Siem Reap Travel Guide

  • Wat Bo
    Wat Bo
    by AlbuqRay
  • East Side Garden and Stupas
    East Side Garden and Stupas
    by AlbuqRay
  • The floating market, Siem Reap
    The floating market, Siem Reap
    by georeiser

Siem Reap Highlights

  • Pro
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    AlbuqRay says…

     Many options for hotels, restaurants, tours and guides 

  • Con
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    AlbuqRay says…

     Many tourists, tuk tuk drivers, and higher prices than other parts of Cambodia 

  • In a nutshell
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    AlbuqRay says…

     Gateway to the Angkor temple complex 

Siem Reap Things to Do

  • Elephant Terrace.

    After visitting the Bayon,many visittors went back to town but I continued with my bicycle further to Elephant Terrace,it’s only 200 m.further north.The Terrace of the Elephants is part of the walled city of Angkor Thom,looking over the Royal square ,used by king Jayavarma VII as a platform for royal reception pavilions and to view his victorious...

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  • Angkor Thom (5) The Bayon.

    The bas reliefs…The Bayon has 2 sets of bas reliefs,carved at different times.Those on the walls of the outer enclosure were carved earlier about the beginning of 13th century and the subject was about historical ,from battles with Chams to scenes of daily life .The inner bas reliefs cover the interrupted walls of the inner enclosure and were...

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  • Angkor Thom (4) The Bayon.

    Pic 1.This is one of my favorite photo of The Bayon.This face was carved very delicately,the skin is smooth compared to the stone around it.I feel that the face is so lively and can’t help to think that he’s smiling.Look at the eyes ...looks so real .. looking downwards in a very soft and kind way..like they are not stone.I even see the eye lid and...

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  • Angkor Thom (3) The Bayon.

    This State temple of Jayavarman Vll is one of the most mysterious and powerful religious construction in the world.The temple itself is composed of 2 galleried- enclosures.Dominating the whole arrangement of gallerries and terraces are the face-towers,some over the gopuras,others over the corner angles,and others free standing on the upper terrace...

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  • Angkor Thom (2)

    To enter the Bayon area,there are 5 gates ,all five gates are similar,but the south gate is the most extensively restored and is the most complete.Regulary use has helped to save the statues of the gods and asuras (demons) that lined its approach.Most of the heads at another gates have been stolen and only the north gate retains a number of...

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  • Angkor Thom (1)

    Angkor Thom was established as the capital of Jayavarman VII's empire, and was the centre of his massive building programme. One inscription found in the city refers to Jayavarman as the groom and the city as his bride.Jayavaraman Vll's era was during 1181-1220 and was later than Suryavarman ll of Angkor Wat (1113-1150).Angkor Thom seems not to be...

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Siem Reap Hotels

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Siem Reap Restaurants

  • Street vendor at Pub street

    If you need to try eating some insects ,you can find them along Pub street and around.It's easy to find.In fact, cooked bugs is nothing new. In my country,Thai people, especially those in the North and Northeast had eaten bugs for more than a century and I think it should be the same in neighbouring countries around Thailand too ,including...

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  • True local food & cheap!

    This restaurant is a true local. A bit isolated from the busy centre but within a few minutes walk from the FCC and royal residence plazza, on the other side of the river. Like many local restaurants, it consists mainly of a big terrace with a roof & fans.Prices are at around $3.20 for a main dish. We loved it so much we went twice. I had soups...

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  • Central local restaurant

    Busy local restaurant catering mostly to tourists. Most dishes at around $4. Service a bit slow but the food is definitely worth the wait!I tried prahok for the first time, this is fermented fish paste. Sounds yucky but it was very good with the chicken and other spices & lots of thai basil.What was weird were the raw vegs on the side: cucumber,...

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Siem Reap Nightlife

  • ancient_traveler's Profile Photo
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    by ancient_traveler Updated Mar 28, 2012

    After the sun goes down, the focus shifts firmly a block east of the Old Market to the 'Pub Street' and the nearby alleys, so named for the numerous and varied restaurants and pubs that line Street 8. These days Pub Street is packed end to end with restaurants, boutiques, shops and pubs as are the many of the connecting alleys and passages, each with its own special character.

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    • Budget Travel
    • Beer Tasting
    • Food and Dining

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Siem Reap Transportation

  • Tuk-Tuk Drivers and Tour Guides

    Based on recommendations here on VT, I planned our trip to Siem Reap with intentions to 'try' out the favorite Tour Guides and Tuktuk drivers. I've settled on 2 people I want to highly recommend.Mr. Chet He's a tour guide you can book for your visits to the temples. Speaks english well. Very friendly and helpful. Hand him your camera, and he'll...

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  • Tuk tuk to Beng Mealea

    The first morning in Siem reap I woke up little too late for whole day bicycle ride for the grand circuit ,so I decide to go to Beng mealea first by tuk tuk.I asked price from hotel staff the night before and he offer some price that I can accept.I asked him to bring me Beng Mealea in the morning and the floating village in the afternoon ,he asked...

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  • Bicycle

    Many tourists travel around to see Angor Wat and around by tuk tuk.It's a very good and convenience way to do.I'm doubting at the beginning if I'll do it that way or by bicycle.Finally I and my mate agree to do it with bicycle.It's very cheap to rent bicycle there.Most hotels provide some of them for rent.My hotel offer 1$ per day.There are many...

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Siem Reap Shopping

  • Shopping at Chong Khneas floating...

    This is the main central area of Chong Khneas floating village.It consists of a small souvenir shop ,restaurant,resting area and the viewing deck.When I was there ,almost no body want to spend anything .I met a tour group that seem to visit this floating shop only 1 minute and go.I walked around the shop looking what they offer.They have quite many...

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  • Air-Conditioned Indoor Shopping Center

    The Angkor Trade Center is a small but modern air-conditioned mall with escalators, a supermarket, shops (clothing, cosmetics, perfumes, jewelry, souvenirs, accessories, electronic and IT products), beauty salon, and a food court (including The Pizza Company, Swensen's and a Blue Pumpkin). It is open 9 AM to 9 PM daily.

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  • Night time shopping

    This market are is definitely must on your visit. Probably you don't buy anything, at least I didn't, if you have visited Phnom Penh market, you have already everything you need and I got an impression that prices are here higher and there not so much place for bargain.But there's always a soul with these places and this place has a nice colors...

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Siem Reap Local Customs

  • Houses

    When you pass by the road, you’ll see the houses having similar structures. The houses are elevated and the base is supported by poles on each corner. Obviously, the houses are built on this way because of the tonle sap lake. The tonle sap lake is located in the center of Cambodia and the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. When we visited...

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  • A Karma (Krah-mah)

    A Karma is checked cotton scarf, mostly worn by men and women in the rural Cambodia. It can be used a turban on the head, as a towel and mostly used to protect from the sun, wind and dust. Use a Karma to protect your neck from sunburn when you ride on a tuk-tuk.. :-))Picture 1 : Not a picture I like, to see people begging. :-(((

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  • The Sampot - Cambodian National Dress

    The Sampot is the national dress of Cambodia. Its quite similar to Sarong Batik where Asean countries are wearing. My older family members are still wearing them, but I don't (don't want to get embarrassed if my sampot come off, hahaha) The sampot is a long piece of cloth in silk or cotton and with designs, and both end sewn together. They are...

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Siem Reap Warnings and Dangers

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    Crowd Across the River in the Morning 1 more image

    by AlbuqRay Updated May 16, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not everything in Siem Reap is good. In the morning on my last day there, we were headed south to Phnom Krom. Where Sivatha Boulevard intersects Pomkambor Avenue, the river makes two almost 90-degree turns and then runs south again. This forms a slough after the first turn. The slough is before you get to the Crocodile Farm and is probably about 200 meters from Wat Damnak.

    When we came around that turn, there was a large crowd of people (maybe 100) on the other side of the river. I thought it was a wedding or something, but I guess it was unusual because my guide asked if we could go see what was going on; I said sure. There turned out to be a body in the slough. We intentionally did not get close because the police had not arrived yet. That afternoon when we got back, I asked the hotel staff what happened. They had not even heard about it. Maybe dead people in the river are not uncommon occurrences.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Siem Reap Tourist Traps

  • Avoid Chong Kneas floating village -...

    If you'd like to visit a floating village during your visit to Siem Reap, it is an interesting experience, but please avoid the Chong Kneas floating village. It is probably the biggest tourist trap in town. Not only is it a tourist trap, which I kind of expect in tourist areas, but the level of exploitation as whoever is collecting the $20/person...

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  • DONT GO TO CITY GEMS IN SIEM REAP, IS A...

    I recently came back from a trip to Cambodia in October this year and I wanted to look at some precious stones since Cambodia is known for having sapphires, emerals and ruby mines. So the guide took us to a store called CITY GEMS, located in Siem Reap. He told us the store was guaranteed by the Cambodian Government and that we should be very...

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  • Avoid Phansy Ros, tour guide & founder...

    This corrupt fat man, brought us to buy overpriced water filters for his school. note that he's the only one benefitting from tourists' donations. the teacher receives no salary, nor does the children get anything. PhansyRos actually sells the donated items after the volunteers leave!He also demanded US$35 at the end of the day, when we agreed on...

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Siem Reap What to Pack

  • Very hot weather...even in February

    Wear light clothing, hat, sunblock and don't forget to bring a pair of sunglasses. An extra shirt or 2 in your daypack won't hurt. You'll be sweating most of the time during the day (unless you're in an airconditioned room) but the weather improves after sundown. It is not necessary to wear rubber shoes during the dry season; sandals or slippers...

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  • pack the important things!

    Get ready for road trips! backpack is the most convenient to use. wear light and comfy clothes. shirt, pants, rubber shoes are okay. I don't recommend wearing shorts since a lot of the attractions are temples, it's best to give them respect. alcohol, sanitizers, Kleenex, sunblock- 100% recommended! bring extra battery if you have! make sure to...

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  • WHAT TO BRING

    The sun can be intense so bring a hat, sunglasses and perhaps sunscreen. Wear light, airy, covering clothing to protect yourself from the sun and mosquitoes. Wear practical shoes for climbing narrow steps and walking on uneven surfaces. You should have mosquito repellent for sunrise and sunset hours. A raincoat during the wet season, though you...

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Siem Reap Off The Beaten Path

  • Tonle Sap Lake

    We hired a car and driver and drove out to the lake through some interesting countryside and little wooden villages. We took a boat trip on the lake.The Lake is the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia. Its size changes in the monsoon and dry season. During the monsoon from June to October, the lake is filled by water flowing from the Mekong...

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  • Cambodian Villages

    We also took a day trip from Siem Reap to Tonle Sap Lake. On the way we asked our driver to stop in a couple of villages set on the river. We had a walk around looking at the wooden village houses. At one point the very polluted river water looked beautiful covered with a blanket of water lilies.

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  • The Land Mine Museum

    The Land Mine Museum was started by a man named Aki Ra, who was a child soldier for the Khmer Rouge and forced to plant them. He is now dedicating his adult life to clearing them away. The Museum is his way to educate visitors about land mines.The museum is north of Angkor Wat, on the road to Bateay Srei. Admission is about $2 U.S.

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Siem Reap Favorites

  • Things to Take Note of and Remember

    I'm compiling my list of 'tips'...hopefully it'll help someone who's off to Siem Reap too. :)BEFORE ARRIVING1. 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...

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  • Siem Reap Street Names

    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...

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  • Angkor Visitor Passes and Fees

    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,...

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