Siem Reap is the gateway city to Angkor Wat and the other Angkor temples in Cambodia. It’s the town where you’ll spend the nights before and after your visit to Angkor Wat and the other temples. Siem Reap is the most touristic town in Cambodia. The plus side is that it’s very lively and there are plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs. The downside is that it’s very tacky and lacks authenticity. I fear that Siem Reap’s pub street will become the next Ko Sang Road, the touristic street in Bangkok.
That being said, if you like people watching, entertainment and markets; Siem Reap isn’t bad to spend a few days in.
The most famous street in Siem Reap and the street where all the action takes place. This pedestrian street is lined with bars and restaurants. Luckily you’re in Cambodia so the dishes are still affordable and tasty, and you can do some great people watching from the outdoor seats of the restaurants.
I had a great vegetarian curry at Paper Tiger on Pub Street and vegetarian noodles at Triangle, a restaurant on the first floor at the end of Pub Street.
Just behind Pub Street is a night market and several places to get a massage which is often not very authentic, but it’s a nice experience.
Wat Preah Prom Rath
Wat Preah Prom Rath is a Buddhist temple in Siem Reap. It’s located really close to Pub Street, so it’s worth a quick visit when you’re in the area.
Brasart Entrear Pagoda
The Brasart Entrear Pagoda is located West of Siem Reap. We asked our tuk-tuk driver to make a short stop there on our way to the airport. I call it the Alice in Wonderland temple, do you see the resemblance?
Where to Eat in Siem Reap
Paper Tiger Eatery
As I said you can have dinner at Pub Street to have live entertainment of everybody walking by. All restaurants on pub street have outdoor seats on street level where you can do some great people watching. One of my favorites is Paper Tiger Eatery where I had this delicious vegetarian curry with tofu.
At the end of Pub Street you can find Triangle Restaurant. This restaurant in the shape of, you’ve guessed it, a triangle is located on the first floor. The ceiling is covered with decorations, giving it a nice character. There’s often live music at Triangle Restaurant.
Besides the restaurants in or near Pub Street, there are other great options in Siem Reap as well. My favorite was Artillery Café. I loved this vegetarian and vegan friendly food spot that serves all kinds of breakfast and lunch classics. We went for the vegetarian breakfast burrito and the Fawaffle (falafel waffle) with Eggs Bennedict. They also have a restaurant in Phnom Penh.
It’s always a great and tasty experience to get street food in Asia. We went to the stalls at Pokambor Ave, across the water from the Siem Reap Art Center Night Market. Just some noodles with vegetables and egg are already super tasty!
Where to drink in Siem Reap
Apart from all the bars at Pub Street, there are also a few nice bars that are a bit more peaceful. Miss Wong is a great cocktail bar with a lovely interior. Unlike the hectic places with loud music on Pub Street, at Miss Wong you’ll find a tranquil place. The red colored walls and the extensive cocktail menu will make sure you’re having a great time.
The Temple Coffee and Bakery
The Temple Coffee and Bakery has a nice rooftop bar on the 3rd floor with beanbags. You can find it just across the water. There are a large amount of cocktails on the menu, all very colorful and creatieve.
Balthazar, around the corner, is a good spot for wine lovers.
Sister Srey Café
Too early for alcohol? A great coffee spot in Siem Reap to get your caffein dose is Sister Srey Café. Besides a very chill place to sit down, Sister Srey also has the mission to support young Khmer students.
The Little red Fox espresso is also a great spot for coffee lovers.
Where to stay in Siem Reap
If you like the action of Pub Street I recommend that you stay in that area. We ourselves stayed in the North of Siem Reap, a bit away from the downtown area.
I thought that it would be handy to stay in the North side of town as it’s closer to Angkor Wat but there’s no need to stay there as you’ll need a tuk-tuk to get you there anyway.
Our hotel, Yuelin Holiday Villa, was peaceful, had very spacious rooms and a beautiful pool. But the staff spoke close to zero English (they didn’t even understand the word ‘check-in’) and there’s a religious site nearby from which you’ll hear chanting al throughout the day.