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Tips on Siem Reap/Cambodia

Travel Forums Asia Tips on Siem Reap/Cambodia

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1. Posted by Vorks (Budding Member 50 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi All,

I am visiting siem reap on 30oct - 2 Nov. Just wondering/asking for any tips on where to go, what to do/eat.

Also - I just heard that its a holiday during that time. Is it true? Am I going to a dead town?? :(


2. Posted by philo (Full Member 107 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Angkor Wat seems the obvious suggestion?

3. Posted by danalasta (Respected Member 519 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


No, you won't see SR a dead town! It's full of life around this time of the year. And maybe, you could add a visit to UNDP's Kompong Phluk Ecotourism Project to your list, or the Prek Toal Bid Sanctuary!


4. Posted by tidyboyo (Budding Member 41 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


How are you getting to Siem Reap? The road from Poi Pet (at the border with Thailand) is attrocious and to be avoided if possible. Packed into a small bus with no room for luggage and travelling a potholed road at about 20kmp/h you will soon develop a dislike for Cambodia! Not to worry though, Angkor Wat will soon cure you of that. Siem Reap is quite a busy town, be preared for all the beggars though, lots of amputees and casualties from the civil war, can be quite distressing to begin with. Once you have got used to it though it is not so bad.

Highly recommend hiring a bike (most hostels can provide them for about a $3 a day) to get to the temples and then on one day try to make the sunrise by getting a tuk-tuk to take you up there. Most will want to take you on a tour around but as with the golden rule of travelling - agree a price first.

Eating out is as cheap as most places, just don't eat clsoe to the street as the beggars wont leave you alone and many proprietors aren't bothered by this.


5. Posted by Vorks (Budding Member 50 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hey Chris - i got a cheap deal to fly from Spore to Siem Reap (160 SGD - normal around 400+)

I was thinking beyond the normal temples + angkor wat, I'll do a trip to floating village?I read on some website this was good.

Though the same site said 30 oct to 1 Nov is king sihanouk bday and things are closed.

Though bike seems great @ $3, i think I have to do a $20/$30 tuk tuk as my gf is coming along and she ain't the roughing out kind. Is it standard pricing for tuktuk @ $20?

6. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

A moto (bit like tuk tuk) will cost you around $10-12 for the day, good value for money I say, the drivers are willing to pick you up for sunrise and will drive you around temples until sunset. If you need them for a few days I'm sure you can strike up a deal. A lot of them will also know a little history about temples. They do a really good job, so make sure you tip them or take them out in the evening.

7. Posted by tidyboyo (Budding Member 41 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


Something I noticed in Siem Reap (esp around Angkor Wat) - everything costs a dollar, they don't use riels unles absolutely necessary. They will offer 2 for a dollar rather than charge 400 riems. They also take bahts, at one point we were given dollars, riels and bahts in the same change! Definitely a calculator moment that one..... Also remember that you can't take riels out of the country. Best to stick to dollars really.

Def agree with Laura about the motos, if you are lucky they will speak reasonable english, the guy we had told us about the area and the civil war along the way, well worth the fare.

Not too sure about the floating village as didn't get to see that sorry, also not too sure about holidays as we went in early July.


8. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Use reil for smaller purchases, but generally dollars are used, even the ATM's give you dollars!

As for eating, there are some great restaurants & bars in Siem Reap. Try the Red Piano, really nice vibe and great food. The only thing that I didn't like was security around these places to keep the beggars out, the gap between rich and poor really stands out in Siem Reap. There are so many rich tourists splashing their cash on expensive hotels, food etc. but not really taking much notice of the poverty in Siem Reap.

9. Posted by buzzard (Respected Member 187 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Nov. 5 is the full moon night and the annual "water festival" (not to be confused with the water mayhem in April) and boat races are held at this time. It's a very big deal in Phnom Penh, but not so much in Siem Reap. They have some boat races in the river/creek, and some businesses will be closed but it won't affect tourist life too much.
One thing to do in Siem Reap, after you have seen all the temples, or just to get away from all the temples, is to head over to West Baray. That's the big reservoir, swimming area just west of the airport. It's a nice place to go for a swim, watch the sunset, or just hang out and have a beer or enjoy grilled chicken, or fresh fruit. Lots of Cambodians go there for a picnic or swimming, so it can be crowded at holidays and on weekends. But generally it's not that busy and can make for a pleasant visit. You can also rent a boat and go the very small island in the middle of the ancient baray and see more temple ruins (but they aren't that impressive).
For eating local food, try the Khmer Kitchen, located in the alley behind the Angkor What? bar. Good, inexpensive food.

10. Posted by dbchase53 (Full Member 88 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Vorks,

Tuk tuk (called remorque) in Cambodia will come much cheaper to you than US$20 a day, especially if stike a multiday deal.

Floating villages are nice and great for photographers (see one of my photos on this site). The one 'everyone' goes to is Chong Kneas. Consequently is does get pretty busy there and you can end up seeing just as many tourists as locals in the Peak season.

Nice alternative (though longer and more expensive) is to visit Kompong Phluk. Two ways to get there: via Rolous town (see my other recommendation below) but then the road can be 'challenging between the town and the lake, of catch a boat from near Phnom krom (where you go for Chomng Kneas) and pre'arrange to go by boat to Kompong Phluk and perhaps have a look at Chong Kneas on the return journey. Journey to Kompong Phluk around 1hr 20m mins.

Rolous group. since they cleared the weds from around Phnom Bakong a year or so ago this is another wonderful place from photography. Some travellers get out here from siem reap but it remains much quieter than the key sites (angkor wat, A Thom, Ta Prohn etc)

If you had the time I would recommend getting out to Beng Mealea (some 85km from SR). You see a giant temple still half claimed by the jungle and alot of nice countryside along the way. Not many tourists. car better than remorque to get here. Could combine with look through Banteay Srei, Kbal Spean and Rolous group.

I hope this is useful.

Kind regards