A Quick Guide to Siem Reap: Itinerary, Expenses and Travel Tips | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Aug 4, 2017

A Quick Guide to Siem Reap: Itinerary, Expenses and Travel Tips


Being the gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap is a quaint little town in Cambodia that has become a major tourist destination. Travelers set their home base in Siem Reap when exploring the world-renowned Angkot Wat and other famous Khmer temples.

Ed and I spent three days in Siem Reap during our #SweetEscapesinIndochina trip last April 2017. I could say that a 3-day itinerary is perfect for first time visitors. We were able to see the popular temples in the Angkor complex, ventured out to an off-beat attraction, and experienced non-Angkor-related activities!

Here is a basic travel guide for Siem Reap: 

Siem Reap Budget Travel Guide

Visa
Philippine passport holders can travel to Cambodia visa-free for a maximum of 21 days. We just need to fill a form in Siem Reap International Airport, and present it together with our passport to the Immigration Officer.


Money
Cambodia's official currency is called Cambodian Riel, but US Dollar is widely accepted; even in street stalls! Riel is non-convertible; hence don't bother going to the money exchange counter. It is best to use USD for all your purchases in Siem Reap.  


Language
Khmer language is the official language of Cambodia. Locals working in hotels and restaurants can communicate in English. We had a slight difficulty understanding what they speak due to the accent, I bet they also felt same way towards us. But, a little sign language and showing photos always helped.  

Ed and Lady in Siem Reap
One summer day in the Bayon...

Weather
Cambodia is located in the tropics. The weather is pretty much like in the Philippines. In April, it was humid and very very hot! Just when I thought Dubai has trained me well when it comes to hot summer days, Siem Reap had me nearly giving up! I'm just really thankful that our tuktuk has a stock of ice cold water, and fruit shake stalls are everywhere!


What to Pack
  • Maxi Dress or long skirt: Girls, forget about your sexy summer dresses for a while! Knees and shoulders should be covered when visiting the temples of Cambodia.
  • Sarong: To use as a long skirt or as a shawl.
  • Mosquito Repellent Spray: Don't let the bugs mosquitoes bite! We immediately purchased a small spray bottle when we felt itchy stings on our skin while having our first meal in Siem Reap.
  • Universal Adapter: For the gadgets, of course!    

Transport
From Siem Reap International Airport
Most hotels in Siem Reap offer complimentary airport transfer. Our accommodation, Diamond D' Angkor Boutique, did. We were picked up and dropped off at the airport via a private car. For those without airport transfer, you can take a taxi (tuktuk) outside the Arrivals area. Travel time from the airport to the city center is around 15 to 20 minutes.

Getting Around Siem Reap
To see the sights in Siem Reap, you have to hire a tuktuk for a day! The small circuit route costs 15 USD, while the grand circuit costs 20 USD. Based on our experience, sunrise watching costed us 5 USD add-on. We also paid 5 USD for the tuktuk service to and from the Phare Circus.   

Another option is to rent a bicycle. It is, of course, cheaper than getting a tuktuk. But, this is only suitable for those who are used to long distance cycling.

exploring Siem Reap via tuktuk
exploring Siem Reap via tuktuk


Where to Stay
Siem Reap has different kinds of accommodation to suit every budget. For luxury travelers, 5-star hotels and resorts are mostly located along National Road 6 (the highway to the airport) and Charles de Gaulle boulevard (the main road to Angkor Wat). On the other hand, flash and backpackers can set their home base in the city center, near the Angkor Night Market, or in Siem Reap Riverside. 

Ed and I stayed in a boutique hotel in Sok San Road. It was perfect for us as it was near the action yet far from the noisy part of the town. We simply walked from our accommodation to the night market, pub street, and restaurants.  


Top Sights and Activities
Of course, when in Siem Reap, you have to see the Angkor Wat! Along with Cambodia's famous wonder, you can also visit Ta Phrom (where a scene from the movie Tomb Raider was filmed), Bayon (the central temple of Angkor Thom. READ: How to make the most of your 3-day Angkor Pass? 

It is best to mix temple hopping with non-Angkor-related activity to avoid suffering from what they call "temple fatigue."  READ: Things to do in Siem Reap beyond Angkor Wat.

Food to Try
Must-try classic Cambodian dishes are Beef Loklak and Fish Amok. Sounds exotic, but both dishes are friendly to the taste buds as the ingredients are also commonly used in the Philippines. Along with the classics are food with Thai and Vietnamese influences, like noodles and spring rolls. 

Siem Reap accommodation
Our temporary abode in Siem Reap 

Itinerary and Expenses

Day 1
Time
Activity
Expenses
18:40
Arrival in Siem Reap International Airport

19:30
Airport pickup
complimentary
20:00
Check in at Diamond D’ Angkor
Rate as of April 2017:
46 USD per night
20:30
Dinner in a restaurant at Sok San Road
Meal for 2: 9 USD
21:30
Angkor Night Market
Fridge Magnets: 3 pieces for 1 USD
22:30
Back to the hotel


Angkor Night Market
Angkor Night Market


Day 2
Time
Activity
Expenses
07:00
Breakfast at Diamond D’ Angkor
complimentary

Tuktuk Fee
15 USD for 1 day tour
10:00
Angkor National Museum
Entrance Fee: 12 USD per person
Audio Guide: 5 USD
11:30
Lunch at Little Casablanca
Meal for 2: 14 USD
12:30
Angkor Ticket Center: purchase 3-day pass
62 USD per person
13:00
Ta Phrom
- Angkor Pass -
15:00 
Bayon
- Angkor Pass -
17:00
Sunset at Phnom Bakheng
Note: Be there an hour before sunset. Access to the temple is limited to 300 people!
- Angkor Pass -
19:30
Dinner at Genevieve’s
Meal for 2: 20 USD
21:30
Pub Street

22:30
Back to the hotel



Lady in Ta Phrom Siem Reap
Does this temple look familiar?


Day 3
Time
Activity
Expenses
04:30
Tuktuk ride to Angkor Wat
25 USD for 1 day tour with sunrise trip

Sunrise at Angkor Wat
- Angkor Pass -
08:00
Back to the hotel for breakfast


Nap time! J

11:00
Tuktuk ride to Banteay Srei

12:00
Banteay Srei
- Angkor Pass -

Lunch in Banteay Srei’s market
Meal for 2: 11 USD
15:00
Angkor Wat
- Angkor Pass -
Fruit shake: 1.50 USD
17:00
Back to the hotel to freshen up

18:00
Dinner near Pub Street
Meal for 2: 11 USD
20:00
Phare Circus
18 USD per person
Tuktuk: 5 USD

Back to the hotel



Angkor Wat Siem Reap
The Angkor Wat


Day 4
Time
Activity
Expenses
07:00
Breakfast
complimentary

Rest. Pool Time. Pack up! Check out.

11:55
Drop off at Siem Reap International Airport
complimentary
14:55
Flight to next destination



breakfast in Siem Reap
breakfast by the pool before saying goodbye to Siem Reap


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