Siem Reap Favorites

  • Fans and ice cream. A must.
    Fans and ice cream. A must.
    by PandawitchElphie
  • Wide-brin hats will save you
    Wide-brin hats will save you
    by PandawitchElphie
  • Be careful of Monkeys
    Be careful of Monkeys
    by PandawitchElphie

Most Recent Favorites in Siem Reap

  • PandawitchElphie's Profile Photo

    Things to Take Note of and Remember

    by PandawitchElphie Updated Mar 19, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I'm compiling my list of 'tips'...hopefully it'll help someone who's off to Siem Reap too. :)

    BEFORE ARRIVING
    1. Pack light, cool clothing. The thinner the material the better. But still be modest--you are, after all going to temples...holy ground. Some temples won't let you go up in short skirts/shorts or sleeveless tops. Avoid wearing tanks unless you plan to stay in town.
    **or, like most tourists, buy the nice flowy cool pants at the Night or Old Market on your first day.
    2. Comfortable shoes. Temple ground are HUGE. It'll take hours to explore even just one temple to give it justice.
    3. Consider in investing in extra camera batteries and large memory cards. You may find yourself out of battery and there are no charging areas aside from pricey restos or your own hotel. Don't forget, there's no electricity in temples for charging.
    4. Consider bringing a light tripod if you're going to take sunrise/sunset shots.
    5. Bring ANTI-MOSQUITO lotions, clip-ons etc. We didn't get bitten once but that's because we came prepared.
    6. Consider bringing or just buying on location, wide-brimmed hats/caps. Trust me, the sun is merciless here.
    7. Bring fans. We brought misting fans with us which was helped us...big time.
    8. Booking tourguides/tuktuk drivers online beforehand makes eveything better. I recommend Da as a tuktuk driver and Chet as a tourguide. (see my review on tuktuks and tourguides)
    9. Sunblock. Sunblock. Sunblock.
    10. Bring flashlights if you intend to go for any sunrise at any temple. Or even sunset for that matter.
    11. Preferred currency their is US dollars. In small bills. We took smalls wads of $1 and $5. To pay for meals, tuktuks, tips etc. Use the big bills for your hotels. If you give them a big bill, they'll give you change in local currency. Or sometimes, they won't even have enough change at all. So better be prepared with small bills. Also, bring undamaged bills (no folds or wrinkles)... some might not accept bills with multiple folds.

    AT SIEM REAP
    1. Take the 3-Day Pass in order to enjoy the temples with chances to rest or take breaks. A 1-day pass will only make the temples blur in your mind.
    2. Plan around 2-3 hours minimum per temple.
    3. Avoid tuktuk drivers that answer your "how much to go to.....?" with an "how much you willing to pay me?". Try just saying "$1 to go to .....?" or "$2 to go to....?"
    4. Go ahead and buy the flowy pants you see everyone wearing. A nice pair can be around $5-$10.
    5. Be careful of belongings-- do not place your things on the ground around temples (esp around Angkor Wat). Monkey like to make off with them.
    6. When you budget-- plan for daily massages. Your feet will thank you. An hour's massage is at most around $3-$7 in Pub Street. In-house massages are understandably more expensive.
    7. If you stay at the big hotels-- and you end up going with a large tour... you'll be short-changed. They'll end up bringing you to restos that cater to tourists. Buffets etc. Skip those. Buffets aren't good. Go to pubstreet for dinner. The ambience, crown, personalities there will let you experience being a traveller rather than being stuck with your group in hall devoid of personalities.
    8. Apsara shows.... go to the high-end ones. The cheaper ones are just that.... cheap. More like high-school productions with costumes.
    9. Ask for PEPPER SAUCE for your beef. ANY beef. Especially grilled ones. Love it!!!
    10. Look for tuktuk drivers or tourguides that provide you with cold water. You'll appreciate this.
    11. Beer is cheaper than Coke or Juice.
    12. Never EVER lose your day pass. You may want to consider bringing an ID necklace with that see-through pocket to store it in or just a safe and secure holder for your bag. Damage it and you're dead-- you'll have to buy a new one.
    13. Keep drinking water. Did I forget to say it's hot in Siem Reap?

    Fondest memory: The beef pepper sauce.
    Ta Prohm
    Bayon Temple

    3-Day Pass Wide-brin hats will save you Be careful of Monkeys Pepper Sauce. Pepper Sauce. Pepper Sauce. Fans and ice cream. A must.
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Siem Reap Street Names

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 11, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Good news! In Jun 09 Canby Publications added many street names to their map. See the link below. Pub Street is Street 8. Hospital Street is 2 Thnou Street. Street 9 runs along the northwest side of the Old Market, and I had correctly identified Streets 10 and 11.

    I did not realize it when I was there in Mar 09, but Siem Reap is known for some streets not having names, especially in the Phsar Chas (Old Market) area. For sure they are missing on most of the maps. I have looked at several maps and have gone back through my pictures. I think I have figured out some of them. Some of the best maps that I have found of the Old Market area are by Canby Publications.

    Their map indicates "Pub Street." I also have a picture of a sign near the Red Piano to confirm it. The passage southeast of and parallel to Pub Street, is sometimes called "Walking Alley;" however, it is more often called "Pub Street Alley" as on the Canby map. "Walking Street" is the first passage northwest of and parallel to Pub Street. The street that runs along the northeast side of the Old Market and perpendicular to Walking Street, Pub Street and Pub Street Alley is called Hospital Street.

    By figuring out Khmer numbers on the blue-and-white street signs in my pictures, the street that runs along the southwest side of the Old Market and parallel to Hospital Street is Street 11 (Khmer "99"). The next street southwest is Street 10 (Khmer "90"). I have not been able to figure out the name of the street that runs along the northwest side of the Old Market.

    Street 11 at Pub Street Old Market Annex (Pokambor Avenue & Street 11) Street 11 from Pokambor Avenue Hospital Street from Old Market Bridge Street 10 from Pokambor Avenue
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Angkor Visitor Passes and Fees

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 10, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: An official pass is required for admission to any temple or monument in the main Angkor complex and most other temples and monuments in the Siem Reap area. Angkor passes can be purchased at the sales booths on the main road from Siem Reap to Angkor Wat (~4 km north of the Old Market), at the checkpoint on the road from the airport to Angkor Wat, and at the checkpoint at Banteay Srei. No one else is authorized to sell Angkor passes and they are not transferable. You no longer have to bring a passport picture. They will take your picture there. You will be required to show your pass at each temple and monument.

    When I visited in Mar 09, there were three options for passes: one day (US$20), three consecutive days (US$40) and seven consecutive days (US$60); however, the ticketing rules which started on 1 Jul 09 allow the US$40 passes to be valid for any three days during a week instead of three consecutive days, and the US$60 tickets are usable for any seven days during a month. The fee must be paid in US dollars, Cambodian Riel, Thai Baht or Euro. Credit cards are not accepted for payment, but there is a bank counter at the sales booths, where visitors can get a cash advance on their credit card. There are separate windows at the sales booths for each length of pass. Be sure to check on both sides of the building.

    It is not cheap to visit the Angkor temple complex. Besides the pass, if you want a guide to accompany you into the temples, they must be licensed and the cost is typically $20-25 per day. A tuk tuk costs $12-15 per day. A tuk tuk driver can only take you to a temple and cannot be a guide. BTW, the Angkor pass includes free use of the restrooms that are now outside many of the main temples in the complex. Evidently there used be very few restrooms but when a VIP visitor had a hard time finding one, that was changed.

    Approaching the Sales Booths Back Side of Sales Booth Building Pass Checkers at The Bayon Three Day Angkor Pass in Mar 09 Typical Restroom Facility (Near Banteay Kdei)
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • theguardianangel's Profile Photo

    Don't miss these Angkor Wat views!:)

    by theguardianangel Written Nov 15, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Angkor Wat is one of the places you must see before it's too late!

    Fondest memory: I really can't help admiring the wonderful work of the Khmer people! Let me show you more pictures I took and I know you'll find it very amazing too!:)

    just trying my artistic skills... carved within the temple's walls main entrance side view
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Camdodian Riel

    by machomikemd Written Jun 19, 2012

    Favorite thing: you don't need to change your US Dollars into Cambodian Riel since the US Dollar is the second main currency of Siem Reap and all establishments and even tuktuk drivers accept them and give you change in US Dollars (only the smaller $ 1, 5 and 10 bills ok. and no COINS!). some unscrupulous ones give you the Cambodian Riel as change.

    you can change 1 US dollar into cambodian riel in several denominations as a souvenir like what I did hehehe.

    Fondest memory: at present, 1 US Dollar is about 4,107 cambodian riel as of may 2012 exchange rates.

    the riel bank notes available at present are: - 50 Riel, 100 Riel, 500 Riel, 1000 Riel, 2000 Riel, 5000 Riel, 10,000 Riel, 20,000 Riel, 50,000 Riel

    there are no coins of riel denominations at present.

    the riel more riel 1000 riel more assorted riel
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    US Dollar is The Main Currency here!

    by machomikemd Written Jun 19, 2012

    Favorite thing: ACTUALLY, you don't need to change your US Dollars into Cambodian Riel since the US Dollar is a second Main Currency in Siem Reap and even the Market Vendors, Tuktuk Drivers, Restaurants and even beggars accept US Dollars but you must have smaller bills like $ 1, $ 4, $ 10 and $ 20 handy as they do not change bigger $ 50 or $ 100 bills and even US Dollar coins. If you have bigger US Dollar bills, then they might give you the Cambodian Riel Equivalent.

    So Before going to Siem Reap, have many small bills of $ 1, 5, 10 and 20 handy for paying meals, tipping drivers or hotel bellhops or tuktuk drivers and even beggars and for buying souvenirs too.

    Fondest memory: A TIP! if you only have big US Dollar bills of $ 50 or 100, I suggest you change them into smaller bills at the Hotel Lobby of your hotel into smaller bills and they will gladly change your bigger bills into smaller bills at NO CHARGE!

    change into smaller bills for FREE! Restaurant Menu Lists are in US Dollars Bar Drink Menu in US Dollars! you have to change this for smaller bills you must have many bills like these!
    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Food and Dining
    • Luxury Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • aberacadabra's Profile Photo

    "Buy Something!!!"

    by aberacadabra Written May 19, 2011

    Favorite thing: Over the course of your sojourn in Siem Reap, you will be constantly hounded by just about every Khmer to buy trinkets/souvenirs.
    Rather than expressing your anger, just ignore them and walk away. At least they're not begging or worse, stealing.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Highly recommended tour guide

    by sharynchua Written Apr 13, 2011

    Favorite thing: For my holiday to be so perfect, I would like to thank Mr Ratanak Eath. I chanced upon his site www.theangkorguide.net, & liked his itinerary, compared with others so I just booked him. He turned out to be a wonderful guide! Humorous, very cheerful, knowledgable & mostly, his English was very fluent (I've heard some other guides in the temples). On top of this, he was also a great photographer. He took many candid poses of us that we would never have thought of, being foreign & it made reminiscing through our photos so much funnier now. Thanks again, Ratanak... see you again the next time I'm in Siem Reap!

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Time Necessary for a Tour to Beng Mealea & Koh Ker

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 11, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: It is not possible to do Beng Mealea, Banteay Srei and Koh Ker adequately in one day. However, Koh Ker is definitely not the one I would eliminate. In fact, it is the best of the three. It takes a couple of hours to get to Beng Mealea from Siem Reap. We did Beng Mealea, including the back and west sides in ~2 hours. It took ~1.5 hours to drive to Koh Ker from Beng Mealea. We spent ~2.5 hours there, stopping at several sites on the loop road, walking back to the giant pyramid, and having a quick lunch. I used the time stamps on my photos to estimate the times. Therefore, for a full tour of each site you are looking at a ~11.5 hour round trip from Siem Reap. I had hired a car and driver. A set tour may take a shorter path at each site and may take less overall time. The admission at Beng Mealea is 5 USD plus 2.50 USD each way for the private toll road. Koh Ker has a 10 USD entry fee, which you can pay onsite or at the Beng Mealea toll booth. The Mandalay Inn travel office offers a Koh Ker, Beng Mealea and Bakong day tour. They also have a Banteay Srei, Kabal Spean, Beng Mealea and Bakong day tour.

    Koh Ker Pyramid Beng Mealea South Gate Banteay Srei East Entrance
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Currency Exchange

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 17, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: As far as changing money, almost all prices are quoted in US$. Sometimes the price will include a fraction of a dollar. When this is the case, the change that is a fraction of a dollar is returned in riel at an exchange rate of 4000:1. It is less than the official rate but close enough. I got enough riel this way to make all of my small purchases. I did all my "banking" at the small Canadia Bank on Street 11 across from the Old Market. It was in a convenient location, never busy, and the service was quite good. There was a 2% fee for cashing travelers' checks. I had no problems using US$20 and even a US$100 when paying a 5-night, US$98 hotel bill; the dollar value just needs to be close to what you owe. The tuk tuk drivers will want US$1-2 for each short ride, if not more (I walked). I did have one occasion where a US$20 was not accepted because it had a crease from being folded.

    Canadia Bank on Left Side of Street 11
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    An Excellent Guide in Siem Reap

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 18, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: VT member, Eithwe, helped me find an English speaking guide for the Angkor temples and Siem Reap area. So Peng Thai is a freelance, licensed guide for the Angkor temples. Not only is he very well educated and knowledgeable, but he is also just a nice person to be around. In Mar 09 the typical rate for licensed guides in the hotels was $25/day. Peng Thai (So is his surname) charged $20, probably because he was self-employed and did not have company overhead.

    He met me at my hotel each morning and was always early. I thoroughly enjoyed all four days that he was my guide. He was flexible about what and when to see things, so that we could avoid the crowds. When convenient, we would also take a mid-afternoon break while it was hot and then go back to touring when it started to cool off. Peng Thai was also very patient with all my picture taking and often volunteered to take pictures of me so that I could be in certain scenes. His email is sopangthai@yahoo.com [sic] and his phone numbers are (855) 12 60 30 94 and (855) 17 36 96 12. I give Peng Thai my highest recommendation.

    So Peng Thai - Licensed Angkor Guide Peng Thai on the Way to Angkor Thom Peng Thai at Angkor Wat Peng Thai at Banteay Srei Male and Female Sugar Palm Flowers
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Excellent and Safe Tuk Tuk Driver in Siem Reap

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 18, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: In addition to a licensed guide for Angkor, you will need transportation. My guide, Peng Thai, booked our tuk tuk driver through the travel desk at the Mandalay Inn where I was staying in Siem Reap. BTW, I prefer tuk tuk's because it is easy to take pictures even when you are moving and because it is easier to stop anywhere you want. Sophen was my tuk tuk driver for 3 of the 4 days that I toured the Siem Reap area and he also took me to the airport. He got very good at anticipating where I would want to take pictures and would intentionally slow down. I think he must be licensed also since he always put on a vest (#6214) when we went into the Angkor Archaeological Park.

    Sophen could not make it one day. His replacement that day was okay but drove too fast and went past some places where I wanted to stop (he could not hear me, I guess). Sophen charged the going rate ($12/day) for the Angkor temples. Banteay Srei is another $5, if you wish to go there, which I did. It was $4 to go to the airport. He was very reliable and right on time for my early (6 AM) departure to the airport. I felt very lucky to tour with Peng Thai and Sophen. They are both very nice gentlemen.

    Sophen and Peng Thai Peng Thai and Sophen at Khmer Village Restaurant Testing the Palm Sugar Candy Sophen and Peng Thai at Tonle Sap Lake Peng Thai, Sophen & Ei at Phnom Krom
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Cathy&Gary's Profile Photo

    Important Links & Contacts

    by Cathy&Gary Written Mar 21, 2009

    Favorite thing: The link below is for bits of info and links etc that didn't seem to fit in on any of my other pages, so just scroll down and you might see something that might help you with your holiday. I will always be adding to this page, so keep coming back.

    Some of the included info is links for:

    The Travel Doctor
    Going Overseas! Register with the Department of Foreign Affairs
    Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service.
    FX Currency Converter
    Local Times Around The World
    International Dialling Codes
    World Newspapers Online
    ATM Locator
    International Driving Permits (Australian)
    Australian Embassies, high commissions, consulates
    Australian Passports

    Click here for info on the above,

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Business Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Cathy&Gary's Profile Photo

    Visa's & Airport Tax

    by Cathy&Gary Written Mar 21, 2009

    Favorite thing: Make sure you take a few passport size photos with you, (one for your visa and one for your Angkor Wat pass, plus a spare, just in case!!

    This info is for those arriving by plane. You will be given forms for your visa on the plane.

    Its all very easy and only takes a few minutes, proceed to the counter with the very immaculately dressed, stony faced officials and away you go.

    The visa on arrival is for a 30 day stay and will cost US$20.

    You can also apply for a visa before you leave your home country through your travel agent, Royal Embassies and Consulates of Cambodia (but it will cost more) or apply online for an eVisa.

    Cambodia Visa, Apply For Visa Online - Official Site,

    Visa's on arrival are issued at Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport. Poi Pet, O'Smach and Cham Yeam at the Cambodia-Thailand international border checkpoint and Bavet, Kaam Samnor at the Cambodia-Vietnam international border checkpoint.

    Visa fee: Business visa: US$25, Tourist visa: US$20.

    Airport Tax

    Don’t forget there is an airport tax of US$25 for International departures.

    This tax is usually not included in the price of your ticket, so make sure that you have US$25 spare in cash when you are leaving, which is payable at the airport.

    Domestic departures tax is US$10 from Phnom Penh and US$6 from Siem Reap.

    International Gate Ways

    Phnom Penh International Airport
    Siem Reap International Airport
    Sihanoukville Port (Visa on Arrival)

    Airport Tax:

    International Airport:
    USD25
    Domestic:
    6USD

    Telephone Country code: 855, Phnom Penh code: 23.

    Markets are open from early morning to late evening, including Sundays and pubic holidays.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Cathy&Gary's Profile Photo

    General Information

    by Cathy&Gary Written Mar 21, 2009

    Favorite thing: Cambodia is bordered to the North by Thailand and Laos, to the East and the South by Vietnam, and to the South and the West by the Gulf of Thailand.

    Approx. population is 13,000,000 Million (90-95% Khmers) the balance being ethnic Chinese, Cham, ethnic Vietnamese and hill-tribe people.

    Language Khmer, secondary languages: English and French

    Religion 95% Buddhist with the balance being Muslim, Christian and animist

    Climate
    1 Nov-Feb, cool/dry
    2 Mar-May, hot/dry
    3 Jun-Aug, hot/wet
    4 Sep-Oct, cool/wet

    Currency RIEL, but US dollars are widely accepted.

    Visas
    Visas be obtained at Royal Embassies and Consulates of Cambodia
    A visa on arrival, valid for 30 days, is issued at Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport. Poi Pet, O'Smach and Cham Yeam at the Cambodia-Thailand international border checkpoint and Bavet, Kaam Samnor at the Cambodia-Vietnam international border checkpoint.
    Visa fee: Business visa: USD25, Tourist visa: USD20.
    E-Visa is also now available

    Airport Taxi.
    For visitors entering Cambodia through Phnom Penh Airport, a taxi into the city will cost USD7 and will take 15 minutes.
    A (non-metered) taxi from Siem Reap Airport into town, 8km away, costs about USD5 and takes 10-15 minutes.

    Local Transport Cars and mini-buses are available for touring the temples at Angkor or for day trips in and around Phnom Penh. The cost of a car and driver is US$20+per day.

    Telephone Country code: 855, Phnom Penh code: 23.

    Markets are open from early morning to late evening, including Sundays and pubic holidays.

    Emergency.
    There are emergency services in Phnom Penh.
    Call 119 ambumlance, Call 118 fire truck, Call 117 police.

    International Gate Ways
    Phnom Penh International Airport
    Siem Reap International Airport
    Sihanoukville Port (Visa on Arrival)

    Airport Tax:
    International Airport:
    Foreigner: USD25
    Cambodian: USD18
    Domestic:
    Foreigner: 6USD
    Cambodian: 5USD (Effective from 5th January 2004)

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Siem Reap

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

27 travelers online now

Comments

Siem Reap Favorites

Reviews and photos of Siem Reap favorites posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Siem Reap sightseeing.

View all Siem Reap hotels