We stayed at The Parklane Hotel just a $1 Tuk Tuk ride from Pub Street and centre of town. For $26 a night including breakfast it was a great place to stay.
Nowadays Siem Reap is known all over the world because of the heritage of Angkor Wat. Almost three million tourists per year visit the city to discover not only the ancient temples but also the other attractions Siem Reap offers. Angkor Wat can be visited by Tuk Tuk for $13 for a five hour tour. The city is becoming one of the most important hubs in Cambodia and the economy is growing every year. Near the Pshar Cha (Old Market) and in the Old French Quarter the French influence is still notable, but the city has grown fast in a short time.
The bad years:
It was the rise of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot that stopped the growth of Siem Reap. The Khmer Rouge drove the people back to the country side to create an agriculture area. The educated people were killed or tortured. Many of them just disappeared and were never seen again. The economy and development of Siem Reap fell back and also no tourists came to Siem Reap or Cambodia in the period of the Khmer Rouge. It had become to dangerous to travel. Children were not allowed to go to school and most of the population had to work in function of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. Who didn’t listen, would not be found again and would disappear in one of the many mass graves. Around 1975 when the Khmer Rouge started to lose power and the regime ended in 1979 Siem Reap and its population could start to breathe again. But it was only after 1990 and after the death of Pol Pot that the city started to flourish again.
Restaurants and night life:
Most restaurants in Siem Reap are very affordable and there are plenty of cuisines to choose from. And after a nice dinner, it will be hard to choose your next nightlife destination, since there is a wide range of options available, from drinking cheap beers & cocktails around Pub Street to visiting one of the night clubs or karaoke bars!
Wombats comments on Siem Reap
1 = bad 10 =good
Based on a stay at Parklane Hotel
Accommodation where we stayed: 8.5 out of 10
Ease of using local transport: There is none (Tuk Tuk only)
Atmosphere of Siem Reap: 7 out of 10
General cleanliness: 5 out of 10
Locals friendliness: 9 out of 10
Ability to be understood by locals: 7 out of 10 (Moderate)
Foods varieties: 8 out of 10
Restaurants and eateries: 8 out of 10
Comments: Our hotel was clean, quiet and friendly. Angkor Wat seems to be the savior of this town drawing most of the tourists here. No local transport so the only way to tour is by hiring a Tuk Tuk by the hour or renting a motor bike. The town has a better atmosphere than Phnom Phen and Pub Street is a welcoming place. Food is plentiful and varied with many of restaurants all over town and especially around Pub Street. The night market is bright and happy. The people are lovely and cheerful despite the history they have endured. Overall: We would love to return but there is not much here when you have been to Angkor Wat, however to delve deeply into the history of Angkor Wat would be very interesting and take a lot of time and devotion as there is much not seen by tourists. Also to travel to the country would be great if you had the time and a guide