Today, Siem Reap, offer visitors a vast array of hotels, resorts, restaurants and all are located close to Angkor temples; the most popular tourist attraction in Cambodia.
Tom and I recently traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Before our arrival, we did some research to prepare for our visit. Although there is a lot of information available, we would like to share our travel tips, and hopefully, it would save you both time and many headaches.
1. Visa (this information applies to US Citizens)
We found these Four ways to obtain a Visa:
Cambodian Tourist Visa
By mail (through various brokers-this could become a big hassle and could be costly)
Upon arrival at the Siem Reap airport (extremely efficient)
Tom and I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of securing a visa by mail, so that option was never a consideration for us.
If you are interested in applying for an e Visa, you should beware of illegitimate websites. Only apply through the official website. Tom and I spent some time trying to do this. However, after several attempts at uploading a photo, we gave up.
We ended up obtaining our visa upon arrival at Siem Reap International Airport. The process was very efficient and swift. If you want a hassle-free way of securing a tourist visa, we highly recommend this method. Just remember to bring a passport size photo and $30 (as of this writing). Be sure to check with the Cambodian embassy to see if there are any changes to the visa requirements before your arrival.
2. Bring US dollars ($$)
Although Cambodia has, it’s own currency, everyone uses (and prefers) US dollars. All vendor prices are in US dollars. We recommend bringing a small currency ($1 and $5). The bills do not need to be new, but they should be in good condition. In Cambodia, Tom and I met travelers from around the world and learned they had to change their money from Australian dollars, Euro, etc. into US currency!
3. Mosquito repellant
Be sure to bring some! We used the “all-natural” kind without harsh chemicals and didn’t get attacked except at Ta Prohm. At the “Jungle Temple,” we had to apply repellant with “diet.”
4. Temple clothing
To be respectful, make sure you cover your shoulders and your legs to below knee level. Wear excellent walking shoes, as you will be walking on uneven pathways. Tom wore flip-flops on the first day and regrets it! He stubbed his toe and was in pain for days.
5. Face Cloths
Cambodia is very hot, humid, and dusty. When you are touring temples or even walking around town, you will want to wipe away the grime. Bring a washcloth from your hotel to refresh yourself. If you’re going to get a little fancy, I highly recommend the prepared, moistened face cleansing cloths.
Many restaurants do not have napkins. Bring a packet of tissue. It can also double as toilet paper if needed!
They are practically on every street corner. You can purchase over the counter type of medication as well as pills that typically need written prescriptions. Hmmm…
Unfortunately, with a rise in tourists visiting Cambodia, more children are trying to sell souvenirs. They can be very persistent. Hold your stance or be prepared to come home with a ton of postcards or other tourist knickknacks.
When shopping at the market or getting a tuk-tuk ride, be sure to negotiate the price prior; otherwise, you’ll be taken for a ride!
Although there are road directions for cars, bicycles, tuk-tuks, mopeds, etc. to travel, it is merely a suggestion! If you wait for a clearing to cross the street, you will never get anywhere. We ended up following locals who were also crossing the street, and somehow the road traffic opened up space for us to walk.
Tom and I had a fantastic time in Siem Reap. With a little planning, you will be prepared for a fulfilling visit to this fascinating destination. We hope our small, but essential tips help. If you have any other travel advice, please let us know. We would love to hear it!
Contact us for additional information. We can help you plan a fantastic trip throughout Siem Reap (Cambodia) and beyond.