Travel Guide for Siem Reap

Travel Guide for Siem Reap

Personalized for these inputs:

  • Destination: Siem Reap, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
  • Trip length: 7 days
  • Trip dates: September 05 - September 12
  • Travel style: digital nomad
  • Budget: $$
  • Accommodation: hotel, hostel, homestay
  • Activities: arts and culture, festivals and events, gastronomy, nightlife and entertainment, outdoor adventures, sightseeing and tours, volunteering and social impact
Picture of Siem Reap, Cambodia

Key Facts

  • location: Southeast Asia
  • currency: Cambodian riel (KHR)
  • religion: Buddhism
  • population: 1,025,000
  • language: Khmer, English
  • electricity: 230V/50Hz, Plug Types A, C, G?
  • time zone: Indochina Time (UTC+7)
  • country code: +855
  • internet access: Available, speeds may vary, affordable
  • climate: Tropical climate

Useful Phrases

Language: Khmer
    hello
    សួស្តី (su-a-s'day)
    goodbye
    លោកា (li-ka)
    yes
    បាទ (baat)
    no
    អទែ (ot-te)
    how much
    នេះត្រួតហ្គោតមនុស្សបង (niak-thnoat-mnuss-bong)
    please
    សូម (som)
    thank you
    អរគុណ (aw-koon)
    excuse me
    សូមត្រូត (som-ta-prut)

Introduction

Welcome to Siem Reap, Cambodia, a charming town known for its proximity to the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex. With a rich history dating back to the Khmer Empire, Siem Reap offers a blend of ancient temples, vibrant markets, and delicious Cambodian cuisine to explore. In September, the weather is warm and humid with occasional rain showers, making it a lush time to visit.

For digital nomads on an average budget, Siem Reap provides a laid-back atmosphere with affordable accommodation, co-working spaces, and reliable internet access. Embrace the local culture by trying local street food, attending traditional Apsara dance performances, or taking a cooking class. Don't miss the opportunity to visit Angkor Wat at sunrise, bike around the countryside, or unwind with a relaxing massage after a day of remote work.

Getting There

To reach Siem Reap, the most convenient way is to fly into Siem Reap International Airport. Many major airlines have direct flights from neighboring countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore.

For those seeking budget options, buses and shared vans are available from nearby cities like Phnom Penh. However, travel during September may be affected by occasional rain showers, so be prepared and allow for some flexibility in your plans.

While there are no trains to Siem Reap, boats along the Tonlé Sap and buses from other Cambodian towns can be alternative travel options for an adventure-seeking digital nomad.

Climate and Best Time to Visit

Siem Reap in Cambodia experiences a tropical climate with two main seasons: the wet season and the dry season. The wet season typically lasts from May to October, with September usually being rainy. Expect warm temperatures around 25-31°C and occasional downpours. The dry season runs from November to April, bringing cooler temperatures and less humidity, ideal for exploring temples or outdoor activities.

During your stay from September 05 to September 12, be prepared for hot and humid weather with sudden showers. While extreme weather events like typhoons are less likely to occur around this time, heavy rains can lead to localized flooding. Pack light clothes, an umbrella, and mosquito repellent when exploring Siem Reap during the wet season.

Itinerary

Day 1

Immerse yourself in Siem Reap's rich arts and culture scene, exploring traditional Cambodian crafts and performances.

  • Artisans Angkor

    Visit Artisans Angkor to witness skilled artisans creating traditional Cambodian crafts including silk weaving, stone carving, and wood carving. Gain insight into Cambodia's artistic heritage and interact with the craftsmen to learn about their techniques.
  • Phare, The Cambodian Circus

    Experience an exhilarating performance at Phare, The Cambodian Circus, featuring talented Cambodian artists showcasing a mix of theater, music, dance, and acrobatics. Be captivated by the vibrant storytelling and energy of the performers under the Big Top.
  • Angkor Handicraft Association

    Discover the Angkor Handicraft Association, a cooperative supporting local artisans in preserving traditional Cambodian crafts. Shop for unique handmade souvenirs like silk scarves, pottery, and wood carvings, directly supporting the artisans and their communities.













Day 2

Experience the vibrant festivals and events in Siem Reap, joining local celebrations and festivities.

  • Join the Water Festival Celebrations

    Partake in the annual Water Festival celebrations in Siem Reap, where locals and visitors come together to honor the end of the rainy season. Enjoy boat races on the Siem Reap River, traditional music and dance performances, and delicious street food stalls lining the streets. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and witness the vibrant spirit of the Khmer culture.
  • Explore Angkor Night Market

    Wander through the Angkor Night Market, a lively hub of local artisans, street performers, and vendors selling handicrafts, clothing, and souvenirs. Experience the vibrant night scene, sample local street food delicacies, and shop for unique gifts while supporting the local community. Don't miss the traditional Khmer dance performances that add to the market's cultural charm.
  • Attend Apsara Dance Show

    Attend a mesmerizing Apsara Dance show, a classical Khmer performance depicting ancient folklore and mythology through graceful dance movements. Witness the intricately embroidered costumes, elaborate makeup, and storytelling elements that bring Cambodian history to life. Immerse yourself in the beauty and elegance of this traditional art form.













Day 3

Delight your taste buds with the diverse gastronomy of Siem Reap, sampling authentic Cambodian dishes and flavors.

  • Sister Srey Cafe

    Indulge in a delightful dining experience at Sister Srey Cafe, known for its delicious Cambodian dishes and cozy ambiance. Try their signature Khmer curry, made with local spices and fresh ingredients, while savoring the refreshing atmosphere of this popular cafe.
  • Genevieve's Restaurant

    Experience the fusion of French and Cambodian cuisine at Genevieve's Restaurant, a charming dining spot offering a unique culinary journey. Taste the delectable Amok, a traditional Cambodian dish, paired with French wine for a perfect blend of flavors. Enjoy the elegant setting and personalized service.
  • Chamkar Restaurant

    Dine at Chamkar Restaurant and explore the vegetarian Khmer gastronomy scene with flavorful plant-based dishes crafted from locally sourced produce. Delight in the inventive twists on traditional Cambodian recipes, such as the Eggplant Lok Lak, a satisfying plant-based version of a classic Khmer dish.













Day 4

Explore the bustling nightlife and entertainment options in Siem Reap, discovering lively bars and venues.

  • Miss Wong Cocktail Bar

    Step into the retro-chic ambiance of Miss Wong Cocktail Bar, a popular nightspot in Siem Reap known for its creative cocktails and intimate setting. Enjoy signature drinks like the Lemongrass Martini or the Tamarind Margarita while soaking in the nostalgic atmosphere of this stylish bar.
  • Pub Street

    Stroll down Pub Street, the heart of Siem Reap's nightlife scene, lined with a variety of bars, pubs, and vibrant street performances. Explore the lively atmosphere, sample local beers and cocktails, and indulge in delicious street food offerings while being surrounded by the energy of the city's nightlife.
  • Asana Old Wooden House

    Experience the unique charm of Asana Old Wooden House, a traditional Khmer wooden house transformed into a cozy bar and restaurant. Sip on craft cocktails or indulge in local beers while relaxing in the tranquil garden setting. Immerse yourself in the cultural fusion of Cambodian architecture and modern hospitality.













Day 5

Embark on thrilling outdoor adventures in the natural landscapes surrounding Siem Reap, engaging in exciting activities.

  • Explore Kulen Mountain National Park

    Embark on a journey to Kulen Mountain National Park, a natural paradise near Siem Reap known for its lush forests, scenic waterfalls, and ancient temples. Hike through the jungle trails, swim in the refreshing waters of Phnom Kulen waterfall, and visit sacred sites like the River of a Thousand Lingas and the Reclining Buddha. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature and the rich history of the area.
  • Quad Biking in Siem Reap Countryside

    Experience the thrill of quad biking through the picturesque Cambodian countryside surrounding Siem Reap. Ride along dirt trails, rice fields, and rural villages, passing by scenic landscapes and interacting with the local communities. Enjoy the adrenaline rush and panoramic views of the countryside on this adventurous outdoor activity.
  • Zipline Adventure at Angkor Archaeological Park

    Embark on a ziplining adventure at Angkor Archaeological Park, soaring through the treetops and enjoying bird's eye views of the ancient temples below. Experience the thrill of flying over the lush jungle canopy and historic ruins, combining adrenaline-pumping excitement with a unique perspective of Angkor's cultural heritage.













Day 6

Uncover the historical and cultural gems of Siem Reap through sightseeing and guided tours of iconic landmarks.

  • Angkor Wat Sunrise Tour

    Embark on an early morning adventure to witness the stunning sunrise at Angkor Wat, one of the most iconic landmarks in Cambodia. Marvel at the changing colors of the sky as the sun rises behind the temple's silhouette, illuminating the intricate carvings and grandeur of this ancient masterpiece. Capture unforgettable moments and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the temple grounds before the crowds arrive.
  • Bayon Temple Exploration

    Explore the mystical Bayon Temple, known for its captivating smiling stone faces and intricate bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Khmer history and mythology. Wander through the labyrinthine galleries and towers of this architectural wonder, discovering hidden corridors and ancient carvings that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Khmer Empire.
  • Ta Prohm Temple Adventure

    Embark on an adventure through the fascinating ruins of Ta Prohm Temple, where ancient stones are intertwined with towering tree roots, creating a mystical and otherworldly atmosphere. Explore the symbiotic relationship between nature and architecture as you navigate the temple's corridors and courtyards, experiencing the enchanting blend of history and nature.













Day 7

Engage in meaningful volunteering activities and explore the social impact initiatives in Siem Reap, contributing to the local community.

  • Green Gecko Project Visit

    Visit the Green Gecko Project, a local organization dedicated to supporting underprivileged children and families in Siem Reap. Engage in meaningful volunteering activities such as teaching, arts and crafts sessions, or supporting community projects. Learn about the social impact initiatives aimed at improving the lives of the local community and contribute to their sustainable development.
  • Phare Ponleu Selpak

    Explore the Phare Ponleu Selpak organization, which uses arts, education, and social support to empower disadvantaged youth in Cambodia. Attend a performance by talented young artists, showcasing traditional and contemporary Cambodian art forms. Witness the positive impact of arts education on the lives of the youth and communities in Siem Reap.
  • Pour un Sourire d'Enfant (PSE)

    Visit Pour un Sourire d'Enfant (PSE), a non-profit organization focused on providing education, vocational training, and support to underprivileged children and families in Cambodia. Participate in activities that promote education and skills development, such as teaching English, computer skills, or vocational workshops. Experience the impactful work being done to break the cycle of poverty and transform lives.













Accommodations

Siem Reap offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets. For travelers wanting convenience and comfort, popular hotels like Tara Angkor Hotel and Central Suite Residence are great choices. If you prefer a more social atmosphere and budget-friendly stays, hostels like The Siem Reap Hostel and Onederz Hostel are highly recommended. For a more immersive experience, consider homestays in local villages like Phum Baitang or Sala Lodges.

Booking websites like Booking.com and Agoda offer a wide selection of accommodations in Siem Reap. For a digital nomad on an average budget visiting from September 5 to September 12, it's advisable to book in advance due to potential higher demand during that period. When choosing a neighborhood, stay near Pub Street for bustling nightlife or in the Wat Bo area for a quieter atmosphere.

Food and Drink

In Siem Reap, Cambodia, you must try Fish Amok, Lok Lak, and Khmer Red Curry for authentic flavors. To cool off, savor a refreshing glass of sugar cane juice or fresh coconut water. For budget-friendly dining, head to local markets and street food stalls like Phsar Chas or the Night Market.

Enjoy a laid-back meal at Peace Cafe offering healthy vegetarian dishes, and grab coffee at Little Red Fox Espresso for a cozy workspace and Wi-Fi. When dining in restaurants, rounding up the bill as a tip is appreciated. Be mindful of using only bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth while in Siem Reap.

Fish Amok

Fish Amok

A flavorful dish made of fresh fish, coconut milk, and a fragrant blend of spices, Fish Amok is a Cambodian culinary icon. Traditionally steamed in banana leaves, this creamy and aromatic curry showcases the delicate flavors of the fish and is a must-try when in Cambodia.

Bai Sach Chrouk

Bai Sach Chrouk

A popular breakfast option, Bai Sach Chrouk consists of thinly sliced pork, marinated in coconut milk and garlic, then grilled to perfection. Served over steamed rice, this dish is often paired with freshly made pickles and a side of clear chicken broth.

Num Banh Chok

Num Banh Chok

Made from fine rice noodles and an assortment of fresh herbs, Num Banh Chok is a traditional Cambodian noodle dish. The aromatic fish-based green curry sauce that accompanies the noodles adds a delightful and distinctive flavor to this beloved staple.

Kuy Teav

Kuy Teav

Kuy Teav is a classic rice noodle soup commonly enjoyed as a breakfast dish or a light meal. The savory broth, infused with fragrant herbs and tender meat, creates a delightful flavor profile that warms the soul and satisfies the palate.

Trey Chien Chrouk

Trey Chien Chrouk

A delectable Cambodian delicacy, Trey Chien Chrouk features marinated pork grilled over charcoal. The pork is often accompanied by a zesty Cambodian salad, spicy dipping sauces, and a medley of herbs, creating a perfect blend of flavors and textures.

Attractions and Activities

Siem Reap, Cambodia offers a rich cultural experience with visits to Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple, and Ta Prohm for arts and culture enthusiasts. Join in the Water and Moon Festivals for a taste of local traditions.

Indulge in Khmer cuisine at the Night Market and Pub Street for gastronomic delights. Discover the vibrant nightlife at various bars and clubs.

Explore outdoor adventures at Angkor Archaeological Park and Tonle Sap Lake. Enjoy bike tours around the countryside and participate in community volunteering programs for a meaningful social impact.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Experiences

Discover the hidden beauty of the Angkor Temples beyond the famous ones. Explore the lesser-known Beng Mealea temple engulfed by nature, offering a sense of adventure and tranquility. Engage in a unique homestay experience with a local family to immerse in Cambodian daily life and traditions.

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