Siem Reap will always have a special place in our hearts. It was the first city that the two of us actually explored together when we first met 2 years ago! With an up and coming food scene, variety of cafes, and vibrant nightlife, it is no wonder that Siem Reap is at the top of most peoples list when traveling to Cambodia. Here is a travel guide to Siem Reap.
Most famously known as the home to the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, the city of Siem Reap attracts visitors from all over the globe to witness one of the 7 wonders of the world. When visiting these ruins you are completely transported to a different time, as you stand in utter amazement beneath these beautiful ruins.
A Travel Guide To Siem Reap
WHAT TO DO
Okay… let’s be honest. Probably the main reason why you are in Siem Reap is to explore the famous temples of Angkor Wat. If you would like to read our detailed blog post on all things Angkor Wat, then click here.
In summary, it’s very hard to explore these temples in only one day. We do suggest that you try to get tickets for the three day package. Prices are as follows $35 for one day, $62 for 3 and $74 for weeklong. If you are limited to only one day, then give our other blog post a read for our suggested tour!
You can chose to visit the temples around 3 main times, sunrise, mid-day, or sunset. We personally have done both sunrise and mid-day tours and enjoyed both for different reasons. Sunrise is definitely something magical. It is incredible to watch the sun come over the temples in the early morning.
Its Busy But Worth it!
That being said, it is VERY busy! Be prepared to be surrounded by hundreds of people. We found that while going in the middle of the day was not as magical, there were far less people around! This is because most visitors come in the morning and finish by 12! So, if you want more privacy and a chance to get those photos…try to go a bit later in the day!
In summary, be prepared to spend a full day at Angkor Wat. If you are looking for a driver to take you around for the day we have a local friend named Ra, you can find his contact details below. Tell him we sent you and he will take care of you!
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For a full guide to Angkor Wat see our latest blog post
We do strongly suggest that you just hire a tuk tuk driver for the day! They will take you all around to each temple and wait for you which is very convenient as most of the temples are extremely spread out. Depending on how many hours, you should expect to pay between 25-40 USD.
One of the best party streets around, Pub Street is any party animals dream! Even if you are not much of a drinker, walking down this neon lit street is definitely an experience if you are ever in Siem Reap. With a surplus of bars and restaurants, you will be sure to find something you like along the way. Pro Tip: our same friend Ra with the tuk tuk, also has a bar cart that he parks just outside of pub street. If you are able to find these carts, we recommend that you stop and grab a drink. They are much cheaper than anything inside Pub Street, and you are allowed to DJ and play your own music, whilst dancing in the middle of the street.
A Travel Guide To Siem Reap
WHERE TO EAT
One of our followers actually recommend this place to us! We are not lying when we say we ate here every day! If you are craving some good greek dishes than this is a must! We recommend ordering the chicken kebabs and the feta cheese appetiser. I don’t know about you, but when travelling in South East Asia you grow to miss cheese. We definitely got our cheese fix in here! They also have $1.50 Sangria which was really delicious. Overall, Elia is the ultimate comfort food spot! With a trendy interior and great variety of dishes, you can’t go wrong.
Maybe Later Bar and Grill
We passed this place on our first night in Siem Reap and decided to give it a go! Hanna was missing some Mexican comfort food and this place hit the spot! Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, you name it… they had it! They also had a fantastic, strong margaritas for only $3! You could say Hanna was in heaven.
Another popular Mexican restaurant chain that is found right outside Pub Street. This chain was really decent and great because it not only had Mexican food (for Hanna), but also traditional western dishes. I really enjoyed their Philly Cheesesteak sandwich! They also had $0.50 beers…. Which was awesome! We ate here for dinner twice and were very impressed!
The Missing Sock Cafe
We stumbled upon this place whilst looking for a place to do our laundry. Turns out they had an amazing selection of food and drink. We had two great coffees and their waffles! If you go, you must try the classic waffle! Made fresh right in front of you, these waffles come out super warm and tasty! We also spent one afternoon just catching up on some work, thus its a great place for digital nomads looking to get some work done.
WHERE TO STAY
This is one of our favourite hostels in South East Asia. If travelling as a couple, we suggest you get a private room! Keep in mind this is a party hostel, so if that is not for you, best avoid it! They have a pool, weekly pub crawls, pool parties and DJ sets. With two bars, a pool table, and an incredible menu of food, you could easily get stuck there! It is also not too far of a walk from the infamous Pub Street, where most people go to party in the evenings. If you are looking for a young, party vibe stay here!
Now as we have gotten a bit older, we have strayed away from the hostels and chosen to treat ourselves every now and again. We chose to stay at Le Meridien Angkor for this trip to Siem Reap and could not have loved it more! With the most incredible pool, great breakfast buffet, and spa/fitness centre, this hotel had everything we could need. Not to mention, it is known as the closest hotel to Angkor Wat, making it a great home base for those looking to spend a couple days exploring the temples. If you want to read more about our stay at Le Meridien Angknor, you can read our post here.