I think the picture says it well enough. Bring adequate bug repellants, particularly if you stay longer or venture deeper into the jungle.
For those of you who do not know, Dengue Fever can be fatal. But with the right treatment, it is still not a fun experience. Severe joint pains, fevers, appetite problems, etc. will last for typically 7+ days.
The milk formula scam has been around for a long time in Siem Reap, the first photo I took of these people was back in 2006. It will be children or women carrying babies or toddlers and they do not ask for money, they ask you to buy formula for the baby and will then take you into a shop to buy it, normally at an inflated price $15 - $35.
Once you are gone the formula is taken back to the shop and resold back to the shop owner. So it is a good money making racket for the shop owners and the beggars with babies. This is not just happening from mini marts in Pub Street, it is also happening at the mini mart next to the Night Markets.
I am convinced these babies and toddlers are drugged as we have seen at least 6 different women and children with the babies and they are never awake, and they look quite lifeless!
My sister and I were approached near Molly Malone’s and we told her we would buy milk but she had to come with us so we could buy it from our friends shop, she became quite aggressive and walked off yelling at us “you are bad”.
Actually we saw a couple of girls carrying babies come out of the laneway that runs alongside MM so I don’t know if maybe this is where they are based.
The bottom line is never give money to beggars especially children, it does not solve anything and this keeps them out of school as the parents know their children can be good money spinners, so why would a parent try to find work or better themselves when they know the children can earn good money begging.
So the cycle just keeps going on and on!
The local hard working Khmer people hate the begging that is happening as a lot of them are run by criminal gangs. There are many scams to be aware of not just in Siem Reap, the rice scam is very similar to the baby formula one, if someone wants to take you to buy rice for an orphanage – do not do it.
If you want to help then donate to a reputable charity not to an individual.
You Will find that vendors around the Angkor Complex, Particularly at the Ta Prohm area and front of the Terrace of the Elephants at angkor thom to be very persistent in selling their ware to you. They are more persistent than the vendors at Siem Reap and that they will follow you up to your tuk tuk if you are taking a tuk tuk or to your tour bus or private tour car. Even if you say no, they will still pester you with their wares!
one good thing about their persistence is that they will offer the souvenir items that they sell way cheaper than in the old market or central market or Sivutha Boulevard areas of Siem Reap if you just walk away from them and don't mind them for a while.
like in any country, Cambodia has beggars and there is quite a number of them here since the country is one of the lowest per capita income countries in the world, Only bangladesh and haiti is lower than Cambodia and the main factor in these is the countless Indo China Wars that the country got involved whether it liked it or not plus the vietnam war and the Pol Pot Genocide of the 1970's and the Civil War that ended in 1993. You can see beggars a lot here at Siem Reap and also at the Angkor Complex and at the Tonle Sap area but they are very persistent at the Tonle Sap Area than in Siem Reap proper. They usually ask 1 dollar from you.
Due to the excessive heat here and as most sites are well off the road there is a lot of walking to be done...ALWAYS carry a large bottle of fresh water as you will find you will drink so much...I usually buy my Fresh water at the supermarket and keep in hotel fridge till needed. I carry enough for the day and leave it in the Tuk Tuk till needed.. '' Water can be purchased at some sites around the complex.. A good hat is also handy..
Begging is very common throughout Cambodia, especially in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Many of them are children.
Think twice before you give them money as you will then be helping them to depend on this way of living.
Many of them work for gangs or are made to beg by their family, a lot beg to support their glue sniffing habits - especially in the market areas.
Its far better to buy them a drink or something to eat!!
Violence against tourists is pretty rare, however if you are in a crowded nightclub or bar, just be alert.
If you do happen to get into an argument with a young rich Khmer, just back off, many of them carry guns so its just not worth standing your ground and arguing.
When you arrive in Siem Reap Airport, you can get the visa on arrival without waiting too long. It will cost you 20 USD per person. While you are leaving Cambodia, you need to pay a departure tax of 25 USD per person.
I think that tourists who nowadays come to Siem Reap are safe. Everywhere we went we met smiling people, offering help if needed. We (two middle-aged women) often walked away from the tourist places to see the 'real life' and never met with any hostile gestures or words. So it is not tourists that are in danger but Angkor itself.
In 1993, when Angkor was added to the UNESCO Heritage list, the number of tourists who visited it was just 7 600 people. Since then, though, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of visitors with almost 2 million in 2007 and predictions of 3 million in 2010. What's the problem? - someone may ask. Tourists leave money and give work to local people, so it seems there's nothing to complain about. There is - the problem is too serious to ignore it.
Pollution from cars and buses may cause darkening of the stone. People walking in and out of the temples are bound to damage them, unless the direct contact with the stone is made impossible. But the most serious thing seems to be upsetting of foundations on which Angkor wat sits. Siem Reap, with more than 250 hotels and guesthouses, is sucking up groundwater and destabilising the soil beneath Angkor. It's already visible in the wonderful Bayon temple which is collapsing into sandy ground.
At the point of departure, the airport at Siem Reap has a counter, which requires you to pay airport service charge. It's a USD 25 for every foreigner and USD 13 for children. That's shocking! No pay on arrival though. They accept credit cards, which was a relief for me (all this while I thought once you're heading home, it's good enough to have little cash).
Of my many trips worldwide, this was the second experience of such a regulation after Indonesia, but the charge was very minimal.
A minor warning really. Siem Reap is only a small town. We wanted to get to the Night Markets (from Bar Street) and were told it was too far to walk and we should get a tuk-tuk. I wasn't too sure about this as the map looked very small and we decided to just try and walk - just as well, the Markets were just at the end of the street. Obviously just trying to get commission for a tuk-tuk driver, but just be on the look out.
IF YOU PLAN TO GO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK TO VISIT TEMPLES OR OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU STICK TO THE WELL MARKED TRAILS..
THIS IS BECAUSE THERE ARE STILL A LOT OF MINES IN THE AREA..
PLACES TO TAKE CARE ARE KBAL SPEAN AND THE MORE OUTLYING TEMPLES FAR FROM ANGKOR.
IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS CHECK WITH A LOCAL GUIDE.
BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN VERY SORRY.
One of the oldest, advertises a restaurant, we have been here since 2002! in fact that was the year of my first visit to Siem Reap,and the explosion is incredible. The sad part is that everything, with few exceptions, unlike in other countries, are owned by expatriates.. there are over 200 restaurants catering for foreigners, and over 100 hotels and more on the way. apart from waiters khmer people are scarce in the tourist industry, which is rather sad.
choose your restaurant carefully, also your hotel, i dont know how to make sure that khmer people benefit, but go by the reputation if you are are a repeat visitor to Siem Reap.
When getting in Tuk Tuks in pub street, be careful to keep an eye on your wallet.
As you are getting into the tuck tuck, a few young lads will appear to be helping you into the tuk tuk, when in actual fact one of them is seeing which pocket your wallet is in, and signaling to the other which pocket to dip as you are waiting for the tuk tuk to pull away.
One young lad actually had his hand in my wifes bag, whilst the other was trying to pick my pocket from the roadside.
Had a bad encounter with street peddlars selling lonely planet guidebooks one afternoon after my massage around the Pubstreet area. Some children rudely scolded us for not buying their wares. When I decided to buy a lonely planet guide book from an amputee seller, the other kids came running towards us, and pester us to buy their books too.
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