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Revision as of 12:23, 13 March 2012
French colonial architecture still dominates the streetscape.
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 boomtown and construction site in Cambodia. It is quite laid-back and a pleasant place to stay while touring the temples. It is a nice compromise between observing Cambodian life and enjoying the amenities of modern services and entertainment, thanks to a large expatriate community. Since Siem Reap is a major tourist destination, prices in some instances are higher than elsewhere in Cambodia. Expect to receive almost constant offers for motodop and tuk-tuk rides, along with everything else which drivers may be able to offer to you.
Be sure to pick up your free Siem Reap Angkor Visitors Guide and the equally free and useful Siem Reap Pocket Guide from your hotel/guesthouse. It contains lots of info on Siem Reap and the Angkor Archaeological Park, including hotel/bar/restaurant/shop info, travel info, and maps. For the eco-sensitive tourist, check out "Stay Another Day: Cambodia," a detailed guide with local spots that support the environment and community. Another address is the ConCERT  tourist office, a local NGO committed to raising the standards of responsible tourism and ecotourism activities and providing information on the causes and effects of poverty in Cambodia, volunteering opportunities and ecotours.
As of 1 April 2011 travellers departing Cambodia by air do not pay the International departure tax at the airport, the 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 Khymer style. Its facilities are limited. There are separate terminals for international and domestic flights.
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.
Major companies include Phnom Penh Sorya TransportCapitol Tours, and GST Express.
Try to book at least the day before travel. Travel agents and guesthouses 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 travellers will need to take a tuk-tuk into town. This should cost no more than US$2, or maybe $3 if you're not keen to drive a hard bargain. Anything more will have your driver thinking you are a weak-willed idiot, rather than the generous, naive optimist you perhaps consider yourself to be.
If arriving from the west, consider getting off the bus as it passes through town on National Highway 6, say as it crosses the bridge over the river, before it reaches the bus station. If arriving from the east you have little choice but to face the touts.
Capitol Tours buses, however, terminate at the company's office in the centre of town, near old market, making them the most sensible choice.
Avoid the sleeper bus from Siem Reap to Vientiane. The $65 USD ticket was supposed to provide a 24 hr trip leaving at 11pm. But the bus stopped at the border, made everyone switch buses and then pay another $55 USD just to get to Pakse. The bus did not even arrive in Pakse until around 7pm the following day. Sexual assualt from the staff has also been reported.
To Bangkok: The ticket is good 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.
A more expensive and more time consuming option from Phnom Penh ($35, 6 hours) 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 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 your a travelling solo, it shouldn't be too hard to find others to share the expense.
Helicopters can be chartered to go nearly anywhere in the country. They seat 5 or 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.
Travel to and around the Angkor Archaeological Park is extensively covered in its own article. The following is a discussion of travel with Siem Reap.
The city centre is fairly compact and flat.
The White Bicycles, ☎ +855 92 332 730, . 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 guesthouses will lend you bicycles either for free or for a nominal charge (US$1-3).
You'll have plenty of tranportation offers from motodops (motorbike taxi with driver). Rides within town should only cost US$0.50 or 2,000 riel, although prices can double to US$1 at night and during bad weather. Agree on a price first and hop on the back. You can also hire a motodop for a full day for ~US$10. Some motodops may be able to provide you with a helmet if you request one in advance. There are many people offering rides who are not licensed, who do not don a proper orange vest as anyone with a motorbike could be a taximan. These people have the potential to be criminals and there would be no way for one to know.
Renting a motorbike is prohibited for foreign travellers in Siem Reap, however foreigners may ride motorbikes they have rented elsewhere.
Notice the make-shift petrol stations next to the road, selling petrol in old 2 litre Coke bottles. These are generally cheaper than petrol stations but the source and quality of the fuel is unknown. Some locals contend the petrol is watered down to increase profits.
The ubiquitous tuk-tuk and the entreating call of drivers are a fixture of almost every street corner. You can barely get your foot out on to the street before a fusillade of inquiries as to your destination and offers to take you there will surround you though a polite wave to decline is enough to get them to withdraw.
A trip within Siem Reap should cost US$1 regardless of how many people you pile on. Most tuk-tuks can convey four people comfortably though the extra weight can make the low-powered bikes laboriously slow. Prices can double at night or during bad weather.
As usual, it's prudent to ensure both you and the driver are in crystal clear agreement on the destination and total fare before departure. Payment is made on arrival and doesn't increase if the driver got lost or had to take a circuitous route.
Cars with drivers can be hired for single or multiple days. While all drivers are familiar with the area and happy to suggest good routes, most speak little English and are not actual tour guides. For an actual licensed tour guide, the charge varies from US$45 per day to US$50 for a driver and English speaking guide. It is customary for the drivers to 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, . A private Tuk-Tuk and Car service providing transportation within Siem Reap and around the Angkor Wat temples. Private cars also available to and from Phnom Penh.
Most people come to visit Angkor Archaeological Park, which is thoroughly covered in its own article. The town itself has some worthwhile attractions and a number of beautiful modern Buddhist temples.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 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.US$12.
Wat Bo, Cnr Samdech Tep Vong St and Street 22 (East side of the river. Follow the road that continues from over Wat Bo bridge). One of the oldest temples makes a nice contrast between the oldest and the glittering new ones though it the rough artwork wouldn't match the craftsmen of Angkor. The architecture of the ramshackle open air hall next to the main building blends French style arches and balustrades with Thai influenced Buddhist details. A forest of chedi surround the main hall, inbetween frangipani trees and some fine topiary.
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 European style, crown like embossed seal and mysterious numbers suggest an imperialist story.
Beyond Unique Cooking Class, cnr of Sivutha Bvld and Alley West, ☎ +855 77 562 565, . Cambodian Cooking Classes in a village location 10 mins 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.
Apsara Theatre, Wat Bo Rd, ☎ +855 63 963 561, . 8PM-9:30PM. A flashy performance of traditional, popular and classical dances.
We Are The Champions Performances by the Local Disabled Community, Night Market (back of Night Market adjacent to Sand Bar), ☎ +855 12 676826. 8:30PM-9:15PM, every night except Sunday. A two act play written and performed by participants who share with great feeling what it is like to be disabled in Cambodia and the challenges of their lives. As many of the performers are in pursuit of education to better their lives they appreciate donations of school materials such pens and writing books.Free, Donations encouraged.
The Khmers believe that the 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.
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.$1-2 for 15 mins.
frangipani spa, no. 615/617 Hup Guan St, Siem Reap, Cambodia, ☎ +855 (0)63 964 391 (email@example.com), . Wonderful spa with a nice atmosphere, peaceful rooms, and experienced staff. The massages actually feel like trained people are giving them. No special services or hidden fees. It is a nice place to go as a couple or alone. They have massage tables and air conditioning. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Lovely little spa with a relaxing atmosphere and experienced staff. 60 minute Khmer massages are $10, while 90 minute Khmer massages are $15. 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.
Some travellers feel visiting an orphanage is a good way to make a positive contribution to Cambodia, while others feel that orphanage tours do more harm than good. Whichever view you hold, orphanages and the aid organisations that support them are a significant feature of the Siem Reap economy. Not all are legit 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, . 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 Orphanage), No.004 Phum Mondul 3, Sangkat Slorkram (turn right off of Charle De Gaull Blvd, just after the SOS School), ☎ +855 92 407 077, . 7:00 Sunday. The Cambodian Children's House of Peace (aka Santepheap, which means Peace in English) is an orphanage in Siem Reap responsible for over 30 children. The children of the orphanage put on a traditional Khmer Dance show every Sunday night from 7PM-8:15PM to highlight traditional Cambodian culture as well as draw attention to the orphanage in general. COFCO The Cambodian Orphan Family Center Organization is an orphanage in Siem Reap responsible for over 30 children. The children dance there in the 3 evenings a week to amass funds to finance their orphanage. The children welcome you and show you their house. The visit is followed by a show of traditional Khmer dance performed by the children, in colored costumes. A snack is served during the show. There is no fixed price for this event, but a contribution is appreciated. The children distribute advertisements about the event in the evening at the market. It is a beautiful opportunity to converse with young Cambodians while doing something good. Do not miss this visit! It is also possible to volunteer at the orphanage to help teach the children English. The director can be contacted through the website to arrange any volunteering ahead of time. No experience is required other than being fluent in English. Free.
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 true game of Russian roulette - fancy pulling the pin of a 30+ year old grenade and possibly getting the faulty one? Make sure that whoever is supervising you is also willing to stand next to you. It can be a little bit difficult to find, and a tuk-tuk driver may know where it is. Specifically, it is located at 13°29'7.49"N 103°57'22.78"E.US$50 per AK-47 or M-16 clip, M-60 belt (50 rounds) US$80 (Nov 2011). Grenade throwing: US$30.
Angkor Photography Festival: Photography for Change, . Annual festival that showcases outdoor projections and various exhibitions around Siem Reap of regional and international photographers. The festival is held during the last week of November every year, consisting of 7 evenings of outdoor projections and more than 10 gallery exhibitions across various venues in the city. The festival is the first of it's kind in Southeast Asia and is also the biggest. It aims to highlight the work of Asian photographers and provides free workshops for 30 young photographers from the region every year, led by world renowned professionals, which are showcased during the event. There is a full time office/gallery for the festival located on the East river road near the Bopha Angkor Hotel. As well as the festival, the organisers support a local NGO working with street children, that promotes the arts and runs a photography course with students. Photography from these students is also showcased as part of the festival programme.
The 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 colored boats with over 50 paddlers battle it out for top honors. 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.
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 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.
iOne (Apple Authorized Reseller), 1776 Silvatha Blvd (near KFC), ☎ +855 63 761 019, . 9AM-7PM. Cambodia is possibly the cheapest place to buy a Macbook or iPod. Prices are in US dollars at same rates as in the USA but there is no added tax.
Bloom Bags, cnr Street 7 & Hospital St, . Sturdily made totes, messenger and and laptop bags made from recycled fish feed sacks. The cute agricultural graphics make each bag a one of a kind. Though you can buy cheaper knock off's from the market, these are the real thing and you can be assured that your money is going to woman who made you bag.
D's Books, #82 Hospital St (a few doors north of Street 7). An extensive selection of poorly organised novels to exchange with the one you just finished reading. Generally the books here are in better condition than other places in town, though many new books are simply pirated photocopies that they sell for $6. A few shelves of books in languages other than English can be found.Most novels $7.
Samatoa, 98 Pithnu St (in front of the provincial hospital-Old Market area / Lucky Mall Siem Reap), ☎ +855 63 965 310 (email@example.com), . 8AM-10PM. Specialized in Cambodian natural silk products. Samatoa encourages fair-trade.From USD$50.
Art and craft
Artisans d'Angkor, Stung Thmey St, ☎ +855 63 963 330, . 7:30AM-5:30PM. A workshop in the city centre. Showcases traditional Cambodian handicraft skills such as wood and stone carving, lacquering, gilding and silk painting. Visitors are conducted on a free guided tour where they can see the crftsmen in action. The boutiques display the many items produced. Tours available in Khmer, English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.
Khmer Ceramics & Fine Arts Centre, Vithey Charles De Gaulle, Khum Slorkram (On the road to the temples; 30 m. after the traffic light when coming from Siem Reap), ☎ +855 1784 3014, . 8AM-7:30PM. Glazed stoneware bowls, plates, teapots and decorative objects in made with traditional Khmer ceramic techniques.
McDermott Gallery, FCC Building, Pokambor Ave, ☎ +855 12 274 274, . 10AM-10PM daily. Elegant, friendly gallery with photography of Angkor by John McDermott, called "the Ansel Adams of Angkor" by the New York Times. Also McDermott Gallery 2, on the passage between Pub St and the Old Market with world class photography of Asia by severeal different artists. Art buffs will want to pick up a copy of ArtVenues, a free guide to the galleries of Siem Reap.
Theam's House Gallery, Veal Village, Khum Kokchak, ☎ +855 78 20 81 61, . 8AM-7PM daily. The gallery exhibits paintings, designer-made artworks created by the artist-designer Theam Lim who has studied at Ecole Boulle and Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, together at Paris. Theam's House gallery and atelier are located in the house of the artist, built by himself inspired by the Khmer rural architecture surrounded by a luxurious and tropical garden.
Angkor Trade Centre, Cnr Street 9 and Pokambor Ave. The mall, Cambodian style. A reasonably extensive selection of packaged food, drinks whitening deodorant, imported alcohol and the familiar feeling of shopping in air-conditioned comfort.Fixed US$ prices..
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. It's stolen if it is.
Center 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. Many of the goods here cannot be found in Thailand.
Eating options span the full spectrum of tastes and budgets from the rudimentary Asian staples and pizza to authentic Khmer and sophisticated fine-dining featuring exotic local ingredients. The highest assortment of restaurants are in few blocks north of the Old market but there are numerous appetizing alternatives along Wat Bo Road and hiden 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.
Chusska, Street 7, ☎ +855 12 212 138. The only pure Indian Vegetarian Restaurant in Siem Reap
The Blue Pumpkin, ultra modern and ultra cheap little cafe with sofas for seats, sells paninis and baguettes as well as a variety of ice cream, near the artisans
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, . 7AM-midnight. Italian and Khmer food has been going 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.
Fresh at Chilli Si Dang (Fresh), East River Rd (next to City River Hotel), ☎ +855 17 875 129. 7AM-2PM. Beautiful riverside garden out of the hustle and bustle. Local and western food, play pool, relax on the balcony and use the free WiFi with sunset views. Friday quiz, Saturday BBQ, Sunday roasts, specials everyday.US$3.
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, . Savory 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, . 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, (just off Sivatha Blvd, on the road that goes to Artisans d'Angkor), ☎ +855 97 967 7223 (firstname.lastname@example.org). A stone's throw away from the Night Market and Pub St, and has great food at. 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. Try their fresh fruit juices.US$2-7.
Taj Mahal, Street 11 (near Pub St). Classic Indian dishes. All the food is Halal.
Tuchner's eatery, #075 Mondol 4, Svaydangkum Commune (beside the provincial hospital), ☎ +855 19 886 329, . Savory dishes on the menu including rice boxes, paninis, salad bar and fresh cut fries.From US$8.
Father's Restaurant, Central Market, ☎ +855 92 963 242 (email@example.com), . 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.
La Volpaia Pizzeria Restaurant, #20-22, St 13, ☎ +855 63 764 184, . 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.
Singing Tree Cafe, Entrance of Alley West, . An unusual place combining home style cooking with environmental displays. Large mostly vegetarian menu comprised of both authentic Khmer food and grilled sandwiches and fresh salads, juices and shakes.US$2-5.
Sunflower Restaurant, 2 Thnou St (North of Street 7), ☎ +855 92 245 915, . 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, . 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.US$2-6.
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 these surrounds.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.
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 can easily cost 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. You are liable to forget where you are. The chefs here painstakingly source out the freshest (and strangest) ingredients to build their multi-course seasonal menu (US$31++ optional wine pairing US$16++). A typical set will have you dining on dried snake salad and grilled frog, but rest assured, it all actually tastes good. 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.
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.
Green Star, Wat Bo Rd (at the southern end of Wat Bo Rd, on the terminating street), ☎ +85 59 225 5241. Some say it's not the most authentic Khmer or Asian food though still tasty and well prepared. That fact that it support the Green Gecko project might be enough to convince your tastebuds to comprimise just this once.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 stand out. The daybed style lounge seating is ok if you are limber but they have some regular tables if you prefer to eat sitting upright.US$2-4.
Selantra Restaurant, #0729, Wat Bo Rd (Opposite of French Cultural Centre), ☎ +655 12 569975, . 10AM-10PM. A limited menu of well presented Khmer dishes and food from elsewhere. Stylish setting.US3$-18$.
Viroth's Restaurant, #246 Wat Bo Rd, ☎ +855 12 826 346, . 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.
Alliance Art Cafe, Wat Damnak Rd, . In a French colonial building built in 1953, on the former grounds of the French Cultural Centre. The cafe offers both French and Cambodian dishes within an art exhibition space. 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.
The distinction between eating and drinking establishments is fairly blurry as even the most humble of restaurants can have an extensive cocktail list on their menu. Nonetheless, a vibrant drinking scene concentrated along Street 8, aptly dubbed Pub St, is where serious drinkers head for cheap beer, loud music and the sweaty backpacking hubbub scene akin to Bangkok's Khao San Road. The biggest and most well known Pub St bars, Angkor What?, The Red Piano, Temple club and Le Tigre du Papier, are easy to find.
Travellers 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 brews 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.
A few drinking holes offer a bit more than cheap drunkenness.
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.
Sports Bar, The Alley (Western end). More than just a sports bar, with free pool table and 3 large HD TVs. Great place to watch rugby and football. Expensive drinks.
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.
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 plucked straight from 1930s Shanghai.
Little Pari, The Lane, behind Pub St. A delightful corner bar spinning some jazz tunes and dispensing cocktail infusions to a friendly ex-pat crowd.
Nomad Shisha Bar, The Lane, behind Pub St (beside Cambodia Soup Restaurant), ☎ 0972518826 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Other than the attractive woodland creature-like French Canadian man who owns this dolls-house small bar in the heart of Siem Reap, other reasons for visiting would be the seductively Arabic style decor – all gauzy drapes, velvet covered floor mattress seating – and of course the first shisha menu in Siem Reap..
FCC Angkor, Pokambor Ave (North of the Post office), . A branch of the legendary Phnom Penh Foreign Correspondents' Club, the FCC is the hippest place for a drink. A blend of modern style and colonial architecture with fairly steeply priced drinks, at least by Cambodian standards.
The Warehouse, corner Street 9 and 2 Thnou St (opposite the Old Market), . 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 draft beer offered at various times on Friday (with an Angkor Wat ticket), though courtesy dictates you have a drink or two before or afterwards or dine from the food menu.
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
An 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 are line the National Highway to the Airport, cheap backpacker hostels tend to surround the old market area and stylish boutique hotels a nestled in the trees along Wat Bo 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.
Bun Kao Guesthouse, #0556, St 22, Wat Bo Rd, ☎ +855 63 966 589, . Dorms and ensuite rooms with A/C and balconies on each floor. Free, but painfully slow, internet.A/C double: US$14.
Earthwalkers, Sala Kanseng Village, Sangkat No. 2, . Clean, high quality budget rooms. Restaurant, WiFi, free breakfast, friendly staff, and a nice pool/bar area. Run by Norwegians. Away from town.Dorms $5.
Garden Village Guesthouse & Hostel, 434, Group 4, Stung Thmey Village, . Free airport pickup, free internet (slow), restaurant. 80 rooms, dormitories are open-air stilted houses made from bamboo mats and thus quite cool and airy.Dorm bed: US$1; 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, . 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 A/C. WiFi 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)
Hosteling International Siem Reap, 209, Wat Domnak Village, Salacomreuk Commune, ☎ +855 8 959 1169 (email@example.com), . 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Free WiFi, laundry+ironing US$1.50/kg, restaurant (US$2-3/dish), tours to Angkor Vat and district.single/double start at US$5-6 with cold shower, US$8 hot shower.
Siem Reap Hostel, 7 Makara St (near the corner of Wot Bo Road and Angkor School Road in the Wat Dam Nak area), (email@example.com), . A comfortable hostel with A/C throughout, including the rooms. Free WiFi, all rooms a balcony. Bar, restaurant, pool table, indoor swimming pool in the bar/restaurant area (clean but cold), yoga room, cinema style movie nights, pubcrawls every Sat night. Staff are paid commissions for selling tours and transport and can be pushy. The hostel has its own tuk tuk drivers whom they interview to ensure honesty and good English. They can be booked for trips at the front desk which ensures no overcharging or scamsDorm bed: US$8, double: $US30; triple: US$45.
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: 12noon. 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 A/C & private bathroom. (13.358465,103.859785)
Big Lyna Villa, #659, Street 22, Wat Bo Rd, ☎ +855 63 964 807, . A Khmer style wooden building. 10 double rooms with hot shower, mini fridge and satTV. Free WiFi and bicycle usage. A/C double: US$20.
The Prohm Roth Inn, #072, Street 20, Wat Bo Rd, . Bright & large double, twin & triple rooms, cableTV, fan & AC, private en-suite, hot shower: US$7-25. Green & clean, free pick up, WiFi & breakfast. The sam friendly local brothers also own Prohm Roth Guesthouse on Pub St, near the Old Market.
Mommy Guesthouse, #026 taphul, Svay dongkum. * Golden Takeo Guesthouse, #123 Wat Bo Rd, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Well presented rooms, surrounded by gardens with a cool roof top terrace. Free breakfast, laundry, bicycle and internet.Fan double: US$7; A/C double: US$17. Fan double: US$7; A/C double: US$17.
Hak's House, Build Bright Rd (next to Build Bright University), ☎ +855 12 540 336, . A Khmer family-run guesthouse with basic single and double fan or A/C rooms. Free WiFi.USD$9-20.
Home Sweet Home Guesthouse, 111 Wat Bo Rd, ☎ +855 63 760 279, . Large rooms with ensuite bathroom. The decoration is best described as spartan and some travellers have found the cleanliness of the rooms and communal areas to be equally lacking.From US$9-20.
Palm Garden Lodge, Soksan St, Svay Dungkum, . Bright rooms with wood four-poster beds and fresh linen. $9-25.
Paradise Eco resort-Siem Reap, 1 Tuk Vil, N6 Baray (10 min from Angkor Wat temple), ☎ +855 63 655 2525 (email@example.com), . 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, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12 noon. Very friendly hotel near to city centre. Rooms have A/C, satTV, fridge, WiFi, en-suite with hot water.$20-40.
Sam So Guesthouse, 164 Wat Bo Rd, (opposite Street 21), ☎ +855 12 602956, +855 97 669 9813 (email@example.com), . All rooms are big, clean, and have a private bathroom with hot water, A/C 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$9-20.
Seven Candles Guesthouse, 307 Wat Bo Rd, ☎ +855 63 963 380 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Run by the Ly family, comfortable clean rooms with private hot water bathroom, A/C, fan, and TV. 2 bottles of water daily. Laundry, onward transport bookings, and free WiFi. 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 licensed Angkor Wat tour guides, speaking English, French, and Russian. Breakfast is available for a small additional fee.US$20.
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 (email@example.com), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12 noon. Bar & restaurant downstairs, Western & Cambodian menu. Large rooms with high ceilings, open windows, WiFi, free computers downstairs, 70 channel TV, A/C 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 Mastercards accepted. Free pick up 24 hr by prior arrangement.US$8-20. (13.350774,103.855200)
Rosy Guesthouse, Slar Kram Village, ☎ +855 63 965 059 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Very popular long running guesthouse with bar, restaurant and large balcony overlooking the Siem Reap River. Comfortable and well kitted out rooms with hot water shower bathroom, large TV, DVD player, free WiFi, fridge, fan and A/C.US$8-30.
Shadow of Angkor, 353 Pokambor Ave, ☎ +855 63 964 744 (email@example.com), . 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.
Yellow Guest House, 363, Taphul Village, Svay Dangkum Commune, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Very clean, well furnished rooms. Staff speak English, as well as several other languages, including Japanese and Thai. Computers and internet in the common area. There's a no shoes/flip-flops policy indoors, so the floors are kept clean. From US$3-16..
Auberge Mont Royal d'Angkor, 497 Taphul St, ☎ +855 12 630 131, . French villa style building with 30 rooms decorated with an Asian feel.US$35-.
Central Boutique Angkor Hotel, . Locally owned and operated. Clean, comfortable hotel, not too far from the centre of town, with western bathrooms, gardens and a pool. A/C rooms from US$29 with breakfast included.
City River Hotel, Steung Siem Reap St. ☎ +855 63 763 000, . Comfortable hotel near the city centre. Airport pick-up. Internet access in rooms and accepts credit cards. From US$60.
The Cockatoo Nature Resort, ☎ +855 63 969 069, . 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; inquire for current promotional offers.
Golden Temple Hotel, 7 Makara Rd. ☎ +855 12 756 655, . 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 will easily organize any trips you want to Angkor Wat or elsewhere close by.
Men's Resort & Spa, ☎ +855 63 963 503, . 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.
The RiverGarden Siem Reap, 113 Mondule 3, ☎ +855 63 963 400, . 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, . Clean spacious rooms and free WiFi.US$40-65.
Tanei Guesthouse Siem Reap, (next to Artisan D’Angkor), . 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, A/C, hot water, cableTV, window, 24 hr services and 24 hr security. Room rates from US$12 include free pick-up.
Mom's Guesthouse, #0099, Phom Wat Bo, . One of the longer-running guesthouses in Siem Reap, now in a new if somewhat characterless building. Mom will be happy to make all sorts of travel and transport arrangements. US$25 for A/C doubles with breakfast, hot water and airport transfers included.
Shining Angkor Boutique Hotel, #560 Group One, Kok Chok Commune, ☎ +855 63 963 096, . 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 cold bacon and over runny egg and toast. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Decor is traditional wooden furniture with Buddhist elements. Family owned.
Villa Siem Reap, 153 Taphul Rd, ☎ +855 63 761 036, . 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.
Frangipani Villa Hotel, #0603, Wat Bo Rd, ☎ +855 63 963 030, . Superior room from US$44, pool view from US$66, balcony room from US$55.
Day Inn Angkor Resort, Oum Khun St, ☎ +855 63 760 500 (email@example.com), . Brightly painted and decorated with stylish touches, the 62 rooms all have a balcony or terrace view of the swimming pool and landscaped private gardens.US$88-108.
Heritage Suites Hotel, (Next to Wat (Pagoda) Po Langka), ☎ +855 63 969 100, . A roll top bath, private garden and premium linen are uncommon little extras that could help you justify the price.$140-275.
Hôtel de la Paix, Cnr Samdech Tep Vong St & Sivutha Blvd, ☎ +855 63 966 000 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Designed with Khmer influence and a touch or art deco, every room features an iPod preloaded with self-guided temple tours and a selection of music, LCD TV, terrazzo bathtub and a separate rain shower.$US275-675.
La Residence d'Angkor, River Rd, ☎ +855 63 963 390 (email@example.com), . 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 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 (email@example.com), . A near 5 star resort in the city centre with larger than some hotels entire rooms.US$140-$2,200.
Suites and Sweet Angkor, Phum Krous, Khum Svay Daungum, ☎ +855 63 761 490 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 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 (email@example.com), . About as exclusive as you can get the freestanding French colonial building has only one suite with street view balconies and a private roof top jacuzzi garden.US$250.
Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa, Central Park, Siem Reap Town, Kingdom of Cambodia, ☎ + 855 63 760 428, . Very luxurious hotel, beautifully decorated.US$ 155 up.
Siem Reap has long since been thoroughly demined.
Most local are decent people just trying to make an honest living but a few shady characters try every trick to take advantage of travellers good will. Be alert to deceptive dealers, but don't let suspicion ruin your trip.
Convenience stores have been known to give incorrect change and pocket the rest. Check your change before you walk out of the store and point out any short changing. Most likely they will admit to their "mistake" and give you the right change.
Street vendors and beggars in competition for generous travellers' handouts have developed cunning, if underhanded, techniques to get your attention (and money). The "beggar army" of young children will come up to you in the crowd and grab your hands, leading you to a store where they will then try and have you buy food/baby milk/water for them. Baby milk (infant formula) seems to be a popular one. It might sound like a more humanitarian way to help than simply giving them money, but once you leave the store the goods you bought for them are sold back to the store 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 travellers. Though these young adults may be well groomed and speak excellent English it's possible that your donation will go directly into their pockets. A donation (either of money, or your time) to a recognised Charity might be a better way to help.
Baby-milk scams may be encountered in the centre of town, outside supermarkets. A very poor looking woman will beg for some milk powder, pointing to her baby. If one cracks and buys the milk, she later returns it to the shop, and the money is split half-half.
Royal Angkor International Hospital, National Route 6, Phum Kasekam, Khum Sra Ngea, ☎ +855 63 761 888, . Owned by the Bangkok Hospital Group and caters specifically to tourists. The care is not cheap, but it is of a very high standard. There is a fully stocked pharmacy, General surgeon, Orthopedic surgeon, Pediatrician and other hospital services such as treatment for fractures and intestinal problems.
The numerous Internet cafés charge anywhere 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, (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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), . 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 include international broadcasters BBC World Service on 99.25MHz and Radio France International on 92.0MHz.
3 Hours Laundry, Sivatha Rd (near Thunborey Hotel). M-Sa 9AM-9PM; 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, ☎ +85 517 889 030 (email@example.com). 3. Uses washing machines and dryers.US$1 per kg.
Banteay Chhmar - the forgotten Angkorian complex in neighboring Banteay Meanchey Province. A bit ambitous for a day trip by tuk-tuk but makes for a wonderful excursion by helicopter (about US$2200).
Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre, Sanday Village (3 km before the Landmine Museum on the road to Banteay Srey temple), ☎ +855 97 852 7852, . 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 Phluk Floating Village, (off the Highway to Phnom Penh). This mangrove forest offers a much more authentic 'floating village experience' than the one close to the Tonlé Sap ferry harbour. This fascinating village on stilts can be reached by tuk-tuk from Siem Reap. It takes about 1 hour to reach the village, depending on the road conditions and water level. Depending on where you buy your tour, your haggling techniques and your initiative to book a tuk-tuk and boat ride yourself the price varies between 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.
Landmine Museum, (6 km south of Banteay Srey Temple, 31 km from Siem Reap), . This tiny museum was set up by local deminer Aki Ra to educate locals and tourists about the dangers of land mines. Piles of defused mines and 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.
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