SIEM REAP

 Updated Mar 2006:

A much better hotel than my first visit to Siem Reap.

This is where I will stay next time too!

Ohm Dara, Manager

The desk staff was great!

The Siem Reap Town Hotel is managed by Ohm Dara. You can contact him at srthotel@camintel.com or info@siemreaptownhotel.com   They have a website at www.siemreaptownhotel.com

We hit a slow period and with a reference we got 50% off the advertised rate. (Ohm gave us singles, doubles & a triple at $20 a night). This included a decent breakfast of bacon & eggs, scrambled eggs, a onion & potato omelet, or several kinds of rice soup.  All came with juice, fruit, coffee and French bread.

It also included a free airport transfer on arrival & departure.

Room included a small bottle of water free each day, Aircon plus ceiling fan, hot water, & refrigerator. TV had lots of English channels to include CNN, CNBC, BBC, STAR News, AXN, HBO, CINEMAX, STAR Movies, Hollywood, National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet, STAR Sports, ESPN & more sports.Even Cartoon Network.

GETTING THERE FROM BKK:  From Bangkok the only available flights were on Bangkok Air for a little over $250 round trip.  If you have time you could get a discount flight through PNP and then travel by air, bus or boat to Siem Reap.

VISA on Arrival: Lines go fast, cost $20 per person. You need 1 current photo about 2x2 for your visa.  If you are traveling with a girl from the Philippines or Malaysia they DO NOT need to get in the Visa line, they go straight to Immigration. Thais and other ASEAN residents now are required to get a visa on arrival.

CURRENCY: The main currency is US Dollars. Take lots of small money ($1, $5, $10 & $20) with you.  Change less than $1 is paid in Riel's at about 4000:1.

DRIVERS:

The girls had a blast in the tuk-tuks

On my first trip I planned for a car, but then I met SETH.  He explained to me how we should go out the first afternoon and buy our park passes and see the sun set.  We kept him the entire first trip and on my second visit I took his picture downtown and found some guys that knew him. On my second trip we rented 3 tuk-tuks for the entire time and everyone had a blast!  First afternoon out to the park and do the sunset between Angkor wat & the gates to Bayon is about $4.  After that $10 a day will cover a tuk-tuk.

Mr. P. Seth 012-519-450   out of country (855)-12-519-450

Seth

2 of our drivers.

ANGKOR WAT PASS:  $20 for a one day pass, $40 for a three day pass, and $60 for a seven day pass. You need to give them a  photo about 1x1.

You need 2 days to get a feeling for the temples of Angkor. My first trip we did 3 full days. On my second trip several people were somewhat physically challenged, but we still saw a lot in two days.

DINING OUT near temples: On my first visit in 2003 we ate near Angkor Wat when we were in the temple area. It was cheap but marginal. This time the first day we ate at KHMAI VILLAGE on the road between Ta Phrom and Pre Rup.  It is located about 500 meters east of the intersection going to Banteay Kdei just across from the lake.  It is clean and reasonable. Owner is married to an American that flies helicopters for a local business.  It was good enough we went back the next day. Try the chicken curry!

 

Khmai Village

DINING OUT night time: Again we tried several local restaurants. We did a dinner show with a buffet at Bayon II (set up by our driver). Good big assorted food and decent show for $10 per head. 

Tell- Superb meal. Try the ribs!  Best meal I had in Cambodia.

The Red Piano comes recommended by lots of people and was reportedly a favorite of the Tomb Raider's crew.  We tried it in 2003 and found it pricey and I left hungry. 

I have visited the FCC on each trip and always had a great dinner. Meals are served with fresh bread with pesto sauce.  Dinner for 6 with meals like fish & chips, chicken burger, a cheeseburger (OK for Cambodia), lemon chicken breast, and a chicken salad with several draft beers was about $50. Decent pizza.

There is a branch of the PNH Happy Pizza in Siem Reap. I haven't tried it in either place, but the one in PNH is pretty popular.  By mistake we went to Happy Angkor Pizza and it was the best pizza of the trip.

FCC

FCC

DEPARTURE FEE:  Airport international departure fee is $25 in 2006.

Several of the ladies with me just had to buy some of the "gems" in the old market. We had them checked upon return to Bangkok. They got some pretty colored glass with silver chains dipped in gold. DO NOT BUY jewelry in Siem Reap!

SHOPPING: Guide books (including ones like Lonely Planets) are generally available around the temples for between $2 & $3 although the starting price at places like the Bayon Gate are as high as $10.  One of the best places to buy t-shirts, bags, books, etc is the NEW Market on Sivatha Blvd.  The gas station across the street from the new market is a good place to buy snacks, water, sodas, etc.