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Siem Reap

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Siem Reap

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The town of Siem Reap [59], in northern Cambodia, is the primary access point for the Angkor Archaeological Park.

city map of Siem Reap
Roadside Petrol Cambodia-style

Understand

The name Siem Reap literally means "Siam Defeated". These days, however, the only rampaging hordes are the tourists heading to the Angkor Archaeological Park. This once quaint village has become the largest 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 [60] 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.

Get in

By plane

Siem Reap - Angkor International Airport [61] (IATA: REP, ICAO: VDSR) is the second largest airport in Cambodia.

The following airlines operate service to/from Angkor International Airport:

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

As of 1 April 2011 travellers departing Cambodia by air will no longer need to queue to pay the airport departure tax. The US$25 fee has been included in ticket prices since 21 January 2011 for departures on or after 1 April. According to the Phnom Penh Post, if you purchased tickets before 21 January for an April or later departure, you will still need to pay the tax at the airport.

There are separate terminals for international and domestic flights. International departure tax is a steep US$25, or US$13 for children, payable after check-in and before clearing immigration. Note that usually this must be paid in cash because the credit card facility is unreliable, so make sure to have sufficient cash with you. Domestic departure tax to Phnom Penh is US$6.

By land

New Road between Siem Reap and Poipet (August 2009)

Many companies, including (Phnom Penh Sorya Transport [63] Capitol Tours, and GST Express) operate bus services to/from Siem Reap. Direct buses go to Phnom Penh (US$10), Pakse (US$30), Don Det in the 4,000 Islands region of Laos (US$27), Kampong Cham, Soung, Battambang, and Kor Kong. Advance bookings are advisable, and can also be sorted out by most travel agents and guesthouses for a US$1-2 fee. Buses generally leave between 7AM-3PM but there is a night bus as well if you want to not spend the daytime travelling which leaves at midnight.

From Thailand, the nearest border crossings are at Aranyaprathet/Poipet, 3 hr to the north, and Hat Lek/Koh Kong on the coast. See those articles for information on how to get to and cross the border. As a result of recent road pavings, the roads from these border crossings to Siem Reap are in excellent condition. From Poipet, you can take a taxi (US$25 minimum, 2-3 hr, max 4 passengers) or an overcrowded bus (US$10, 3 hr, leaves when full, not as comfortable).

The best budget option is to catch a Thai government bus to the border at Poi Pet (don't buy from Khao San Road), buy the Cambodian visa directly for US$20, then after being stamped into the country find yourself a group of four to catch a reasonably comfortable taxi to Siem Reap (US$25-30). This will get you to Siem Reap on time, in comparable comfort without funding scammers. While you are processing your papers at the border beware of extra friendly government employees who offer to help you. Some of them may try and take you by bus to a taxi stand where you will pay too much to exchange money at the "government" exchange booth. Then, they may try to make you pay up to double the going rate for taxis to Siem Reap (US$10 per person, instead of US$5).

Alternatively, you could join the backpacking masses and pay 200-600 baht for an uncomfortable bus ride directly from Khao San Road. Buses leave Khao San Road around 8AM and arrive in Siem Reap any time between 5PM-3AM, a reasonable price would be 450 baht. The trip length does not really depend on road conditions but on the mood of the driver. Because he gets a commission if you stay at the guesthouse at which he drops you off, 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, you are more likely to stay at that guesthouse. Note that there is no obligation to stay at such guesthouse, regardless of what the guesthouse owners tell you. Even if you start in Bangkok on a big aircon bus, you will almost certainly have to switch to the back of a pickup or stuffed minibus at the Cambodian border. The bus operators and others will assure you that you're better off paying 1,000 baht (US$30) or even more for the visa - which should cost US$20. The driver and/or the person that will make your 'fast' visa can get offended if you don't believe their lie: you cannot do the visa by yourself. Stand your ground and join the line at the border - the bus won't leave without you, because the driver wants the guesthouse commission you represent. As an alternative, you can always walk from the bus stop to the Thai border exit - just keep aware of your surroundings to avoid being pickpocketed or inadvertently walking into a fake border crossing. Custom officers will be likely to ask you more than the official price too (800 baht/US$26), or extra services like filling out a form for you for 50 baht to avoid you some hassle (there won´t be any, you just fill the form later in the stamping section).

By boat

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.

Along the Siem Reap River

Get around

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.

On foot

Most of the sights in Siem Reap can be seen on foot. But be aware that most of the streets around town degrade into small swamps of muddy water and potholes of unknown depth following rain (almost daily in the wet season), making the roads a challenge to navigate.

By bicycle

Many guesthouses will lend you bicycles either for free or for a nominal charge (US$1-3).

  • The White Bicycles is a local charity providing a bicycle service for visitors. Proceeds goes to educate youth and for a clean drinking water project in villages around Siem Reap. The bicycles can be rented at muliple outlets around town. Have a look at their websiteBicycle Charity to find the location of available outlets. Price: US$2 per day. The White Bicycles can upon request set up customised tours with or without guides.
  • Bike Tours Angkor Grand Adventure [64] is run by a young guy named Mongkheang with a support team consisting of an air conditioned backup mini bus and a truck for carrying extra bikes or to put your bike on if you've had enough.

By motorbike

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 real, 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.

The rental of motorbikes to tourists in Siem Reap is prohibited. However, foreigners can ride motorbikes they have rented elsewhere such as in Phnom Penh).

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 literally watered down to increase profits.

By tuk-tuk

It is estimated that there are roughly 1,000 tuk tuk drivers in Siem Reap. They often go for days without work between. They vary in nature from reliable to unreliable.

Within Siem Reap, tuk-tuk rides should cost about US$1, with prices doubling to US$2 at night, during bad weather, or for longer distance. (If you don't want to pay US$2 just walk away and they most likely will call out to you and agree to a US$1 fare). You must state your destination and US$1 price up front or you may be charged up to US$5 at the end of your journey. Tuk-tuks are ubiquitous. If you plan to stay in Siem Reap for a few days, it can also be a good idea to build a relationship with one tuk-tuk driver as once they know you they will quite often take you to places off the regular tourist route and allow you to experience the "real" Siem Reap.

A word of advice: Not all tuk tuk drivers are reliable. Until you know whether your tuk tuk driver is reliable, pay them for their services only after everything you have arranged is completed. For example, assume your tuk tuk driver is un-reliable, if you arrange for a later trip to the airport and pay them beforehand, chances are that they will not show up.

By car

Cars with drivers can be hired for single or multiple days. While all drivers are familiar with the area and happy to suggest good routes, most speak little English and are not actual tour guides. 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 advertise a full day of touring for US$30, but at least one traveler reports an offer of US$25 for the day, plus free bottled water.

See

Most people come to visit Angkor Archaeological Park, which is thoroughly covered in its own article. The town itself has some worthwhile attractions and a number of beautiful modern Buddhist temples.

Piles of mines, Landmine Museum
  • Angkor National Museum, 968, Vithei Charles de Gaulle, [1]. The museum also shows the history of the Angkor complex as well as Khmer culture and clothing using high tech displays and video screens. The 1,000 Buddhas is as impressive as it sounds. US$12.
  • Cultural Village, (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 Khmer wedding ceremony at various stages throughout the park. Guides are not necessary but will add a lot of significant insight to the displays. US$12; Guide: an extra $5.

Outside town

  • 1000 lingas and reclining Buddha, (50 km from Siem Reap). Shiva lingas are supposed to be kept wet all the time with running water. Normally it is done by installing a pot top of the lingas with drip thread. 1,000 lingas is a fantastic idea, as one can see the 1,000s of lingas on the river bed, covered with 6-12" of clean fresh running water. Close to it is a reclining budha statue. A priest here can read your fate with a traditional style fortune telling mantra. Additional US$10 with day tour on car or US$35.
  • Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre, Sanday Village (3km before the Landmine Museum on the road to Banteay Srey temple), +855 97 852 7852, [2]. 9Am-5PM. Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre is a community development project and tourist destination just down the road from the Landmine Museum and Banteay Srey temple. Revenue from admissions is used to pay families in remote villages who are farming butterflies for the exhibit. The project makes a real difference to the farmers' livelihoods and provides a wonderful experience for visitors as they can see spectacular local butterfly species flying close at hand in a beautiful tropical garden. US$4 adults, US$2 children (under 12).
Kampong Phluck
  • Kampong Phluk Floating Village, (off the Highway to Phnom Penh). This mangrove forest offers a much more authentic 'floating village experience' than the one close to the Tonlé Sap ferry harbour. This fascinating village on stilts can be reached by tuk-tuk from Siem Reap. 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), [3]. 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, (Short distance outside of the city center). 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. Free, donations welcome.

Do

  • Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation (SVC), [4]. 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-2 weeks.
  • Helicopter Flight, Borey Angkor Arcade, No. A-25, National Road 6 (diagonally opposite Total petrol station on the road to the airport), 855 12 449 555, [5]. 8:30AM-5PM. Helistar Cambodia offers scenic helicopter tours of the temples beginning at US$90/person for an 8 min jaunt around Angkor Wat. It is not a particularly cheap way to tour but the view is spectacular and memorable. Also on offer are specialized tours, aerial photography and charter services. Multiple aircraft in service. Walk-in customers welcome.
  • Microlight Flight, +855 77 602912, [6]. 8AM-5PM. A cheaper and more exciting way to the see the temples by air is via microlight. SkyVenture offers scenic microlight tours of the temples beginning at US$80 for a 30 min flight that includes Angkor Wat. For US $120 you can do their 45 min tour that includes a floating village. They can arrange for a tuk tuk return trip to their private airstrip from city for US$6.
  • Quad adventure, Siem Reap, +855 17 784727, [7]. 8AM-5PM. Ride a quad and discover the surrounding countryside: through the villages, rice paddies and temples of Siem Reap Province. US25.
  • Clay Classes on the Temples road, Vithey Charles De Gaulle, +855 63 210 004. 8AM-7:30PM. Within 2 hr you can create a piece of Khmer ceramics, no experience required. Khmer potters guide participants through the process, and your work is fired, glazed, and delivered to your place in Siem Reap within 24 hr.
  • Massage. Several Khmer massage parlours can be found in Siem Reap. Unlike those 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).
  • Theatrical Dances @ Apsara Theatre, +855 63 963363. The only A/C theatre in town presents various traditional popular and classical dances and serves a set of local specialties. Booking recommended.
  • Visit an Orphanage. Think carefully before visiting an orphanage. Is the orphanage sustainable, does it protect children's safety, and are you actually making a contribution either monetary or in-kind, have checked what the orphanage actually needs. It costs an orphanage time and therefore money (staff hours) to show tourists around. Make sure your visit is a worthwhile one and if you're not sure if it is, think hard before visiting. A charity run by expats, CHOICE [8] would be able to advise on which are the most well run orphanages to visit.
  • The Sangkheum Center for Children, Chey Village, Siem Reap (A few km past airport on Hwy 6), 855 12 67 56 37, [9]. Children's centere for orphaned, abused or neglected Cambodian Children. Buy some rice, T-shirts, school supplies, or other gifts except for candy as this will do more damage than good. Go out to the children's centre for a look at the welcoming village-like setting. The center serves ~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.
  • ACODO Orphanage, Siem Reap, [10]. Every evening at 6.30PM, children from the ACODO orphange put up a 1 hour long traditional Khmer dance performance. This is a free performance but visitors are encouraged to make donations (in cash or in kind) to the orphanage. You can also arrange to volunteer and teach english for the next day (or longer). ACODO is just less than 5 min away from the Old Market by bicycle or tuk tuk. See the website for directions.
  • We Are The Champions Performances by the Local Disabled Community, Night Market (back of Night Market adj. 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 and vision 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.
  • Beyond Unique Escapes - Cooking Class, Cnr of Sivutha Bvld and Alley West (Alley West is the extension of the lane way behind pub street), +855 77 562 565, [11]. Cambodian Cooking Classes in a beautiful location 10 mins from town. $22 per person including return transfers. 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.
  • Shooting Range, (near Banteay Srey and Kbeal Span). 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$30+ per round. Grenade throwing: US$30.
  • Countryside Cooking Class, Siem Reap, BBU Road, inside the 3 Hours Laundry, near by Thunborey Hotel, +855 78 70 8282, [12]. 9AM. The Cambodia Countryside cooking class is hands-on cooking class of traditional Khmer cuisine. Minimum 2 persons, 6 hours. US$38/pax.

Festivals

  • Angkor Photography Festival: Photography for Change, [13]. Annual festival that showcases outdoor projections of regional and international photographers.
  • 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.

Buy

As elsewhere in Cambodia, US Dollars, and to a lesser extent, Thai Baht are preferred over Cambodian Riel except the very smallest purchase. Using Riel for small purchases can be better than than using dollars as retailers tend to round up with USD prices.

There are a number of large, flashy souvenir shops around town, complete with temple-style decorations and a surplus of staff which happily charge two to five times more than other stores. Better prices can be found elsewhere. The Heritage Watch [65] 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.

  • Apple Macs, 1776 Silvatha Blvd (near to KFC), [14]. 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. iPhones and iPads are not yet available here.
  • Samatoa, 98, Pithnu St (Front of provincial hospital-Old Market area / Lucky Mall Siem Reap), +855 63965310 (), [15]. 8AM-10PM. Specialized in Cambodian natural silk products. Samatoa encourages fair-trade. From $50 USD.

Art and craft

  • Artisans d'Angkor, Stung Thmey St, +855 63 963 330, [16]. 7:30AM-5:30PM. A workshop in downtown. 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 (Temple road), Khum Slorkram (On the road to the temples; 30 m. after the traffic light when coming from Siem Reap), +855 17 843 014, [17]. 8AM-7:30PM. The Khmer Ceramics Centre trains and sells the work of young Cambodians.
  • McDermott Gallery, FCC Building, Pokambor Ave (On the river, between the King's summer palace and the Post Office), +85512274274, [18]. 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 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.

Markets

  • 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), (In the south of town). 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.

Eat

Red Piano restaurant, Pub Street

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

Pub Street is best known as a watering hole, but it has also many nice restaurants that won't break the bank.

In town, there are entire streets catering for the traveler tastes with pizzas, hamburgers, and tasty westernised versions of Cambodian food such as Amok and 'Khmer curry'.

The numerous Karaoke restaurants offer a real authentic experience of modern Khmer dining. 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. Try to sit far from the speakers and prepare for mozzies. There is often no English menu, but one of the staff will 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.

Budget

The street directly west of Pub Street is lined with many stalls offering meals of fried rice or fried noodles for about $1. 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.


  • Ecstatic Pizza, 072 Street 2 Thnou, Mondul 1 (across from the Provincial Hospital), +855 12 436869, +855 11 928531, [19]. 7AM-12 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 Road (next to City River Hotel), +855 17 875129. 7AM-2PM. Beautiful riverside garden out of the hustle and bustle.Enjoy great high quality 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+. (13.356093,103.858362)
  • Green Star, End of Wat Bo Rd (at the southern end of Wat Bo Rd, on the terminating street). Proceeds from this out of the way small budget - mid range restaurant go to the Green Gecko project, and the food is genuine and tasty. Doug the owner has some great stories - this restaurant has not been open long but has a good reputation. US$2-6.
  • New Delhi Indian Restaurant, # 070 Mondol 1, Svaydangkum Commune, Siem Reap (opposite the provincial hospital north of pub street), +855 16 840 326, +855 92 510 779, [20]. 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), Street 7, siem reap (Old Market Area), +855 92 506622, [21]. 11AM~10PM. Fresh, hygienic and authentic preparation. They use real Indian spices. Halal. 3.
  • 5 Sons Restaurant, On the street across Sivatha Road from Street 10. Upscale atmosphere, with professional chef, large portions, at a surprisingly low price with wifi available. US$2-4.
  • Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant Halal, st 11 (near to Pub street), +855 88 765 100. Great place for a mango lassi. Thali set is good, lots of vegetarian and vegan items. The naan is great. Free wifi. US$5.

Mid-range

  • Selantra Restaurant, #0729, Wat Bo St (Opposite of French Cultural Center), +655 12 569975, [22]. 10AM-10PM. Fusion Khmer food. 3$-18$.
  • Butterflies Garden Restaurant, (On the east side of the river, in the Wat Bo area), [23]. A small garden enclosure filled with butterflies and excellent food. 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, vegetarian friendly menu. Meals from $3-$6.
  • 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. Nibble some pickles and sweet peanuts, try their famous pumpkin pudding for dessert and wash it all down with a large beer. Amok: US$3.50, Prahok: US$3.
  • Chusska, St 7, Old Market Area, +855 12 212138. Pure Indian vegetarian restaurant. Free wifi.
  • Curry Walla Indian Cuisine, Sivatha road. Serves vegetarian & non-vegetarian Indian fare. Offers free internet access to all customers as well as guidebooks for reading. From US$2.50.
  • Father's Restaurant, Kandal Market, +855 92963242 (), [24]. 8AM-10PM. Khmer, Chinese, and Western food. Free wifi. Fried noodle: US$2.00; pure fruit shakes: US$1.
  • Kama Sutra, Pub Street. Authentic slightly upmarket Indian food. Now closed. Venue now called 8th Street. US$7. its a closed from last year
  • La Volpaia Pizzeria, #0263 Vithei Charles De Gaulle (on the way to Angkor Wat, in front of Stad Chas, between Angkor National Museum and Sofitel Hotel), +855 63 764 184, [25]. noon-2:30PM and 5:30PM-10:30PM. Italian stl;e cuisine specialising in pizzas, pastas and grilled steaks. A/C dining room, VIP rooms, outdoor and garden seatings.
  • Samapheap, (on the eastern riverbank near Route 6). Large and popular restaurant, catering to both Khmers and tour groups. The menu is extensive, service is quick, and the food is good. US$2-5.
  • Singing Tree Cafe, Entrance of Alley West, [26]. An unusual place combining delicious and affordable home style cooking with environmental displays. Large mostly vegetarian menu comprised of both authentic Khmer home cooking and large selection of grilled sandwiches and fresh salads, juices and shakes. US$2-5.
  • Socheata I & II, Pub Alley. Plastic chairs and a few geckos. Huge menu, good service. For the more adventurous, you can also get frog dishes here. From US$2.
  • Sunflower Restaurant, Hospital St (next to Street 7), +855 92 245915, [27]. The restaurant looks simple but the chef is a pro, the food is good and the price is low. Try their Dim Sum. US$2-7.
  • Temple Restaurant, Pub Street. Good food, good service. Many meals good for 2 person or for one very hungry one. Try their banana spring rolls. Free Apsara dance in the evening. Before 6PM: meal & beer for US$3.
  • Viroth's Restaurant, Wat Bo. Good Khmer restaurant, always quite full with foreigners and tour groups so be prepared to book or to wait to get a table. A very extensive menu with some vegetarian options. US$5-8.
  • Viva, Pub Street. Mexican restaurant, with a menu containing just about everything to be expected in a typical Mexican styled restaurant. Good food, reasonable prices.

Splurge

  • Alliance Art Cafe, Wat Damnak Road, [28]. 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.
  • East India Curry, Located at the top floor of the Claremont Angkor Hotel on Street 20, the restaurant offers tasty Indian food with views of the city. A full meal including drinks US$15 per person. Plenty of vegetarian options available.
  • 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 is 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.
  • Le Malraux. In the heart of the city, on Sivatha street. French cuisine and Khmer specialties, all made with local and fresh products. Open early in the morning for breakfast.
  • Meric, Hotel de la Paix, tel. . 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 8PM and draft Angkor often goes for as little as US$0.50. When ordering beer - be careful, if you order a bottle of beer and the beer is open when delivered to the table - there is a good chance it is watered down - ask for the bottle to be opened at your table.

  • 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), [66]. 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 bars 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 and relaxed cocktail bar with good reviews. New Zealand-owned.
  • 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. Great place to watch rugby and football while you're abroad.
  • 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.
  • Banana Leaf Cafe (Bananaleaf restaurant), Pub Street. Small contemporary street side café, with week-end live music. Efficient and professional staff will entertain the crowd until late hours. Great affordable cocktails and the unique crocodile burger.


Sleep

Accommodations range from sprawling air-conditioned hotels along the airport road (mostly for all-inclusive tours) and a growing number of stylish boutique hotels to locally run rooms-for-rent and a range of modest guesthouses, particularly 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 so they can arrange for free transportation from the airport. Otherwise just take a tuktuk US$5 or a taxi US$7 to town. If you don't know any place to go to, the driver will usually ask your budget and then suggest a place that pays him the best commission so you might end up paying more than if you negotiated directly with the guest house or hotel.

When choosing accomodation in Siem Reap, be aware that whilst the area around the city remains one of the poorest in the country, many of the bigger hotels are owned by multinational conglomerates.

Budget

  • Apsara Steung Thmey, [29]. Clean rooms. Free internet for guests, cheap laundry service and breakfast. The staff can arrange tour guides and bus tickets. A/C room: US$12; Single room with fan: US$6.
  • Big Lyna Villa ("), 659 Achar Sva St No 22, Wat Bo Village, +855 63 964 807 (). Very clean and relaxed guesthouse with 10 rooms. Nice, very reasonably priced restaurant/cafe/bar, Western and Khmer US$1-3, out front and on a 2nd floor terrace. Owner is extremely helpful and friendly. Includes wifi, bicycle usage, hot shower, fridge in room, cableTV. In-room massage US$5/hr. Outdoor volleyball centre across the street, US$0.50 per game if you want to join. A/C double: from US$10.
  • Bun Kao Guesthouse, 566 Banteay Chash Village, Wat Bo Rd. Friendly staff who will happily assist you in figuring out things to do and how to do them. Has free (but eye-gougingly slow) internet and wifi, free breakfast, and pleasant balconies on each floor. Seems to be only a few years old at most, and rooms are very clean and comfortable. A/C double: US$14.
  • Family Guest House & Restaurant, 19 Mondoul 2, Svay Dangkum, +855 12 841 864, [30]. Newly built concrete building with A/C and fan only rooms, TV and hot water available. Single: US$6; double: US$8.
  • Golden Takeo Guesthouse, 123, Phom Wat Bo, (), [31]. Free breakfast, free laundry, free bicycle and free Internet. Hot water, cableTV. Bus, boat and airport transfers included. Fan double: US$7; A/C double: US$17.
  • Green Town Guest House, 182, Group 3, Wat Bo Village (Behind La Residence d'Angkor Hotel), +855 12 963749,+855 9 7762 4488 (), [32]. Free transportation from the airport/bus station/boat dock, internet access, showing of western movies, and pool/billiards available. The building and the rooms are a bit old but clean. From US$7-19.
  • Happy Guest House, 134, Group 2, Watbo Village, Salakamreuk Commune, +855 63 963 815, +855 12 960 879 , +855 12 204 489 (). Lovely place with spotless rooms, many with en-suite bathrooms and cableTV and an extremely friendly and helpful owner who speaks fluent English, French, Vietnamese and Khmer. From $5.
  • Home Sweet Home Guesthouse, 111 Wat Bo, +855 6 376 0279, [33]. Free internet, free pickup. From US$7-20.
  • Hosteling International Siem Reap, 209, Wat Domnak Village, Salacomreuk Commune, +855 8 959 1169 (), [34]. Free wifi, free bus pickup, free hot tub. Bicycle rental and family owned. English speaking staff. Dorms US$5 private rooms US$8.
  • LyLy Guest House, 547, Svay Dangkum, +855 12 705959,. Run by a friendly French and English speaking family US$3-6.
  • Palm Garden Lodge, Soksan St, Svay Dungkum, [35]. Restaurant, bar, movies, friendly staff, quiet garden, terrace, fresh atmosphere, balcony, A/C, hot water, cableTV, 24 hr service, internet, tea & coffee, pick up from airport, boat & bus station), bicycle rental, breakfast and picnic box upon request. $8-15.
  • Paradise Eco resort-Siem Reap, 1 Tuk Vil, N6 Baray (10 min from Angkor Wat temple), +855 63 655 2525 (), [36]. 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, "+855 (), [37]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12 noon. Very friendly hotel near to city centre. Rooms have A/C, cableTV, fridge, wifi, en-suite with hot water. $20-40.
  • Sam So Guesthouse, 164 Wat Bo Rd, (opposite Street 21), +855 12 602956, +855 9 7669 9813 (), [38]. The main reason to come here is for fantastic staff and great atmosphere. All rooms are big, clean, and have a private bathroom with hot water, A/C or fan, large screen cable TV and a fridge. Prices include free pick-up from airport, pier, bus station and free breakfast, free internet service and free wifi. It is in a quiet area of the city, about 7 min walk to old market,night market and pub street. Run by a young Cambodian family. Owner (Mr. Sam So) is a local tour guide who can speak English, German, Italian and a little bit French. Tour arrangements(Tuk Tuk,car,bus,bicycle,tour guides), boat and bus tickets are available. US$9-20.
  • Siem Reap Hostel, 7 Makara Street (Near the corner of Wot Bo Road and Angkor School Road in the Wat Dam Nak area), (), [39]. Free internet, all rooms have A/C and a balcony. Bar, restaurant, pool table, yoga room, cinema style movie nights, pubcrawls every Sat night and has an indoor pool. Staff are paid commissions for selling tours and transport and can be pushy. Dorm bed: US$8, double: $US30; triple: US$45.
  • Tropical Breeze Guesthouse and Restaurant, 293 Wat Damnak village, +855 63 966445 (), [40]. checkout: 12 noon. New building, all rooms with fan or A/C, cableTV, and hot and cold shower. Free breakfast, free bicycle, free wifi in room, free computers in reception, free laundry withA/C room, free loan DVDs, free book swap, free pool table, showing of western movies every evening, delicious food, friendly and helpful staff. Tour guide, visa, flight and taxi arrangements can be arranged as standard bus and boat tickets. Free pick up and transfer with bookings. US$7-20.
  • Earthwalkers, (Sala Kanseng Village, Sangkat No. 2), [41]. Clean, high quality budget rooms. Restaurant, wifi, free breakfast, friendly staff, and a nice pool/bar area. Run by Norwegians. Away from town. Fan single: $12; A/C single: US$17; fan double/twin: US$15; A/C double/twin: US$20; quad: US$20.
  • Garden Village Guesthouse & Hostel, 434, Group 4, Stung Thmey Village, [42]. 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; Beers: US$0.50.
  • Golden Fish Guesthouse and Restaurant, 25 Sivantha St (2 mins from Pub St and night market). The Golden Fish Guesthouse is clean, cheap and very welcoming, with good staff. Free internet included. A/C room: US$8-12; Single room with fan: US$4-6 or $8 includes bike rental and breakfast bike rental: US$2/day.
  • Jasmine Lodge, 307 Road 6,,Taphul Village,Svay Dangum Commune, + 855 12 784 980 (), [43]. Free internet & wifi. Restaurant. 47 rooms. From US$6-22, including breakfast.


  • Prohm Roth Guesthouse, 251 Pub Street extension, Old Market area, +855 12 466 495 (), [44]. Free internet/high speed wifi in rooms. Includes hot water, western ensuite toilet. Friendly, reliable and informative local ownerwill assist with queries. Free pick up with reservation. Fan rooms single/twin/double/triple from US$6-12; A/C rooms twin/double/triple, from US$12-20.
  • Rosy Guesthouse, Slar Kram Village, +855 63 965 059 (), [45]. Guesthouse with bar, restaurant and large balcony overlooking the Siem Reap river. Free wifi in all areas, free computers in reception, free loan DVDs, free book swap, free Angkor guide books for reference, free pool table, free bar games, free Wii games, latest movies and sports events shown on big screen. All tour guide, visa, flight and taxi arrangements can be arranged as well as the standard bus/boat tickets. Free pick up with bookings. Comfortable rooms with hot water shower bathroom, large TV, DVD player, fridge. Fan and A/C rooms US$15-30. Shared bathrooms fan room US$8.


  • Shadow of Angkor, 353 Pokambor Ave, +855 63 964 744 (), [46]. In a French colonial building with a decent restaurant and bar. Very clean, though not soundproof, rooms with A/C, hot water, cableTV, free internet. Run by a Cambodian family (Seanghour and Davy), very hospitable and friendly family and staff. From US$7-20.
  • Yellow Guest House, 363, Taphul Village, Svay Dangkum Commune, (), [47]. Very clean, high quality and well furnished rooms. Opened in 2007 and still in good condition. Located in a convenient location to the Angkor Temples and about a 15 min walk into the central town area. Staff speak English, as well as several other languages, including Japanese and Thai. Tuk tuks and bicycles to the Angkor Temples are available. Computers and internet in the common area. There's a no shoes/flip-flops policy indoors, so the floors are kept in very clean condition. From US$3-16..

Mid-range

  • Angkor Parkland Siem Reap,[67] Elegant budget hotel in heart of downtown siem Reap. Restaurant, bar, movies, friendly English speaking staff, terrace, fresh atmosphere, A/C, mini-bar, bathtub, alarm clock, telephone in room, hot water, cableTV, room service, 24 hr services.
  • Angkor Sor Phoun Villa Siem Reap, [68] ([email protected]). ☎ +855 12 793 896, Road No 6,Beanteay chas, Slakram. Close to Spha Samaki market, 10 min to old market, Pub Street. US$20-$30.
  • Auberge Mont Royal d'Angkor, [69]. Just off the main strip with good staff and service, A/C rooms, new pool and spa and a restaurant. Pick you up at the airport and will arrange day-trips, guide. US$25-50 per room, wifi US$2.
  • Central Boutique Angkor Hotel, [70] 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. ☎ +855-63-763000, [71]. Comfortable hotel near the city centre. Airport pick-up. Internet access in rooms and accepts credit cards. From US$60.
  • The Cockatoo Nature Resort, [72]. ☎ +855 63 969069. 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 $35 during low season (May-September). Best to reserve on hotel's own website; inquire for current promotional offers.
  • Dara Reangsey Hotel, National Road 6 (Airport road), Chong Kaosuo Village, +855 63 963 4345, [48]. 4 star hotel. A/C rooms, mini-bar, IDD telephone, 80 channels cableTV and wifi. Swimming pool, spa and massage, souveneir shop, and business centre. From US$26.
  • Day Inn Angkor Resort, Oum Khun Str, Module 1, Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap District, Siem Reap, +855 63 760 500, [49]. Centrally located with 62 rooms all with a balcony or terrace view of their swimming pool and landscaped private gardens. From US$110++.
  • Golden Orange Hotel, (one block from the intersection of Wat Bo Road & National Road No 6), [50]. Flat screen TVs, jacuzzi-style bathtubs, wifi access. Community balcony with a view. A/C rooms: US$30-40 including breakfast.
  • Men's Resort & Spa, [73]. Located in the heart of Siem Reap. 100% gay friendly hotel. The complex includes a boutique hotel with 10 stylish rooms, a large pool, a fitness centre, massage service and sauna/spa. From US$55.
  • MotherHome Guest House, Wat Bo Street, Banteay Chas Village, [51]. Guesthouse with spotless rooms and impeccable service. A/C, hot showers and cableTV. Free internet and bike rental. Single: US$14, double/twin: US$18; triple: US$25.
  • Ree Hotel, National Road 6, (Airport Road), Phum Krous, Sangkat Svay Dongkom, +855 63 766 888, [52]. 141 rooms. From US$68.
  • The RiverGarden Siem Reap, 113 Mondule 3, ☎ +855 63 963 400, [74]. 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, [75]. Clean spacious rooms, great restaurant and free wifi in all rooms. Free airport pickup.
  • Tanei Guesthouse Siem Reap, [76], (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, cable TV, window, 24 hr services and 24 hr security. Room rates from US$12 include free pick-up.
  • Yaklom Angkor Lodge, Just north of highway 6 on Wat Bo Rd. Small stand alone cottages beside the attached Sawasdee restaurant. Has a friendly efficient caretaker. Rooms US$25/night for double occupancy and include breakfast.
  • Green Park village [http:/www.greenparkguesthouse.com]. New building, run by a friendly English, French and Khmer speaking family. Quiet place 80 m off the main street. It has 48 clean, well-proportioned en-suite bedrooms. 24 hr security. Rooms from $5-20.
  • Advisor Angkor Villa Siem Reap,[77]. Khmer style furniture, 2 min walk to Old Market & Pub Street, 5 min walk to Night market & Artisan D' Angkor. Nearby to Siem Reap River. Single fan US$7, double fan US$10, twin fan US$10, family fan (3-5pax) US$17. Single A/C US$12, double A/C US$15, twin A/C SU$15, family A/C (3-5pax) US$30.
  • EI8HT Rooms [78]. ☎ +855 12 800860. From US$18 single in new wing & US$22 single in garden wing. Nearby to "The Alley" and "Bar St". Nice rooms and great service. Gay friendly.
  • Golden Banana Boutique Hotel, [53]. 5 min 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. "Golden.
  • Men's Resort & Spa, [79]. Located in the heart of Siem Reap. 100% gay friendly'. The complex includes a boutique hotel with 10 stylish rooms, a large pool, a fitness center, massage service and sauna/spa. From US$55.
  • Molly Malone's, [80]. Irish-themed bar and restaurant run by an Irish woman and her French-Cameroonian husband. A/C rooms with family-sized rooms available. Friendly staff and good food, located in the center of town. Free wifi and airport pick-up if you arrange to use the driver for your park outing. From US$20.
  • Mom's Guesthouse, #0099, Phom Wat Bo, [81]. 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$15/20/30 for A/C singles/doubles/triples with breakfast, hot water and airport transfers included.
  • Paul Drubule Hotel & Tourism School, [54]. 4 nice guest rooms. Proceeds go to maintaining a tourism school. Airport transfer included. US$20-35.
  • Shining Angkor Boutique Hotel, #560 Group One, Kok Chok Commune, Siem Reap, Cambodia, +855 63 963 096, [55]. Mid-range hotel with 21 rooms. Free tuk-tuk service to the centre of Siem Reap, and a free pickup by car from the airport as well as free breakfast. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and the decor is in traditional wooden furniture with Buddhist elements. Family owned.
  • Steung Siemreap Hotel [82], ([email protected]) ☎ +855 12 249249. In the corner between Old Market and Pub Street. Hotel has 76 rooms with full amenities in a historical French Colonial building. From US$70.
  • Kool Hotel, No.018, National road 6, Taphaul, Svay Dangkum. [83], ☎ +855 63 969690, ([email protected]), Gay-friendly hotel with breakfast included. From US$39
  • Villa Siem Reap, 153 Taphul Rd, ☎ +855 63 761 036, [84]. 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 $25, deluxe from USD$30, villa bungalows from US$45.

Splurge

  • Amansara, [85]. Prince Sihanouk's former guesthouse, close to the main entrance to Angkor Wat. From US$650.
  • Angkor Village Hotel & Resort, ☎ +855 63 963361. [86]. 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, ☎ +855 63 963658, [87]. 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.
  • Heritage Suites Hotel, ☎ +855 63 969 100 [88] A French owned 26 room boutique hotel. Staff speaks English and French. Bodia Spa adjoins the hotel. Heritage Exploration Tours' office is located on the hotel grounds.
  • Hôtel de la Paix, Sivutha Boulevard ([email protected]), +855 63 966000, [56]. Within walking distance of nightlife and colourful markets, 5 miles from the ancient temple complexes. 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.
  • Journeys Within Bed and Breakfast ☎ +855 63 964748. [89] Located just outside of the city. With 5 rooms, a pool, full breakfast included and lunch and dinner offered on site. Part of each room sale goes directly the non profit school next door, also run by the B&B owners. From US$105 per night.
  • La Residence d'Angkor, River Road, Siem Reap. [90]. 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.
  • Le Meridien Angkor, Vithei Charles de Gaulle (the road to Angkor), ☎ +855 63 963900, [91]. 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, ☎ +855 63 763 888. [92]. Upmarket hotel and spa. 10-min stroll from the centre of town. From US$180.
  • Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor, [93]. Siem Reap's Grand old hotels, 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.
  • Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf and Spa Resort Vithei Charles de Gaulle , Khum Svay Dang Kum, [94].
  • Sokha Angkor Resort, Corner of National Road 6 & Sivatha Boulevard, +855 63 969999 (), [57]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12 noon. A near 5 star resort in the city centre, 10 min walk to Pub Street. From US$140; Deluxe City View: Royal Sokha suite US$2,200.
  • Suites and Sweet Angkor, Phum Krous, Khum Svay Daungum, Siem Reap. [95]. 9 villa resort in tropical gardens. The villas offer privacy and each of the suites face a traditional Khmer lake that includes a private pool with a wooden terrace.
  • The One Hotel, Angkor, The Passage, ☎ +855 12 755311. [96]. In a central side street in a freestanding French colonial building. Has only one 1 suite for 1-2 guests. Street view balconies and a private roof top jacuzzi garden. US$250.

Stay healthy

For general information on health in Cambodia, see the article on Cambodia.

Care/Treatment

  • Royal Angkor International Hospital, National Route 6, Phum Kasekam, Khum Sra Ngea, +855 63 761 888, [58]. 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, etc. Fractures, intestinal problems, medicines, etc. shouldn't be a problem.

Contact

The Tourist Transport Association [97] has an office just behind the tourist information office in Siem Reap, which you can contact if you have any questions or queries.

Internet cafés abound in Siem Reap, prices being US$.75-1.50/hr. 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. Aslo cheap overseas calls. ☎+855 12 987498, ([email protected]).
  • E-Café, on Sivatha St north of Psar Chas, [98]. A cut above the rest in connection and service quality, as well as price.
  • 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 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.

Stay safe

Beware of convenience store scams. The 24 hr convenience store next to Mikey's Bar gives incorrect change and pockets the rest. Numerous travellers have reported falling victim to this scam. If you walk out of the store, it's already too late. Despite the fact that most convenience stores have security cameras, it won't help. Avoid the convenience store near Mikey's bar and others like it at all costs.

Street vendors and beggars are present in notable numbers. Due to the competition for generous travelers' money, some have developed cunning, if underhanded, techniques to get your attention. The most notable are the "beggar army", normally located around the South/West end of Pub Street. 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/milk/water for them. Sounds like a more humanitarian way to help than simply giving them money but once you leave the store, the goods you bought for them end up being resold to other locals, with their handlers getting the cash. Also, beware of the children reaching into your pockets or purse and grabbing what they can. In addition to these children, other children or young women will often walk around with younger children cradled in a krama. If you want to make a difference for the people of Siem Reap, consider visiting the Handicap International site near the Hospital, the Children's Hospital, or donate through an International Charity like Red Cross.

Young adults may try to pass themselves off as representatives and donation-collectors for orphanages. They will show photos of themselves in the orphanage, claim to be volunteer workers themselves, etc. Again, do not donate direct to these "collectors" as none of your goodwill will make it to those who need it - instead deal with a recognised charity.

Siem Reap has long since been thoroughly demined.

Get out

Thailand:

The story about scam buses from Bangkok to Siem Reap is well known, however the same thing can happen in the opposite direction, so be wary. Arrange travel yourself to and from the border. Don't opt for the direct buses, which sometimes do not show up at the other end of the border.

One can take a private van, taxi, minibus, or local bus to Poipet at the Thai border (upwards of 2.5 hr). The road is new and in excellent condition.A taxi may cost around US$30 or less. At Poipet go through Cambodian immigration, then walk across the border with your luggage, and into Thai immigration. Times for Thai immigration can be long (2+ hr), though a few opt for bribing their way to a shorter line.

On the Thai side there is a billboard advertising taxis at 1900฿ to Bangkok, and slightly more for other Thai cities. Sharing a taxi might be a good idea to bring down costs. Beyond that billboard are touts offering A/C Toyota minibus service for 300฿/person to Bangkok. One may have to wait ~15 minutes for their minibus to fill. Depending on destination in Bangkok, one's drop-off point may range from exactly where they wish, to in front of a skytrain station.

Another possibility after crossing the border at Poipet is to take a tuk tuk to the bus station in Aranyapratet (about 10 min) and find a local bus from there. Be sure to ask if there are different buses VIP, express some might be faster than others. Buses should leave regularly. There are at least buses departing to Moh Chit Northern Bus Station in Bangkok at 1PM and 2.30PM. Due to traffic near Bangkok this trip takes between 4-6 hrs. From Moh Chit you can walk the 2.5 km to the skytrain station Moh Chit, which is south west of the bus station. Alternatively you can take a taxi into town. The trip to Sukhumvit Road takes about 40 min if you are willing to pay the 45 baht highway fee (up to two hours otherwise).


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