Pub Street, a buzzing block of eating and drinking options just south of the Old Market.
Why stay in Siem Reap?
Siem Reap main street in the middle of the day while just about everyone is crawling over Angkor’s remains.
Siem Reap is an ideal base for the country’s prime attraction, Angkor Archaeological Park, which has no accommodation options and is situated 6 km north of the town. That being said there is a vast new hotel a couple of kilometres on the way to Angkor but tourists wouldn’t have evening of lively, varied dining, drinking, shopping options on their doorstep.
Siem Reap is developing and has become one of world’s most popular tourist destinations so there’s little chance of escaping some commercialism. However, it still offers a pleasant, relaxed ambience compared to Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. There is an excellent choice of accommodation from budget hostels at less than $10 a night to lavish spa resorts at a thousands dollars a night, as well varied and fascinating dining options with Asian charm and some peculiarities.
Siem Reap river, crossing from the Old Market to a new ‘art’ center, ie souvenir shops.
Siem Reap temple effigy. It seemed amusing at the time. Later when I visited the horrific Prison 21 genocide museum in Phnom Penh, not so much.
The best way to travel to Angkor’s Archeological Park
An average street in Siem Reap offering a number of mid range hotels, 5-10 minutes walk north to Old Market and Pub Street, or $1 tuk-tuk ride.
• by minibus tour (about 8-10 passengers, excellent for the first day to orient yourself as it will include a guide of course)
• by pre-arranged tuk-tuk (best option for independence, comfort, safety and sun protection, even if you are traveling alone)
• by motorcycle. You must have an International Driving Licence and it will be checked. If not, an immediate fine will be demanded. Also expect some areas – such as the red dirt roads around Angkor – to be very dusty/gritty and signposting minimal.
Evenings in Siem Reap
One of many cute little bars around Pub Street/Old Market. A fine place to get the party started!
And don’t forget to eat some nice crunchy street snacks to soak up that alcohol.
And follow up with a meal in a cheap ‘n’ cheerful Siem Reap restaurant – from a huge selection.
Then it’s time for a stroll and a little light shopping in the Old Market in Siem Reap, probably the town’s #1 Cambodian souvenir destination.