The Old Market at Siem Reap City, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
The Old Market at Siem Reap City, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Siem Reap

Siem Reap Province is located to the north-west of Cambodia and just to the north of the Tonle Sap Lake. The capital of the province is Siem Reap City where tourists use as the base to explore the nearby and much celebrated Temples of Angkor. This travel guide is for Siem Reap City.

 Countryside outside of Siem Reap City
Countryside outside of Siem Reap City

Siem Reap City is pretty small and can be explored on foot in less than 2 hours. The most interesting area is bounded by Highway 6 to the north, the Siem Reap River to the east and Sivutha Boulevard to the west. The river and the boulevard run parallel from north to south and the Highway runs from east to west where you can travel by road to Phnom Penh or to Poipet Thai border.

The Siem Reap River
The Siem Reap River

The main tourist area of Siem Reap is around the Old Market located to the south of the city. Here you'll find hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops,… of a wide range of categories. There are a lot of restaurants and pubs along Pub Street where you can find some nightlife. There are also hotels, shops, restaurants, bars and cafes along the riversides. 

The King's Residence at Siem Reap
The King's Residence at Siem Reap

 Weather and climate
There two seasons at Siem Reap: the rainy season from May to October and the dry season is from November through April. The months with pleasant temperatures in Siem Reap are October, November, December, January, February and early March. The hottest time of the year is April and the coolest time is around December-January. The wettest month is September. So you may like to work around for yourself the best time to visit Siem Reap.

A park at Siem Reap City
A park at Siem Reap City

Things to do and tourist attractions
Most people travel to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor Temples. But you should not explore the temples in a hurry and it is necessary to break your visits by some relaxing time exploring the town.

Tourist attractions in the city include: Wat Po Lanka, Wat Bo and Wat Damnak on the eastern side of the river; Wat Preah Prom Rath near the Old Market; the city park in front of the Royal Residence. You can go shopping at the Old Market (Phsar Chaa) or at the big local market of Phsar Leu of which the latter provides interesting look into local life. Those interested in history may like to visit the War Museum and Angkor National Museum.

Outside of the town, there are a silk village and the Tonle Sap Lake.

Playing shuttle-cock at at park in Siem Reap City
Playing shuttle-cock at at park in Siem Reap City

Travel and tours
Paradissa hosts a number of historical tours, photography tours to discover the Temples of Angkor.

Accommodation
There is a wide range hotels and guesthouses in Siem Reap nowadays. Some luxury hotels and resorts are located far from the center. Lots of cheap guesthouses are found along the riverside and around the Old Market. There are also some boutique luxury hotels and mid range hotels near the Old Market and near the riverside. Most mid range hotels and luxury hotels have swimming pools.

Nightlife at Siem Reap City
Nightlife at Siem Reap City

 How to get around
The most convenient way to get around Siem Reap is either by private car, by motodop or by hiring tuk tuks who are just ubiquitous in town. The latter is of reasonable price but without air-conditioning. Else you can hire e-bikes from local shops which allow you freedom to explore the town and the tourist attractions.

Khmer traditional music played on a street at Siem Reap City
Khmer traditional music played on a street at Siem Reap City

Getting there and away
By air
Siem Reap International Airport is 7km from the city. There are direct flights between Siem Reap and major cities in South East Asia like Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Luang Prabang ….

By road
Siem Reap is about 320km from Phnom Penh and 150km from Poipet via Highway 6 which is in great condition at the time of writing.

Siem Reap is 170km from Battambang. The road trip offers nice look into local life.

By water
There are boats commuting between Siem Reap – Phnom Penh and Siem Reap – Battambang.

The Pub Street, center of nightlife at Siem Reap City
The Pub Street, center of nightlife at Siem Reap City

 

 

Inside Siem Reap's Airport
Inside Siem Reap's Airport

 

 

Aircraft parking area at Siem Reap Airport
Aircraft parking area at Siem Reap Airport