Last Updated on December 5, 2022 by Helen E. White
Best Things to Do in Siem Reap: Between rice paddies and jungle lies the chaotic city of Siem Reap, the heart of the Angkor region. The thousands of tourists who come to it every year are attracted by the wonderful Angkor temples that are, without a doubt, the main tourist attraction to see in Siem Reap.
The city has known how to take advantage of the vein and has focused entirely on tourism to make visiting the famous temples very pleasant and entertaining.
- 1 What to See in Siem Reap, the City of Angkor Temples
- 2 Things to Know Before Traveling to Siem Reap
- 3 Additional Information to Visit Siem Reap
What to See in Siem Reap, the City of Angkor Temples
We spent three nights and three and a half days there, as it was the best way we found to coordinate the flights.
Although we know very well that Siem Reap is only the “base” city to visit the Angkor temples, there are some attractions to see in the Cambodian city.
1. Visit Wat Preah Prom Rath Temple
Although it has nothing to do with the Angkor temples, in the center of the city you will find a colorful Buddhist temple that is quite reminiscent of some of the ones we saw in Bangkok.
The Wat Preah Prom Rath, one of the essential places to see in Siem Reap, is a very quiet temple, which is still quite far from tourism.
Its visit will not take you more than 20 minutes and its entrance is free, so if you have the time it is worth going to see it.
2. Pub Street, the Liveliest Street to See in Siem Reap
But if there is an essential place to see in Siem Reap, this is Pub Street, a street-focused exclusively on tourists where you will find hundreds of restaurants of all kinds of food and nightclubs where you can drink and dance until the wee hours of the morning.
In Siem Reap, the party is guaranteed! And if you are looking for a quieter plan, like us, you can always get a good foot or full body massage in any of the places that you will find there.
3. Buy Souvenirs at the Night Market
Shopping lovers are also in luck. In Siem Reap, there is a night market with lots of stalls where you can buy some souvenirs to take home as a souvenir.
4. Stroll Through the Old Market
In addition to the night market, on the other side of the river, you will find the Old Market. In this “made in Cambodia” market you will find handicrafts and several restaurants that are much quieter than those on Pub street.
Things to Know Before Traveling to Siem Reap
- Local time: GMT +7 time zone
- Language: Khmer or Cambodian but most speak English.
- Visas: Spaniards need a visa for other countries. The visa is on arrival; It is issued at the international airports of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh for one month, providing the passport, and photographs and paying a fee of $36 for the tourist visa. You can only pay the fee in dollars. Another option is to process the Cambodian visa online, which is what we did to avoid queues and expedite migration procedures.
- Plugs: In Cambodia, the common voltage is 230 V. The frequency is 50 Hz. Plugs and sockets are type A / C / G.
- Currency: KHR, Cambodian riel and the American dollar. We recommend paying everything in dollars because it will be much better for you.
Additional Information to Visit Siem Reap
How to Get to Siem Reap
Unless you are traveling through Cambodia or a Southeast Asian city near Siem Reap with a bus connection, most of you will arrive by plane.
Siem Reap International Airport receives flights from several cities in Southeast Asia, so it won’t be hard for you to find a good connection. In addition, they are usually very cheap.
We took a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap and it cost us about 30 euros.
How to Go From the Airport to the Center of Siem Reap
Siem Reap Airport is located 6 kilometers from the city center. To go from Siem Reap airport to the center you have several options:
- Private transfer: a driver will be waiting for you upon arrival at the airport and will leave you at the door of your accommodation.
- Taxi: a taxi will take you downtown for about $7, but you’ll have to haggle and wait in line. So it’s not worth it.
- Tuk tuk: tuk tuks charge about $5 to take you to the center, but they can increase their price depending on the number of people and they are not comfortable at all.
How to Get Around in Siem Reap
The center of Siem Reap is quite small and you can walk to the main places to see in Siem Reap.
To go to the temples you will need to take a taxi or a tuk-tuk, but as I have already explained in the Angkor temples post, it is best to hire a tour that includes transportation.
Where to Stay in Siem Reap
Siem Reap is the most touristic city in Cambodia, as anyone who wants to visit the famous temples of Angkor will have to spend the night there.
Within the Angkor enclosure, there are no hotels, so if your idea was to wake up with views of Angkor Wat you can forget about it. But in Siem Reap you will find great hotels at a very good price, although there are also basic hotels for very little money and very exclusive hotels.
If you want to party and be in the center of nightlife, the best area to stay in is Pub street and its surroundings.
If what you are looking for is a central but quieter area, we recommend you stay in Wat Bo, for us it is the best area to stay in Siem Reap. You will have a pub street less than 10 minutes walking, but you will be able to sleep without any noise.
The most expensive area to stay in Siem Reap is Charles de Gaulle Boulevard, where the most exclusive resorts are located and it is the closest area to the Angkor temples. The only drawback is that it is very far from the city center and you will need to take a tuk-tuk or taxi if you want to get around.
Where to eat
In Siem Reap, there are hundreds of bars and restaurants of all kinds of food and price. You can eat very well for very little money, although if you are looking for something more select you will also find it.
Here are some restaurants to eat at in Siem Reap :
- Pot and Pan: this is our favorite place in Siem Reap, in fact, we went back two days. It eats great, with very abundant portions and very very cheap. There is Cambodian food and international food and they make some very good natural juices. To give you an idea: two natural juices, a pizza and a huge plate of rice and meat cost us $10. It is also very clean and the waiters are very friendly.
- BBQ corner: you will find it in a pub street corner. They have a counter with some plates on the street where meat and fish are exposed, but everything is very hygienic and they cook it for you right there. We tried a typical soup and some chicken and vegetable skewers with a sauce that was delicious. Dinner, drinks included, cost us about $6.
- Meric Khchei: if you are looking for something more sophisticated in this Cambodian food restaurant you can taste the dishes of one of the best chefs in the city. The setting is beautiful. We did not try it, but it was recommended to us by the hotel and it looks very good.
We hope that our post will help you get the most out of your visit to Siem Reap. If you have any questions or suggestions you can write us in the comments.