Cambodia’s tourist industry is fast-growing. The Angkor Temples are widely deemed to be the ‘eighth wonder’, and as result Siem Reap is becoming a touristic hub, with thousands of visitors passing through on a daily basis. However, its growing popularity as a must-see destination is not only down to the spectacular Angkor Wat; Cambodia’s ever smiling and friendly people are what most people sight as the highlight of their trip.
Air: Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have international airports. Flights connect into the country from a multitude of destinations. Some of the most popular are Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpar and Seoul.
Land: Hundreds of people make the overland trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap every day. You can get to the border town of Aranyprathet by bus, which will cost around 400baht (12 USD) or train, for 48baht ($1.50). From the Cambodian town of Poipet a bus to Siem Reap will cost about $10, or alternatively a taxi (which is much quicker and more comfortable) is $48 for the whole car.
If you’re coming from Vietnam or Laos, buses run daily and cost between $15 and $25 depending on the length of the journey. Beware that trips can take significantly longer than advertised.
Tourist visas can be obtained upon arrival in Cambodia. A month-long tourist visa costs $20, and you must take a passport-size photo of yourself. Beware of visa scams, particularly at the Thai border. You shouldn’t pay more than $20, and you obtain your visa from the official office AFTER you have been stamped out of Thailand.
Motorbikes and tuktuks are the most common mode of transport in Siem Reap. You should agree on a price with your driver before you leave. You can get to most places within the town for less than $3. Drivers will also offer deals on taking you around the temples and to other tourist attractions.
Alternatively, a great way to see Siem Reap is by bicycle. You can rent one for around $1-2 per day, or buy one second-hand for around $35.
Cambodia uses two currencies: US Dollar and Cambodian Riel.
1 USD = 4000 Riel
Both are accepted throughout the country, though for transactions of $1 or more, USD is more commonly used. US coins are not legal tender, and your change will be given in riel.
ATMs throughout Cambodia issue US Dollars.
When attaining dollars for use in Cambodia, try to make sure they are fairly new banknotes (issued within the last 10 years) and not torn or damaged, as many businesses will not accept old or damaged notes.