Personal Tips of Visiting Siem Reap – City of Angkor Temples

The curve of Apsara dancer during Khmer era
First time visiting Cambodia or particularly Siem Reap is a very exciting experience. My last trip to Siem Reap was from Ho Chi Minh City by bus with a quick stop at Phnom Penh and the journey took 12 hours with fascinating views along the way. The good point of travelling by bus is, you will able see the different views of Vietnamese and Cambodian living in terms of architecture, economy activities, writings and the environment.

Thanks to my FB friend Quintin Louis Nguyen for sharing this recent photos of Angkor Wat

Where to stay and night activities in Siem Reap?

Mr. Borey, I Lodge owner and
a professional tour guid
There are numbers of backpacking hotels for you to choose and mostly located in the heart of Siem Reap’s town area.  As for me, I am recommending I Lodge Guesthouse which owned by Mr. Borey, a very hotel owner and also professional tour guide in Siem Reap. He speaks native Khmer language, besides fluency in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. The hotel has been in 5 years operation, very clean with wifi available at lobby area.

Address:#30,Tepvong Roads | SvayDangkum CommuneSiem ReapCambodia
Contact Person: Mr. Yin Sokphaekborey

Foods in Siem Reap are truly mouth-watery (maybe yes for me as I love fried dishes). There are varieties of fried noodles, fried rice and some noodle soup for you to choose from local stalls on the street. Besides, you also can take a walk to the famous Pub Street which you will find many western style fancy restaurants, evening bars and massage parlour.

Besides, you can go to the night market to buy souvenirs such as Cambodia printed T Shirt and woven scarf. My personal experience dealing with Cambodian seller, they are very polite and not as pushy as market seller in other South East Asia tourist’s market.

Photo at Pub Street, Siem Reap
Photo under one of the bridge at Ta Phrom

The Core: Visiting Temples of Angkor

When talking about Siem Reap, the first thing in our mind the image of Angkor Wat and the Angelina’s action in Lara Croft, Tom Rider movie many years back. The trip to visit Angkor temple can be booked from any hotel that you are staying. Most of hotel will provide such service including a a shuttle Tuk Tuk (Cambodian local transport) to the Temple’s pit stop. In short, there are 2 major temple to visit named as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Phrom.  I am not going to write any review about those tombs and temple yet. But here are some basic tips when visiting the parks area:
  • Bring an umbrella, caps or sun shades. My last visit was during summer, it was hot at mid noon and raining after 4.00pm
  • Keep your rubbish in plastic bag. Do not litter the temple area. Visiting Angkor Temple during hot and sunny days will make you feel thirsty. There are many drink vendors will tempt your thirst bud with juices and ice creams. You can have it and always be a responsible visitor by keep the area clean. Optionally, you may bring your own water bottle when visiting this place.
  • Mosquito repellent. You might walk to pass by some bushy areas. Spraying mosquito repellent might save you from mosquitoes bite or other insect’s irritation.
  • Short or trousers? As for me, short or Bermuda type is always my choice. Avoid from choosing any tight attire as you might be going to climb or make a big jump while reaching some point for photo snapping.
  • One day, two days or 1 week trip to Angkor Temple? As for me, one day trip is enough as it will cover three major parts of the ancient city; Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Phrom. But if you are really interested with historical story and relic of this Khmer kingdom, 1 week package is just suit your desire.
  • Private tour or personal tour? Open group tour is very fun as you can share the experience with your travel buddy. However, taking a private tour will ensure that you will get full attention from your tour guide and better time organized.
Me and my travel mate in front of Angkow Wat's and the water reflection
Overall, visiting Siem Reap – Angkor Wat is a very interesting experience. Suitable with their tourism tagline, “The Kingdom of Wonder” and yes, the more you explore, the more you will love and every good bye will be followed with another promise to come again.


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