- Tour Operator
- Travel Experiences
At this point we want to share our experience of the city of Siem Reap and the historic temples of Angkor with you. If you need information about Cambodia, have a look at our Cambodia travel tips.There we have prepared information on arrival, visa and other general information for you.
The Angkor temples are one of the most visited sites in the world. Therefore, it is extremely important that you are clear, here it could be difficult to take pictures in peace. But if you read our Siem Reap tips and come up with a strategy for how you want to visit Angkor, then it will be a unique experience.
Angkor is sacred to the Khmer people - as the Cambodians call themselves in the local language. The temples are her pride and joy, which is why it was ordered that no building in Siem Reap should be higher than Angkor Wat.
Everywhere in Siem Reap, tuk-tuk drivers are waiting for their next customer - you. They will politely, but not pushily, address you if you do not need a mobile pedestal. You can always find a nice local for a few dollars to take you wherever you want. Of course you can also order a tuk-tuk at the reception of the hotels and guesthouses - be it for a day tour or a short distance.
We paid $ 25 for the day tours to the temples. Don't forget to arrange a meeting point with the driver before visiting each temple. It's best to let the driver draw the point on a map, because there are tons of tuk-tuks waiting and the temples have many exits.
We were out with Miss Kim and her tuk tuk. She was 100% reliable, a safe driver and spoke enough English. While we visited the temples, she passed the time with her English book. All other drivers slept during this time.
We would like to recommend Miss Kim.
Those who are into partying and a good mood are in the right place in the evening on the Night Market or Pub Street. There is delicious and inexpensive street food - from pizza and BBQ, to seafood to great Khmer dishes. We had the best meal of our entire trip at the Night Market. Fried noodles with crispy pork for $ 1 and fresh fruit juices at Pokambar Street Food.
To quench your thirst, we recommend Pub Street (Street 08). There is very cheap draft beer ($ 0.50) and live music until late in the evening. But be careful, the whole thing is very reminiscent of the Ballermann or other party strongholds. Maybe it's not for everyone.
At the Night Market and Art Center Nightmarket, you can buy clothes, souvenirs and much more. Action is always required here. The prices for the same products differ significantly from stand to stand. Small change is advisable here. Large bills can often not be changed.
There are also massages here on every corner.
Very inexpensive massage studios can also be found along busy Street 11. We treated ourselves to a 30-minute foot massage and were thrilled. Can only be recommended!
Those who want to shop for souvenirs are in good hands on this street.
Our culinary Siem Reap travel tip:
Get your food at the street food stands and not in the restaurants of Pub Street. The quality and freshness of the ingredients are great and you support the “little people” in making a living. The shops are mounted on a moped or a moped trailer. There is also space for a small grill and a provisional kitchen on the vehicle. We never had gastrointestinal problems after eating street food.
In the historical area of Angkor there are always small stalls on the streets and parking lots that offer cool soft drinks, water, delicious coconuts and food.
The prices are really super cheap for western conditions. Of course you can also get souvenirs on every corner.
Our visit came in late April / early May in the beginning of the rainy season. It was raining briefly and lightly from time to time, which was very pleasant in the hot temperatures.
The high humidity and temperatures beyond 30 degrees dramatically increase the risk of sunburn. As you can imagine, you sweat endlessly with the slightest movement, so you sweat the sunscreen down again immediately. So prepare yourself well for it.
Due to the travel time, relatively few tourists were traveling, as the locals told us. But there were still enough. The main travel season is October to January, when the temperatures are pleasantly cool and it is not raining. Here you have to count on tons of visitors and sometimes temperatures of 15 ° C.
This time we were in Siem Reap during peak travel time. However, we did not find that noticeably more was going on than in April / May. We really can't look at either time.
Dress accordingly conservatively in the sacred grounds. The security staff pays attention to appropriate clothing at the entrances. Both women and men should cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, especially in the hot season, make sure that you are well protected from the sun. The temples are basically in the jungle, but there are always large clearings and the paths and streets are not protected from the sun. Definitely think of headgear - preferably one that doesn't take off while driving a tuktuk. Of course, sunscreen is also important. But we still got a full-blown sunburn, because the swarming of stairs and the relentless sun make the sweat flow and with it the sunscreen.
The park is really huge - to be precise, it extends over 400 km². Depending on how long you are there, you may not be able to visit all the temples. Some of the outer temples are a two-hour drive away.
We'll tell you how we visited the temples and what experiences we had with them. Of course, this can be different in other seasons, but maybe there are one or two clues in our travel tips that will help you.
This time we only visited the big temples Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom on the second day and the smaller ones on the first day. We also visited the temples in the opposite direction. That really turned out to be a good Siem Reap tip. So we really avoided the masses. Just tell your tuk-tuk driver to go the tour in the opposite direction. The driver will know what you mean.
The most famous temple of all - the legendary Angkor Wat temple is unfortunately completely overcrowded and completely restored. It takes away the glitz and the mystical. If you want to see almost everything here, you need several hours. However, we advise against this, the smaller side temples are less visited and are partly in the middle of the jungle, which increases the mysticism immensely.
The image of Ankor Wat's towers, which are reflected in the moats, is world famous. The motive is of course unbeatable. Be smart about the water level in the pools beforehand, because depending on the season, the pools can be completely dry.
Before you book the Sunrise tour, you should check the weather thoroughly beforehand. It shouldn't be worth it in clouds or rain. We did not do the sunrise tour because of the cloudy sky.
Angkor Thom consists of a large number of buildings and extends over several square kilometers.
There are still a lot of people at the entrance. Away from the main temple, this will soon take care of itself.
We liked Bayon best in Angkor Thom. Above all, the meter-high faces carved out of stone in the towers of the temple are amazing.
The path through the jungle past Elephants Terrace, Tep Pranam, Prah Ngok, Baphuon, Phimeanakas and Terrace of the Leper King is also pretty cool. So you don't move along the main street, but behind the temples and always enter the ruins from the back. We have drawn the mark on the map for you.
Try to find the hidden passage on the Terrace of the Lepper King.
The Tomb Raider temple. Huge jungle trees take root over and through the walls and temples. There is really a mystical atmosphere here. We liked Ta Prohm the best. Here you can really put yourself in the culture of the ancient Khmer. We really felt like we were part of this old culture. I only had this feeling at another place - the Roman Forum in Rome.
In Pre Rup we were almost alone. It is truly a breathtaking temple with huge sculptures and few tourists.
We also have a great Siem Reap travel tip for Pre Rup: thanks to its location and orientation, the temple is a great place for the sunset.
The temple itself is not that spectacular, but the way to the temple is really cool, because you have to walk several hundred meters over an old wooden footbridge to get to the temple. Trees and water all around.
Super nice with huge elephant sculptures and few tourists.
The temples that we visited on the second day are a bit further away from Siem Reap, but very impressive and above all you don't have to share them with thousands of other tourists. I believe that 80% of all visitors cannot get past the two main sights of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. However, we found the other temples much nicer because they are located in the middle of the jungle, have retained their mystical charm, because they have not yet been restored or only little and, of course, because there are few tourists on site.
Therefore, the most important of our Siem Reap tips: Let the others step on their feet at Angkor Wat and enjoy the peace and mysticism in the jungle temples.