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Siem Reap

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Asia : Southeast Asia : Cambodia : Siem Reap
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The town of Siem Reap [1], in northern Cambodia, is the primary access point for the Angkor Archaeological Park.

city map of Siem Reap

Understand

Siem Reap, literally "Siam Defeated". These days, however, the only rampaging hordes are the tourists heading to Angkor and this once quaint village has become the largest boomtown and construction site in Cambodia. It's quite laid-back and all in all a pleasant place to stay while touring the temples. It's a nice compromise between observing Cambodian life and enjoying the amenities of modern services and entertainment, thanks to the large expatriate community in Siem Reap. As business has increased, so have the numbers of people wanting your custom, and so have the prices, which are often double or more what you would pay 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 Angkor, including hotel/bar/restaurant/shop info, travel info, maps, etc. For the eco-sensitive tourist, check out "Stay Another Day: Cambodia," a detailed guide with local spots that support the environment and community.

Get in

See Cambodia | Get in | Visas for detailed visa information.

By plane

Siem Reap - Angkor International Airport [2] (IATA: REP | ICAO: VDSR) has frequent flights from Phnom Penh. Internationally, there are direct flights to/from Korea (Seoul), Laos (Pakse | Vientiane | Luang Prabang), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), China (Guangzhou), Singapore, Taiwan (Kaohsiung | Taipei), Thailand (Bangkok | U-Tapao/Pattaya) and Vietnam (Danang | Hanoi | Ho Chi Minh City). Low-cost carriers Air Asia and Jetstar Asia now fly to Siem Reap from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore respectively, but the popular route to Bangkok is still monopolized by Bangkok Airways, which charges accordingly (around $350 US per person, round-trip for the 1-hour flight). Thai Airway has begun service from Bangkok as of 2009.

The airport is less than 15 minutes from the town centre by car (US$7) or motodop (US$4 or less). If you have an advance booking in a hotel, you can ask them for a free airport pickup (in one of their tuk-tuks). This way you can avoid the monopolistic taxi service in Siem Reap.

There are separate terminals for international and domestic flights. International departure tax is a steep US$25 (children US$13), payable after check-in and before clearing immigration. Often this can only be paid in cash, as the credit card facility is unreliable. Airport fee upon departure on national flights, to Phnom Penh, is US$6.

By land

Cambodian highways have improved considerably in the last few years (although there's still plenty of room for further improvement) and some routes that were once epic adventures are now sealed roads. For most routes you have the basic options of chartering or sharing a Toyota Camry taxi, sharing a ride in a pickup truck, or if it's a sealed road, taking the bus.

From Thailand

Road between Siem Reap and Poipet (March 2006)

The most popular overland route from Thailand, and the most direct from Bangkok and Eastern Thailand, is via the Aranyaprathet/Poipet border crossing. To reach Aranyaprathet from elsewhere in Thailand, see the Aranyaprathet article.

Paving of the infamous Poipet-Sisophon-Siem Reap road was finally completed in April 2009 and, for time being, it's a very smooth ride that can be covered in under three hours. How well the road will stand up, especially once the monsoon hits, is another story...

The newest route that heads from Phnom Penh to the Hat Lek International border crossing, as the crossing has less trafic, the time to clear immigration on both sides is much faster, This route offers a scenic trip trough one of the last old growth forests in Asia, passing through 3 different densely covered watersheds. The road is in excellent condition, and the time to Bangkok is nearly the same as the above routes, on regularly scheduled air con buses. You can also transfer and get to and from Sihanoukville, Cambodia's main beach city.

Whichever route you take, beware of scams, touts and pickpockets at the Poipet border crossing. See the Poipet article for information on the irritating Visa on Arrival process. Once you're through all of that, take the free shuttle bus from outside the entry stamp office in Poipet to the transportation depot about 1 km away or find a taxi driver close by to begin bargaining.

The fastest and most comfortable way to get from Poipet to Siem Reap is by taxi. The cost of this trip varies accoring to your own bargaining skills. Payment can often be made in Thai baht if US dollars are not available. The cost should not exceed 1000 baht or roughly just over US$35, but corrupt police deal directly with the taxi stand "officials," increasing the price by $25 (and ticketing drivers who do not comply with the corruption). The entire trip from Poipet to Siem Reap, depending on various conditions, could take less than 3.5 hours on a good day. The transport monopoly in Poipet will not allow more than four tourists in one of these cars, although they often carry 10 or more Khmers at a time.

An alternative is to take the official bus for US$10/person. The bus leaves when full - and only then, even if it takes a few hours - and can take about 15 people, with all the bags on the back seat. Extra people will be squeezed onto the back seat if necessary, which might not be so comfortable. Two fold down seats in the centre aisle are also not so comfortable. The trip is advertised as taking 3-5 hours, but in reality it takes at least 6 hours when the road is not too bad. An enforced stop after 2 hours at a restaurant can add to the time of the trip, depending on how long the driver wants to stay. There is the possibility of additional delays (e.g. "mechanical faults") and these are almost certainly due to the same reasons as the Khao San scam-bus: getting you to Siem Reap late, tired and ready to take whatever guesthouse you're delivered to. If you are sharing a taxi it will cost only a few dollars more than a bus and will be a lot better.

If even this is too much, you can try to hop on the back of a pick-up truck for a fraction of the price, but these are now hard to arrange from Poipet, due to the travel monopoly operating there. Also, the ride is a lot more uncomfortable, takes longer and may require a change of vehicle at Sisophon.

Alternatively, you could join the backpacking masses and pay a couple hundred baht for an uncomfortable bus ride directly from Khao San Road all the way to Siem Reap; any travel agent in Bangkok will be happy to sell you a ticket. Buses leave Khao San Road around 8AM and arrive in Siem Reap between 5PM and 3AM. How long it takes exactly does not really depend on road conditions, but on the mood of the driver. Because he can "sell" you to a guesthouse in Siem Reap he will try to arrive there as late as possible, because if you are tired and afraid of walking around in Siem Reap late at night, his chances increase that you will stay at the guesthouse of his choice. (There is no obligation to stay, regardless of what the guesthouse owners tell you.) Even if you start in Bangkok on a big aircon bus, you will almost certainly find yourself in the back of a pickup or stuffed minibus for the Cambodian part of the journey. For the return trip, expect to pay around US$11.

If you arrive in Poipet the Khao San Road buses, you'll be swarmed by offers of extra help and assurances that you're better off paying 1000 baht (US$30) or even more for the visa - which should cost US$20. Stand your ground - the bus won't leave without you, because the driver wants the guesthouse commission you represent.

From Phnom Penh

Roadside Petrol Cambodia-style

There are several bus companies that you can take to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. The most popular bus companies with tourists include Capitol Transport, GST, and Mekong Express. Each bus company leaves from a different location, although there are many located around the Central Market. Nearly all of the bus companies have buses leaving at 7:30AM - 14:00PM, and the trip costs US$10-11. Expect to get to Siem Reap in 5-7 hours. In contrast to the Siem Reap-Poipet road, the entire road is paved, making for a much more comfortable ride. If you're driving yourself, watch out for the make-shift patrol petrol stations next to the road, selling petrol in old 2 litre Coke bottles. Much cheaper than the real thing, but who knows what the quality is...

Most tour buses stop for a break half way between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh at Kompong Thom.

By boat

Fast, Soviet style Hydrofoils also make the journey from Phnom Penh across the Tonle Sap lake. Asking price for a "foreigner" ticket is typically US$35. There are also services between Siem Reap and Battambang (asking price US$15, pay US$10).

These can be fantastic trips which give travelers the opportunity to view life on the lake, floating houses, fishermen going about their work, and to get a sun tan if you choose to sit on the roof of the boat. However if you travel on a windy day and you have not kept waterproofs and sunscreen out of your luggage you could be in trouble. These journeys take anywhere from five to eight hours and without waterproofs and sunscreen you will become incredibly cold and will be burned by the sun at the same time. As the boat is generally packed with travelers, those on the roof will have to stay up there, and once your bags are in the hold, they stay there.

If you are planning a week long trip in Siem Reap, the boat journey is fine, but if you are only planning two to three days, take the bus. If you are specifically taking the boat to see the floating village, don't. The floating village is at the very end of the boat journey. You could ride the bus from Phnom Penh, get a guest house, take a tuk-tuk to the port, tour the floating village, and be back in Siem Reap before your friends arrive from Phnom Penh by boat.

A word of caution: If you find yourself taking the boat/bus and person asks for your name to have his friend pick you up, he is in actuality selling your name to a tuk-tuk driver in Siem Reap. This is a fairly convenient way to get from the port to Siem Reap, just be prepared for an extremely hard sell to one of his select guest houses, restaurants, etc. If you just "roll with it" he will take you to a guest house and you will quoted US$10 for a normally priced US$6-8 room. Since the tuk-tuk driver has now pinned you for a "sucker", he will try to sell you on his services to the temples for about US$15-20 a day. Be firm, and negotiate, they will bend towards the market rate. You'll never really be ripped off, but keep in mind that if you are staying for longer than four days, that tuk-tuk surplus would be much better served through a charitable donation.

Along the Siem Reap River

Get around

On foot

Most of the sights in Siem Reap can be seen on foot. For the foot-sore and sun-weary, you'll have plenty of offers from locals on motorbikes. Only the longest rides should be more than US$1 though prices go up at night. Simply agree a price and hop on the back.

By bicycle

Many guesthouses provide bicycles free for "round town" use, or US$1/day (single speed) and from US$2/day (with gears). It's also a good way to see Angkor on your own - the terrain is flat and most roads are decent - but leave early to avoid the mid-day heat. As of 2008, the electric bicycle renting agency is no longer in business.

By motorbike

You can hire a motodop (motorbike taxi with driver) for a full day for US$8-10 or so. Some motodops may be able to provide you with a helmet if you request one in advance.

The rental of motorbikes to tourists in Siem Reap is prohibited. However, foreigners can ride motorbikes they've rented elsewhere (e.g. Phnom Penh).

By tuk-tuk

Tuk-tuk drivers can be hired for US$13 - $15/day for temples within the main part of the archaeological park. For temples or sights further afield, such as Banteay Srei, Beng Mealea or Kbal Spean, there will be an additional surcharge. The driver will arrange meeting places with you or wait where you tell them to. They are a great way of see the surrounds without the barrier of a car window! You will not find it hard finding a tuk-tuk, as you will be offered the service everywhere you walk on the streets, especially in the touristy areas such as Pub Street. A word of advice, pay them for their services after everything you have arranged is completed. For example, if you arrange for a later trip to the airport and pay them, chances are that you will have to find another ride. Although you can also bargain on the fees beforehand please think of the fact that an extra dollar or a couple of dollars is a great deal of money for your driver and his family.

By car

Guesthouses can usually arrange a driver and car for you; this works out at about US$25-30 per day and is a good way to visit the temples if time is short.

An additional and very convenient way to get around the area, and also get to and from the airport, is to use an 'official taxi', which are available at the airport for the fee of US$7 to the city and payable to the counter at the airport. Whilst in the taxi you will be offered the services of the car and the driver for US$30/day, which is very good value if you want to visit several temples in one day. They also have the added luxury of air conditioning, which you will be craving after walking around temples for a couple of hours The US$30/day is payable directly to the driver, who will speak English, have had training, will have a proper driving license and also have knowledge of the temples and surrounding area.

The Tourist Transport Association [3] also have an office just behind the tourist information office in Siem Reap, which you can contact if you have any questions or queries. All other services and prices are listed on the back of the receipt you receive when you pay the US$5 at the airport for the trip into town.

By rickshaw

Unlike Phnom Penh, bicycle rickshaws are almost non-existent.

See

The reason most people come to Siem Reap is the Angkor Archaeological Park, which is thoroughly covered on its own page. The town is worth strolling about for itself though and boasts quite a number of beautiful modern Buddhist temples.

Piles of mines, Landmine Museum
  • The Angkor National museum, [4], with it's 1000 Buddhas is without a doubt of the most modern museums in all of Asia. Besides the already mentioned 1000 buddhas this museum shows the history of the Angkor complex as well as Khmer culture and clothing using high tech displays and video screens. The entrance fee is a bit steep ($12 for foreigners) , but what you get in return is so worth it.
  • Landmine Museum, [5], 6 km south of Banteay Srey (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 on site. A very worthwhile trip that brings home the scale of the problem and shows you a slice of "real" Cambodia. US$1 entry, and donations very welcome — everything will be used to provide support for land mine relief initiatives, education and victim assistance. NB: 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.
  • A short distance outside of the city center, there is a small bone stupa to mark the Khmer Rouge killing fields that were near Siem Reap. There is no cost to enter, but donations are requested, as the temple Wat Thmei that hosts the memorial is under expansion. For donations, use only the donation boxes in the temple altars or at the bone stupa. There are some cheaters standing at the temple entrance or on the graves on the right side, who will welcome you. After a short introduction they will ask you to give them directly donations/tips for their school in the temple. In fact they are not from the school and are trying to cheat on tourists.
  • An alternative trip when you are feeling 'templed out' is to visit the Tonle Sap lake a few miles from town and take a boat trip past the floating villages. The fast hydrofoil to Phnom Penh also passes this way.
Kampong Phluck
  • The silk worm farm is worth the hike. Again, ask any tuk-tuk driver.
  • Kampong Phluck, off the Highway to Phnom Penh, is only reachable by motorbike and then boat, and is a much more authentic 'floating village experience' than the one close to the Tonlé Sap-ferry harbour. Enquire at your local hotel for a day trip to this fascinating village on stilts. This day trip should cost around US$30 and it takes about 2 hours to reach the village, depending on the road conditions and water level.

Do

  • Apsara Theatre, tel. +855-63-963-363. [6]. The only air-con theater in town presents various traditional popular and classical dances and serves a set of local specialties. Booking recommended.
  • Army Shooting Range (near Banteay Srey and Kbeal Span) - an "alternative" solution to temple fatigue, with armament and explosives availability apparently only limited by how much you're willing to spend. Even a short round is pretty expensive (US$30 minimum, prices vary based on supply), but listening to the soldiers-turned-used car salesmen put the hard sell on a new machine gun is almost worth the trip. Grenades are sometimes offered for US$30 and 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!
  • Hidden Cambodia Dirt Bike Tours, tel. + 855 (0)12 934 412 or (0)12 655 201, [7]. Motorbike and 4x4 tours.
  • Spend a Day In a Cambodian Village - a unique insider look to a real Cambodian life. Spend time with village kids at their school, harvest or plant some corn, and interact with villagers.
  • Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation (SVC) Siem Reap is a hub of ecotourism and conservation efforts. SVC organizes eco-responsible tours to remote habitats, with the goal of promoting wildlife conservation and benefiting rural communities. Tours range in length from 1 day to 2 weeks.
  • Cultural Village This giant historical park, located on National Road #6, features small tributes to all the cultures of Cambodia. A wax museum highlights major figures in Cambodian history, and there are miniatures of many national buildings and monuments throughout the gardens. Witness local dancing or a Khemer wedding ceremony at various stages throughout the park. Admission is $12 USD, and a guide an extra $5. (Guides are not necessary, but will add a lot of significance to the displays.)
  • Cooking Classes Several restaurants throughout the city offer courses on Khemer cooking. For the true gourmand, check out the Paul Dubrule School of Hotel and Tourism, located on National Road #6. The school itself offers high-quality hospitality training to underprivileged Cambodians, who receive scholarships. You can support this by attending a 5-hour or full day cooking class on authentic Khemer food. At $40 a person, its definitely pricier than elsewhere, but the attention to detail, cleanliness and comfort are unparalleled. It is, after all, a school for hospitality. (Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.)
  • Massage Several Khmer massage parlours can be found in Siem Reap. Unlike their namesake counterparts in Bangkok, these are generally genuine massage parlours and not a front for sexual services. The Khmers believe that the Thai massage is derived from Khmer massage - which is just as relaxing (and requires less twisting and turning) as a Thai massage. A good 1-hour massage costs about USD 10 (as of April 2008)
  • Sokha Helicopters (Angkor Wat Scenic Helicopter Flights), 24 Sivatha Road, Svay Dankum Commune, Siem Reap, +85512449555, [8]. See Angkor's amazing temples and sights from the sky with a thrilling helicopter scenic flight with Sokha Helicopters. Bookings available through your hotel, tour agent or phone +855 63 966 072 or +855 12 449 555. Prices from US$110 per person.
  • Angkor Photography Festival: Photography for Change, [9]. Annual festival that showcases outdoor projections of regional and international photographers.
  • The Sangkheum Center for Children, Chey Village, Siem Reap (A few km past airport on Hwy 6), 855 12 67 56 37, [10]. Children's center for orphaned, abused or neglected Cambodian Children. Buy some rice, T-shirts, school supplies, or anything (except for candy as this will do more damage than good), and go out to the children's center for a look at the welcoming village-like setting. The center serves approx. 50 residential children, and 50 daytime students in the community who are determined to be most in need. Children are aged 2 - 18, and receive basic care and additional enrichment classes to supplement their public schooling.
  • Aqua, 7 Makara Street (east of old market), (01) 1736243 (). Aqua is an open-air swimming pool with a nice bar. 2.50$ per person.

Buy

File:Hfb-gold-2009.jpg
Heritage Friendly Business Logo

As usual in Cambodia, dollars and even Thai baht are preferred over riel for all purchases except the very smallest. There are a number of large, flashy souvenir shops around town, complete with temple-style decorations and a surplus of staff, which happily charge 2-5x the going price elsewhere in town and are best avoided.

Despite what you may be told at the Thai border, international ATMs in Siem Reap are plentiful, and banks can do cash advances from credit cards.

Heritage Watch, a non-profit organization, has launched a campaign that aims to encourage support for Cambodia's arts, culture, heritage and development. Businesses that are giving back to the community are certified as Heritage Friendly by the independent organization and permitted to display either a gold or silver Heritage Friendly logo.

  • Angkor Market, Sivatha Blvd. Siem Reap's closest thing to a supermarket, offering a good range of food, snacks, alcohol and even some souvenirs. Clearly marked, non-negotiable but reasonable prices.
  • Psar Chas (Old Market), to the south of town. Sells a reasonably attractive collection of artifacts and tourist junk. Please don't buy anything purporting to be antique; it probably isn't, but it's stolen if it is.
  • Central Market, at the corner of Sivatha Blvd and Achamean Street. Offers an eclectic collection of clothes and trinkets for good prices. Don't forget to bargain down the price. 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.
  • Khmer Ceramics and Bronzes Centre, Phum Thnorl, Khum Sror Ngea (on the road to the airport (RN6); 200 m. opposite the Paul Dubrule School), +855 63 761 519, [11]. 8AM-6PM. The Khmer Ceramics and Bronzes Centre trains and sells the work of young Cambodians in Khmer ceramic and bronze arts. Half-day introductory courses in ceramics and bronze casting for visitors and their children are also available. Admission is free but a small donation is appreciated.
  • McDermott Gallery, FCC Building, Pokambor Ave. (On the river, between the King's summer palace and the Post Office), +85512274274, [12]. 10AM-10PM daily. Elegant, friendly gallery with stunning photography of Angkor by John McDermott, called "the Ansel Adams of Angkor" by the New York Times. Also don't miss McDermott Gallery 2, on the Passage between Pub Street 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.
  • The Red Gallery, FCC Building, Pokambor Ave. (On the river, between the King's summer palace and the Post Office), +85592822323. 10AM-10PM daily. Contemporary Cambodian art -- everything from sculptures made from decommissioned AK-47s to paintings, pen and ink drawings, photography, lacquer, bronze, and mixed media -- in a funky, eclectic space.

Eat

Red Piano restaurant, Pub Street

There are many hundreds of restaurants in Siem Reap, and you will have no trouble finding something which suits your tastes and your budget. If you don't want to go out, most guesthouses have a basic restaurant attached, and can quickly whip up a decent fried rice.

For something a bit more special, head into town. There are whole streets catering for the travellers tastes, with pizzas, hamburgers, or tasty westernised offerings such as Amok and 'Khmer curry'. Many of the most authentic Karaoke-style restaurants are hidden in the backstreets, though your moto or tuk-tuk driver will no doubt know where to take you. He will be happy to wait (or join you) if you are really out in the boonies.


Budget

The street directly west of Pub Street is lined with lots of stalls offering simple yet filling meals for about a dollar apiece, though with not much more than a choice between several types of fried rice and fried noodles. The hawkers seem to have two menus with different prices and simply hesitating in front of a stall and tends to earn a like-it-or-get-your-money-back offer. The food seems to be fairly clean. The markets also offer local Khmer fare, but hygiene can be dubious.

  • Angkor Famous on the small alley parallel to pub street offers tasty Thai and Cambodian fare at reasonable prices. Two-for-one beer specials and friendly staff.
  • Chiang Mai and Chivat Thai 2 on Wat Bo Rd offer basic Thai fare. Lunch sets start at US$1.50, dinner costs a bit more.

Mid-range

Pub Street is best known as a watering hole, but it has also many nice restaurants that won't break the bank. Nearby you'll also find a whole range of pizzerias, including the original Happy Herbs Pizza and newcomer "Ecstatic Pizza", which depending on how the police are feeling that day either may or may not sell you cannabis-laced "happy" pizza. Don't try the "extra happy" unless you know what you're doing, and note that they will not sell you any herb without the pizza.

  • Blue Pumpkin, Pub Street. Upscale, clean, air conditioned, wifi connection.
  • Curry Walla Indian Cuisine (Halal) on Sivatha road serves vegetarian & non-vegetarian Indian fare starting from $2.50. They offer free internet access to all customers as well as guidebooks to look at.
  • Kama Sutra, Pub Street (opposite D's book shop). Authentic, yet slightly upmarket Indian food. US$7.
  • Khmer Family (formerly The Temple). Tasty and cheap local grub, although it's rather toned down for the foreign palate and often tastes like Thai food without the chillis. Pleasant, breezy second-floor balcony. Mains US$2-4.
  • Khmer Kitchen, located in the alley behind bar street. Good value and very popular.
  • Maharajah Royal Indian Cuisine Halal #7 Near Pub Street from 3$~$10 [13]
  • Silk Garden, Walking Street. The first Western business on this fast moving street. Enjoy cocktails in a tropical garden, this fine place is longing to be discovered. The Garden of Eden waits in this street for the hungry traveler.
  • Socheata I & II If you're not dissuaded by plastic chairs or a few geckos, check out Socheata on Pub Alley. Huge menu, good service, meals starting at $2-3USD. For the more adventurous, you can also get frog dishes here.
  • Temple Club \ Temple Restaurant at the Pub street. Good food, good service. Many meals good for 2 person or for one very hungry one. Special offers until 6PM - good meal with a beer for less than 3$ (oct 2008). Try their banana spring rolls! Free Apshara Dance in the evening.
  • Ecstatic Pizza, Opposite Province Hospital. See the section intro for the source of the name. US$4-7
  • Viroth's Restaurant, Ph Wat Bo. Mains $5-8 USD. Very good Khmer restaurant, always quite full with foreigners (be prepared to book or to wait to get yourself a table). A very extensive menu with Vegetarian options wherever possible.
  • Viva, Pub St. Siem Reap's first and only Mexican restaurant, with a menu containing just about everything you'd expect in your local TexMex restaurant. Good food, reasonable prices.

There are a few good options elsewhere in town. The numerous Karaoke restaurants offer a real authentic experience of modern Khmer dining. Try to sit far from the speakers, and prepare for mozzies. There is often no english menu, but one of the staff will no doubt be happy to help you order. Try phnom pleurng, a delicious cook-it-yourself beef barbecue. Another sensational dish, which is only available at these types of restaurants, is the trei bung gancheyt - a whole fish bubbling in a tasty peanuty sauce with green veggies.

  • Café Moi Moi, Angkor Rd (to the left, after Meridien, before ticket booth). An unpretentious alfresco restaurant with a delightful little garden, serving up Khmer dishes, some traditional, some with a Japanese twist. Their version of amok, the classic dish of fish stewed in coconut milk, is cheap and tasty (US$3.50), while more adventurous diners can opt for minced pork mixed with the pungent Cambodian fish sauce prahok (US$3) and served with sliced raw onion to ease the pain. Nibble some pickles and sweet peanuts, try their famous pumpkin pudding for dessert and wash it all down with a large beer.
  • Samapheap is a large and popular restaurant pleasantly located on the eastern riverbank a short hop down from Route 6, catering to both Khmers and tour groups. The menu is extensive, service is quick, prices are reasonable (most mains US$2-5) and the food is good.
  • Butterflies Garden Restaurant [www.butterfliesofangor.com] On the east side of the river, in the Wat Bo area, is a small garden enclosure filled with butterflies and excellent fare. The restaurant employs local disadvantaged youth to catch butterflies, which are released at 11AM Mon-Thu into the garden. Private dining areas in the garden are a lovely venue. Extensive menu, vegetarian-friendly. Meals from $3-6 USD.

Splurge

  • Abacus. Beautiful garden setting and a temple-stone bar. Renauld, the Maitre 'd, adds flair and style, and the excellent menu is a real treat. At around US$10 for a main, you might not be eating here every night if you are on a tight budget, but it is well worth splashing out at least once.
  • 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. There's a price to pay though: a full meal with a glass or two of wine on the side can easily set you back around US$100 for two.
  • Meric, Hotel de la Paix, tel. +855-63-966-000. 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 9.15 PM for the four course prix-fixe 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.

Drink

Most of Siem Reap's watering holes are concentrated in a few lanes north of Psar Chas (the old market), mainly on a street known appropiately as "Bar Street" or "Pub Street". Drinks usually US$2 and up, although most if not all bars have happy hours before 8 PM and draft Angkor often goes for as little as US$0.50.

The Art House


  • Angkor What?, Pub Street. The pub that started it all, still going strong after ten years and covered in years of scribbled notes from travellers to prove it.
  • The Dead Fish Tower: Near CCB Bank, Phsar Chas. This trendy spot features live crocodiles, a full menu of both western and local dishes, and great entertainment. The Dead Fish is a laid back bar/restaurant, where patrons sit on the floor. A night at the Dead Fish could likely include some combination of live western acoustic guitar music, followed by a Khmer traditional dance performance.
  • FCC Angkor, (west river bank next to post office), [14]. Opened in October 2002, this is far and away Siem Reap's hippest place for a bite and a drink. A branch of the legendary Phnom Penh Foreign Correspondents' Club, the FCC offers food (~US$5) and drink (~US$3) in a marvelous blend of modern style and colonial architecture... if at a fairly steep price, at least by Cambodian standards.
  • Giddy Gecko, Walking Street. Western run bar and lounge with an eclectic array of music and a chilled out atmosphere. The up and coming real pub street of Siem Reap.
  • Laundry Bar A popular French-owned expat hangout with a sophisticated setting and chilled atmosphere, this is definitely a late-night bar. It features a huge selection of music albums for sale at US$5 for 7 albums (on one MP3 disk). Free pool table.
  • Le Tigre du Papier, Pub Street. Free movies most evenings, a huge selection of used books upstairs and cheap shots of the aniseed liquor pastis. French-run.
  • Linga Bar, the only 1 of 2 gay-friendly bar in the village that attracts gay and straights alike. In the words of the owner, your grandmother would feel comfortable here. Great drinks opposite the markets, parallel to the "bar" street.
  • Martini, a lively Khmer nightclub with great local music, some shows, and lots of activity. No entry charge, a token parking charge for bikes, and a flat rate of US$2 a beer.
  • Miss Wong, The Lane, an atmospheric cocktail bar. Make yourself at home in a comfortable booth or sit at the bar and chat with the New Zealand owner, Dean. As the New York Times put it, "With a name like Pub Street, you won’t have any trouble finding Siem Reap’s prime night-life drag. But if beer girls, big-screen TVs and $3 pitchers aren’t your style, head a block north to Miss Wong on The Lane for a taste of vintage Shanghai."
  • Soup Dragon, Pub Street. 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. The food is mostly Vietnamese, good and cheap plus they make their own ice cream.
  • Sports Bar, Alley Street (Just Behind Pub Street old market). More than just a sports bar, with free pool table and 3 large HD TVs.
  • Temple Club, Pub Street. A popular western-orienated (But Khmer owned) nightclub featuring Angkorian decor, three free pool tables, and a rocking dance floor, it's not uncommon for this place to be open until sunrise. Inexpensive drinks hide the fact that the beer is watered down and the glasses are small sized. You may have to wait some time at the bar for a drink, the bigger the club gets the less care there is for the customer.
  • The Warehouse. Just finished a massive refit. One of the best atmospheres in town. Great cocktails and inventive pub fare on all three levels. The ground floor tends towards raucous good times while the 1st floor offers free pool, Nintendo Wii, a large flat screen tv for sporting events and a table football table to entertain you. The rooftop has one of the best views in Siem Reap, with a chic lounge atmosphere and a semi-open kitchen. 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.

Sleep

Accommodation ranges from towering air-conditioned hotels by the airport (mostly for get-in-get-out all-inclusive tours) to local rooms-for-rent and a range of modest guesthouses in town, particular on and around Wat Bo road.

If you arrive with a tour bus or van you will be taken to a "suggested" guesthouse. Usually these are not too bad and you'll probably be too tired to argue.

If you arrive by plane, you may wish to contact a guest house or hotel in advance. They will then usually arrange for free transportation to their place. Otherwise just take a motorbike (US$1) or a taxi (US$2) to town. If you don't know any place to go to, they will ask for your budget and will then suggest the one that pays them the best commission.

Budget

  • Ponloue Angkor Siem Reap Villa [15](855)12 940 685 / (855) 063 963 371

Ponloue Angkor Siem Reap Villa located in downtown of Siem Reap City. Organized by Cambodian family with Khmer style furniture,just a simple and peaceful place for your short holiday. 2 minutes walking to Old Market, Pub Street, Night Market, Siem Reap River and Artisan D' Angkor. We'll keep your feel same as your home!!

  • Free Pick-up
  • Free Wifi & Internet
  • Free Breakfast
  • Free bicycles
  • Free Tea & Coffee 24hrs
  • Free Service Charge
  • Free Government Tax
  • Apsara Steung Thmey has clean rooms with AC for 15$. Free Internet for Guests, cheap laundry service and breakfast. The staff can arrange tour guides, bus tickets, etc. [16]. Only about 4 minutes away from the old market. Bike rental for 2$ per day.
  • Earthwalkers, Sala Kanseng Village, 1.5 km from city centre just off Highway 6, tel. + 855 (0) 12 967 901, [17]. Fantastic place with clean, high quality budget rooms with fan or air-con and own bathroom from US$5-17. Restaurant, wifi, free breakfast, friendly staff, and a nice pool/bar area.
  • Family Guest House, No. 019 Mondoul 2, Svay Dangkum, tel. +855 (0)12 841 864. Newly built concrete building with air-con and fan only rooms, TV and hot water available. Restaurant with good Khmer and Western food. From US$6 (high season).
  • Freedom Hotel, is a budget hotel located on National Road No.6 about 500 meter a way from the main market of Siem Reap called Psa Leu. The hotel offers various of room category with reasonable price.Rates from USD30 per room per night with daily breakfast. Airport pick up is provided. Contact +855 12 987498 or Email freedomhotels@yahoo.com.
  • Garden Village Guesthouse, 434 Group 4, Steng Thmey Village, Svaydangkum Commune, tel: 855 12 217 373, gardenvillage@asia.com, rooms from US$5, free Internet (can be slow and may necessitate a small wait), rooftop bar and restaurant. Not too clean and fairly noisy (prepare to sleep through some bad and loud music in certain rooms). Dormitories (US$1) are open-air stilted houses made from bamboo mats and thus quite cool and airy. Rather mass-scale hotel (some 80 rooms) than a guesthouse, staff very friendly. Food for US$2 and good location. Laundry US$1.
  • Golden Orange, Wat Po area. Range: $20 - $30. Brand new, reasonably priced a/c rooms in the quiet Wat Po Lanka. Flat screen TVs, jacuzzi-style bathtubs, WiFi access. Community balcony with a view.
  • Green Town Guest House, Home Phone: (855) 63 964 974. Receptionist: (855) 012 963 749. E-mail: greentownguesthouse@yahoo.com. Address: Num 0182, Group 3, Wat Bo Village (Behind La Residence d'Angkor Hotel). Website: www.greentownguesthouse.com. Rooms starting at [$2.00] and up to [$15.00] with your choice of number of beds, personal bathroon, air conditioning, fan, cable television, and hot water. It had friendly staff and it's located in the heart of Siem Reap. Additional services include free transportation from the airport/bus station/boat dock, internet access, showing of western movies, and pool/billiards available. The staff have their own restaurant which specializies in Western and traditional Khmer/Thai food at reasonable prices. Also, trips to the Angkor Wat, other temple complexes, local museums as well as other destinations in Southeast Asia can be easily organized from the guest house. The staff do their best to make your stay an enjoyable one. All of the things that are bought are put on a tab which can all be paid together before check out.
  • Home Sweet Home Guesthouse, No. 0111 Wat Bo, tel. 063 760 279, [19]. Rooms with fan and shower inside US$8, shared shower US$5.
  • Jasmine, Moon rise and Hello guesthouses there are many good and cheap (US$5)guesthouses in the north Taphul/highway No.6 area - nice houses and friendly staff, usually free transport to the market area until midnight.
  • LyLy Guest House, No. 547, Svay Dangkum, tel. 012705959, 012705959@mobitel.com.kh is run by a friendly French and English speaking family. Rooms US$3-6.
  • Mandalay Inn (a few blocks from the Old Market), . Has spacious, clean and comfortable air-con rooms with hot shower and cable TV. Best Budget guesthouse in Town. Tour Desk and Ticketting , Free Wi Fi, In-house restaurant. www.mandalayinn.com, reservation@mandalayinn.com, 855 63 761662, 855 92 865356.
  • Naga, Cheap, in-room-wi-fi and clean, these are the advantages. The disadvantages: Water smells rusty, sanitary infrastructure has a rusty tone, the wif-fi is slow and the employees are not surpassing friendly. But a good choice if you need wi-fi and a cheap room.
  • Palm Garden Lodge Siem Reap, [20]. Soksan street, Svay Dungkum, Siem Reap. 5 minutes walking to Old market, Night market & Pub Street.(855)12 687 372 / (855)12 529 312/ (855)63 966 496. It has a restaurant, bar, movies, friendly staff, quiet garden, terrace, fresh atmosphere, balcony, air-con, hot water, cable TV, 24 h service. Room rate $8-$15 including Internet 24 Hours, Tea & Coffee, 24 Hours, pick up (airport, boat & bus Station), bicycles around town, breakfast ( Noodle Soup & Fruit) and Picnic Box ( Minimum 2 Nights Stay). You have to ask for the breakfast and Picnic Box. Good value for money.
  • Prince Mekong, Thapul Village, House 405, +855 (0) 12 437 972 (in the Northern part of town, quite close to the centre -- especially when using the free provided bike). [21], Internet booking available (although prices seems to be lower when going directly). From US$6 a triple-bed room, with an included breakfast service starting at 0500hrs, free laundry, and bicycles included in the price tag. The owner is a sympathetic well-travelled German-Swiss with lots of good advice on how to visit the Angkor sites with the smallest crowds possible. Not in the guide books yet, but try booking a day in advance to be sure to get a room.
  • Phnom Bok Hotel, 0626 Road N°6, +855 (0) 12 821 183 (), [22]. Siem Reap's cheapest hotel with swimming pool. Fan or air-con rooms with bathroom and hot shower. Wi-Fi Internet available. From US$10 with breakfast..
  • Prohm Roth Guesthouse 251 Pub Street extension, +855 (0)12 46 64 95, [23] prohmroth_guesthouse@yahoo.com Very clean and cosy, located 2 minutes walk from Pub Street. Rooms from $6 single, $8 double, hot water, western toilet, air con, fan. Super friendly staff who can assist with all your queries. Can organise pickup from bus station/airport. Highly recommended.
  • Rosy Guesthouse, Slar Kram Village, tel. 012 181 40 11, 012 415 293. [24] reservations@rosyguesthouse.com. Rooms with fan, air-con, satellite TV, and private bathroom with hot shower from US$12.
  • Skyway Hostel,[25] Just on the national road 6 next to Phsar samaki market, this charming little hotel has good location, brilliant staff, great service, beautiful air-con rooms, free internet access and a good restaurant. They will pick you up at the airport and will arrange day-trips, guides and anything you might need while in Siem Reap. Room rate from US$6-20 per room. Contact Nº: 855-12369569 or e-mail: skywayhotel@yahoo.com.
  • Shadow of Angkor,[26]. 353 Pokambor Avenue, Siem Reap; email: shadowofangkor@gmail.com. Telephone: +855 063 964 744; Mobile: 855 012 968 881. One block from the Old Market(Psar Char), and on the river. - close to Pub Street. It is in a French colonial building with a decent Restaurant and bar. Very clean rooms with air-con, hot water, cable TV, free internet; from US$7 to $20, Run by a Cambodian family (Seanghour and Davy), very hospitable and friendly family and staff.
  • Two Dragons Guesthouse, Wat Bo, [27]. Clean rooms with air-con, hot water, cable TV, from US$15. Run by Gordon Sharpless of Tales of Asia fame.
  • Yellow Guest House, [28], Address: #363, Taphul Village, Svay Dangkum Commune, Siem Reap Cambodia. Phone: +855-63-761-558. Email: hotel_yellow@yahoo.com. Very clean, high-quality and well-furnished rooms. The guest house itself opened in 2007, so it is in excellent condition. Prices range from $3-16 depending on number of beds and amenities. It's located in a convenient location to the Angkor Temples, and away from the bustle of the central town area. It is about a 15 min walk into the central town area, but it's a great place for a quiet and peaceful rest. The staff speak great english, as well as several other languages, including Japanese and Thai. Tuk tuks and bicycles to the Angkor Temples are available. There are also fast computer terminals to access the Internet in the common area. There's a no shoes/flip-flops policy indoors, so the floors are kept in very clean condition.

Mid-range

  • Angkor Parkland Siem Reap,[29]Angkor Parkland Siem Reap is an elegant budget hotel in heart of downtown siem Reap, are great place to relax after a long exiting day exploring from Angkor temple. It's owned and operated by Cambodian and Chinese. All of whom are experienced travelers know how to cater for weary legs, dry mouths and rumbling tummies after ruins-temple. Restaurant, bar, movies, friendly staffs, English speaking staffs, terrace, fresh atmosphere, air-con, mini-bar, bathtub, alarm clock, telephone connecting room, hot water, cable TV, Room service, 24 hours services.
  • Angkor Sor Phoun Villa Siem Reap,[30](reservations_sorphoun@yahoo.com)(855)12 793 896 / (855)12 926 450,Road No 6,Beanteay chas,Slakram, Siem Reap. Closed Spha samaki market,10 minutes to old market, Pub street, shopping center,royal park. $20-$30 Angkor Sor Phoun Villa is an elegant budget hotel in heart of Siem Reap town. Smiling open 40 rooms with modern hand carved traditional Khmer wooden furniture. Restaurant, bar, movies, friendly staff, quiet garden, terrace, fresh atmosphere, balcony, air-con, Mini Bar, bathtub, Alarm Fire, Telephone, hot water, cable TV, 24 hours service. Easy to go old market, pub street, shopping centre, royal park and Angkor Park. Room rate offered by free services (.Welcome drinks .Pick up (airport, boat & bus station) .Internet 24 hours .Bicycles)
  • Auberge Mont Royal d'Angkor, [31] Just off the main strip, this charming little hotel has brilliant staff, great service, beautiful air-con rooms, new pool and spa and a good restaurant. They will pick you up at the airport and will arrange day-trips, guides and anything you might need while in Siem Reap. US$25-50 per room. Wi-Fi US$2.
  • City River Hotel, Steung Siem Reap Street, tel. +855-63-763000, [32]. Comfortable hotel near the city centre. Offers airport pick-up. Has Internet access in rooms and accepts credit cards. From US$60.
  • Day Inn Angkor Resort, Oum Khun Str, Module 1, Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap District, Siem Reap, (855-63) 760 500, [33]. Day Inn Angkor Resort is a four star hotel located in the heart of Siem Reap and within walking distance of the old market and numerous shops and restaurants. The hotel is only 15 minutes drive from the Siem Reap International Airport and 10 minutes drive to the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat. They have 62 deluxe rooms with a balcony or terrace view of their swimming pool and beautifully landscaped private gardens. Best rates on official website start at USD 110++.
  • Ecole d'hotelliere et de tourisme,[34] Airport Rd (no.6). Just a short tuk-tuk drive from the town, this hospitality school set up Paul Dubrule founder of Novotel has 4 rooms ranging from budget to luxury ($15-$35) a night and are designed to provide training to the students of how maintain different rooms. The luxury ones are particularly good. Airport transfer included. Email them for more detail at (info@ecolepauldubrule.org)
  • EI8HT Rooms [35]. Phone is 012 800860. Rates are $18 single in new wing & $22 single in garden wing. A stone throw away from "The Alley" and "Bar St" (its on the otherside of Slvatha St...see their website). Very nice rooms and great service. Gay-friendly
  • Golden Banana B&B, [36]. 5 minutes walk from market/bar area, quiet garden setting, swimming pool, gay-friendly. Free-standing a/c rooms with hot shower. Breakfast included, Khmer style lunch/dinner. Transport and temple guides can be arranged. US$23/25/28 for single/double/twin. Recently opened (08/2006) Golden Banana Boutique Hotel, [37]. Same owner, same location, better rooms. US$45/50/55 for single/double/twin.
  • Golden Takeo Guesthouse, #0123, Phom Wat Bo, [38]. A Budget Quiet guesthouse in Siem Reap, now with Special Discounted Angkor Wat Temples Tours. Golden Takeo Guesthouse provides free laundry, free bicycle and free Internet. Rates US$7/17 for fan big-bed rooms/air-con doubles with hot water, cable TV and bus, boat and airport transfers included. Golden Takeo Guesthouse, Wat Bo 123, Tel (+855) 012 78 54 24, contact@golden-takeo-guesthouse-siem-reap.com
  • The Kool Hotel, the gay-friendly is now officially open with Special promotion, room start at USD39, Breakfast Included. Check out and do online reservation at [39], or contact us @ +855(0)63 96 96 90, Email : [reservation@koolhotel.com],Just 5minutes away from the Airport and Angkor Wat. Address: opposite Tela petrol station, next to global guest house., No.018, National road 6, Taphaul, Svay dangkum, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
  • Molly Malone's, [40]. Fake Irish Bar and Restaurant ( run by a non Irish man )has a number of air conditioned rooms, starting from US$20. Family-sized rooms available. Friendly staff and good food, located in the center of town.
  • Mom's Guesthouse, #0099, Phom Wat Bo, [41]. 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. Rates US$15/20/30 for air-con singles/doubles/triples with breakfast, hot water and airport transfers included.
  • Queen Villa Angkor, Wat Damnak Village, High School Road, tel. 012257084, [42]. New boutique hotel in a nice and big garden. really amazing house with very clean rooms. all rooms have a/c, hot water and tv - superior rooms also dvd player and refrigerator. Room rate start at $ 25,- - free buffet breakfast included. Conveniently located with just 500 meters walk to the Old Market. The owner Michael is an Austrian and knows a lot about siem reap, angkor and whole cambodia and is very helpful. (reservations: gutmeyr_m@gmx.at). Free pick up from airport, boat- and busstation with booking.
  • Ree Hotel, National Road 6, (Airport Road), Phum Krous, Sangkat Svay Dongkom, +855 63 766 888, [43]. 141 rooms. Rates start at USD 68.00..
  • Soria Moria boutique hotel,Wat Bo Road, Siem Reap, [44]. A great hotel which is doing a lot for the local community, doing training for the locals as well as doing lots of charity work. Clean spacious rooms, great restaurant and free wireless internet in all rooms. Also free airport pickup.
  • Steung Siemreap Hotel[45], right located in the corner between orld market and pub street. Your choice made to Steung Siemreap Hotel is right as it is in the best location of the town. It is in he historic building of French Colonial. Hotel has 76 rooms with full facilities and amenities as four star standard. The price is from USD70 per room per night up. Enquiries and booking can be made to (resv@steungsiemreaphotel.com) or phone +855 12 249249.
  • Tanei Siem Reap Villa, [46],(Next to Artisan D’Angkor). Room rates include Free pick-up, Free WiFi 24 hours, Free tea & coffee, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, restaurant, lobby, quiet garden, terrace, fresh atmosphere, mini-bar, friendly staff, English speaking staff, cleaning room, electric lamp, slipper, alarm clock, traditional Khmer pictures, fan, air-con, hot water, cable TV, window, 24 hrs services and 24 hrs securities.
  • The Villa Siem Reap, 153 Taphul Road, Siem Reap, +855 63 761 036, [47]. The Villa Siem Reap is centrally located in Siem Reap several minutes walk to shopping, restaurants and the old market. Standard rooms start at US$18, Superior from US$25, Deluxe from US$30 per room per night. The new Villa Bungalows start at US$45.

Splurge

  • Amansara, [48]. Prince Sihanouk's former guesthouse, close to the main entrance to Angkor Wat. From US$650.
  • Angkor Village Hotel & Resort, tel. +855-63-963-361. [49]. The architecture of both hotels is directly inspired from cambodian traditional villages. Built in true khmer tradition, the wooden houses nestled among tropical ponds and gardens, secluded from the hustle of the town, offer peace and serenity . From US$147.
  • Casa Angkor, Oum Chhay / Oum Khun Street, tel. +855-63-963658, [50]. Former boutique hotel now expanded to three times its previous size and trying to claw its way upmarket. It looks pretty from the outside, the miniature pool is nice and the polished cycle-rickshaws add a cute touch, but at heart it's still a thoroughly generic mid-range concrete barracks that doesn't deserve the price tag. From US$80.
  • Hôtel de la Paix, Sivatha Boulevard, tel. +855-63-966000, [51]. The newest and, just maybe, the best five-star in town. Tastefully done in a colonial-modern fusion style, with pool, spa and very good restaurants. Location is very central. From US$200.
  • La Residence d'Angkor, River Road, Siem Reap. [52]. Cenrtrally located near the market and with easy access to the temples. The hotel is finished in stone and wood and reflects traditional architecture, centred around a baray-inspired swimming pool.
  • The One Hotel, Angkor, The Passage, tel. +855-12-755-311. [53]. Located in a charming central side street in a freestanding French colonial building, this hotel has only one (1) suite for one or two guests. Street view balconies and a private roof top jacuzzi garden. US$250.
  • Suites and Sweet Angkor, Phum Krous, Khum Svay Daungum, Siem Reap. [54]. Exclusive 9 villas resort, situated in a magnificent tropical garden. The spacious villas offer privacy and each of the 18 stylish and private suites, face a romantic traditional Khmer Lake, that includes a private pool surrounded by an exotic wooden terrace.
  • Le Meridien Angkor, Vithei Charles de Gaulle (the road to Angkor), tel. +855-63-963900, [55]. Opened in 2004, the ordinary-looking exterior hides what feels like a slick, modern big city hotel. The large pool/spa complex, set off from the main building, is particularly remarkable. From US$150.
  • Prince D'Angkor, Sivatha Blvd, tel. +855-63-763-888. [56]. Upmarket hotel and spa. Fairly central location a 10-minute stroll from the center of town. From US$180.
  • Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor, [57]. Siem Reap's grand old hotel, originally built by the French. Subject to a boycott in some quarters as, when their waiters and bartenders had the audacity to ask to keep their tips, they fired the lot.
  • Steung Siemreap Hotel, [58] is right located in Psa Chas or Old Market corner. Rebuilt hotel onto the French Colonial Characteristic. Free airport pickup. US$70-200.
  • Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf and Spa Resort Vithei Charles de Gaulle , Khum Svay Dang Kum, [59].

Contact

Internet cafés abound in Siem Reap, prices being US$.75-1.50/hour. Speed of connection, and speed of PC, very much depends from place to place.

  • 'I CLICK INTERNET', on Sivathat Street just connecting to Old Market Or Pub Street. The cost is USD0.75.00 per hour with no minimum charge of 500 riels (USD0.125). There you will have cheap oversea phone call. Contact (855) 12 987498 or info@i-click.biz
  • E-Café, on Sivatha St north of Psar Chas, [60]. A cut above the rest in connection and service quality, as well as price at US$1.50/hour.
  • Figo's cafe's food is a bit more expensive, but offers free wireless internet to its customers.

Most hotels will have cable TV with many international channels (BBC, CNN etc.) 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.

Stay safe

Generally the Siem Reap area and the temples of Angkor are relatively safe, however the usual cautions still apply as with any town or city. Whilst visiting the temples, however, beware of off duty police officers, who are in uniform, that start walking beside you and start showing you around the temples. At this point either say that you would like to see the temples yourself, or agree on a price at the start. Several people have been requested for a fee of over US$10 at the end of the temple tour and you are not going to argue with a member of the police force! The official wage for a police officer is very low, so they can easily double their salary by being tourist guides.

Siem Reap and the Angkor temples have long since been thoroughly demined.

Stay healthy

As Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world, reliable medical facilities, doctors, clinics, hospitals or medication are scarce, especially in rural areas.


Care / Treatment

However, in Siem Reap, the Royal Angkor International Hospital owned by the Bangkok Hospital Group has opened 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, etc. Fractures, intestinal problems, medicines, etc. shouldn't be a problem.

For more serious ailments it is very advisable to get to Bangkok, or to Saigon as more specialists are available and repatriation to your own country is easier. Make sure that you have travel insurance which covers flying you to a city where you can be treated.

Local hospitals and clinics in Siem Reap (and in the rest of Cambodia) can be in very poor condition and badly equipped and medicines are often past their sell-by date or made up of local mixtures of flour and sugar.

In local clinics, avoid getting an infusion to treat dehydration, as there is a risk of septicemia which is caused by bacteria entering their blood during infusions. The same goes for blood transfusions.

Precautions

Although no health certificates or vaccinations are required by visitors to Cambodia, it is recommended that you get vaccinations against tetanus, diphtheria, meningitis, a polio booster and especially gamma globulin shots (against hepatitis A). In addition to this, you should take a course of malaria tablets, as well as a mosquito net. The mosquitoes come out in force in Siem Reap at dusk. Take a medical kit including panadol, antihistamines, antibiotics, kaolin, oral rehydration solution (ORS), calamine lotion, bandages and band-aids, scissors, DEET insect repellent, etc.

The most common ailment for travelers is diarrhea, which can deteriorate into dysentery, resulting in dehydration. Avoid untreated water, ice made from untreated water and any raw fruit or vegetables that may have been washed in untreated water. Basically, the local water supply is not drinkable, so avoid. Bottled water is available everywhere and is very cheap and you should try to drink 3 liters a day if possible. Take water purification tablets with you or iodine crystals to sterilize water if you plan to go more rural areas.

If you do get severe diarrhea and become badly dehydrated, use an oral rehydration solution to help you overcome it as well as plenty bottled mineral water. However, if you have a lot of blood or mucus in your stools get to a doctor as you probably have dysentery and will need antibiotics.

In the hottest months, March and April, the temperature can rise to 35°C, so use sunscreen and always wear a hat to avoid sunstroke.

Consult your doctor a few weeks before you leave to get the most up to date advice on which inoculations you need and what to take with you.

Please be aware that the local ladies of the night carry with them, many STD's. The official HIV rate within the prostitute population is 34%.

Hospitals

  • Royal Angkor International Hospital, National Route 6, Phum Kasekam, Khum Sra Ngea, tel: +855 63 761 888 [61]

Get out

  • If you haven't seen enough temples yet, the ancient capital of Koh Ker and the commanding hilltop ruins of Preah Vihear next to the Thai border might be worth a trip.



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