About Siem Reap
Siem Reap is a buzzy backpacker hub in the north of Cambodia, just a short drive from the famous Angkor Wat temple complex. As well as being the gateway to one of the ancient world's architectural wonders, Siem Reap has a lively nightlife scene thanks to its thriving community of long-term travellers. The city centre has lots of elegant French colonial buildings, with handicraft and trinket stores spilling out of them. After dark, there's a bustling open-air market and plenty of places to dance 'til dawn.
Siem Reap hostels are vibrant and have fun bars where you can meet new people. As well as hostels in modern buildings, you can stay in traditional wooden Khmer homes, elegant French colonial townhouses and quaint bungalows set in tropical gardens. Most hostels in Siem Reap have swimming pools – and some even have swim-up bars. You'll find plenty of party hostels, especially around Pub Street, with rooftop bars and social events like beer pong and organised pub crawls. Read our guide for the best hostels in Siem Reap.
Siem Reap is the gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park, an ancient temple complex spanning more than 400 square kilometres. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has lots of huge temples to explore, including world-famous Angkor Wat – which features on Cambodia's flag – and Bayon, with its huge carved faces. Go at dawn to watch the sun rise over the spires. In the evening, Pub Street is home to lively bars and restaurants. At night, it's closed to traffic and street performers come out to entertain the crowds of revellers.
The Old Market neighbourhood is in the heart of the action: this is where you'll find the lively Pub Street and Night Market Street, as well as lots of winding alleys lined with cool bars. For a more peaceful vibe, Wat Damnak across the river is still within walking distance of the centre, but has a more relaxed feel. You'll find more upscale places to eat and drink.
Siem Reap International Airport almost always has taxis, tuk tuks and motorbike taxis waiting outside. The city centre is small enough to explore on foot, but you can also get around by tuk tuk. They're cheap and not hard to flag down – in fact, the drivers are more likely to ask you if you need a ride. As well as being a handy way to get around the city centre, tuk tuks are also available for full day tours of Angkor.