Hi! I'm going to pop into Siem Reap for two days. I plan to visit Angkor Wat but don't have any other plans yet for my time there. Any suggestions for places to eat and things to see and do in Siem Reap would be greatly appreciated!
I'll be a solo traveler and I'm most interested in great food, cultural / local art experiences, and pretty nature / architecture scenes.
You can spend two days there just visiting temples. Angkor Wat is only one of many vast and palatial temples in the area. The Gate of Angkor-Thom is well worth a visit as well. If you can, hire a guide with a car to take you around to the less visited temples, palaces, and parade grounds.The prime spots, like Angkor Wat, are jammed with visitors--and no tourist likes that.
Someone else mentioned Tonle Sap Lake. This is a lake and a village a good drive from Siem Reap, but if you are interested in how the Cambodians live then it is well worth seeing. A visit usually includes a ride out on a boat to visit the lake people and watch the fishermen. But take your time and walk through the village, exploring the shops and restaurants all built on stilts to survive the monsoon season.
I suggest you arrange your daily tours to break at 11:00 and continue at 1:00 or 2:00. The noon hour is hot. I usually took an extended lunch and a short nap if we were close to the hotel. The harsh, tropical midday sun isn't good for photography either.
You can arrange a tour guide in advance. Many guides have websites. I was there in 2009 and I used Peace of Angkor tours. They were good and priced reasonably, but that was five years ago. Check out their suggested itineraries and you'll get an idea of the places you can visit near Siem Reap.
Have a great trip. Angkor Wat is an incredible place.
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For a place to eat, you can try HAVEN or Golden Temple Villa for Khmer dishes. Also, for Haven, be sure that you book at least a week before because they easily get fully-booked. Golden Temple Villa is also a good place to stay, they have a wonderful staff. Plus their food are one of the cheapest in town yet tasty.
I spent two nights in Siem Reap and it was the right amount of time to get a good feel for the city. One day was spent touring around Angkor Wat. It was very hot when I was there in March so make sure you bring lots of water to hydrate. Also women must wear attire covering their knees when going into the temples. A sarong is perfect to just tie around your waist and take off when needed. I highly recommend waking up early to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat. It is worth it! Downtown Siem Reap (Pub St) is a cool area with lots of restaurants and shops. Also tuk tuks (taxis) are very cheap to take you downtown. It was only two dollars from my hotel. Cambodia is a very special country and I loved every minute spent there. Enjoy!
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