Super boutique hotel in SR
We found this to be an excellent small hotel, located within walking distance of the main part of town, yet in a quiet area. It has a beautiful pool and restaurant, where your included breakfast is served. Mr. Prim, the owner was always on hand to discuss our day's travels and help with any arrangements. The rest of the hotel staff was great, and we spent many passing moments practicing our Khmer with them. Internet service and cable TV was available. Our reservation was handled flawlessly via email. Angkor Wat and related sites were about 15 minutes away via moto-taxi. We think it was a real winner, and ended up staying 17 days. Cost for two people, including breakfast and taxes ran $33USD/day. Overall, a suberb value! Great pool with a cascading waterfall, with nice loungers and umbrellas, along with a poolside spa. I still don't know how they kept the pool water so cold, but it sure was refreshing after temple trekking in the sun and dust. Breakfast was a bit light (little breakfast meat) but everyday started with freshly baked baguettes, fruit, tea, coffee, and eggs or pancake. There are two great restaurants nearby. The Sala Bai down the street is a hotel school that serves an excellent lunch worth lingering over and the Sugar Palm served traditional Khmer dishes in an upscale setting (but reasonably priced).
An undiscovered treat!
Off the main tourist drag of Siem Reab, this funky cocktail bar / restaurant is hidden from the road.
Inside is a wonderland of inspired, innovative decor and a great vibe. Recently opened (June 2008), this truly is a family run place where brothers and cousins assist the most charming pair of English speaking sisters who also help with the cooking.
A couple of western style and height tables and chairs are in the main space, which also has a few well upholstered divans piled with cushions, and an inserted glass plate for dining and drinking. More comfortable cushions are adjacent to an internal fish pond, with gauzy curtains strung up Bedouin tent style and the most wonderful organic light fittings, some, it seems, made from the varnished slices of some fruit or vegetable.
After delighting in the decor, what about the food?
Ah, the food.
Admittedly, the menu is limited, but that shouldn't cause any difficulty. We were hungry on our visit and ordered a Khmer Lemon Soup(USD$1.50), Green Mango Salad ($2.50), Grilled Fish with Mango ($4) and Fireworks Beef ($3), all to share with steamed rice. The presentation of everything, from the soda with a sprig of mint and lime, to that of the dishes was exceptional and would tempt even the most jaded palate.
From the first mouthful, we savoured the complexity and the freshness of the flavour of each dish. Soon the next dish encouraged the same response, and we didn't know which one was better. The music was a terrific mix of world, blues standards and modern which perfectly suited the mood of the space and of us.
Complimentary fruit came with our modest bill and we were pleased to know that we would be back in Siem Reab for a couple of nights when we returned from Battambang.
Our next visit gave us the chance to try the Smoked Fish Salad ($3.50), Khmer Hot nd Sour Soup with Tofu ($2), Pork with Eggplant ($3)and the Seim Reab speciality, Amok Fish($4). Once again it seemed that each dish was the best we had ever eaten, and wanted to take this place home with us to eat at, always.
One more night, and one more meal, this time adding the Khmer style golden curry , Char Kheung Fish (stir fried with coconut milk) and some fresh spring rolls to a soup and salad. Since returning, we made a point of not eating lunch and cycling 60+ kilometres to ensure that we could have a great meal at night.
We weren't disappointed.
There are some interesting restaurants around Pub Street and the nearby laneways, but nothing can compare to the Silk Lounge and it's spectacular ambiance and food.
The GPS co-ordinates are 13.3611 North, 103.8535 East. The Street address is a little more complicated, on Taphul street next door to the Auberge Mont Royal D'Angkor Hotel. Just head one block east at the Central Market (past the service station) and then turn north and you will be there.
Make the effort, it's worth the trip.
After almost two weeks in Vietnam, our smooth flight from Ho Chi Minh City (which offered an opportunity to catch up on a bit of sleep) brought us into Cambodia with great views of Tonle Sap Lake as we descended to land at Siem Reap. We were again met by our guide and driver and headed into town for yet more great food for lunch before checking in at our hotel (Auberge Mont Royal). We then headed out to the temples and our first visit was to the Roluos Group. Our first stop was at Preah Ko Temple where renovations were being undertaken.
From Preah Ko we move on to Bakong Temple which was impressive and covered with elephant statues.
Our final stop of the day was at Lo Lei Temple which is also a functioning temple with new buildings which surround the ancient ones. Then it was back to Siem Reap for our evening meal before returning to our hotel from where we went out for a short walk in the surrounding neighbourhood.
Today was, for us, to be one of the highlights of our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. We started the day with a visit to Angkor Thom with our first stop at the South Gate of Angkor Thom where carved heads face the four main directions (north, south, east and west).
Our second stop was at Bayon Temple which has over 20 towers which are all again covered with the four heads in the main directions. Inside one tower is a magnificent seated Buddha draped in orange silk under an orange silk canopy. Outside Bayon Temple there is a large seated Buddha image.
Our third stop of the morning was at Baphuon Temple which has a raised rainbow walkway and at the time of our visit was undergoing some renovation.
From Baphuon Temple we moved on to Phimeanakas which is a three-tier temple and has crumbled quite significantly. We walked out through one of the gates reflected in the king's bathing pool onto the Terrace of Elephants. Where the jungle dirt has been cleared, it revealed beautiful carvings in the wall.
We headed back to Siem Reap for lunch and then back to the hotel for a deserved siesta.
Mid-afternoon we were picked up by Gheatra (our guide) and taken out to see the hightlight of our trip - Angkor Wat!
We arrived at the moat outside the West Gate of Angkor Wat - the view across the moat and over the outside wall to Angkor Wat is magnificent. Inside one of the West Gate towers is a statue of Vishnu covered in offerings. We walked along the Cruciform Terrace towards the central structure of Angkor Wat past the libraries to the pool where there is an opportunity to take the classic photograph of Angkor Wat reflected in the pool before walking past a statue of Vishnu within one of the gates. This takes us to the second level of the complex. Inside, my friend climbs the very steep steps to the upper level; these are steep to represent man's climb to the kingdom of the god's which was equally difficult. Luckily, she makes it up and down in one piece!
We walk out through the galleries which are covered is bas-relief scenes and make it back to the cruciform terrace in time for the first signs of sunset over Angkor Wat.
Back to Siem Reap for our evening meal before returning to the hotel.
"Day 3 and Departure"
Our last full day in Cambodia and we were up exceedingly early. We're picked up at our hotel whilst its still dark by a tuk-tuk driver that our guide arranged for us last night and we head out to Angkor Wat to enjoy sunrise.
We're lucky as there are plenty of stars in the sky as we join the disjointed convoy of headlights all heading out to Angkor Wat as well. We take up position just near one of the Elephant Gates and sit down. There's between 300 and 400 people who have come out to witness the sunrise, taking up positions throughout the temple complex. Its a beautiful sight and there are only a few scattered whispy clouds which only add to the beauty of the sky. Once the sun is starting to show near the side of Angkor Wat, we head off so that we can enjoy Ta Prohm.
After a short tuk-tuk ride we arrived at the east gate and arranged to meet our driver at the other side. We entered the temple complex and it was immediately apparent how much the jungle still has its hold on this temple. We have the whole place nearly to ourselves and with so many trees and the sun only just over the horizon, the temples are shadowy and quiet. Its a beautiful place to be. Sometimes its difficult to know which way to turn next but we make it out at the other side and appreciate that we've had a really special time in Ta Prohm. Then its back to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast we head out again with Gheatra and our first temple stop is Banteay Srei which is a beautifully carved red stone temple unlike all the others which have been sandstone. Its also much more compact than many of the other temples.
We then head to Beanteay Samre which has a lovely centre tower.
From Banteay Samre we head on to Pre Rup which has lots of steps! I let my friend and Gheatra head up to the top and find a quiet corner to relax in. I'm soon joined by three local children who, as usual, want me to buy postcards and bamboo stars. I refuse but give them all a pen each (whcih we've brought from the UK to give to the chidlren around the temples) and a little girl gives me a scrap of paper with a flower drawn on it and another girl gives me a bamboo star. The first girl speaks exceptional English which she has learnt from the tourists. My friend comes down from the top and joins me as we talk to the children and she gives them packets of sweets. We then head back to Siem Reap for lunch before enjoying catching up on our sleep in the hotel.
Afterwards we head back out for our final visit to the temples. The first stop is a Preah Khan which is very similar to Ta Prohm and still has some jungle growing in it. There's also a very nice chedi in one of the towers.
From Preah Khan we head on to Neak Pean which is unlike any of the temples we've already seen as this is a central pond with a small temple on a centre island surrounded by four smaller ponds. In each of the smaller ponds there is a manmade cave with a statue. The whole complex is surrounded by jungle and the place is beautifully still and quiet. Its a real pity that we're due to start back home tomorrow.
We head back to Siem Reap for dinner and then hit Psar Chaa for some shopping.
Another early start and after break fast we head out to Tonle Sap for a cruise. The lake is huge and has a large floating community.
After the cruise its time to head to the airport for our flight to Kuala Lumpur.
Hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
Has anyone stayed in the Renakse or Regent Park hotels in Phnom Penh? How were they?
Has anyone stayed in any of these Siem Reap hotels: Borann, Ta Prohm, Salina, Auberge Mont Royal? How were they? Thanks
Re: Hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
Hi there! I am a local tour guide in Siem Reap who could help you organizing a stay in Angkor.
Ta Prom hotel and Salina hotel are nice it located in the heart of Siem Reap town. Borann hotel is nice too but it is just a bit long distance drive from the hotel to downtown. It is not so easy if you would like to wonder around town at night. If you would have any help regarding your travel in Siem Reap, you could send the email to my personal email address at email@example.com
You could read some information of Cambodia from my own designed web at www.khmerangkor.greatnow.com