Siem Reap – Cambodia

Siem Reap is a city designed for backpackers. With affordable accommodations, cheap food (and even cheaper beer) this city has all the right pieces plus amazing temples to fill your days before heading out for the night.

Temples of Angkor

We declare this the 8th wonder of the world. You feel like Indiana Jones as you โ€œdiscoverโ€ corners and passage ways around the temples. The stories seem limitless and with few ground rules this is a great time to explore before areas become roped off for safety.

There are many ways you can choose to enjoy the 53 temples in the Angkor Wat complex. David and I would suggest purchasing a three day ticket $62USD. Spend your first day with a tour group. They will pick you up from your hotel and drive you around with a group and a knowledgeable guide, helping to set the scene. For a day tour we payed $13USD plus our entry ticket (lunch was not included). You can book these tours at one of the many travel agencies downtown.

The following day have your hotel order a motorbike for you. It will be delivered in the morning, no need to hassle with negotiating prices on the street. Jump on and head back towards Angkor Wat. The temples are all inside a gated area so you will need to present your tickets to drive around. It is a lot to take in one day, so you will be thankful for the second look around and another go at capturing the perfect shot of the 900 year old structures.

Our Top 4 Temples

1. Angkor Wat

2. Bayon Temple

3. Ta Prohm Temple (“tomb raider” temple)

4. South Gate (actually an entry way to Ankor Thom)

Cost break down for ticket cost (must be paid in cash – USD):
1 day pass $37
3 day pass $62 (valid for 10 days)
7 day pass $72 (valid for 1 month)

**make sure to have shoulders and knees covered when visiting temples. They are strict and there are no rentals available.

Cambodian Circus

This circus is more than just a great night out filled with dance, live music, great stunts, and slap stick humor. With humble beginnings after the fall of the Khmer Rouge there was one man who saw the need for healing through art. A school soon emerged for over 500 students. Once they had graduated the need for a sustainable income became clear and the idea to put their art of healing into a show became the perfect solution.

Enjoy the performance every night at 8pm for $38USD with opportunities a few times a week for a 5pm performance. Tickets can be purchased from most hotels or a travel agency.

**Since the show is out of town pay a tuk-tuk to take you there and back.

Pub Street and More

Enjoy a night out on Pub Street. This is where you will find all the backpackers hanging out past 7pm. The surrounding streets are filled with food vendors. Our favorites treats include coconut smoothie and banana chocolate crepe. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous try fried tarantulas and half hatched duck eggs that are 17 days old.

Head right down the center of Pub Street to find the loudest clubs in town. Each bar seems to be competing with their neighbors for the most affordable drinks. If you are needing a break from drinking hit up a nearby restaurant and try a crocodile burger or the safer choice chicken amok.

Pub street is as much a part of the Siem Reap experience as the Angkor Wat temples. Let yourself be taken away by the energy of the city and make sure to take a tuk-tuk back to your hotel.

Favorite dinner spot: Khmer Taste
Second favorite: Yellow Mango Cafe
Ice cream at Blue Pumpkin – kick it on a chase and write some post cards
Get food half the price by going few blocks off of Pub Street
Tip 10% at restaurants
USD is their main form of currency (make sure it is small, new, and un-marked, if there is a tear they will not take it)
Tuk-tuks should cost $1/person for a ride within town
Night market happens everyday between 5pm-midnight
Spot to do laundry (and get a great lunch): The Missing Socks