxe from US$30, villa bungalows from US$45.
  • MyHibiscus Hotels and Resort, Taneuy Street, Wat Bo Village, Sangkat Salakamreuk, [131]. The hotel offers deluxe accommodation in its airconditioned hotel rooms and two outdoor swimming pools. It is located 5 minutes drive from Pub Street and the Old Market.
  • Kanitha Boutique Villa, Phum Krous, Khum Svaydongkom, Siem Reap [132]. The hotel offers first-class accommodation in its Villas and Deluxe Rooms. Rooms are spacious furnished with luxury amenities, high-speed internet connection and complete hotel facilities. There is a swimming pool, cafe by the pool, bar and restaurant, travel desk and a tropical garden setting.

Splurge

  • Day Inn Angkor Resort, Oum Khun St, +855 63 760 500 (), [133]. 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. US$88-108.
  • Heritage Suites Hotel (luxury boutique hotel), (next to Wat (Pagoda) Po Langka), +855 63 969 100 (), [134]. checkin: 12:00pm; checkout: 3:00pm. A roll top bath, private garden and premium linen are uncommon little extras that could help you justify the price. $159-595.
  • Park Hyatt Siem Reap, Cnr Samdech Tep Vong St & Sivutha Blvd, +855 63 966 000 (), [135]. Designed with Khmer influence and a touch or 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 rain shower. $US275-675.
  • La Residence d'Angkor, River Rd, +855 63 963 390 (), [136]. The hotel is finished in stone and wood that reflects traditional architecture, centred around a baray-inspired swimming pool. US$395.
  • Prince D'Angkor, Sivatha Blvd, +855 63 763 888 (), [137]. Upmarket hotel and spa. 10 min stroll from the centre of town. US$180.
  • Sokha Angkor Resort, corner of National Rd 6 & Sivatha Blvd, +855 63 969 999 (), [138]. checkin: 2:00PM; checkout: 12:00PM. A new 5 star resort in the city centre with a large salt-water pool. The resort has 6 restaurants and bars. US$140-$2,200. (13.364653,103.85641)
  • Starry Angkor Hotel, No. G4, National Road 6, Banteay Chas Village, Sangkat Slorkram, (855) 63 968 123 (fax: (855) 63 968 124), [139]. 127 rooms rangin; all equipped with plasma cable TV, wi-fi, separate shower and bath. Some of its facilities and services are Starry restaurant, swimming pool and fitness room/gym. starting from $60.
  • Suites and Sweet Angkor, Phum Krous, Khum Svay Daungum, +855 63 761 490 (), [140]. 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. US$165.
  • The One Hotel, The Passage, +855 12 755 311 (), [141]. About as exclusive as you can get the freestanding French colonial building has only one suite with street view balconies and a private roof top jacuzzi garden. US$250.
  • Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa, Central Park, + 855 63 760 428, [142]. Very luxurious hotel, beautifully decorated. US$ 155 up.

House, Villa or Apartment rental

  • Sarath Consultant, Taphul Street, +855 63 96 53 09 (, fax: +855 63 966 6309), [143]. Daily 09:00-18:00. houses, villas and apartments for sale. US$350 per month+.

Stay safe

Siem Reap has long since been thoroughly de-mined.

Scams

Most locals are decent people just trying to make an honest living but a few shady characters try every trick to take advantage of visitors. Be alert to deception, but don't let suspicion ruin your visit.

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 visitors' 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 store where they will then try and have you buy food/baby milk/water for them: baby milk seems the most popular. It might sound like a more humanitarian way to help than simply giving them money, but once you leave the shop the goods you bought for them are sold back to the 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 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 50:50.

VIP sleeper night bus scam encountered Jan 2013. Travel agencies sell expensive tickets to Phnom Pehn ($10 against $6) in VIP sleeper beds buses operated by transport companies “Golden VIP Transport Service” and “Virak-Buntham Express Tour&Travel”. Buses leave at midnight. When Pick-up brings you to the bus, it can so happen, that you find instead of sleeper bus the regular bus with seats instead beds and if you are not lucky you become the seats in the back that no lean back and have to sit upright all the night.

Tuk Tuks off the airport When getting off the airport, you may be offered to get a ride from a Tuk Tuk driver to your hotel, which are the same ones ordered right off the airport counters. Later when dropping you off, he may offer to be your local guide for the duration of your stay, and the price he may offer may seem too good to be true. It usually is and when you find out at the end that he's not sticking to his side of the deal, things do get awkward. Consider the fact that if you buy into the scam, you maybe helping him and his family out, especially during the desperate low season, this can turn into a personal choice. Just keep this in mind, and be more open to the drivers/guides options available at your hotel or hostel, who tell fewer lies.

Stay healthy

For general information on health, see our Cambodia#Stay_healthy article.

Treatment

  • Naga Healthcare International Medical Center, 660, Hup Guan street (behind Central Market), +855 63 761-295 (), [144]. Naga Healthcare works in a small consulting room close to the central market. Dr Joost Hoekstra is specialised in Tropical & General Medicine, Diabetes.
  • Royal Angkor International Hospital, National Route 6, Phum Kasekam, Khum Sra Ngea, +855 63 761-888, [145]. Owned by the Bangkok Hospital Group and caters specifically to tourists with a smart 4 star hotel-like reception area. Their care is not cheap, but it is of a very high standard. There is a fully stocked pharmacy, General surgeon, Orthopaedic surgeon, Paediatrician and other hospital services such as treatment for fractures and intestinal problems.

Contact

Internet

The numerous Internet cafés charge anywhere US$0.50-1.50/hr. Speed of connection, and speed of PC, very much depends from place to place. A free public WiFi network covers the Pub St and Alley areas but it can sometimes be spotty and always terribly slow.

  • Hello Internet Cafe, Sivatha St (in front of Acleda Bank), ☎ +855 17 889030, (sopheak_chhon@yahoo.com). High speed internet. Low overseas call rate. Internet US$0.5/hr, and overseas call US$0.10/min.
  • E-Café, on Sivatha St, (north of Psar Chas), [146]. A cut above the rest in connection and service quality, as well as price.

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 includes Radio France International on 92.0MHz.

Cope

Laundry

Full service laundries can be found throughout town and most hotels and guesthouse will also take care of your laundry. The going rate is $1/kg. You may occasionally be able get it cheaper if you are willing to wait longer, in which case the laundries won't have to use the dryer. 3-hour services are frequently advertised, but rarely realistic.

Sample services include:

  • 3 Hours Laundry, Sivatha Rd (near Thunborey Hotel). M-Sa 09:00-21:00; Closed Sunday. Washing, folding, ironing and delicate fabric handling for all your stinky shirts. As the name suggests, turn around time is typically 3 hours. US$1 per kg.
  • New Laundry Express, Tapoul village,Svay Dangkum commune, +855 17 889 030 (), [147]. Uses washing machines and dryers. US$1 per kg.

Get out

If you are travelling alone and want to go to the faraway temples (eg. Banteay Srei, Kbal Spean, Koh Ker, Phnom Kulen) it is cheaper to join a tour than hiring a motorbike (motodup) or tuktuk. Capitol Tours (Opposite National Bank Of Cambodia) has tours for a reasonable price (prices do not include ticket to enter the temples).

  • Banteay Chhmar - the forgotten Angkorian complex in neighbouring Banteay Meanchey Province. A bit ambitous for a day trip by tuk-tuk but makes for a wonderful excursion by helicopter (about US$2,200).
  • Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre, Sanday Village (3 km before the Landmine Museum on the road to Banteay Srey temple), +855 97 852 7852, [148]. 9Am-5PM. 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. US$4 adults, US$2 children (under 12).
Kampong Phluck
  • 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. During the dry season, 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 US$7-60/person for a round trip. Beware of scam. When you reach the school in the village, 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. In the wet season, the tuk-tuk or taxi will take you to the tourist information and ticket booth about 10km north of the village, where your visit is arranged. A round-trip boat will typically cost $10 per passenger including $1 admission fee. The boat will take you through the village to a floating restaurant, where you can have lunch (mains around $3-5) and continue for a short trip onto the lake. The food (esp.~the fish) is surprisingly good, so give it a try. Additionally, the flooded wood is a great scenery. Short trips (30-60minutes) on nutshell boats (2-3 passengers) can be booked at the ticket booth for $5 per boat.
  • Landmine Museum, (6 km south of Banteay Srey Temple, 31 km from Siem Reap), [149]. 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 UXO lie around the site and the guides are mostly teenagers who were orphaned or injured by mines, many of whom live onsite. This is a very worthwhile attraction that brings home the scale of the problem and shows you a slice of real Cambodia. The museum moved in 2007, so make sure your motodop doesn't try to take you to the old location in a village near Angkor Wat. US$3.
  • Wat Thmei Temple & Stupa Memorial to the Killing Fields. A large Buddhist temple. In the grounds is 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.
  • 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 20km 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.
  • Battambang. You can go from Siem Reap to Battambang by boat. It is quiet an adventure on the lake and then on the river. It can get quiet long and difficult in the dry season, as low water levels make it difficult for the boat to get to its destinations. You go past many many floating villages, which in a way, you can forgo going to those Floating Village Tours (tourist trap alert!). One of the cheapest places to book the boat is at Angkor Pich Erich service, halfway Taphul street (012-270608).
  • Phnom Penh. Cambodia's capital city offers a lively nightlife and excellent restaurant options. From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh is between 4.5 to 8 hours, depending on which form of transport you choose there are a lot of options.



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