Siem Reap with it’s International airport is based 6KM from the town centre and is the tourist hub for the thousands of visitors who’s sole purpose is to visit Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples. $5-6 dollars should cover the journey, but if you want to take a pleasant scenic ride, organise a Tuk Tuk pick up from the airport for a leisurely cruise into town.
The 6km journey from the airport takes about 20 minutes to Siem Reap town where you will find plenty of options of accommodation based around Kings Road and Pub street, be it your bog standard hostel to higher end boutique hotels, that are priced from $20-30 dollars per night and won’t break the bank. The only decision that you will make will be “does it have a pool”? as after 6-8 hours of traipsing around temples, it will feel refreshing with a beer.
The main action is around Pub street and Kings Road, and if you like loud music then this will be right down your street. At either end and the surrounding streets you will be able to find quiet coffee shops, bars and eateries and your usual hawker stalls selling everything you can think of. There are also market stalls scattered around if you’re after gifts or presents, and as my normal quest is to find the cheapest beer in the area, Angkor draught is everywhere at $0.50 per glass – happy days.
Pub street must have more Tuk Tuk drivers than the whole of South East Asia, and you will barely make it more than a few feet without hearing of their availability. After 10 minutes of a leisurely night stroll we must of been asked 50 times, and then on the way back the same again, if I needed one I would ask. It’s a very competitive market because of this so most local journeys will be no more than $2-3 dollars, but always ask the price of your intended destination – better to be safe than sorry after all.
We stayed just over the bridge at Kings Road about a 15 minute walk into town, and as the temples of Angkor in April had taken it’s toll on us throughout the day with the heat, we only strolled into the centre twice in the 4 days of our temple trawling. It’s a pleasant enough town, with friendly locals from what we saw. Some of the food on offer in the restaurants was out of this world and fairly priced, with options to cater for all tastes with everything you could imagine on offer, and set along the river made for a great place to people watch from the elevated balconies overlooking the Siem Reap river.
As Siem Reap is mainly a tourist hub for Angkor, there are plenty of options for onward travel of cheap minibuses to Phnom Penh, and buses through to Thailand and also Vietnam.