"Gateway to Angkor Wat !!" Khett Siem Reab by GK2005
Khett Siem Reab Travel Guide: 4,330 reviews and 12,643 photos
Siem Reap is the gateway to visit the great Angkor Wat and many other ruins. Siem Reap is a compact city that provides all the required facilities for visitors to tour this region. Siem Reap has accomodation that ranges from budget to very expensive. Cars can also be rented with a driver in Siem Reap for a very nominal price. For budget conscious travelers there are many other options such as renting bicycles, motor taxis and tuk tuks. Unlike other cities in Asia, the tuk tuks here are very economically priced and the drivers are very friendly. Its easy to hire a tuk tuk with a driver for a whole day for under 20 USD. Its a fun way to see the city and its surroundings and also to visit places such as Angkor Wat, Bantreay Srei, Angkor Thom etc.
The main attraction here is the world renowned Angkor Wat. Angkor is an architectural marvel and one would need atleast half a day to go around this place. The ruins are in reasonably good condition inspite of the number of visitors and the lack of funds for renovation. Angkor is best visited during the months of June and July as its when the moats in front of the temple are full of water. It does rain a bit during these months but its certainly worth seeing the moat filled with water. The entrance to Angkor is really grand and spectacular. The entrace fee to Angkor is mandatory and costs $20 for a day, $40 for 3 days and $60 for a week. The Angkor pass covers entry to all the other ruins.
Travel to SR by plane is a very expensive option and so I am listing an alternate option here. SR is served only by a couple of airlines and they are quite expensive. The alternate way is by land from Thailand and Laos. From Bangkok, one can reach SR overland, however this trip would take one whole day.
From Bangkok, buses ply to the Thai border town of Aranya Prathet. The cost of this trip shouldnt be more than $5 in the government buses and slightly more in the Khao San buses. The government buses are better in that it runs on time unlike the Khao San buses which wait for the bus to fill up. The trip to Aranya Prathet from Bangkok should take about 3 1/2 to 4 hours as the roads are amazingly good and its a very comfortable journey.
From Aranya Prathet, one has to take a tuk tuk or ride on the back of an open truck to the Cambodian border town of Poipet (cost around $1). The border has to be crossed on foot and so for people with heavy luggage, an absolute word of precaution. DO NOT take your eyes of your luggage as its chaotic here. Once you cross the Thai immigration and get past Cambodian immigration (arrivals), you can take a minibus towards Siem Reap. The cost should be around $4-5. There are alternate cheaper options such as riding on the back of an open truck. However, this would be so painful that its NOT recommended even for an adventure traveler due to the distance, time and the absolutely pathetic condition of the roads all the way.
For groups of 3 or more, hiring a private taxi from Poipet (border town of Cambodia) would be a more ideal option. The taxi costs about $25 to rent one-way and its faster and delivers you direct to the hotel of your choice. The mini buses run in conjunction with the Khao San buses from Bangkok and so it will deliver you directly to a pre-selected hotel as they work on a commission basis. The buses take about 6 back breaking hours and the taxis take about 3-4 hours on the gravel road from Poipet to SR (distance of 160 kms).
There are not many towns in between Poipet and Siem Reap so its advisable to stack up on some munchies and bottled water for the trip. If you arrive after 2 or 3 p.m at Poipet, then you are not likely to find many transportation options to Siem Reap that day. The border is open from 7 a.m to 8 p.m and so if you have to stay overnight at the border area, stay at Aranya Prathet on the Thailand side and avoid the Poipet area on the Cambodian side at all costs.
- Pros:Magnificent structure, architectural wonders
- Cons:Steep price.
- In a nutshell:Defnitely worth visiting
Banteay Srey, a temple that lies about 40 kms outside of Siem Reap, is another set of ruins that is worth visiting.... more travel advice
A great place to start the day at Siem Reap is Balcony Cafe and Gallery. The restaurant in the central market area and... more travel advice
GK2005's Related Pages
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