Visiting Siem Reap: Advice for Tourist

Visiting Siem Reap: Advice for Tourists

Siem Reap, the capital of Siem Reap province, is situated in northwestern Cambodia. As the gateway to Angkor Wat, the country’s iconic temple complex, the city is a popular destination for travelers from across the globe.

Tourists planning a trip to Cambodia are often unsure how many days they should dedicate to Siem Reap. The information below, which includes a guide to what to see and do, will help sightseers finalize their itinerary and make arrangements for their trip.

How to Get to Siem Reap

The most convenient way to get to Siem Reap is by flying into one of Cambodia’s International airports. Siem Reap International Airport is the second busiest in the country, with many domestic and some international flights landing daily.

Travelers arriving from Phnom Penh may choose to fly directly as this is the fastest option, and, with several airlines offering low-cost services, it is generally inexpensive.

  • Flight time: around 45 minutes
  • Plane ticket price: depends on the season, around $50 (USD) one way

A popular route when including Cambodia on a trip around Asia is to go from Bangkok (Thailand) to Siem Reap.

  • Flight time: around 1 hour
  • Plane ticket price: approximately $50, depending on the time of year, one way

Bus and taxi from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

It is possible to travel by bus from Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, to Siem Reap. Private bus companies are the best alternative for foreigners.

  • Bus journey time: around 6 hours
  • Bus ticket price: most companies charge from $9 to $10

For added comfort and privacy, taking a taxi from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is best, faster than going by bus.

  • Taxi journey time: in the region of 5 hours
  • Taxi fare: from $75

Public and Private Transportation in Cambodia

There are many public and private transport options in Cambodia. Hiring a car and driver provides the greatest comfort and privacy whilst those on a budget or seeking the most authentic experience can use local services.

Local transportation in Siem Reap

The most prevalent means of transport in Siem Reap are the moto and the Remork-Moto (also called tuk-tuks).

The moto is a motorbike taxi. Short journeys cost around $1 whilst longer rides to some remote temples will cost slightly more.

The Remork-moto, Cambodia’s version of the tuk-tuk, is great for getting around the city center. They take the form of a motorbike with a carriage and are quick and inexpensive. The fare for a city center trip starts from approximately $2.

Bicycles can be hired from several companies in Siem Reap for a couple of dollars a day.

How Long to Spend in Siem Reap

Although many sightseers go to Siem Reap mainly to visit Angkor Wat World Heritage Site, there is plenty more to see and do; it is worth spending a few additional days in the province.

Travelers in Siem Reap are highly recommended to visit the following during their stay:

  • Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary: covering 31,000 hectares, the sanctuary is an important breeding ground for endangered birds.
  • Kandal Village: for upmarket shopping and dining.
  • Cambodia Landmine Museum: an informative insight into the issue of landmines in Cambodia.
  • Psah Chas: a market popular amongst locals and tourists with a wide range of goods and food stalls.

Most tourists will spend a day exploring Angkor Wat, how much longer to remain in Siem Reap depends on the number of attractions and sites to be visited.

Where to Stay in Siem Reap

Siem Reap is made up of several neighborhoods each of which offers visitors a different experience.

The following areas are some of those favored by tourists:

  • The Old French Quarter and Pub Street: French colonial-style buildings and narrow streets lined with shops and cafes.
  • Wat Bo: a quiet part of the city, home to one of the oldest temples in town.
  • Sok San Road: a buzzing area with plenty of public transport, popular amongst backpackers.
  • National Road 6: convenient when arriving by plane, easily accessed by taxi from the airport.

Visitors can select which part of the city to stay in based on their travel plans and budget.

Low-cost accommodation is more widely available in Sok San Road and around Pub Street, given the high demand from backpackers, whilst National Road 6 is a better option for those seeking the luxury of a spa hotel.

Documents Required to Travel to Siem Reap

Most foreigners require a online visa to go to Siem Reap; citizens of just 9 nations can enter the Kingdom of Cambodia visa-free.

Travelers planning to visit Siem Reap should check the visa requirements for Cambodia and, if necessary, request the permit.

As over 200 countries are eligible for the Cambodian eVisa, most foreign nationals can benefit from this online application program.

There are many advantages to applying for the eVisa, including the fact that applicants are not required to visit an embassy or consulate and can avoid long lines at the airport.