This Siem Reap Travel Guide helps you make the most of your one day in the city. It features a well-planned travel itinerary and a detailed budget for the trip.
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Advisory: Please refer to the Embassy of Cambodia regarding the country’s latest travel advisories before planning your trip.
We set foot in Angkor Archeological Park early in the morning and ahead to our first Angkor Temple. Upon arrival, Cambodian children approached us and offered their hand-crafted products. I was stunned to hear these children speak several languages, but nothing is more impressive than the temples near us. Due to time constraints, we wasted no time and dived into the remnants of this ancient civilization.
Angkor is the seat of the Khmer Empire built in the early 12th-century. It is home to imposing marvels like Ta Phrom, Bayon, and the world’s largest religious monument, the Angkor Wat. Unimaginable as it seems, these structures are the result of the ingenuity of the early Khmers.
Despite the scorching heat, we still completed the tour in eight-straight hours, leaving us weary and tanned-skin.
Siem Reap Travel Guide Contents
- Quick Fact About Siem Reap
- Visa in Cambodia
- Time Zone in Siem Reap
- Climate In Siem Reap
- Best Time to Visit Siem Reap
- Language in Siem Reap
- Currency in Siem Reap
- Modes of Payment in Siem Reap
- Ways of Getting to Siem Reap
- Getting Around Siem Reap
- Areas to Stay in Siem Reap
- Internet in Siem Reap
- Power Adaptors in Siem Reap
- Siem Reap Travel Guide Itinerary
- Budget for Siem Reap Trip
- Siem Reap Guidebook Resources
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Siem Reap, Cambodia
Quick Fact About Siem Reap
Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The expansive 400 square kilometers park is enveloped with thick forest and dotted with temple ruins. This impressive legacy of the ancient Khmers has put Cambodia on the world map.
Visa in Cambodia
All Philippine passport holders traveling for tourism in Cambodia are granted a free entry visa for twenty-one (21) days. You are required to apply for a tourist visa in the event of a visit extension.
Before departure, passengers must undergo stringent immigration procedures. Read the article, How to Avoid Getting Offloaded at the Philippine Immigration?
Time Zone in Siem Reap
Manila, Philippines, is one (1) hour ahead of Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Siem Reap Travel Guide Reminder: Since Siem Reap time is an hour behind Manila time, make sure to reset your timepiece before departure.
Climate in Siem Reap
Like most of its neighboring countries, Siem Reap has a tropical climate. It has two distinct seasons; the dry season from November until April and the wet season from May to October.
Best Time to Visit Siem Reap
Siem Reap is an all-year-round destination and experiences almost warm weather throughout the year.
November to April
Considered the coldest months, December and January is the best time to explore Siem Reap. Visitors may expect a larger crowd and a spike in hotel room rates.
Conversely, heat exhaustion and sunburns are likely to experience during the driest months of March and April.
May to October
Torrential rains are prevalent from May until October, resulting in muddy tourist sites and occasional floodings. But expect a more quiet atmosphere due to lesser crowds during these months.
Language in Siem Reap
The Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. Moreover, some Cambodians also speak and comprehend English, especially the youngsters.
Here are essential Khmer words and phrases you can use in the ancient city of Angkor.
- Susadei – Hello (informal)
- Som dtoh – Excuse me / Sorry
- Arkun – Thank you
- Chom reap lear – Goodbye
- Chop – Stop
- Tini – Here
- Da strong – Go straight
- Noev eah Nah..? Where is..?
- Som ket loy – The bill, please.
- Bo man? – How much?
- T’lay – Too expensive
- Som jous thlai Bahn teh? – Can I get a discount?
Siem Reap Travel Guide Fact: Thuck Salik speaks at least ten languages. This Cambodian lad speaks English, Mandarin, Spanish, French, German, Thai, Japanese, and Filipino.
Currency in Siem Reap
The Cambodian Riel (code: KHR) is the official currency of Cambodia. It was introduced in 1953 and abolished in 1975 until 1979 under a communist movement in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge.
After the Fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1980, the currency returned to circulation. Here is the exchange rate as of May 31, 2022: KHR 1, PHP 0.013, or USD 0.00025.
Modes of Payment in Siem Reap
Cash and cards are two of the widely accepted modes of payment in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Cambodia remains a cash-centered economy. Although the currency is Cambodian Riel, the U.S. Dollar is still the most preferred mode of payment in Siem Reap.
Debit and Credit Cards
Some establishments in Siem Reap also accept cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and JCB.
Siem Reap Travel Guide Tip: To save money, convert your currency into Cambodian Riel or U.S. dollars in downtown Siem Reap, which offers better exchange rates. Or, convert just enough cash at the destination’s airport to cover the fare to the city center.
For withdrawals, inform your home bank ahead of time regarding ATM use abroad.
Ways of Getting to Siem Reap
Situated south of the Indochinese Peninsula in Southeast Asia, Siem Reap is accessible via air and land.
Several local and international airlines provide flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Siem Reap International Airport. The flight hours between Manila and Siem Reap will take around 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Siem Reap International Airport is the gateway to the world-renowned Angkor. It is the second busiest airport in Cambodia, following Phnom Penh International Airport.
Cambodia shares a border with Thailand to the west, Laos to the north, and Vietnam to the east and southeast. To get to Siem Reap, transports such as cars and buses are available for inland travel.
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Getting Around Siem Reap
The traffic condition in Siem Reap is not as heavy as those in other Southeast Asian cities. While there are available options to navigate this relatively small city, some attractions are concentrated and only require a short walk.
Cabs in Siem Reap operate privately and park in the city’s touristy areas. Aside from their one-way service, they also offer a full-day tour of more distant attractions.
Taxis in Siem Reap operate 24 hours a day from Monday to Sunday. Fare starts at KHR 40, 720.00, PHP 525.02, or USD 10.00.
A popular transport in Cambodia, the remork is a motorized rickshaw with a four-seater wagon attached to the motorcycle.
Remork in Siem Reap operates 24 hours a day from Monday to Sunday. The fare starts at KHR 12,216.30, PHP 157.48, or USD 3.00.
Motorbike rental is not permitted in Siem Reap to provide a livelihood for the locals. Thence, motodop services are an alternative mode of transport for an entire day of Angkor tours.
Motodop in Siem Reap operates 24 hours a day from Monday to Sunday. The fare starts at KHR 14,072.10, PHP 181.41, or USD 3.46.
Explore Siem Reap’s tourist attractions using a bicycle. Renting the two-cycle is cheap, while some accommodations offer them for free.
The bicycle rentals in Siem Reap start at KHR 8,144.20, PHP 104.98, or USD 2.00.
Areas to Stay in Siem Reap
Angkor Archeological Park is located roughly 5 kilometers from downtown Siem Reap. This massive park is home to Angkor Wat and countless other temples, which require at least a day to explore.
Siem Reap offers manifold accommodations situated in vibrant and quieter neighborhoods.
Old French Quarter
Cambodia was once a colony of France for nearly a decade, and much of the architecture is of French influence. Along Sivutha Boulevard are French and Chinese colonial buildings transformed into lavish lodgings, restaurants, and boutiques.
Top attractions in the Old French Quarter are Royal Palace, Wat Preah Prom Rath, Angkor Night Market, and Pub Street.
The Old Market is a neighborhood near the Old French Quarter. It is home to the vibrant Pub Street, and alongside are restaurants and bars that are stone’s throw from accommodations.
Located east of Siem Reap River, Wat Bo got its name from one of its Buddhist temples. This peaceful neighborhood offers budget to mid-range accommodations.
Must-visit attractions within the area are Wat Bo, Made in Cambodia Market, and Siem Reap Art Center Night Market.
Named after Siem Reap’s largest pagoda, Wat Damnak is a neighborhood that is a short walk from Wat Bo. It has several wellness centers, restaurants, and accommodations of all types.
Aside from some marketplaces, visiting Wat Damnak is the highlighted attraction in the area.
Charles De Gaulle Boulevard
The Charles de Gaulle Boulevard connects the downtown Siem Reap and Angkor Archeological Park. Alongside the 4 kilometers thoroughfare is a stretch of luxury and elegant resort hotels.
Visit historical museums like Miniature Replicas of Angkor Museum, Angkor National Museum, and Cambodia War Remnant Museum.
Internet in Siem Reap
Siem Reap offers free Wi-Fi in shopping malls, shops, museums, and most accommodations. Moreover, pocket Wi-Fi devices and sim cards are also available for rent.
Connect online anytime and anywhere! With Cambodia 4G eSIM, you can guarantee fast and reliable 4G data. Grab yours now!
Power Adaptors in Siem Reap
Siem Reap operates on a 230v supply voltage with a frequency of 50 Hz and has three types of power adaptors:
- A or with two flat parallel pins
- C or with two round pins
- G or with three flat parallel pins.
Siem Reap Travel Guide Itinerary
Departs from Ho Chi Minh City
03:00 pm – 09:00 pm head towards Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and have dinner
- From the 23/9 Bus Station, Pham Ngu Lao in Ho Chi Minh City
- Take the bus heading to Phnom Penh
- Alight at the border gates of Moc Bai and Bavet, and clear the immigration and customs checkpoint
- Head to Phnom Penh
09:00 pm – 05:00 am bus transfer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, head to Siem Reap, Cambodia
05:00 am – 05:15 am arrival in Siem Reap, head to accommodation
Siem Reap Travel Guide Tip: A hostel is a low-price shared accommodation that offers essentials like sleep and a bath. Compared to hotels, staying in hostels offers a cheaper accommodation option.
If you are a budget-oriented traveler, you may book a hostel in Siem Reap.
05:00 am – 07:00 am prepare for the tour, have to breakfast
Day 1 - Angkor Archeological Park
Siem Reap Travel Guide Tip: Maximize your one full day exploring the unfamiliar spots of the Angkor temples. Reserve an arranged Angkor Private Tour for hassle-free temple hopping.
07:00 am – 07:15 am head to Angkor Ticketing Office
- From accommodation
- Take the private-hire remork
- Alight at the Angkor Ticketing Office
07:15 am – 07:30 am secure a Temple Pass
Siem Reap Travel Guide Reminder: Walking from points A to B requires less than 900 meters.
07:30 am – 04:00 pm head to and explore the Angkor Archeological Park – Small Circuit Tour
- From Angkor Enterprise
- Take the private-hire remork
- Alight at Prasat Kravan
Erected in 921 A.D., Prasat Kravan is an ancient Hindu temple consisting of five brick pillars on a platform. The temple was devoted to the Hindu god Vishnu.
Prasat Kravan is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
Constructed in the 12th century, Srah Srang is an artificial reservoir used as a royal bath. The 700 meters long and 300 meters wide lake is fenced with greeneries and embedded with a striking stage.
Srah Srang is open from Monday until Sunday from 5:00 am until 5:30 pm.
Situated opposite Srah Srang, Banteay Kdei is a Buddhist temple erected during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. Translated as the Citadel of Chambers, the Bayon-style temple consists of grids of passages.
Banteay Kdei is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
Erected in 1186 A.D., Ta Phrom became the seat of massive public works during the 12th to 13th centuries. This ancient monastery was partly entangled with tree roots, making it one of the most picturesque temple ruins.
Ta Prohm is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
Siem Reap Travel Guide Facts: Ta Prohm is one of the shooting venues of the 2001 action-adventure film – Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Located on the east of Angkor Thom, Ta Keo is a massive temple built as a state temple of King Jayavarman V. This temple-mountain is a five-tiered pyramid structure with five sanctuary towers. The temple remains unfinished until the succession of King Suryavarman in 1006 A.D.
Ta Keo is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
Chau Say Tevoda
Translated as Prolific Grandchildren of Deity, Chau Say Tevoda is a collection of small structures built in the 12th century. This Hindu temple was devoted to Vishnu and Shiva.
The Chau Say Tevoda is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
The Thommanon is a Hindu temple situated opposite Chau Say Tevoda. This striking temple with carvings of Hindu deities is as old as the Angkor Wat.
Thommanon is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
The Victory Gate
Victory Gate is one of the five-tower entryways in the eastern wall of the Angkor Thom. As the name denotes, the ancient gate welcomes the victorious return of Khmer royalties and their warriors against their rivals.
Victory Gate is open from Monday until Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
Preah Ponlea Sdach Komlong
Known as the Terrace of the Leper King, Preah Ponlea Sdach Komlong is a terrace decorated with carvings of Hindu deities. This 25-meter-long deck serves as a cremation site for Khmer royalties.
The Preah Ponlea Sdach Komlong is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
Located beside the Terrace of the Leper King, Elephant Terrace is a 300 meters long platform decorated with elephant carvings. This viewing platform is for ceremonies and public hearings.
The Elephant Terrace is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
Vimeanakas or Phimeanakas is a three-tiered pyramid temple sited within the lush greeneries. It is the only Hindu temple with an enclosed gallery at the top.
Phimeanakas is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
The Baphuon Temple is a three-tiered temple-mountain constructed in the mid-11th century that represents Mount Meru. This massive structure was a state temple and transformed into a Buddhist monastery.
Baphuon is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
At the center of Angkor Thom sited the most decorated temple in the great city. Bayon is the last state temple on the Angkor soil, built in the 12th century. This Buddhist temple features 216 gigantic-smiling faces reflected on the temple’s 54 towers.
Bayon is open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm.
The Angkor Wat, or city temple, is the world’s largest religious monument, built in the early 12th century. The 163 hectares temple was built for King Suryavaramn II for his catacomb and eventually transformed into a Buddhist shrine.
Angkor Wat is open from Monday until Sunday from 5:00 am until 5:30 pm.
04:00 pm – 06:30 pm head to the Angkor Night Market and Pub Street, have dinner
- From Angkor Wat
- Take the private-hire remork
- Alight at Angkor Night Market
Angkor Night Market
Established in 2007, The Angkor Night Market is Cambodia’s first night market. This outdoor marketplace has a wide range of food stalls and souvenir shops that offer authentic Cambodian handicrafts.
Angkor Night Market is open from Monday to Sunday from 4:00 pm until 12:00 am.
Siem Reap Travel Guide Fact: Craving for McFries? McDonald’s has never set foot in Cambodia.
Akin to Khao san Road in Bangkok, Pub Street, or Street 08, is a vibrant lane filled with shops and restaurants. The area becomes more energetic from 05:00 in the evening, as bars and clubs welcome nightlife enthusiasts.
Siem Reap Travel Guide Recommend: A visit to Siem Reap is not complete without tasting its local street foods. It includes grilled tarantula, scorpion barbeque, fried crickets and silkworms, and roasted frogs.
Also, sip a glass of snake wine to quench your thirst. Dare to try?
After a grueling temple hopping, reserve a seat for Buffet Dinner with Traditional Khmer Show because you deserve a relaxing treat.
06:30 pm – 07:45 pm head to accommodation, prepare for departure
07:45 pm – 08:00 pm head to the Siem Reap International Airport
- From accommodation
- Take the private-hire remork
- Alight at Siem Reap International Airport
08:00 pm – 10:15 pm arrival at the airport, clear immigration and customs checkpoint
10:15 pm flight to Manila
Budget for Siem Reap Trip
In 2019, I spent PHP 7,052.00 for one day and one night in Siem Reap, Cambodia. But, costs may still vary depending on your travel lifestyle. For more thrift tips, consider several ways to save money for your next trip.
Below is the Siem Reap Travel Guide budget for your reference.
- One-way airfare, Siem Reap to Manila, PHP 2,397.00
- One-way bus fare, Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, PHP 1,530.00
- 1D1N accommodation, PHP 300.00/2, PHP 150.00
- 1-Day Tuktuk tour, PHP 1,350.00/2, PHP 675.00
- Breakfast, PHP 150.00
- 1-Day Angkor Pass PHP 1,850.00
- Lunch, PHP 150.00
- Dinner, PHP 150.00
Siem Reap Travel Guide Resources
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Siem Reap Travel Guide Question: What is the world’s largest religious monument built in the 12th-century?
Please drop your answers or messages in the comment section. Thank you, and see you on the road!
About the Author
J. Sac is the author of ‘Siem Reap Travel Guide: An Excellent Guide to the World.’ He is also the founder of Traveledictorian – a travel blog that publishes compelling travel-related content.
His passion for writing, photography, and travel fueled him to explore Asia and the rest of the world. He also plans to undertake humanitarian work in his travels. Read his inspiring story and follow him on social media!
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