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Siem Reap Guide
Know Before You Go
- If you are getting your Cambodian visa on arrival, make sure you have a passport photo with you. It will take around 10 minutes to get it issued at the airport and cost USD 30.
- Buddhism is the main religion in Cambodia. When visiting religious monuments like temples and Angkor Wat, show respect for the local culture by covering your shoulders and knees.
- Unless there is a price tag, the price is negotiable at Siem Reap's night market. To avoid the tourist price, start practising your haggling skills and don't accept the first price.
- Cambodia uses two currencies: the Cambodian Riel and American dollars. You'll pay for tours, accommodation and food in dollars, with the Riel mainly used for small transactions.
- If you want to avoid the heat as much as possible, visit the temples and markets in the early morning before the humidity starts to rise.
Getting Around Siem Reap
- The easiest and cheapest way to get around Siem Reap is to walk. But if the heat and humidity starts to get to you, hop into a remork. Also known as the Cambodian tuk-tuk, it's an affordable way to get around Siem Reap. Prices start at USD 1 for a short trip downtown and go up to USD 40 for an entire day at Angkor Archaeological Park.
- Another budget-friendly way to get around Siem Reap is with a bicycle. Rentals start at USD 1 per day and many guesthouses and hotels in the city offer bicycles to guests for free.
- You can also hire a bike to explore the temples of Angkor, but if you choose this option, start your tour early in the morning to beat the heat. If you after mountain bikes, many places on Old Market and Wat Bo Road rent them out for USD 10 a day.
- Motorcycle taxis are another popular form of public transportation in Siem Reap. The drivers aren't fluent in English, so have your destination written down to avoid confusion and wasting time. Trips around the city cost USD 1 while prices to Angkor and Tonle Sap Lake will cost more.
- If you want to reduce your environmental impact, hire an electric car. These vehicles are sun-powered and leave no carbon footprint, unlike tuk-tuks. A full day rental for Angkor Wat costs USD60 with an English-speaking driver or USD 90 for trips to Prasat Banteay Srei, Phnom Kulen, Beng Mealea, and Tonle Sap Lake.
Best time to visit Siem Reap
When is The Best Time to Visit Siem Reap?
The best time to visit Siem Reap is during the cool months from November to January. But it's also the city's high season as tourists flock to Angkor to make the most out of the low humidity and explore the ruins without the threat of rain. Hotel rooms and flights are the most expensive from Christmas to New Year, so book a few months ahead to avoid the spike.
If you don't mind the heat and want to avoid the crowds, visit Siem Reap during its wet season. From May to September, temperatures will rise to 35°C, but the afternoon showers do offer some relief from the humidity. While the rainfall is heaviest during August and September, you'll save on accommodation and flights, plus the crowds will be thinner at popular attractions.
Another great reason to visit Siem Reap during its rainy season is for photo opportunities. The moats at Angkor are full, and the vegetation around the temples is lush and green, making for an impressive sight.
If you want that famous photo of the sun rising behind the ruins of Angkor, plan your visit around the two Equinoxes. Choose the 20th of March or the 22nd of September for a wet or dry Equinox.
Airports in Siem Reap
Siem Reap International Airport
Siem Reap International is 6.6 km from the city centre. It's the busiest and second largest airport in Cambodia, serving as a hub for Cambodia Angkor Air and Sky Angkor Airlines. The traditional Khmer style inspires the terminal's unique architecture, and it has flights to 42 destinations in Asia.
Getting To and From Siem Reap International
The best way to get to Siem Reap from the airport is with a taxi. You will find the official booth outside the domestic and international exit. Taxis are not metered and work on a set price and ticket system. A one-way ride into the city will cost you USD 7 and take about 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.
Another option is to hire a remork. You'll find them next to the taxi stand at the airport, and they are cheaper than a cab, charging USD 5 one-way. If you have little luggage, you can also get a ride with a moto for USD 2.
But if you want to save money, it's best to book a room in a hotel or hostel that offers a free pickup service.