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Help Me Plan My Asia Trip: What to Do in Cambodia for 5 Days?

by on March 24, 2012 · 40 comments

in Trip Reports

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I’m currently in Bangkok and enjoying the hot, intense energy the city exudes. I’ve also been really enjoying TPG reader suggestions so far for Singapore and Bangkok- from Hawker Centers to the restaurant in Bangkok last night (Eat Me, which was phenomenal)- stay tuned for detailed trips reports including HD video that I’ve been shooting.

Tomorrow I leave for Cambodia for 5 days- first spending time in Siem Reap while I visit one of the world’s man-made wonders, Angkor Wat, then my plans are less concrete: tentatively stopping through the capital, Phnom Penh, on my way to the sleepy seaside retreat of Kep.

I admit that much of the country is a mystery to me, though, so I was hoping that TPG readers who have been there would have some great tips on getting around the country, what I should do in Angkor Wat, if there’s anything fun to do in Phnom Penh, and whether any of you have stayed in Kep and had a hotel recommendation. Someone also emailed me that Kep was boring, so maybe I should spend my time elsewhere? I’m all ears to your thoughts. How would you structure 5 days in Cambodia? Is one full day and 2 nights enough time in Angkor Wat?

If any TPG readers are around, I’d love to meet you while I’m there, so let me know.

You can follow my journey on Twitter, Facebook, and right here on the blog. As always – I appreciate your advice, so please leave your comments below! Check out a few sneak “pics” from my trip so far…

Merlion Fountain in Singapore

Thai Business Class Singapore-Bangkok- not bad for a 2 hour flight!

The biggest prawn I've ever seen in my life in Bangkok.. so good

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Jake

    I have been to Siem Reap. If you want a great guided tour for 1/5 the price, call Hok San – 855-12937096. We used him a few years ago – met at hotel guided tour and then hired him privately for the remainder of the trip. You will thank me and be very pleased. He will take you to all the restaurants, guide you through the many ruins, and assist with any other issues. Your blog rocks – hope this is a small payback!

  • Jake

    Also, for a great massage at ridiculously cheap prices, visit the SO Angkor Khmer Massgae.

  • Brian

    May seem depressing, but what about the killing fields?

  • http://twitter.com/smoothimpact Kris McConkey
  • Andrew

    Definitely go to Kep. Had 3 wonderfully peaceful days there two years ago. We stayed at The Kep Lodge, which has a beautiful pool overlooking the ocean from on-high. Rent a moped and explore the area and enjoy the crab!

  • Chris

    Just got back from two weeks in Cambodia, mostly in Phnom Penh and also Siem Reap. Definitely do the Killings Fields as well as S-21 prison in PP. Sad, but a crucial part of understanding Khmer history.

    Also, get up early in PP one morning and go to the riverside and watch the sun rise over the Tonle Sap and Mekong, with the tiny fishing boats throwing their nets out and then bringing the catch to the shore for the fish ladies to sell. You’ll also see thousands of people doing aerobics and working out along the river. PP is a very early city and it’s active down there.

    You can also rent a bike and take the ferry across the Mekong and go biking through the villages of the Cambodian countryside. It’s like a time warp. Water buffalo pulling carts filled with lemongrass, brahmin cattle wandering the roads, all the little kids running out to the the dirt road to say hello to you.

    And check out the National Museum. Some amazing ancient Khmer sculpture and the building itself is fantastic.

  • John

    I was born there but too young to remember anything. But I was there 8 years ago. I would suggest Kapot province. It is a 2 hour car ride. Nice beach where locals boiled fresh caught crabs and sell them. The meat was juicy and sweet. Looking forward to your trip report in Cambodia. Have fun…

  • http://americanhomestead.blogspot.com/ Ellen

    I was in Siem Reap last June on The Last Hurrah Tour, we stayed at the Terrace des Elephants. It is a lovely hotel in town and within easy walking distance of Pub Street.
    There are countless options for eating along Pub Street but in an alley behind Pub St. find the Famous Bar (look for the red seats) and start your evening there. Happy Hour is from morning to midnight, the staff is great, and the popcorn they serve with drinks is delicious, It is a great way to start the evening, good place to talk with fellow travelers and share tips and stories. Tell Rotha that Ellen from America says hi.
    If you have a clear night, try to see Angkor Wat at sunset. If you don’t have alot of time, I would suggest a guide but if you just want a driver and feel alright about exploring the temples yourself I can’t say enough about my driver Hoeun ~ 855 012 799415. He will be at your hotel an hour early, as you come back to the van he will give you icy water and icy hand wipes because you will be sweaty and dusty and he always has a smile on his face. There are thousands of kids that will sell you a guide book to Angkor Wat, buy one and look through it but I find you can get “templed out” if you go into too much detail too fast. I like to just walk about and take it all in. The next time I go I will look for more details.
    My best advise for Cambodia is to talk to the local people, I have never met kinder, gentler, sweeter people anywhere.
    Oh, and make sure you stop by the Red Piano for a Tomb Raider.
    If you’d like to see photos from my trip, look in the June 2011 archives on my blog:
    http://americanhomestead.blogspot.com
    Have a great time!

  • mike

    After all your help in my travels and mileage secrets, I am excited to help!

    Phnom Penh: Tons of great stuff there.
    I second Tuol Sleng and the killings fields. Other fun things are: Russian market, Raffles hotel (where the journalists holed up in the killing fields movie, central market, and the Royal Palace. Also check out the rooftop of the FCC. There is an ice coffee vendor in the middle of the Russian Market. You cant miss him, his booth is posted with letters and flags from all over the world. Best iced coffee hands down in SE asia.

    (For some reason, the KFC was really good in PNP, much better than in the US or Bangkok. I really dont know why.)

    Siem Riep: Ride a bike around town. To see Angkor Wat and other temples in a day…get a car/driver or tuktuk driver, go to Angkor wat around sunrise. Then have the driver drive you to the rest of the temples, either the big circle tour or the small circle.

    Great country with friendly people! Have fun.

  • Lindsay

    We were there in Feb for 3 days, stayed at the Le Meridian in Siam Reep, gorgeous hotel with an awesome staff. Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom were amazing to see, wish we had hired a guide though. Loved the town…great food, cheap massages and fun shopping! The best thing about Cambodia is the people, kindest most humble we encountered on our trip through out SE Asia. Have fun!!

  • http://twitter.com/amandaeatworld Amanda

    Wake up early to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat!! I promise, it will be worth it. A roundtrip tuk-tuk will cost you about $3. The sun rises around 6am, so you want to be there by 5am to see the colors change. It was truly one of the most majestic moments.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100793544771719

  • Joe

    I just returned from REP. I fell in love with Cambodia by the end of my first day. My suggestion for REP/Angkor Wat area is to buy the two day pass to Angkor Wat. Be sure to purchase at the end of the day as it will be good for the following two and you get a bit more for your money. Must see a sunset and sunrise. Don’t waste your money on a guide. There are many ruins and your just not going to retain any of the information. Simply hire a good Tuk Tuk driver for a few days and go at your own pace. When your done with Temples, head to the local reservoir and swim with the locals. It’s beautiful there and you can get all kinds of tasty bugs for lunch.

    If you want the tourist experience, get a guide and stay at a lux hotel as most people suggest. If your like me and want to at least begin to understand the local people, find local people, eat with them at their home, and stay at a guest house. River Village Manor is phenomenal.

  • RakSiam

    5 days is NOT enough time for Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Kep. Of course part of how much time to spend in Siem Reap has to do with how much temple hopping you are interested in doing. 1 day is enough to see Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm. But that’s about it. If you think that’s all you care to see I suppose it is enough time. But if you spend a couple of more days you can see the other temples in the immediate area as well as some of the outlying areas like Beng Mealea which is much less-touristed and more of a ruin (or at least it was when I visited but that was 5 years ago now). Phnom Kulen was quite interesting as well. It’s a beautiful waterfall and the creekbed has little carved shrines. The two can be combined in a day trip. Phnom Kulen is a major attraction for the locals, less so for tourists. They have these little raised platforms where you can have a picnic. You order what you want from the ladies near the entrance and they bring it to you at lunch time. We had roasted chicken that you dip in salt and pepper and line juice. It was really good. It’s very laid back. You can go into the water under the waterfall.

    I personally would spend 3 days in Siem Reap and 2 in Phnom Penh. It takes at least 3 hours each way to drive to Kep. There isn’t a whole lot to Kep. I spent a couple of days there a few years ago. The trip up Bokor Mountain was interesting. It was 90 minutes of bone-jarring hell to get up and back down. But they were building a new road which probably makes it a lot better now. The old hill station ruins up there were cool. Not sure their state today though. IMHO that was the main attraction to the area. There is a cave shrine that was nice to visit just because you had to walk through the rice paddies to get to it which was very picturesque. The ruins at Phnom Chisor between Kep and Phnom Penh were good for a visit, but the walk to the top almost killed me. But if you’re in good shape I suppose it’s not as bad. It’s something like 500 steps to the top. pretty views over the countryside. But I am not sure how green things are this time of year. I was there in November so things were green after rainy season.

  • http://twitter.com/allisonemarino Allison Marino

    cambodia is one of my favorite places on earth. some thoughts:
    -it is completely possible to see the high points of angkor wat in one full day. buy a one day park pass the night before and see the sunset at phnom bakeng. get up early to see the sunrise over the lake at angkor wat, and instead of heading back to the hotel for a nap like most do, press on and be sure to see the temples of bayon and ta phrom. have the hotel recommend a tuk tuk driver to hire for the whole time you’re there. they’ll wait for you wherever you go and shuttle you between places. its the cheapest and easiest.
    -for eating/drinking head to pub street in siem reap. beers are 50 cents to a dollar during most happy hours and food is equally as inexpensive.
    -if you’re up for an adventure, skip phnom penh and take the nightbus directly to sihanoukville. its approximately 20 dollars per person and will get you to the beach around 7am. they are basically mini recliners/bunk beds. i had just enough room at 6 feet tall, but it was certainly not business class on an airline.
    -if people tell you kep is too boring and you want to see the beach, you’re probably best off in sihanoukville. its not the finest beach in the world and its kind of a party scene. lots of backpackers.
    -with only 5 days in cambodia, we still managed to head out to koh rong saloem to lazy beach. it is one of my favorite experiences of our trip. incredibly basic, and only electricity for a few hours, plus bucket toilets and bare bones cabins. BUT in return you get to completely unplug on some of the most beautiful beaches, eat great food and have a good time in the communal area where you’re sure to make friends. it was about 400 dollars for four days for two including the room, the boat ride out and everything we ate and drank (and we drank alot). i think its important to mentally be ok with these things before you get there, because if its not your thing, it wont be fun.
    -kep, kampot and the islands offshore also have biolumenscent waters, which unlike vieques, you can actually swim in. it wont be the same bright blue, but still super cool and you need nothing but a snorkel to do it.
    -other kep/kampot recs: pepper fields, the old hill station near kampot and the burned out remains of the villas along the shore. anthony bourdain did a cambodia episode a year ago and had good recommendations for this area.

    otherwise, have a fantastic time. the people are incredibly friendly and the sights are beautiful!

  • Heather Minchew

    If you spend a bit more time in Siem Reap, it’s worth checking out the floating villages and going to eat & drink on Pub street.

    I’d recommend 2 days to see temples so that you can do some of the less touristy ones that are farther away, like Banteay Srei.

  • http://www.pointsenvy.com/ Points Envy

    We were in Cambodia last fall, and absolutely loved it.

    Siem Reap – MUST DO is Touich Restaurant (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g297390-d1738877-Reviews-The_Touich_Restaurant_Bar-Siem_Reap_Siem_Reap_Province.html). Food was home-cooked and incredible, and owner was an absolute delight to speak with. Learned more about Cambodia in a half hour talking with him than on most of the rest of the trip.

    Angkor – Agree with others that sunrise visit is really worth it, as hard as it can be to force yourself out of bed. Get a tuk-tuk driver and hit the big spots, it’s pretty easy. We did 3 days, but I suppose you can see a fair amount in 1 or 2. We paid the guard at the main Angkor Wat $5 to let us up top before it officially opened, which was definitely worth it to see it on our own.

    Phnom Penh – Pretty uninteresting place and less “Cambodian” than other cities because of huge Chinese and Vietnamese populations. Just feels like a big Southeast Asian city. You can do the Palace and killing fields and prison in a day or so and hang out by the river at night.

  • Ian

    My wife and i spent 3 days in Siem Reap on our honeymoon a couple years ago. It was probably my favorite part of the trip. I would highly recommend a visit to the floating village, it was really amazing to see how these people live on the water, we even saw a pig pen on stilts!

    Depending on your level of interest, I would say you need one day to visit the top 3 temples that everyone sees, and an additional day to visit some of the more outlying ones. Beng Melea was really amazing, as it it more in ruins and overgrown by the jungle than any of the other ones we visited (makes it feel more Indiana Jonesish:). Also, we went there in the morning and I believe we were the only people there at the time, which was a big change from Angkor Wat with tons of tourists (this was in november however) Banteay Srei is another neat stop which is away from the main group of temples. It has much more intricate carvings than you will see at most of the other temples, but it is/was also being restored, and to me that takes away from some of the adventure/intrigue. For me this was a place I had wanted to visit since I was a little kid, so it made sense to take our time and see as much as possible, if you are not overly enthralled by Angkor as a whole, then you could probably reduce the time you spend touring temples.

    on to food! I highly suggest eating at Khmer kitchen in town. When we were there (2009) it was run by locals, I am hoping that it still is. Many of the pubs are run by expats, and we just felt better giving our business to local Cambodians instead. We did try some of the other restaurants, but ended up back a Khmer Kitchen on our last night as we liked it best.

    Whatever you choose, I’m sure you will love Cambodia, it is probably my favorite place I’ve visited so far!

  • John

    Siem Reap is heaven! So relaxing, people are really kind and also makes you put things into perspective: people there have barely nothing and are the happiest people on earth.

    Forget about guided tours. Just rent a tuk tuk for the day and your driver will be your own personal guide through the temples, while alowing you to experience the sites in a beautiful way.

    There are many temples oter than Angkor Wat. Make sure to visit them.

    Also, rent a bike in town to wonder around. The bikes look 70 yrs old but are cute and easy to drive.

    Enjoy Cambodia! One of my favourite trips ever….

  • Marylynn

    2 days /2 nights in Siem Riep is plenty. I’d suggest getting a guide whose english you can understand (don’t commit to them until you’ve spoken with them, if you can help t). It’s worth it to understand the stories behind the bas relief carvings, if nothing else.

    Phnom Penh’s colonial architecture is lovely. Sad to say, the torture museum and the killing fields are “must sees”, but they don’t take too long. Half a day to see both.

    Personally, I’d love to go back to Sihanoukille or to try Kep. After the heat and visual overload of Angkor Wat, then the sadness of the killing fields, etc., you’ll love “getting bored” for 2 days on a beach.

    Looking forward to hearing about your travels.

  • whendoublewidesfly

    Pay for a bike tour around Akgor wat, whole day guide will cost you ~ $15 and totally worth it. They will also wait for you at each temple! However more importantly do Sunrise at Angkor warm sure it’s crowded but it’s absolutely beautiful to watch the sun come up over the temples! P.P. is fun, it’s a very interesting city. I would REALLy recommend going to the killing fields (mass grave site of 20K killed by the Khmer rouge, only 33 years ago) and visit S-71 the high school turned into prison. Just know it will be a very somber day, I had friends who family members died there and it seriously made me cry several times and even thinking about it today still makes my hairs stand up. Something I would say you cannot miss, because it’s a part of Cambodia history that so much of the world today still does not know about nor speaks of, despite it happening within out lifetime!

    Also on your way to Kep if you’re looking for a place to party, have a cheap beer, nice beach, fun people, and party and dance till the sun rises I’d highly recommend Sihanoukille (name of the beer there too). My friends and I spent 4 days there living it up and would go back in a minute!

  • whendoublewidesfly

    The King’s Palace is also open in Phnom Phen to visit and Honestly the Killing Fields, S-71, and the palace can all be done in 1 day!

  • Sean

    The IC Phnom Penh is on Pointsbreaks for a few more days…

  • David

    Having lived in PP, I am a bit biased, but recognizing you only have a short amount of time and there is much written about SR and PP, I will offer several points about why you should visit Kep.

    You should go to Kep if, and only if, you are looking for a low-key, beautifully relaxing experience that is ever so slightly off the tourist track. If you want a beach + nightlife, backpackers, and all that comes with them, go to Sihanoukville. I’m not knocking it – but it’s not for me.

    Kep is super sleepy, has one strip which has your crab restaurants. You order some delicious pepper crab, and you see someone go into the ocean to get your lunch or dinner – it’s amazing. If you go, stay at Veranda (http://www.veranda-resort.com/index.php). It is far and away the best place to stay. Splurge for the Penthouse in the Residence – it’s amazing and offers a bit more privacy. There is a beautiful pool and nice bar, along with a communal atmosphere.

    If you have time, I would head to Rabbit Island (everyone knows about it) for a beach day (or a night if you’re more adventurous). It is a relatively uninhabited island with hammocks strung up, little beach cafes, and offers a great opportunity to imbibe and relax.

    Feel free to email me for photos of all that I mention (Veranda, Kep, Rabbit Island) and safe and happy travels.

    PS – for PP, I would try and stay in BKK on Gold Street vs. the Riverside (but personal preference). For food, go to Romdeng (and try the fried tarantulas!) http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g293940-d1217419-Reviews-Romdeng-Phnom_Penh.html

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LSYSYOFPM4IXG6ZWT7ISYHXG3Q D

    Well I haven’t taken the time to read the other suggestions, so forgive me if I repeat something.
    I stayed at the Hotel de la Paix. I enjoyed it there and its’ central location. That was 5 years ago, so I am sure there are other options now. I can recommend an excursion to Kampong Phluk, on the lake. It is a village of about 500 entirely built on stilts, half the year they have a little island and the other half it is submerged in the rising waters on Tonle Sap. I’ll never forget seeing the pig sty’s on stilts. They didn’t have electricity and don’t even think about plumbing.
    I think you can do a hydrofoil down to PP from Tonle Sap. Have fun!

  • jw

    +1 on banteay srei. Temples will all start to look alike so do angkor wat then banteay srei and ta prohm.

  • Emily

    I was just there last month! Stay at Hotel La Paix in siem reap, get a massage by a blind person (it’s very healing), and see the dance show. A percentage of profits goes to putting children in school. Also, watch the no reservations (anthony bourdain) phnoem pheh episode. At the temples in Angkor wat, I skipped the sunrise but went into the temples at that time.. it was blissfully empty and glorious to see. It’s supposedly cloudy this time of year, so you’re not missing anything anyway.

  • Scott Shelley

    Absolute must-sees in Siem Reap: Angkor Wat (obviously), Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm.
    We stayed at Pavillon d’Orient, the #1 rated hotel on Tripadvisor, and absolutely loved it — it’s only $115 per night for a double room! Additionally, hour-long massages cost less than $10. We had one every day. Highly, highly recommended.

  • http://www.wired2theworld.com/ Kristina

    Cambodia is one of my favorite places. If you can, spend more than just 1 full day in Siem Reap. There is so much to see and do there, you will be doing yourself a grave disservice to cut it short like that.

    If you must see the temples in just one day, then check out my tips for visiting the temples here: http://www.wired2theworld.com/2010/11/03/tips-for-visiting-the-ancient-temples-of-angkor/ and the day I spend visiting what I consider the top 3 here; http://www.wired2theworld.com/2010/11/08/a-one-day-visit-to-temples-of-angkor-and-abacus-restaurant/

    In terms of restaurants, I can highly recommend Cuisine Wat Damnak (considered the best Khmer fusion in Cambodia), Touich, and Abacus (all of which are pretty high end for Siem Reap). If you want to “go local” check out the Khmer BBQ places near Wat Damnak we we had grilled frogs, duck with red ant sauce (yes, really) and some of the best corn I’ve ever eaten in my life. You can read about that here; http://www.wired2theworld.com/2010/10/26/eating-like-a-local-in-cambodia-noodles-morning-glory-insects-oh-my/

  • nameloc

    I spent a month volunteering in Siem Reap.

    Siem Reap
    1. Touich is an excellent restaurant – must try.
    2. Angkor temple complex is nice, but I recommend hiring a taxi for a day instead and visiting Beng Mealea and Preah Vihear. Both are WELL off the beaten track so you may need to do some searching before finding a driver. Both are almost devoid of tourists, making for some excellent scenery and photography. Mine cost $90.
    3. Hotel de la Paix is a very reliable and safe choice for high end accommodations within the city. Big fan of their bakery, though not so much of their restaurant. The other nice ones aren’t nearly as convenient. Granted, SR is not a very big place and there will always be tuk-tuk drivers waiting at the high end hotels, but you can’t go wrong with de la Paix.
    4. Forget the blind massages – they aren’t as good or as blind as you might think. I cannot recommend them highly enough, but Frangipani Spa is a must. Best massage I’ve had ANYWHERE. Around $30-40 USD/hr. Very expensive for local standards, but their premises and the experience are actually spa-like and relaxing.

    Phnom Penh
    1. Depressing, but the Killing Fields and S-21 represent a very recent and important part of their history. Cannot miss this IMO

    Kep & Kampot
    1. I visited these two places for the sole purpose of having the pepper crab. It was delicious, but I definitely wouldn’t go there on a 5-day trip. There’s not much to see or do there besides visiting a pepper plantation and chilling by the dirty river (dirty as in brown, muddy water, not full of garbage).

  • Jeff

    You need more than 1 full day at Angkor. It’s too big. I would advise at least 2 days. You’ll want to see more. I was there in April 2009 and it will be hot. You won’t want to rush through it in the heat. Never heard of Kep, but I went to Battambang which reminded me something from a French version of Apocalypse Now. Phnom Penh is slowly razing down everything of authenticity and building massive mainland-China style skyscrapers. Might be a downer after seeing Angkor.

  • Flyer Fun

    When I went to Phonm Penn, I hired a driver to show me around. I can recommend Ben Wee http://www.talesofasia.com/cambodia-benwee.htm. He is knowledgeable and speaks English well.

  • Collette Clark

    It is definitely far off the beaten path, but I would definitely consider the long daytrip or primitive overnight trip to visit Banteay Chhmar for a day (visitbanteaychhmar.org). My wife and I returned from Cambodia/Thailand last month and this was the highlight. My personal highlight was entering the temple ruins pre-dawn and sticking around for the sunrise.

    Truly other-wordly how the jungle has overtaken these ruins–I didn’t see anything at Angkor Wat that even came close. We were the only westerners in the whole village!

  • http://americanhomestead.blogspot.com/ Ellen
  • http://americanhomestead.blogspot.com/ Ellen
  • Mark Wah

    You will need at least two days in the Angkor area. My top 3 temples are:
    Ankor Wat
    Banteay Srei
    Bayon

    The sunrise at Angkot Wat is not to be missed. After the sunrise, head towards Banteay Srei (45 mins) to beat the morning crowd. This is a smaller temple but very fine stone carvings.

    Food is more expensive in the Angkor area and that is ok. Only the restaurant opposite Angkor Wat has decent food. The Amok Fish is something you need to try. Food in the city is cheaper and in most cases, better.

    There will be children selling books to tourists. They will ask for $10 to start with but these are donations to them and I have seen them letting go at $1 – $2.

    Hope you will have lots of fun there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rpaik1 Ron Paik

    Five days is enough for Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

    In Siem Reap besides seeing Angkor Wat and Bayon donʻt miss Ta Prohm whose overgrown-jungle setting was used in “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.” Hire a taxi and check out the less crowded ruins of Bang Malea with a stop at Bantea Serai.

    Thereʻs a tethered balloon in Siem Reap where you can view the Angkor Wat ruins. If you do go do so in the afternoon/early evening when the setting sun offers the best lighting.

  • http://www.racheltalkstravel.com Rachel

    If you decide to head out to Banteay Srei (which I highly recommend you do), make sure you check out the Landmine Museum on your way. It was a very eye-opening experience, and one of the favorites I’ve had while in Cambodia. Also, you HAVE to eat at The Touich (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g297390-d1738877-Reviews-The_Touich_Restaurant_Bar-Siem_Reap_Siem_Reap_Province.html) while in Siem Reap! Make sure you look up directions before you go, though, because our driver had no idea how to get there. Favorite temple: Ta Prohm.

    FYI: the Cambodia portion of my trip report is available here: http://www.racheltalkstravel.com/post/15241795184/asia-trip-report-part-2-cambodia

    Hope you’re having a great time!!!

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  • Laney

    Hi met you at the NYTimes Travel show – GREAT presentation. I was part of the group that stayed after..and could have listened to you forever! I just came back from Cambodia last month…stayed 5 nights at the Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor in Siem Reap and LOVED IT. Amazing pool and fantastic customer service. Expensive hotel but NOTHING else in Siem Reap is expensive. Tuk Tuk’s for the day are $25 for four people and they will take you to all the temples. Tuk Tuk rides anywhere local are $1 per person – no need to even haggle..Great restaurant is Viroth’s – have the grilled calamari salad with pineapple – amazing – full dinner with appetizers, wine and dessert was $15. You MUST do a sunrise (go to the left pond in front) at Angkor Wat; the Bayon with its faces of the King (take an elephant ride around the temple — $15 and a hoot!); Ta Prohm (a MUST) and Banteay Srei – the smallest and has the most intricate carvings. These are the favorites for a reason. You can visit the inside of Angkor Wat and Bayon in late afternoon but the other two you need to be there early by 6:30 or 7am in order to truly enjoy them without the throngs of tourists…I also went to Kampong Kleang – a stilted village on the Tonle Sap – also a great experience. We fell in love with the Cambodian people – they are beautiful and friendly and the children are very sweet. They call it the Land of Smiles and it surely is…

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