Located in the west of Cambodia, about 300 km from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap is widely known around the world because of its majestic Angkor Wat temples dating back to the great Khmer dynasty. Siem Reap is nestled amidst the vast rice fields, besides the green rivers intermingled with mountain ranges with lush green trees creating a mesmerizing painting that captivates visitors. The complexes of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom brings visitors to the mystical spirit land, ancient of the great civilization once passed. Siem Reap is also a place where eco-tourism is very develop, with the focus is the Tonle Sap Lake or go further to the north is the legendary Kulen Mountains and the old, mystical forests.
So, is Siem Reap worth visiting, how to visit Siem Reap, what to do in Siem Reap and how to plan a budget trip to Siem Reap for the first-time perfectly? Let’s check out our Siem Reap travel blog (Siem Reap blog) with the fullest Siem Reap travel guide (guide to Siem Reap, Siem Reap tourist guide, Siem Reap city guide, Siem Reap guide) from how to get to Siem Reap, best places to visit, best time to come, what to eat as well as top things to do in Siem Reap to help you maximize your trip as follows!
Siem Reap travel blog: When is the best time to visit Siem Reap?
Cambodia has a relatively similar climate with Vietnam and looks a little bit hotter. You can traveling here at any time of the year, but avoid hot months such as April to May and rainy season from July to August. The best time to visit Siem Reap is from November to February next year.
Let’s explore our Siem Reap blog (Siem Reap travel blog) with the fullest Siem Reap travel guide for a budget trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Siem Reap travel blog: How to get to Siem Reap?
One of the easy ways to get to Siem Reap is by plane. Siem Reap Airport serves over 1 million visitors a year. The price for a round trip ticket from Vietnam to Cambodia is about $110 to $130 (Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Air Asia).
The second way to Siem Reap is by bus. You can getting to Siem Reap from Saigon. The distance from Saigon to Siem Reap is approximately 600 km and the bus takes about 12 hours including the time of entry and exit procedures at the border. There are some buses such as Kumho, Sorya, Sapaco and Long Phuong. In which, the Sorya, Sapaco are the routes go direct from Saigon to Siem Reap, cost about $18 – $21.5. Meanwhile, Kumho and Long Phuong buses only take guests to Phnom Penh, then you have to take a bus to Siem Reap. Saigon bus ticket to Siem Reap about $18 / trip. Saigon – Phnom Penh: $9 / trip. Phnom Penh – Siem Reap: $8 / trip.
- Sapaco: 325 Pham Ngu Lao, ticket price $9.87 / trip, Saigon – Phnom Penh, depart at 6:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:30 and 14:00. Tickets phone: 083 9203 623.
- Kumho: 239 Pham Ngu Lao, ticket price $9 / trip, Saigon – Phnom Penh, depart at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 11:00, 13:00 and 15:30. Tickets phone: 08 6291 5389.
- Sorya: 310 Pham Ngu Lao, ticket price $9.87 / trip, Saigon – Phnom Penh, depart at 6:30, 7:30, 9:30, 13:30 and 15:00. Tickets phone: 083 9209 438.
- Long Phuong: 313 Pham Ngu Lao, ticket price $8.15 / trip, Saigon – Phnom Penh, depart at 6:30, 8:30, 11:30 and 15:30. Tickets phone: 08 3837 0969.
The third way, less popular and only during the floating season (August to March), is by bus to Phnom Penh and then take a boat to Siem Reap.
Siem Reap travel blog: Getting around Siem Reap
There are very few tourists renting cars to visit the relics here. The cars rented in Cambodia are quite old and run is not very good so it will not be a comfortable experience.
The major means of transportation in Cambodia is tuk tuk, if you go with a large group, this type of vehicle is most suitable because when share money is very cheap. Tuk tuk running at moderate speed, so it also be convenient to see the street scene. Normally, 1 kilometer will range from $1 – $1.5, you remember to bargain the price before getting up tuk tuk.
Very economical if you rent a motorbike taxi and the difference here is that for people sitting behind a motorbike in Cambodia, no helmet is required, if you go with group of two or three people, you can also call only one because it is allowed. The motorbike taxi fee is only $7 – $10, but if you are a skilful negotiator, the price may be $5 for a around trip Siem Reap city.
Rent a motorbike
Renting a motorbike to explore every corner of Siem Reap will be an exciting experience. In order to be able to drive a motorbike in Siem Reap in particular and Cambodia in general, visitors must have a valid driver’s license that accepted in Cambodia. Motorbike rental is about $9 / day.
Rent a bike
Rent a bike and cycling around Angkor is also a good option in Siem Reap. Choose a bicycle, you should note there are hot sunshine days and Angkor is also a big city should be easy to get lost. However, biking is great to visit the magnificent monuments here.
Hot air balloon
This vehicle only serves tourists watching the panorama of Angkor from above. Near Angkor’s entrance ticket office, there is a hot-air balloon service.
Siem Reap travel blog: Some tips on how to saving budget (Siem Reap budget trip) when traveling to Siem Reap
Rent a Motorcycle
The roads in Siem Reap are quite similar to Vietnam, if you love freedom and do not want to be constrained time. Let’s rent a motorbike and drive all around the city. The normal price for a “quite good” car is about $42.73 per day.
Enjoy street food
Similar to Thailand, one of Siem Reap’s cost saving travel experiences (Siem Reap budget trip) is to enjoy street food. Do not worry about choice, you still have a range of dishes from rice, Phnom-penh clear rice noodle soup, fermented thick Vietnamese vermicelli soup, to fried foods, grilled from meat and insects. In addition, there are special desserts such as Cambodian sweets, Palmyra sweets…
Pre-booking tickets for tours, sightseeing, activities
The main cost for your Siem Reap travel itinerary is for getting from Vietnam to Cambodia. To reduce this cost, you can find cheap airfares. If you have enough patience, you can hunt for cheap airline tickets, even down up to $0.
In addition, you can also pre-book tickets for tours, entertainment services in Siem Reap. This will help you save time and do not have to worry about finding your way to the ruins here. Besides, buying tickets in advance also will help you save quite a lot of money.
Siem Reap blog: Where to stay in Siem Reap?
Siem Reap is also similar to Phnom Penh, where the tourism infrastructure is developing very well, even in Siem Reap there are more classy resorts than in Phnom Penh. As the “home” of the Angkor complex, Siem Reap does not lack hotels, guesthouses, homestays and dorm accommodation on every road. However, according to our Siem Reap travel guide, you should choose one of 5 areas: National Highway 6, Western Street, Charles De Gaulle Street, Riverside and Angkor Night Market.
- Western Street: Around Pub Street and Siem Reap Night Market, there are many hotels, guesthouses for backpack travelers. Its advantage is very close to restaurants, cafes and entertainment nightlife and cheap. Room rates from $8-$20.
- Charles De Gaulle Street: The street connect the city of Siem Reap and Angkor, if you choose stay here, It is convenient for sightseeing. If you have a lot of money, like the convenience, luxury and quality of service, you should make a reservation at hotels on the National Highway 6, where is concentrate almost Siem Reap’s luxury hotels and resorts with standards from 3 to 5 stars. So, the hotels and resorts are quite expensive.
- Riverside: Suitable for those who have a good budget and prefer quiet.
- Angkor Night Market and National Highway 6 are often suitable for backpackers, low cost or young couple.
You can refer to some Siem Reap hotels and guesthouses below:
- Adan World Hostel: Psa Gner Road, Ta Phul Village. Price from $6 / night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com).
- Blossoming Romduol Lodge: 83 Psar Kroung Road. Price from $4 / night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Angkor Villa Advisor: Taphoul Village, Svay Dungkom. Price from $6.86 / night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com).
- Gazy Guesthouse: No.308, Group 8, Village Stung Thmey, Sangkat Svay Dang Kum. Price from $5.87 / night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Golden Orange Hotel: 007 Slorkram Village. Price from $17.16 / night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com).
- New Home Hostel: No. 7 Makara Road, near AE High School. Price from $17.16 / night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Below are some best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
The Privilege Floor by LOTUS BLANC (Address: Kruos Village,, NR6, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia / Phone: +855 63 969 300), a 5-star hotel with room rates from $62/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Shinta Mani Shack (Address: Oum Khun St, Krong Siem Reap 00000, Cambodia / Phone: +855 63 967 885), a 5-star hotel with room rates from $94/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Park Hyatt Siem Reap (Address: Sivutha Blvd, Krong Siem Reap 17259, Cambodia / Phone: +855 63 211 234), a 5-star hotel with room rates from $150/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Shinta Mani Angkor (Address: Oum Khun St and 14th street, 00000 Shinta Mani St, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia / Phone: +855 63 964 123), a 5-star hotel with room rates from $107/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa (Address: Sivatha Rd, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia / Phone: +855 63 760 428), a 5-star hotel with room rates from $59/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Siem Reap travel blog: Best places to visit and top things to do in Siem Reap
Siem Reap City
It is the center of all entertainment activities of Siem Reap besides the Khmer temples. You can visit the handicraft production areas, night markets like Angkor Night Market. Or take part in your culinary journey of Cambodia.
It is the oldest temple in Cambodia and the largest religious architecture in the world. Angkor Wat is like a crown with three towers rising high into the sky. If viewed from the top down, the towers as the lotus flowers are blossoming on the green water moat. The most impressive here is the old trees growing on the walls of the temples that create unique and mystical scenery. The temple was the capital of the Khmer empire. The temple also retains many mysterious stories about a powerful empire. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in Siem Reap and also the culmination of Khmer art. The Angkor complex has two temples, Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. You will have to buy tickets when you visit. There are 3 types of tickets: 1 day, 3 days and 7 days, respectively for price of $20, $40 and $60.
This is truly a paradise for those who want to learn about the ancient Khmer culture, one of the largest urban models in the world at that time. Also known as archaeological park, this place attracts a large number of archaeology students in every year. According to archeologists and researchers, Angkor’s prosperous city is home to more than 1 million people with advanced housing, palaces, temples, sewage systems … The art of architecture and urban planning can be said to be very developed compared to that time.
Some useful tips when you visit Angkor
- There are very few green trees in the Angkor Wat area , so you should prepare the hats, neat clothes to easy to moving.
- You should bring plenty of water, because the weather is dry, dehydrate quickly.
- Prepare a full camera battery because there are many beautiful things to captures in Angkor.
- Respect the space of worship in the temples.
- Do not harm the relics, especially the statues of the gods in the belief of the Cambodian people.
Located between the Angkor Thom complex, to reach this central temple, you have to cross the Victory Gate and the elaboration decorative corridors. It is the great Bayon temple of Angkor empire, which is famous for its special architecture, with four-sided statues and fine art stone carvings.