We rented a bicycle to visit the Angkor temples. Be warned that cycling to the Angkor will really test your stamina. We visited the small circuit and had to do a 28 km cycle for 14 hours ( we started at 3.30am) exclusive the cycle from Siem Reap to the first Angkor check point which is 5 km one way. Total distance we did for that day was 38km under the hot sun and visited some of the most amazing site. Good point is that it is really cheap. We got the bike for USD 3 but the bad point is that it was very hot and humid and also very tiring. I was on budget and so i didn't mind but it is not for everyone though.
Those interested to move around in cars can do so by just spending US$ 20-25 per day and this includes the driver, patrol for the whole day. Most of these cars are old models of Toyota Camry, which is 2.0 litre car and is quite spacious. If you need to go to distant temples like Banteay Srei, Kbal Spean etc, are charge more, depending on the distance. For eg, for Kbal Spean, they charge $20 extra. For Beng Melia, they charge $ 40 extra. These cars can easily seat 4 adults and can be arranged by the Hotel recetion.
You can reach Siem Reap by plane, or you can get the fast boat from Phnom Penh, It´s a nice trip of six hours, with great views of the Tonle Sap river and lake. The small arriving port it´s located 12 kms south of Siem Reap. The price of the one way trip is $22.00 and the tickets are sold at the dock.
If you're wanting to save time flying from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is a good, quick, easy and pretty cheap choice. For about 150$ you can take the short flight and save hours. You do miss seeing some rural scene by traveling by boat or land, but if time is of the essence, fly, there are lots of flights available
Two airlines to choose from, although they are associated with each other They are Siem Reap Airways and Bangkok Airways. Both fly SR to PP ( about 8 flights per day Fare about $56 one way. They are both good reliable airlines and have good websites.Another possibility is the Mekong Express BUS which takes about 6 hours with a half hour lunch stop. Buses are first class with toilets and you also get a snack pack. Fare approx $12 one way. There is a 0730 departure from each end also a PM departure
I have not tried the boat but it sounds the most adventurous method. See Wikitravel website which says travel time is 4 to 5 hours fare $20 to $30 .
You can either take a bus, ferry (Mekong Express) or a flight from Siem Reap (SR) to Phnom Penh (PP) and vice versa. In the SR-PP-SR Sector, the flight of choice at present is Siem Reap airways and they offer 4 flights a day, at approximately $70 per person per direction.
I will recommend not to take the ferry (Mekong Express) as it is very expensive and not worth value for money. You may wish to read the comments from fellow passengers in the VT Travel Guides section.
Another recommended route is going by road, which also takes 5-6 hours and lots of buses are available in both directions. You need to check out from the reception/travel desk of the hotel where you are staying in PP/SR about the buses. They can arrange or help you book tickets. The buses are comfortable and the ticlets are cheap. Maximum $10 per person.
Siem Reap is a relatively small city so it’s fairly easy to get around to most of the touristy parts of town on foot, of course the exception being the Temples of Angkor which are the major tourist draw to the area but are located 6km outside town. But most people choose to hop a tuk tuk to get around town. Drivers will bombard you with requests to ferry you around town so it’s easy to get a ride anywhere you want in the city at any time. Always remember to negotiate your price before you accept the ride and don’t pay the driver until you reach your destination. On average expect to pay about $1US for a trip around town. Many of the drivers will of course start their prices higher because they will expect you to negotiate down, but if they are asking too much or bargaining too hard simply walk away and find another driver. Chances are there are five more drivers right there ready to shuttle you wherever your heart desires. But always remember to be friendly in your negotiations. A smile and kind words are always appreciated.
Our tuk tuk driver from the bus station was so sweet and his English was so good so we were compelled to hire him for the following day to take us around Angkor. We settled on a price of $15 US for the entire day and arranged to have him pick us up at our hotel the following morning at 4:30 am so we could experience sunrise over Angkor Wat. We later realized we fell victim to the old “bait and switch” as he changed himself out for his cousin who he swore spoke English as well as his own (this wasn’t the case). But even though his cousin couldn’t speak much English at all he arrived promptly at our hotel the following morning and was a great driver.
If you are planning to do the small tour or grand tour circuit of Angkor (both of which include the closest temples) it is reasonable to hire a tuk tuk and driver for $15 US for the entire day. In addition to an all day hire it is not unusual to have your driver pick you up for sunrise, drop you back off at your hotel to escape the midday heat and then pick you up again for sunset all for the same price. The heat gets intense in the afternoon and it’s great to escape the noontime sun and enjoy the mysteries of Angkor in minimal heat.
Tips for hiring a driver all day: Settle on your price beforehand but do not pay your driver until the end of the day.
Negotiate your prices. Drivers will attempt to get more money out of you if they can. When in doubt walk away. There is always another tuk tuk driver waiting to be your guide. Sometimes simply walking away is the best negotiating technique.
Expect to pay $15 US for a full day of the small tour or grand tour circuits. If you want to visit Banteay Srey (37 km from Siem Reap) or Kbal Spean (49 km from Siem Reap) expect to pay between $18 to $30 US for the trip because of the distance and due to the fact that the roads out to Kbal Spean are currently extremely rough and hard on the tuk tuks.
many motos to jump on for quick a-b around seim reap..cost again 50c-$1 per ride.all are good drivers,exciting and lots of dust in your face.. again you can hire for day but dont pay any more than $10.
motocycle with carriage attached to it...lots and lots around..most fares around 50c to $1,or hire for day for around $12/15. most drivers speak good english,ideal for shade from the sun and can take 3/4 people.Most people use this transport for the angkor wot ruins
The easiest and cheapest way to get from the bus station to your hotel is by tuk tuk. When we arrived in Siem Reap we hadn’t booked a hotel yet. Our tuk tuk driver, Red, drove us to several hotels in the city until we found one we liked. We must have stopped at 7 different hotels until we decided on one. The cost of this trip around the city was a mere $1 US.
For short trips around the city you can try and negotiate under $1 US, but $1 was pretty standard even for trips consisting of only a few blocks.
The cheapest way to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is by bus. There are a variety of busses to choose from and they run several times a day. The rates start at $5 US for the local bus. This option is the cheapest, and the best way if you want to travel with the locals. We opted to travel on this bus and there were very few other tourists among us, but we felt completely safe the entire ride. This bus makes two pit stops along the way and as there is no bathroom on this bus, the pit stops are very important as it is the only time you are able to relieve yourself on the ride. At the pit stops you will also be able to obtain food and drink. We even saw fried scorpion and tarantula for sale at the pit stops! The other bus options rise in price up to $10 US (keep in mind these prices are one way). The $10 bus is the most luxurious bus and the one most often booked by tourists featuring bathrooms, air conditioning, and even movies on some busses. Check with a travel agent to arrange tickets and times. Even on the $5 we had reserved seating. They estimate the trip from Phnom Penh to take 5.5 to 6 hours but in reality our trip only took 5 hours including two stops. It’s cheaper and faster than taking a boat up the river, by far, and a great way to see the Cambodian countryside.
Oh oh... just found out something else that Charlie had ripped us for...
A friend of mine was just checking with another driver on charges for taking her around Siem Reap and in his email, he mentioned that the boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake cost USD10.
Charlie had told us that it was USD15 per person and that's the amount he took from us to purchase the tickets (total USD60). Since there was 4 of us, he ripped us off another USD20!!!
Oh oh... this guy really cannot be trusted!!
Avoid him at all cost!
I do not usually eat on board the planes of budget airlines. But I was hungry so I thought, "Why not?". Flipped through the in-flight magazine to look at what they have to offer. "XO Sauce Seafood Ramen". Hmm, that sounds appetising. Well, until you see the packaging and you realised that the S$5 you forked out for the "delicious" noodles is actually instant cup-a-noodle.
What was I expecting?
Anyway, you have to pay cash for your food, and don't be a joke. The food does not come free, though some passengers do try their luck.
It is always good to book early to get a good pricing for your air tickets. I had procrastinated on my purchase of a pair of Singapore's Silkair tickets and lo and behold, the prices of the tickets just jumped twofolds in a matter of hours.
I nearly dropped the idea of visiting Siem Reap, until I found out that JetStar Asia also flies direct to Siem Reap, albeit the need for us to arrive at Singapore's Terminal One airport at an ungodly hour of 5am!
We booked the tickets two months in advance and paid only about US$180 for a return ticket. A deal too good to miss, even if I had to forgo my beauty sleep.
You can even select the seats of preference on the aeroplane, but forget about getting your seat of preference when you are returning to Singapore.