Monday, July 25, 2011

Siem Reap

Siem Reap:

Most tourists go to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat. You should go, but that's not all you should do. If that's all you see then you're missing out on the real Cambodia. Go explore other cities!
 Places to stay-

  1.            Angkor Park Guesthouse: ($12) We always stay here when going to Siem Reap. The prices are very reasonable, the hotel is clean, the two sisters who own it are awesome and it's very close to the Pub Street area. This hotel is cheap and very basic, with hot water, a tv and comfy beds.
  2.            Tanei Guesthouse: ($20) This hotel is lovely and a step up from Angkor Park. They have a great little pool and you can get breakfast included for very cheap. The staff is very nice, and the guesthouse has it's own tuk tuk which can pick you up for free. They also have bikes you can use for free.
  3.            Golden Banana Hotel: ($35) This is where we go swimming when we come to Siem Reap. The hotel is gorgeous, and reasonably priced, but out of our price range. The staff are very nice and the pool is fabulous.
  4.            Terrasse des Elephants ($100) I've never stayed here, but a friend did and highly recommended it if you want something really nice. The hotel rooms have mini waterfalls and ponds in them. The hotel has a pool on the roof. The price of the room usually includes one dinner at the restaurant.

   Where to eat:

  1.            Il Forno: ($8)This Italian restaurant is pricey by our standards, but isn't by western standards. This restaurant has the best Italian food I've ever had. You should make reservations as they're often very busy, but it will be worth the hassle, I promise.
  2.           Viva: ($5) This is great Mexican food, and often very cheap. Their happy hour is practically all day, so you can get cheap drinks and $1 tacos.
  3.           Le Boulangerie: ($5) This french restaurant is run by a Khmer chef trained in France, and it shows. Such good food! You can build your own sandwich for $4, and my my my, they're delicious; hands down the most delicious sandwich in Cambodia.
  4.           F For Falafel: ($5.50) This place is great, you can get a giant Falafel sandwich with all the fixins for $5.50. This feeds two of us it's so stuffed with goodness. They also make fabulous smoothies. I recommend Mango Passion fruit with yogurt.
  5.           Blue Pumpkin: ($2) Ok...this is a time where I don't want to tell you of this goodness, because I  want them to run out :) They have amazing ice cream! If you have a group, it's cheaper to buy a  tub...and you'll eat it all. But the real secret here is their baked goods. They have amazing cheesecake and macarons, but this is the hush hush part, get the mille feuilles. Get it and you won't be sorry, just make sure there's one left in the case for me :)

I'm not the best person to ask what to do in Siem Reap. We're usually so deprived for westerness that we spend a lot of time at the grocery store, eating, and at the pool. So this section is based off of things I have seen other tourists do.

What to do:

  1.           Angkor Wat. ($20) Go Do it. They say to actually see the temples you need 3 days. If you don't have 3 days, go at least 1 full day. They're amazing. A Tuk Tuk will charge between $5 and $10 and they'll wait for you, or just tell them what time you want to go back. Always negotiate before you get in and hold firm, they might try to hassle for more when you leave.
  2.           Crocodile Farm: These are really cool, and they're all over Siem Reap. If you meet a nice Khmer person, you might ask if they know someone who has crocodiles and you can go see them for free. That's what we did, and it was pretty cool. There is a huge main one, so if you ask a tuk tuk driver that's probably where they'll take you.
  3.          Silk Farm: I've never been, but it seems really cool. It's about a 20 minute ride outside of Siem Reap. That way you get outside of the city and get to see a hint of what the rest of the country is like.

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