Siem Reap Travel Guide
Siem Reap is an amazing city most famous for its sunrise trek to see Angkor Wat, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site. Siem Reap has been attracting more tourist and is quickly becoming a hot travel destination, however, very little information is out there explaining how to visit this tropical destination. If it is your first time visiting Siem Reap, you are in for an unforgettable experience.
In this Siem Reap Travel Guide, I'm going to be covering the Best Time to Visit Siem Reap, Where To Stay, Transportation, Food & Drink, & Photography Spots In Siem Reap.
Best Time To Visit Siem Reap
Best Time Overall
Visit between November-February for comfortable temperature. There will be more crowds during this time, so plan and book ahead. (Trust me, I'd take the crowds than the unbearable heat).
Cheapest Time To Visit
The Summer Months from May-August are usually the cheapest months as it rains a ton during this time.
Siem Reap, and Cambodia as a whole, is hot all year round. Siem Reap has two seasons, wet & dry. For cooler months in Siem Reap, visit during December-February.
*If you do visit during April & May, make sure your hotel has A/C with a generator incase the power goes out.
Where to stay in Siem Reap
Park Hyatt Siem Reap - Close to Pub St. - a popular food and shopping area.
Where I Stayed
Saem Siemreap Hotel - Great place with friendly staff, free rides from the airport (with your own sign!), swimming pool, spa, dining room with free breakfast, and is only 20 minutes away from Angkor Wat.
There are pretty much only two ways of transportation in Siem Reap. You can either travel by Tuk Tuk or by Taxis, which are Toyota Camry's.
A Tuk Tuk (pictured right) is essentially a carriage pulled by a motobike and it is the most popular way to get around. It can seat anywhere from 2-4 people.
You can hire a Tuk Tuk driver for the day (recommended) or hire one from various places throughout the city. Regardless, it is always recommended that you carry your hotel's business card to hand over to the driver to make sure they know how to get there. Also, it is best practice to settle on a price beforehand. The price usually range from $1-$4 depending on how far you're going and the time of day. Always have crisp USD dollar bills, as some Tuk Tuk (restaurants, and Angkor Wat) will reject bent or wrinkled bills.
Your hotel can usually help you make arrangements when it comes to hiring a Tuk Tuk for the day.
Taxi (Toyota Camry's)
If you don't like the idea of a Tuk Tuk, you can hire a taxi which is usually a Toyota. This option is definitely a more comfortable ride and has A/C.
Food & Drink
Most restaurants in Siem Reap has incredible service. It is also not difficult to find vegetarian or gluten free options. Below are a list of recommended restaurants to try.
Pub Street - An area with a ton of restaurants, bars and shopping.
Chanrey Tree (Cambodian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free Options) - David Beckham went here.
Spoons (Cafe, Street Food, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free options)
Cuisine Wat Damnak (Cambodian, Vegetarian Friendly)
Heritage Restaurant (Cambodian, European, Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten free options)
Love U Restaurant (Cambodian, Vegetarian, Vegan)
Georges Rhumerie Restaurant (French, Cajun Fusion, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free Options)
Damnak Lounge Fine Dining (Southwestern, European, Vegetarian, Gluten Free options)
Fresh Fruit Factory (Dessert)
Things to do in Siem Reap
Most visitors travel to Siem Reap to see the Angkor Archaeological Park, to visit the most famous one, Angkor Wat. But there are other temples around. It is best to hire a Tuk Tuk for the day (usually from your hotel) so your driver can take you from temple to temple. Here are some of the temples that I recommend:
Angkor Wat - This is famous for its sunrise, as the sun rises behind the temple.
Ta Prohm - Has an amazing tree merged together with the ruins.
Angkor Thom - Has the Terrace of the Elephants, which are ruins designed to look like elephants.
Other temples include: Bayon ||Baneay Srei || Preah Khan || Banteay Kdei || Beng Mealea || Bakong ||
Photography spot in Siem Reap
Angkor Wat Sunrise - This is the most iconic shot of Siem Reap. The temples opens at 5:00AM and they don't let anyone in until then. It gets really crowded with people pushing, so it is best to get there as early as possible and walk fast to get your spot. Remember, it is going to be dark so bring a flashlight and be careful of the unpaved road.
Phnom Kulen Nation Park - A great opportunity to photography a waterfall up close.
Pub Street - Great shots of food, shops, and neon lights while exploring the night life of Siem Reap.
They accept USD (HK & others) currency, so no need to exchange. You'll get their currency from change anyway.
Just make sure to Bring a lot of CRISP $1USD and small change. They won't take wrinkled bills.
don't forget to bring
CRISP $1 USD bills
Passport Picture & writing pen for Visa