Siem Reap City Guide & City Video Guide
Siem Reap is famous for its astounding Angkor temple complex, but there are many other things worth seeing and doing. We spent a couple of weeks exploring the city, meeting Cambodians and expats and we would love to share with you all what we found out. Scroll down if you want to see what to do, what to visit, where to stay and what to eat in Siem Reap. But first, check out our City Video Guide about Siem Reap to get you inspired!
What to visit & what to do in Siem Reap
Hire a bicycle or a scooter and venture out to the nearby villages, where you can spot wooden houses and buffaloes having a bath in the farm aqueducts.
Head to Kompong Khleang on Tonle Sap Lake, one hour away by scooter. It's a floating village where houses are either built on very high stilts or floating in the middle of the lake (including schools, shops and even a clinic!). If you get there early in the morning, you'll be the only tourist there, later on it gets a bit busier, but it's still a place not known for masses of visitors!
Visit Siem Reap during Khmer New Year - it goes on for 3 days around the 15th of April and it's an unforgettable experience! The centre of Siem Reap gathers crowds of locals and tourists who join in a massive water fight, followed by covering each other with white baby powder. There are also music performances and big food markets - the whole city is celebrating!
Avoid going to Angkor Wat for the sunrise - there are hundreds of people there! Better off going e.g. to Angkor Thom (our favourite!) and enjoy it all for yourself. Or, wake up early twice, if you don't want to miss sunrise at Angkor Wat.
What to do in Siem Reap by Night
Head straight to The Pub Street! It's right in the centre and you can get beers for 50 cents, whilst portable tuk tuk bars, scattered on the side streets, will provide you with 1.5 USD Mojitos! You can meet lots of other travellers around there, but Cambodians visiting from other towns (like Phnom Penh) also come to Pub Street to grab a pint. We loved having our drinks at No Name Tuk Tuk Bar - we even did a little film about Miky, the owner, which you can watch above.
What to eat & Where to eat in Siem Reap
The 5 USD all you can eat cook-it-yourself Hansa BBQ! It was our personal discovery (check Hansa BBQ location above) and we haven't really seen any tourists there. It's located a bit outside the main tourist district but it's totally worth to venture out there with a quick tuk tuk ride. You will get your own little bbq placed in the middle of the table, and you can stock yourself with different kinds of meat, prawns or squids, as well as noodles and veggies. We loved it!
If you prefer something more fancy but still affordable, New Leaf Eatery is a very edgy place with delicious pancakes. It's a non-profit cafe that supports education in Siem Reap.
Otherwise, stick to the street - you can find anything from coconut pancakes to meat on the sticks, served hot and fresh from the street carts or street shacks.
Where to stay in Siem Reap
House Jane is a paradise if you have a little bit of a bigger budget. It's a privately owned villa with originally decorated rooms and a beautiful garden and swimming pool. You can either rent the whole villa if you're a group of friends or a family, or rent one of their rooms. It's not at backpackers' budget but if you want to splurge once in a while, this is the place to do it!
Ring Boutique Hotel is a very clean and modern hotel with uniquely designed rooms, where beds are placed in round concrete blocks. The rooms have everything you need and are super comfy, and it's fun to sleep in a uniquely designed bed! The swimming pool is right in front of your door, too! Rooms are quite affordable, even for backpackers.
We were guests of House Jane and Ring Boutique Hotel but as always all the opinions are our own.
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