A city full of character and host to one of the most famous ancient temples in the world, Siem Reap should be at the top of your list for places to visit in Cambodia. Seeing the temples of Angkor is a definite must, however you can also spend your nights exploring the city and experiencing the sights and tastes it has to offer. Spend at least 4 days there enjoying a wonderful mix of culture and night life on top of exploring the famous temples.
How To Get There
Siem Reap is very accessible as it is the hub for Cambodian tourist activity. We took a night bus but day busses are also available as travel time from Phnom Penh was 6 hours. We went with Giant Ibis as this bus company was very reliable and only slightly more expensive than other companies at $15 U.S.
We also travelled between Siem Reap and Bangkok by bus. It cost about $28 US and took 2 hours to the border then another 2 hours to Bangkok. The bus ride is pleasant as there are no crazy turns or mountains on the route. You can check out our post on Crossing the Cambodian border here.
Where To Stay
- Blossoming Romduol Lodge – Located just a five minute walk from the famous Pub Street and tons of fun night markets (83 Psar Kroung Street), this hotel was an amazing price for the quality of our rooms and the wonderful staff. Only $12 US a night, we also got a breakfast of baguette, spreads and eggs included. The best part was that they even made us breakfast to go for the morning when we woke up at 4:15 am to get to the Angkor Wat sunrise! Unlike other backpacker hostels we researched, we knew this one would be quiet at night for those early wake ups. Oh and they had a free fish spa for your feet in the front garden, how amazing is that? You can book your stay at the Blossoming Romduol Lodge here.
What To Do
- The Temples of Angkor – Though the most famous of these temples is Angkor Wat, many other temples in this huge complex are stunning and well worth the visit. Costs are $20 US for one day, or $40 US for a three day pass. If you want to make the most of your experience in this beautiful ancient city, you will need at least 2-3 days. You will also need to book a tuk tuk driver in advance to take you to and around the area, but don’t worry, we explain it all in our Temples of Angkor post here!
- Apsara Dancing – A night of traditional Cambodian dancing is a great way to soak up some culture while you’re in the city. We booked through our hotel for a buffet dinner and a show at Amazon Angkor for $15 US. Food was pretty good and we enjoyed the show!
Where To Eat
- Khmer Family Restaurant – Located on Pub Street, this restaurant serves up some delicious Khmer cuisine including a Cambodian curry that Devon fell in love with. On the other hand, Alex fell in love with the $0.50 U.S. pints of beer they served all day.
- The Red Piano – Check out this restaurant (also on Pub Street) if you’re craving some Western comfort food, but it also serves Khmer food. Sit upstairs so you have nice view of the street all lit up at night. It is a little more expensive however, so be wary if your budget is tight.
- Pub Street – As mentioned above, this famous street is the place to be for making friends and drinking the night away (and cheaply we might add!). Restaurants and bars for all tastes and preferences line the street for two blocks. Check out the awesome happy hour drink deals and we’re telling you now: $0.50 US cent beers are as common as temples at Angkor! Surrounding the main street are night markets where you can grab some souvenirs.
- Angkor What – Famous for its name and also on Pub Street, this bar is definitely one you should check off your list. It is very loud and drink deals are in buckets and two-for-ones, so this is not necessarily the place for casual drinks. Head there to make some backpacker friends to party with.
- The Party Street – Also on Pub Street (can you tell where we spent most of our time?), this bar caught our eye because of its comfy couches surrounding the tables on the patio. It’s got some great drink AND food deals (suuuuper cheap spring rolls for drunk nibbles) and the staff bring you complimentary snacks if you stay there long enough. Music is pretty loud but as long as you’re on the couches you’re set.