Home to one of the 7 wonders of the world and world heritage sites, Siem Reap is a very welcoming and affordable place to travel.
Climate: Tropical wet and dry climate
Currency: Riel (KHR)
Official Language(s): Khmer
Before you Arrive
Most countries are required to obtain a visa to visit Cambodia. If you live in Southeast Asia you are exempt for 3-4 weeks.
Here is a list of requirements you must have:
1. A passport valid for 6 months at the time of departure
2. Sufficient funds
Cambodia has the Visa on Arrival (VOA) option which allows you to obtain a visa at the border or airport.
Arrival/ Getting Around
Siem Reap International Airport is pretty close to the city center, about 7 km. Getting around in Siem Reap can be quite difficult. There is no buses, trains or taxis anywhere. To get around you need to either rent a motorbike or take tuk tuks around. From my hostel to the airport it cost me $5 US. The lowest amount you could hire a tuk tuk driver for is $15 for about 5-6 hours.
Most Cambodians speak English because the country survives off tourism. I didn't use any Khmer while I was there but it's always good to know some.
Here are a few phrases:
Hello- Sous dey
Thank you- Orkun
What to See
Siem Reap is know for their ancient temples. Most people visit Cambodia just to see the temples and what Siem Reap has to offer. There are over 20 temples in Siem Reap. Must visit temples include Angkor Wat, Bayon, Baphuon, Preah khan, East Mebon, Pre Rup, Ta Som and Ta Prohm. Make sure to not ride any elephants while you are visiting, it is way to hot for these animals to bear.
There are other places to visit like the Landmine Museum, kids art galley even a beach.
What to Eat & Drink
I found out while travelling here how similar Cambodian food is to Thai food, after all they are neigbours. I found most of the food tasted just like Thai with little differences.
Must try Dishes:
Khmer food is similar to Thai food, so if you like Thai you'll probably like Cambodian food.
Try these two dishes:
A dish where curry is steam cooked in banana leaves.
Stir-fry, marinated meat served on lettuce with steamed rice and veggies.
There are many other dishes like fried rice, fried noodles and curries.
Where to Stay
Siem Reap hostels and hotels have the cheapest prices I have ever seen! Places range from $3 and up. A lot of backpackers try to save money so they stay in the cheapest place, but those places are cheap because there is no air con. Do yourself a favour and get a place with air con so you can at least sleep through the night. Most hostels/hotels are located in the same area (near the night market). It all depends on your budget and needs.
Here are some other great places to visit near !
Phnom Penh-- The capital of Cambodia with a population is 1.5 million. Phnom Penh is much more busier than Siem Reap but has a beautiful riverfront and palaces to explore.
Ho Chi Minh City-- A short plane ride from Siem Reap. You can visit here and go on a tour of the Mekong River.
Bangkok-- About a 6 hr drive from Siem Reap. You can compare Siem Reap's Pub Street to Thailand's Khao San Road. Or hit up the beaches and islands or the way to Bangkok.
Floating Villages-- There are 3 floating villages around Siem Reap to explore.
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