Siem Reap & Angkor Wat
Siem Reap gives you small-town charm and affordability like few other destinations in South East Asia.
Though modest in size, thanks to its proximity to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Center of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon temples with a multitude of ancient sculptures, there are scores of hotels to choose from. Some of which are truly luxurious while others offer more budget-friendly accommodations without much compromising in comfort or amenities.
In the center of town, you’ll find a plethora of cheap restaurants that serve both local specialities and offer decent western food. Pub Street is a popular place for cheap beer and food but can get super rowdy and offers very little of the local culture.
Like in most South East Asian cities, Siem Reap has a centrally located market where a slew of stuff is sold – from meats to sweets, t-shirts, jewelry and an almost overpowering amount of souvenirs.
Right outside the market is where you can affordably spoil yourself at one of the areas several spa shops. For only a few dollars, you get to kick off your shoes and treat your feet, shoulders, neck or whole body to a relaxing and rejuvenating massage.
Siem Reap is the perfect basecamp when visiting the mesmerizing temple area of which the majestic Angkor Wat is by far the most popular. Constructed in the 12th century, Angkor Wat and other temples in the area were originally built for Hindu worship but would a century or so later eventually become Buddhist temples.
Getting to and from the airport is smooth and easy, either in a regular taxi or sitting a little less comfortably in the back seat of a moped-driven rickshaw.
Taking a rickshaw is also the cheapest way to travel back and forth from the Angkor Wat temple area about 5.5km from Siem Reap. As rates vary, make sure to negotiate with the driver before committing to a round trip to Angkor.
Early mornings – just at the break of day – and right before sunset have the best lighting conditions for those must-have selfies. Mornings tend to be the least crowded.
Despite its increased popularity over the last 10 years, Siem Reap still maintains a relaxed, enjoyable vibe. In no small way thanks to the friendly and easy-going townsfolk. It’s perfect for a two or thee days of relaxation and a boost of cultural inspiration.
Tip: Most hotels can help you arrange all your transportation needs during your stay in Siem Reap.