There are numerous places to go out at night in Siem Reap and we did partake in a few of them, but generally speaking, to get the most out of your Angkor Wat Experience, you’ll need to get up very early in the morning. Most would say, it’s more like the middle of the night! For one thing, you avoid a lot of the crowds this way. Also, you get better light for photography. I would have to say, the early morning was by far our favorite time at the ruins. Sometimes, it was still dark out and all we could really do was hear the sounds of the jungle, but that’s what we remember best now. So, forgo the early part of the night and wake up for the very end of it. ;)
Dress Code: Long sleeves are good to ward off mosquitos in the early morning light as well as protect you from the sun later in the day if you can handle the heat.
If you are smart enough, go the front yard, before hitting the Angkor lakes, turn to the right and keep walking to the edge of the right-sided lake. Why? Because this is the best point to view the sun raise and the Angkor with 5 towers. It appeals almost in all poster and postcard.
Daytime will be too hot and humid for traveler to explore around, if you think of watching the Sunrise and the Sunset at Angkor area, when you finished the Sunrise sections, you can rest and have a wonderful massage for hours at the pool side in the hotel, or you can sleep in the air-conditioning room after your lunch for 2, 3 hours, then continue your 2nd half of the journey to explore the sunset of Angkor ruins.
Apsaras carving is ubiquitous in the temples in Siem Reap. I thought I should check a "live" one at nite. It's not as impressive as I thought it might be. It's similar to the traditional dances in Thailand, even the costumes are the same. But I read it somewhere thats say the Thai ones are actually originated from the Khmer. Paid USD 6 for the performances and another USD 6 for the buffet (You can't go there for the performances only). The food is not good. The performances started at 7:30 pm and lasted for an hour. The waiter said they buffet will still be open well after the dance. Yeah right, it's sure still open, if only they keep stocking up the food on the table. Sorry I don't remember the name of the restaurant.
3rd Aug '05 - While arranging the photos in my travel album, saw a picture with the name of the restaurant on it! It's Koulen Restaurant!
Dress Code: Smart casual.
you may need a tripod for the camera, torch light and insect spray if nesaccery and some sweet and sugar for the kids surrounding.
In general, it is save to walk around in Seam Reab and Angkor area, just in case, you must ready to shout out loud for help, I mean for singer female traveler.
If you are an AJ fan, it is cool to know that your butt has sat where her butt has. Or is that just me? Anyway, at the Red Piano Bar, you can do just that. The have a drink named after her and you can see where she sat her in pictures. So, just triangulate her position and just wait for the idiot sitting there to move! It’s just that easy!
OK, enough of that. The restaurant is in the "nightlife area" of Siem Reap, where lots of bars cater to the tourists. There is actually a bar ran and owned by an American who has relocated here across the street diagonally from the Red Piano. Both are great spots to have a few Angkor or Anchor beers.
I woke up early in the morning at 04:45am, the sky starts turning bright.
My driver has already waited at the lobby. 15 minutes drive from the hotel to the main gate of Angkor Wat.
Dress Code: A torch light and insect spray
As I was staying close to the Old Market area(Psah Chas) that's where I tended to head for at nights. There are quite a few bars and restuarants in this area but because of the lack of tourists at the moment they were all pretty quiet. Among the more popular were the Red Piano, Angkor What and Le Tigre de Papier (a bookstore/bar/cafe). Also I heard the Ivy bar can get quite lively - but not while I was there.
Dress Code: Definite casual.
Lots of backpackers use these bars.
What better way to end a day's of climbing and walking with a traditional massage? Ok, it's not exactly an exciting night activity but it is a lot more satisfying than club crawl in the little town of Siem Reap.
Dr. Feet stands out among the many other massage palours. With walls decorated with scribbles of past satisfied visitors from all over the world, it stands testimony to the quality of the massage. Not to sound dramatic, but this is by far the BEST massage I have had in my life. There are feet and body massage to choose from. But I wonder where the difference lies when my feet massage extends to my calves, thighs, face, head, head, neck and back.
What can i say, US$6 for bodily heaven is a fair enough deal. However be warned, luck places a role. I have gotten fantastic and not so great massages on my visits there.
There are many places that offer traditional dance shows in the evening. Cost from US$10-$15 per person , usually includes dinner.
One of the finest venue is The Apsara Theatre in front of Angkor village hotel. Set in an elegant wooden performance hall. There are 2 nightly shows with set menu dinner. Reservation recommended. Tel: 063 963 561
Other Apsara dance theatres :
Angkor Mondial Restaurant Tel: 063-760875
Jasmine Angkor Restaurant Tel: 012-808881
Buffet Dinner 6:30pm. Performance 7:30-8:30pm
Le Meridien Hotel Tel: 063-963900
La Reisdence d'Angkor Tel:063-963390
Tue, Thur, Sat. Dinner:7pm, Performance 8-9pm
Sofitel Royal Angkor Tel: 063-964600
Buffet 7-10PM. Nightly performance 7:30-8:30PM
We discovered this place on our second day as we stroll along the old market. It consisted of lines of restaurants and bars which cater to most tourists around. The price of the beer are somewhat standard .5$ and the food are reasonably competitive among the restaurants here. We ate at Pub Food Place, which served us a generous amount of pizza, beer, steak and fries.
Dress Code: Just bring your wallet here, no dress code required.
At the time we visited in 1998, there were few upscale hotels in Siem Reab except the French colonial era Angkor Hotel. I understand that a new building opened after we left, but the show appears to be the same production. In the evening, there's a buffet of fine Khmer cuisine, and then a classical dance/theater production, accompanied by a full traditional orchestra. In my view, this is a must do night activity. The lighting, costumes, and outdoor ambience is wonderful. My wife captured much of the production on her video camera, but unfortunately, I don't have any images to show VT members. Believe me though, this is really a great experience.
Dress Code: I recall a casual, but not trashy dress code being followed by those in attendance. This is an upscale hotel, so I recommend that ladies wear an evening gown or nice colorful clothes, while men can wear the Hawaiian flowered shirt and long slacks to look sharp.
I found the Funky Munky while exploring Siem Reap on foot. I heard the music, thought that it looked funky, and it was over 200 meters from my hotel, so I needed a beer.
I talked to one of the western, English, bartenders about music, so much that I went to my hotel and brought back a disc, which he played, and copied, in its entirety while I was there. The other English bartender, Trixie, asked me about the music and treated me like her brother. The Cambodian bartender, Lim, was extremely friendly and had excellent English.
The other customers were all ex-pats living in Cambodia to help the people. Although it was obvious that they didn't like the Angkor Wat tourism industry, they went out of their way to make me, a tourist, feel welcome. That is important if you travel solo.
They also sponsor several local charities. Thursday night is their trivia night. All proceeds go to charity.
It is also very affordable. My last night there, I had 7 beers, a hot dog and bought a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. My total bill was $10 US.
Temple Bar shares its name with the famous Temple Bar nightlife district of Dublin Ireland, and just like its Dublin namesake, Siem Reap's Temple Bar is one of the best spots in town. It has food, happy hour drinks (2 for 1), and a DJ/dance floor later in the evening. I enjoyed a cold Tiger draft for US$1.50.
Before the sky getting dark, most of the locals coming out and stroll along the front yard of Angkor Wat.
This is the great chances to see the Cambodian, to know the locals and to understand them better.