1. Ride in a tuk-tuk
Hands down best way to get around. Ask your hotel what the price should be before venturing out, that way you won’t get ripped off. Always check the price before agreeing to the ride. Also make sure you have lots of $1USD bills, most drivers won’t have change, and they will only except notes in good condition.
Most tuk-tuk’s are very comfortable and seat 4 adults. If you are precious about the type of tuk-tuk, check the tuk-tuk the driver is sitting in is their tuk-tuk. We had an interesting experience where we agreed to a ride with a driver sitting in a tuk-tuk, and then after we agreed he took us to another tuk-tuk which was his, which was considerably less clean and fancy. We had a bit of a chuckle and just went with it.
Our driver Pon was amazing and was really reasonable with prices. He didn’t speak amazing English, but he was much better than some, and he responded quickly to our messages via WhatsApp. We spent a full day with him for $20USD. His contact details are +855 70 475 561
2. Visit the Temples
Make sure you visit the temples, they are amazing. They are all so similar yet so different. They are all in various stages of repair, and each have their own story. If you are interested in history make sure you pay for a guide, or just grab on a tuk-tuk and wander through them yourself, at your own place.
And don’t just go to the touristy ones, there are some hidden ones out there that are amazing. Some of them you can’t get to in a tuk-tuk though, you will need a car.
Make sure your knees and shoulders are covered, for religious reasons, and bring a hat and sunscreen as it does get warm. Cold water is available at a reasonable price at most of the temples.
3. Visit the markets
There markets are lots of fun, you can buy just about anything you need. If you need some new clothes, shoes or accessories head to the markets. If you want some fresh food or a cheap lunch head to the markets. There are day markets and there are night markets, and they are both pretty awesome. Make sure you barter for a good price.
4. Visit a Floating Village
It’s amazing to see a village on a water, no land in site. From schools and police stations, to fresh fruit and vegetable stall on a boat. It’s a real eye opener to see how people live in houses on 6 metre stilts. We went to the Kompong Plouk Village on the Tonle Sap, it was about an hour out of the city in a tuk-tuk, at a cost of $20USD and then you spend about 1.5 hours on boat getting to the village and touring around. The boats are noisy, make sure you take ear plugs. To hire the boat it was $25USD per person.
5. Eat Street Food
Cambodia has some amazing delicacies, my 2 favourites were fish amok, which is like a mild fish curry wrapped in a banana leaf, and beef skewers which you eat in between honey bread.
6. Eat Bugs
If you have a strong stomach eat some bugs, crickets, cockroaches, frogs and even spiders. I couldn’t, it freaks me out even thinking about it. But lots of people do.
7. Check out Pub Street
If you like drinking cheap drinks this is the place for you. Beers are normally $1USD but during happy hour they are half price. Or you can buy buckets a bucket of alcohol, which was interesting but had to be done. Make sure you check out the Angkor What? Bar. If you are into free souvenirs you can pick up a free t-shirt if you purchase 2 buckets.
8. Cocktail Bars
There are some amazing cocktail bars in the streets behind pub street, Miss Wongs, Yellow Sub and Picasso were some of my favourites. Cocktails are between $4USD and $5USD, and they are nice just to relax in and have a few cocktails.
For more information on my favourite places to drink in Siem Reap, click here.
9. Cocktail Class
Whilst here, why not take a cocktail class. Asana does a great one, for $15USD they will teach you to make 3 cocktails. It was bucketing down with rain, the evening we made cocktails, and it just added to the atmosphere. So much fun, and a great way to start a night out!
10. Boutique Accommodation
When you’re in Siem Reap don’t stay in one of the big hotels, stay in a small boutique hotel. There are lots of small hotels 20-30 room hotels out there. Not only do you feel good for supporting a small business, but the staff are awesome and they go out of their way to help. Do your research and find a great one. We stayed at the Mallen d’Angkor Boutique Hotel, and loved it. www.mallendangkor.com