13
Apr

Top 10 Things to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Posted By Trav

[Update:  Want the newest stuff?  Of course you do!  Check out our updated Top 10 Things to do in Siem Reap post from May 2015 that includes a professionally edited 2 minute video by clicking here. ]

1.  Angkor Wat

Like this list would start with anything else!  Usually the only thing people know about Cambodia and certainly the only reason people venture north to Siem Reap is to see this amazing wonder of the world.  And you know what?  It’s worth it!

Granted, that is a much easier statement to make if you fly in on Air Asia for $60 from Kuala Lumpur (my recommendation) than if you take the hellacious 10 hour bus ride from Bangkok (not my recommendation), but regardless of how you get there, you’ll be blown away.

I could yarn on and on about Angkor Wat, but they say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so I’ll just give you two suggestions and then let the rest speak for itself.

First, definitely get up to go at sunrise.  Yes, its 4:30 am and yes that sounds crazy, but it really does make the experience that much better.

Even if the sunrise itself isn’t so great (like the day we went), being at such a sacred and majestic place that early in the morning is magical.

My second suggestion is to not dilly dally outside of the temple after the sunrise occurs.  Before you know it, the temples will be overrun with large (and noisy) Korean and Japanese tour groups, even at this early of an hour.

Sneak in to the temple right after sunrise, before the rest get mobilized, and you’ll have this amazing place all to yourself.  Those 15 quiet and peaceful minutes I had alone in the temple were hands down the best part of the trip.

2.  Rent a driver for the day

This is usually done by people who are going to see Angkor Wat, but it deserves its own special mention because you aren’t just having a person drive you around, you’re having an experience.

Our driver, Bunthy, was one of the nicest, most genuine human beings you could ever meet, and as he was ferrying us around between the ruins, we not only learned a TON about Angkor Wat itself, but also amazing information about Cambodia, it’s history, it’s current political state, Bunthy’s family, the state of education in Cambodia, a normal lifestyle for a Cambodian person, and any other question I could think to fire off to him.

This interaction is the one major advantage to renting a car for the day (prices usually start at $30, but we talked him down to $25 and then ended up giving him a $5 tip anyway!) rather than a tuk-tuk.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities for renting a tuk-tuk around town, and its definitely something you should experience, but for the day trip around Angkor Wat, you won’t be able to converse or learn near as much from your driver, seeing as you’ll be sitting in the back of a noisy, motorbike drawn carriage.

And if you go in summer, as I did, the A/C alone is worth the extra $7.

Get in touch with my good buddy Bunthy and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!  Call (855)-12-972-469 or even shoot him an email at Bunthy_me@yahoo.com.

3.  Eat a frog

I’m no stranger to eating weird foods, but usually its not as enjoyable as it is comedic.  Eating a frog is completely different; it’s delicious!

And not in a “it’s delicious for a really weird food” type way, but in a legitimate “I’d love to have 3 frogs for dinner two times a week” type way.  As cliche as it sounds, it tastes like chicken, just juicier and more flavorful.

For $1?  Looks like I’ll be flying in the staff from Khmer Family Restaurant to cater my next party.  Frogs for everyone!

4.  Get a fish massage

While the idea originally started on Khao San Road in Bangkok, it has quickly moved across the border and found a foothold in Siem Reap as well.  And, believe it or not, it’s even cheaper here!

$1 will buy you 15 minutes and a free beer, so when you ask me why you should put your feet in a tank full of goldfish, my answer would be “why not?”  And if you really need a reason, just believe the men when they tell you your dead skin is feeding the gold fish.  It’ll placate the animal love in all of us!

 

5.  Eat dinner in a bathtub

Madam Beergarden Under Construction (yes, that’s its real name) is as famous for its awesome food as it is for its crazy décor, and that’s saying something!

While dining on some of the best and cheapest eats in Siem Reap you can “lounge” in a sawed in half bathtub, among other interesting objects that dot the beergarden.

Whether you come for the food or the atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed!

6.  Indulge Yourself on Pub Street

One of the good things about Pub Street and the surrounding areai is that most bars 50 cent draft beers for happy hour.  An even better thing:  Happy Hour lasts “all day” or “from open to close”, depending on which sign you choose to read!

So no matter what time you decide to prowl Pub Street, a 50 cent draft is never far away.  I can’t think of a better way to beat the heat than relaxing a street side pub and having a few drafts for less than $2!

Angkor What is the bar that started it all, but really, you can’t go wrong with any of them (I mentioned beer was 50 cents, right)?  Here’s a list and map of most of them.  And just in case you get lost, the town has now erected a neon flashing sign to point all foreigners in the right direction!

7.  Haggle in the markets

Handbags, t-shirts, bathing suits, or live chickens…whatever your fancy, the street markets of Siem Reap have it all.  And while the prices are already low by our standards, it’s fun to engage in a little friendly bargaining!

My typical starting point is half of their first asking price.  Just remember, these people could use the extra dollar much more than you, so have fun with it, but don’t push too hard.

8.  Stay at a boutique hostel

As more and more tourists flock to Angkor Wat, so do the big hotel chains;  there is even a Park Hyatt scheduled to open next year!

But with Cambodia being the 3rd most corrupt country in Asia and the gap between the rich and the poor seismic, why not do a small part in giving back by staying at a locally run guesthouse or boutique hostel?  Not only will you get a more authentic experience, but the service will be second to none and the price you’ll pay will probably be half of what you’d pay at a Western-run hotel.  It’s a win-win for everyone!

There are plenty in the area, but if you want a recommendation, head to the Golden Mango.  Sony and his staff are some of the nicest people in the world, the building and pool are really nice, and the free breakfast is both tasty and filling.

9.  Ride in a tuk-tuk

There is no more authentic Southeast Asian experience than riding in a tuk-tuk, an open air wagon pulled by a motorbike that serves as a taxi.  For traveling through town, where the roads are congested and lanes are just a suggestion, a tuk-tuk will be just as fast as a regular taxi and easily half the price.

Plus, you’ll get to enjoy all the sites, sounds, and smells that make Siem Reap Siem Reap.  And if you’re lucky, you may even witness a fistfight (see 0:33 of video below).

10.  Eat a traditional Cambodian meal

Cambodian food certainly doesn’t get the publicity that it’s neighbors do but its delicious in its own right.  Some people may even prefer it to Thai food as the flavor is more subdued and its certainly less spicy.

Two of the most popular traditional dishes are amok and lok lak.  Amok is fish covered in crushed peanuts, coconut milk, and egg, that is wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed, whereas lok lak is a marinated beef stir fry served with special Cambodian seasoning.  Both come with rice, as does most every dish in Cambodia.

There is no better place to try these dishes, and much more, than at Khmer Kitchen, a Cambodian-run restaurant right off of Pub Street that is as cheap as it is delicious.  Additionally, you’ll get a pretty good rendition of either one of these dishes at the stalls that line the area around Angkor Wat.

Final Word(s)

While Angkor Wat gets most of the publicity, and justifiably so, there are still many really cool and authentic things to do in Siem Reap.  So if you find yourself venturing to northern Cambodia to see this amazing Wonder of the World make sure to try out some of my top 10 to make your trip even that much better!

If you’ve been to Siem Reap, what suggestions do you have?  Are there things I’ve left out?  I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

And don’t forget to check out our updated list (with a much better, professionally edited video) of the top 10 things to do in Siem Reap.

99 comments

  1. greek2me says:

    Great post. Enjoyed it. Was just there in February. I would definitely add a day trip with Osmose Ecotours to the floating villages of the Tonle Sap Lake. It is another world from Siem Reap even. One of the best days of our entire 4 week trip. Osmose is a true community based ecotour organization giving jobs and support back to the community.

    1. Trav says:

      @Greek2me- Great tip! Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to get to the floating villages but we had heard great things about it from people who have gone. Do you happen to remember the price for the trip with Osmose Ecotours?

  2. John says:

    Great post, thanks..

    1. Trav says:

      @John- Thanks. I’ll be looking to put up some more lists of other places I’ve been in the near future, so keep checking back for them. Have you been to Siem Reap…if so, do you have anything to add?

  3. Krinda says:

    Please do add Balloon Ride Over Angkor Wat. It’s the best experience for me. It’s my first time to ride a balloon and what better view to have than Angkor Wat?

    1. Trav says:

      @Krinda- Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to do the balloon ride but it did look really neat. Guess I’ll have to go back and give it a try! Thanks for the recommendation!

    2. There’s another balloon ride opposed to Ankor Wats ride .. As this ballon is (fixed doesn’t move – )as air space above Ankor Wat is heritage protected ..
      Try the free flowing ride over another Temple &hearing the local villagers waking up & listening to their banter .
      The balloons reflecting in the Temples moat & watching sunrise in a balloon was awesome ..
      Then landing in a paddock with local villagers who great you warmly . Highlight of trip !!

  4. Jackie says:

    Has any body visited the orphanages there? How far out of the main township are they?

    1. Trav says:

      @Jackie- Unfortunately, I haven’t. I’m not sure, but hopefully someone else might know.

      1. Brett says:

        It’s recommended to not visit the orphanages – do some googling

      2. lachie says:

        Not an orphanage per say, But ‘New Hope Cambodia’ is a non for profit school and medical center located a mere 10 minute tuk tuk ride from pub street. well worth the visit

  5. Dvg says:

    Thank you for your article. I used a number of your suggesting on my latest trip to Siem Reap (Christmas 2013), including but not limited to going to Angkor Wat in the morning (although we didn’t get there in time for sunrise), renting a driver for a day (I also used Bunthy), and indulging myself on Pub Street. We really had a great time – in at least some part, thanks to you and your suggestions.

    1. Trav says:

      @Dvg- Glad you got to use some of the suggestions, especially using Bunthy as your driver. That guy is great! How’d you like Angkor Wat and Siem Reap?

      1. Dvg says:

        Both Siem Reap and Angkor Wat (as well the other temples) were great. The people were friendly, the food was good, and the sites were mind blowing. But getting there was a little rough. I was in Bangkok and at the last minute decided to make the trip. I wanted an adventure and decided to go by land (Bus to Poipet, Cab to Siem Reap, Tuk Tuk to hotel). Well…it was an adventure. I’m glad I did it (we saw a lot of the Thai and Cambodian country side), but I’m flying back to Bangkok later today (1 hour flight versus 8 hours and multiple modes of transport).

        If anyone reading this does go, I stayed at the Chateau d’Angkor hotel (http://www.chateau-angkor.com/). Beautiful hotel, great service, located blocks from everything, at a fabulous price (I paid about $110 a night, including breakfast each day for 4 people, for a two bedroom with dining room and full kitchen (even had a washing machine). We stayed over Christmas and it couldn’t have been a better experience.

        1. Trav says:

          @Dvg- I completely agree that Angkor Wat is amazing. It is my favorite sight that I’ve ever seen! As far as going overland from Bangkok to Siem Reap…wow! I have always wanted to do it simply to say I’ve done it and see if it is as “bad” as everyone says but my wife would have known of it, especially seeing as it is so easy to fly there now! I’m actually amazed it only took 8 hours. I’ve heard some horror stories of it taking much, much longer.

          Thanks for sharing the recommendation of the Chateau d’Angkor. Siem Reap can be amazingly cheap for awesome service, and it looks like you found that out!

          Did you eat anywhere in particular that you recommend? Did you try to the fried frog? It’s delicious!

  6. We are a family of four who traveled to Siem Reap after Thailand during the Christmas Holidays. We loved Angkor Wat and went at sunrise. The floating village over Tonle Sap Lake is a once in a lifetime and a must see. We have two daughters 17 and 20 and it was eye opening. We also went to the silk farm which was a nice break and something totally different. Definitely take a tuk tuk if for nothing else to experience! We ate at a restaurant in the french district and then a wonderful traditional cambodian restaurant back by the airport where we had everything but no frogs. Chicken feet and fish guts though. And we too had the most lovely driver named Khoeun. He was recommended by another friend who used him last year. Khoeun is dependable and honest and knowledgable. So if Bunthy isn’t available, try him at Khoeun_chhiev@yahoo.com. I am trying to get you the restaurant names but if you go to Siem Reap, try all the food.

    1. Trav says:

      @Jennifer Harris- Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful experiences and giving the name of your driver for others to use. I just had a reader use Bunthy and he said it was wonderful, so its always nice to give some business to people who do a great job!

      Did you try the chicken feet or fish guts? And I completely agree with you, the food there is amazing. It’s nice to have a few recommended restaurants, so if you think of the names, pass them along, but in reality, it is tough to go wrong in Cambodia when it comes to eating!

      Again, thanks for sharing your experiences and giving some awesome information for others who will be taking the trip in the future…I’m bummed I missed the floating villages…guess I’ll just have to go back!

    2. EZ says:

      @Jennifer Harris-how do you get to Tonle Sap Lake from Siam Reap? I was curious with your post and I would like to try going there.

  7. Havn says:

    will be in Siem Reap this coming Feb19 and will try all your suggestions man. any other stuff that you suggest me to do when I get there? thanks

    1. Trav says:

      @Havn- Can´t think of anything else at the moment. Are you going to anywhere else other than Siem Reap? Let me know where else you are headed and I may be able to offer other suggestions.

  8. Eric says:

    Your post was very helpful in planning my family trip to Siem Reap last month. We hired Bunthy for a driver and he was great! Besides the temples, the fish massage was also a highlight. We stayed at the Siddharta Boutique Hotel for about $80/room and it was awesome. Also, we played a great (but expensive) round of golf at a Nick Faldo-designed course…second best course we’ve played in Asia after the premier Blue Canyon course in Phuket.

    1. Trav says:

      @Eric- I’m really glad that it helped, and especially thankful you hired Bunthy! That guy is great! Also, thanks for sharing your accommodation experience. There is no shortage of relatively cheap, really nice places to stay and so it’s nice to get a recommendation. I might have to spend a night or two there when I return!

  9. S. Basak says:

    Hi,

    I am planning to travel from Singapore to Siam Reap.
    Can you advise me on the most economical way to make it to this place.

    Thanks.
    SB.

    1. Trav says:

      S. Basak- Definitely look for low cost carriers. They are all over Asia. I’d specifically look at Air Asia. You can fly Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap and probably do it under $100.

  10. Guy Singer says:

    Next time you come to see Siem Reap, I’d love to invite you to see Phare, The Cambodian Circus. This is a Uniquely Cambodian, Daringly Modern show, nightly at our big top at 7.30pm. Hope to see you here and would love to get an article on your blog.
    Guy

    1. Trav says:

      @Guy Singer- I’ll have to look it up next time I come through Siem Reap. I’d be happy to be a guest there, sounds awesome!

    2. KIrsten Atyeo says:

      Hi Guy, We are bringing our little man (1.5 years) to see your circus. We arrive in Siem Reap on the 21st June for five days and are going to take in some of the recommendations on this blog. Thank you Trav :) This circus was recommended by a friend, so we are looking forward to it, but just a question before we get too excited… Is it open all year round? if so is it everyday, or do you close some days? Thanks :)

      1. Trav says:

        @Kirsten Atyeo- Unfortunately, I have no idea if it is open year round or not. But please let us know!

  11. Nice post Trav, some great tips there!
    I actually work at an adventure travel business where we connect travelers in Asia with cool things to do. Drop
    me a line next time you’re in Asia and we might be able to help you out with cool stuff like our walking tour of the best temples in Angkor: https://www.adventurehoney.com/Experience/1-day-kulen-and-beng-mealea-walking-tour-1272
    Happy travels!
    Chris

    1. Trav says:

      @AdventureHoney- Definitely will do. Planning on coming back to that part of the world sooner rather than later…I miss it!

  12. Jason Eric says:

    Hi Trav. How far is the Golden Mango Inn from the city proper(HUB)? I have booked La Niche for 4N3D and I noticed we will save a lot(140usd) if we stay at the Golden Mango.

    Nice blog by the way, will definitely try the Amok and the frog =)

    1. Trav says:

      @Jason Eric- Golden Mango Inn is really easy to get to the center of town. It’s about a 5-7 minute tuk tuk ride, and really cheap. I like it because it’s quieter than right downtown, for sure, but super easy to get downtown. And tuk tuk rides are always an experience!

  13. Matt says:

    Hello!

    Just wanted to drop a quick note to say thanks for posting this! It was incredibly helpful and Bunthy was simply fantastic! My partner and I went to the temples this morning and he picked us up at 4:30am and gave us such great information about the temples along with the town, country, government, industry etc… He’s a font of information and I can’t say enough nice things about him.

    Thanks again for this post!
    Matt

    1. Trav says:

      @Matt- SOOOOO glad you had a good experience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve recommended Bunthy, and not a single time has anyone been disappointed. In fact, the reviews are usually glowing! Did you happen to say hi to him for me?

      1. Matt says:

        I did, actually. He said he was grateful for your friendship and continued referrals from your site.

        1. Trav says:

          @Matt- Awesome, thanks! What a great guy Bunthy is.

  14. Jessica says:

    Hi Trav,

    Thanks for the great tips! I’m definitely going to add some of those activities into my Siem Reap trip.

    One question though, how much time would you recommend that I allot for Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom?

    Thanks again!

    1. Trav says:

      @Jessica- They have 1 and 3 day passes. We chose the 1 day, and it was enough to see it if you get there early in the morning and stay all day. However, next time I go back I’ll probably get the 3 day pass and take more time to see some of the outer stuff.

      It really can be 3 whole days, so if you have the time, I’d suggest that.

  15. Fab says:

    Hi Trav!

    That’s quite a nice list, and quite a nice blog you’ve done!
    I actually left Cambodia after four years living in Siem Reap and I have to say that I already miss this incredible country… :'(

    I wrote a few articles about “different” things to do over there, out of the beaten track, even if it’s becoming more difficult to do not meet tourists even in remote places… that is the price of fame!

    You can have a look at those 2 articles and tell me what you think!

    Cheers

    Things to do in Siem Reap: The Khmer way
    Things to do in Siem Reap: the traditional way.

    1. Trav says:

      @Fab- It is an incredible place, and after being there 4 years, I’m sure you have tons of great recommendations. Thanks for linking up those articles, they are a real help. Lots of great suggestions on there!

  16. Please next time come visit us! the Khmer ceramics centre we are a social enterprise reviving ceramics arts since 2006. We give free vocational training for Cambodian, employ disable and doing ceramics classes for traveler. http://www.khmerceramics.com/

    1. Trav says:

      @Sok CHHAN- I’ll be in Cambodia in November or December, I’d love to check it out!

      1. Yes Great!. You can ask for Sam if you come visit he can explain you everything about cambodian ceramics arts

  17. Jessica says:

    Hi, Travis!

    I read your blog post before arriving in Siem Reap and decided to call Bunthy to take us around Angkor Wat. I cannot express to you the deep impression that he left on me and my boyfriend. He is one of the most special people I have ever met. So genuinely lovely, charming, and giving, but also incredibly smart and aware. We learned so much from him about everything, from Angkor Wat and Buddhism, to Cambodian life and culture, the history of Cambodian people, the suffering and the celebration. I just wanted to tell you how happy I am to have come across your piece on Siem Reap and to have made a connection with such a truly unique and goodhearted person whom I’ll remember forever.

    1. Heather Sherry says:

      @Jessica- Thank you so much for sharing! Bunthy is absolutely amazing, and in fact, he wrote me a super long email the other day out of the blue just mentioning how many people had called him up thanks to that post and that the money he has made has helped pay for his children’s education. It literally brought tears to my eyes.

      I’m planning on going back and meeting Bunthy again, and if anyone else out there is looking for a driver, as Jessica said, Bunthy is the most amazing out there. And tell him Trav sent ya!

  18. Ram Shetty says:

    Thank you for posting this. I will be going to Siem Reap on 16/12, i built my itinerary based on your write up. Will be staying at Golden Mango Inn. Would you recommend gettting a tour package from the hotel or doing a free an easy ride.

    1. Trav says:

      @Ram Shetty- Really glad you liked it, and you’ll love the Golden Mango Inn. Sony is excellent. And if you need a driver, don’t forget to contact Bunthy and tell him I sent you!

      I’ve never done a tour package before with Golden Mango, but if you do decide to go that route, I’m sure they will be honest and fair. Just depends on how much time you want to figure it out yourself vs. convenience. But overall, it’s really easy to just get a driver and do Angkor Wat yourself. I will recommend going at sunrise, eventhough it’s early. It’s worth it!

  19. galloping gourmette says:

    Besides temples and being a tourist ya gotta eat.My Fav is sitting in the big sofas outside the Red Piano bar,cnr Pub St,and filling up on cheap draught beeers and the to die for ‘large crispy Pork Spring Rolls” @$1.50
    Watch the tourist masses stream by,and chill out in this famous bar.
    For economical good eats,with & comfy outside seating and tables,diagonally across from the Red Piano is the “Sun Restaurant” great for people watching and bottled wines from $8 per bottle.

    1. Trav says:

      @galloping gourmette- Great recommendations, thanks. I’ll be heading back in February and will check it out.

  20. Jess says:

    Hi Trav I’ve just found this page and read all the posts, a friend and I are heading to Siem reap today and would love to get in touch with bunthy for a sunrise Angkor wat tour for tomorrow (last minute I know), any chance you can let me know how to get in touch with him?

    Thanks
    Jess

    1. Trav says:

      @Jess- Bunthy’s number is in the post above. DEFINITELY call him up…he’s amazing. If you do end up using him, please tell him Travis from Extra Pack of Peanuts says hi and that I’ll be heading to Siem Reap in a month and can’t wait to see him!

  21. Sheena says:

    Hi there, I’m heading the Siam Reap in a weeks time. Came across your blog n loved it! I’m
    Gonna use it as a guide for me, and I understand that you will be heading there too!! When?

    1. Trav says:

      @Sheena- Yeah, I’m heading there from February 26-March 2nd. When will you be there? Maybe we can meet up!

    2. Clara says:

      Thanks for your recommendation. Just got back from there 1/17. I tried to contact Bunthy but he recommended his friend Puthy who was helpful and kind. He drove us to Phnom Penh and to the Angkor Wat and other temples. I do have to WARN you to be weary of the jewelry shops that were supposed to be government regulated as my nieces bought expensive jewelry and they were a big rip off as it was FAKE.

      1. Anna says:

        Hi we were in Siem Reap a week ago and Puthy were so kind to drive with us for 2 days. He is such an amazing person!We had such an amazing time in Cambodia! We will have so many unforgettable memories because of him! he was a great friend, companion and guide! We felt so well cared and safe with him. We are totaly in love with this country and it wont be our last visit, we will come again for sure!!

  22. Kish says:

    Hi Trav! Im preparing the program for a Siem Rep trip with 10 of my friends and we’re going on Feb 17-22! Ive made a itinerary based on your suggestions and the reviews of readers. Its been very very helpful and its making me more excited about this amazing adventure :) im pondering on contacting Bunthy for the Angkor Wat whole day tour! We will also be visiting Tonle Sap floating village and maybe other places like the Bantay Srei, National Museum, and Royal Gardens (would you have any reviews on those places?) By any chance do you have friends staying in Siem Rep who might be interested to meet new friends? :) i always like to experience a place from a locals point of view coz it makes it more special and creates a connection!

    Thanks again for sharing your experiences :) cheers!

    Kish

    1. Trav says:

      @Kish- We will just miss each other, I’m arriving Feb. 26th. DEFINITELY contact Bunthy. He can take you anywhere you want to go, so you could even book him for 2 or 3 or 4 days (depending on where you want to go and how many days you need him). Seriously, it will make your whole trip. He has a Toyota Corolla, so he can’t accommodate 10 people in that, but he may have a bigger van nowadays or I’m sure he has other driver friends who could take half of you around and him take the other half.

      Not only will you get a driver, but he is so nice and so knowledgeable.

      I don’t have any friends there at the moment other than him, sorry. But you’ll definitely get a local perspective hiring him. And if you do, tell him Travis sent you and that I’ll see him soon (I’m hiring him for the 4 days we are there).

      I don’t have reviews on the other places, but let me know if you like them.

  23. Here’s another good review for using Bunthy. He’s a very sweet guy and took good care of us. However, I have to correct your post above where you say he drives a Corolla. He actually drives a Toyota Camry, which I only know because he is a bit of a car enthusiast and pointed out various makes and models of other cars we would go by, which was rather adorable, and I’m sure he would want to set the record straight. lol Thanks for the recommendation Trav!

    1. Trav says:

      @Robb- Ahhh…my bad. Really driving in style with the Camry! So glad you loved Bunthy. He is absolutely amazing!

  24. adam Ong says:

    Hi Travis, I saw your blog and your recommendations to so many people who were so satisfied with them.
    I am going to Siem Reap for a week starting from 21April and will take your recommendations seriously. I hope to write something after my trip, tks Travis

    1. Trav says:

      @adam Ong- Great, please let us know how it goes…and if you need a driver, definitely hire Bunthy and tell him I sent you!

  25. Christie says:

    Just got back from traveling last night and all of your tips were helpful but none more then hiring Bunthy as my driver!!! Bunthy is AMAZING! Yes…There are hundreds of drivers you can choose from in Siem Reap, but Bunthy is without question, the best driver I’ve ever had in all my treks around the world!! I’m am a single female traveler and I felt comfortable, respected and completely safe to travel with him into the outlying temples and countryside. He is kind, gentle, informative, trustworthy and completely worth contacting!!! Thank you Bunthy and thank you Travis for the recommendation!!!

    1. Trav says:

      @Christie- So glad you had such an awesome experience. Bunthy really is an amazing person, and I’m so glad I got to hang out with him (and meet his family) this past February when I was there.

  26. Monica says:

    Hi Trav, I’m planning to go to Siem Reap in June. do you think that’s alright even its rainy season? Can you please advise how many days do we need to stay there to try all your recommendation.

    1. Trav says:

      @Monica- I’ve never been during rainy season, so I can’t really say, but it is an amazing place! I would say that you could spend 3 days there and get it all done. Temples 1 day, maybe 2. Then another day for everything else.

  27. Teresa says:

    Hi Travis, my hubby , 14 yr daug & I just got back from Siem Reap this weekend. I took you up on contacting Bunthy but he was not avail. He did recommend his best friend, Sithpl Tep. We were so comfortable with him . He is a very nice & professional driver (guide when needed). We did two days of temples, floating fishing village, dinner & show , and last but not least a Cambodian dinner . We had a great time and were in good hands. I’d like to recommend Sithpl for anyone who might be interested. He has a large Aircon van .
    tepsithol@yahoo.com +855 12 758 210.
    By the way he said to tell you Hi! He talks highly of you.

    1. Trav says:

      @Teresa- I’m so glad to hear that. On my last trip there we got to meet Bunthy’s two friends (one of which was Sithpl) and I can’t speak highly enough of them either. They are great people. I would highly urge people to contact Bunthy, and if he isn’t available, he will always put you in the good hands of one of his friends. Truly wonderful people!

  28. Bong Sanchez says:

    Hi Trav,

    Thanks to your blog we met Sithol thru Bunthy. I originally contacted Bunthy to book him to see the temples but unfortunately he could not accommodate us. I had my wife and 3 children with me on the trip so we needed a bigger vehicle and he referred me to Sithol who had a van. Sithol is a great guy. We went to see Koh Ker and Beng Mealea which was 120kms from Siem Reap and there was never a dull moment on the trip. He knows a lot of things about the temples as well as Cambodia. With Sithol on the road with you was like having a tour guide as well.

    Your readers might want to contact him at tepsithol@yahoo.com or thru his Mobile phone or What App +855 12758210
    +855 979333665, +855 11566050

    1. Trav says:

      Thanks for sharing! I am glad you had a great experience! Bunthy has a network of drivers that he recommends to people if he is booked or if they need a bigger vehicle.

    2. Trav says:

      @Bong Sanchez- Yes, I recommend Sithol too if you need someone with a van. Just get a hold of Bunthy, and he can put you in contact, or you can contact Sithol directly. They are both great!

  29. Regina Roque says:

    Will be in Siem Reap last week of October and I totally cannot wait to have Bunthy as our guide!!! Thanks for your post! It’s beautifully viral! :)

    1. Trav says:

      @Regina Rogue- I’m so glad that this post has become as popular as it has, and that it has lead more and more people to finding out about Bunthy. He truly is one of a kind. You’ll LOVE him…and please tell him Travis says hi, and congrats on his new van!

  30. Rosanna Rufo says:

    Hi! through your blog i requested Bunthy to drive us around siem reap for 4 days, less 1 which unfortunately his van got an engine trouble, He asked his friend Sithol to replace him for only a day.
    Both are great & very patient with us, we got to see the main attractions in Siem Reap. He even showed to me your pics in his house when you visited last BTW he charged us with very reasonable rates like using his mini van with a car rate!

    1. Trav says:

      @Rosanna Rufo- Yeah, Bunthy is the best, and I trust him 100%. Even if an issue comes up, he’s always there to find the best solution. And yes, his prices are insanely good.

      So cool that he showed you pics of us…I didn’t even know he had them!

  31. King Aviola says:

    Hi! When I planned our Siem Reap adventure a few months ago, I read your blog and immediately emailed Bunthy to make reservations for Nov 24 to 28. I must say, that hiring Bunthy alone made our trip so fun and enjoyable and heart warming. He was our guide, driver, friend, resource person for 5 days. But I must forewarn you people that Bunthy is not the exception! During the five days we were in Siem Reap, we found out that Cambodians are a warm, friendly and gentle people! We were so blessed to have visited this beautiful country.
    I read some blogs about touts, and kids and tuk tuk drivers hustling tourists for money and becoming irritants. Well, my advice for you is this: smile, say no and just walk on. They won’t bother you. In fact, we made a lot of friends among tuktuk drivers because they aregreat fans of Manny Pacquiao! Of course it helped that instead of paying them $1 for a ride, we gave them $2 and any extra cambodian money we had. These people suffered and endured so much, that, heck, what is $1? The smile you get in return is priceless!do the same with hotel staff, waitresses, bellboys, etc. Tip generously and give away those extra cambodian money!????
    So, if you’re planning a trip to Siem Reap, do as extrapackofpeanuts advse, HIRE Bunthy!

    Some other tips:
    Do your temple runs early and retire before lunch!
    Stay in a hotel with a pool!

    1. Trav says:

      @King Aviola- I couldn’t say it better myself. Cambodians are some of the nicest people I have ever met. And if you have a few extra dollars, it’s always nice to give more than you have to.

      So glad you enjoyed Bunthy. He truly is one of my favorite people in the whole world. And I couldn’t agree more – stay at a place with a pool and get to the temples early!

  32. Denis says:

    Hi,

    What i nice article. Most of “top 10” kind of thing are boring and talking about same things, but your list is one of the best i saw. I’m sure it will help a lots of travelers to experience a truly Cambodia.

    Also if you will visit Siem Reap again i’d like to invite you and all your readers to new and fun Siem reap attractions “escape the room” game at The Great Escape.

    It’s a good way to hav fun and to something different in Siem Reap.

    1. Trav says:

      @Denis- I’d love to check it out…and if anyone is heading to Siem Reap before me – take Denis up on his offer!

  33. thanks for this great tips, this post revised all my memories from cambodia trip, thanks for share

  34. Lee Rosen says:

    Just spent six days riding around with Bunthy. What a great guy and what an awesome experience getting to know the temples, ruins and the people of Cambodia. Thanks for the suggestions and thanks mostly for turning us toward Bunthy.

    1. Trav says:

      @Lee Rosen- My pleasure…man, it’s hard to put in to words how wonderful Bunthy is. Truly a treasure, and I’m so glad you got to hang out with him!

  35. Three Zebras says:

    My two friends and I are heading off to Siem Reap in just over two weeks time. arriving on 15 April. Further to reading your great tips. we have now planned our nine day stay around your ideas.(no pressure) Most of all I took your advice and contacted Bunthy. He immediately replied in a polite manner that many businesses’ here in WA could learn from. We have booked Bunthy for several tours and have asked him for his recommendation of any more. We can not wait to get there and have Bunthy as our driver. We will certainly say hello to him for you. All the best and thankyou for your heartfelt advice. regards John, Rob and Lee.

    1. Trav says:

      @Three Zebras – Yah! I’m so glad you’re heading to Siem Reap and that you got to book Bunthy. Please, please, please tell him I say hi. I love that man (and his family) so dearly. You will have a BLAST!

  36. Veronica says:

    Hi Trav

    I would like to call Bunthy for the trip to Siem Reap,Cambodia this month, but my partner doesn’t agree due to his bad experience of getting robbed by a taxi driver when travelling in vietnam. He prefers to get a taxi at the airport which is under company.Is bunthy working under company? Or any advises to convince my partner? Thanks!!

    1. Trav says:

      @Veronica- I believe that Bunthy does work under a company. I can’t say for sure, but we actually met Bunthy for the first time at the airport. He is part of the group of drivers that actually picks up guests at the airport…we just got lucky we had such an amazing driver when we picked one randomly.

      I can highly, highly suggest Bunthy and we have had over 100 people use him and have only ever said great things about him.

      1. veronica says:

        Hi Trav
        I am just back from Siem Reap, and Glad that we ended to call Bunthy to bring us around Siem Reap especially the temples area. He knows and explained a lot about the history of the temples. It made out short visit tour around the temple more meaningful..And he was so kind to us..Glad I could convince my partner that it was the right decision to call him and it was :)
        Thanks for including Bunthy in your post !!

  37. Juliana Fang says:

    Hi Travis! Thank you for your great recommendation! I have just travel back from Siem Reap and fall in love with the place and people. My friend and I had travel two days of temples visiting with Mr Bunthy and he is amazing! Super friendly, attentive and informative, we felt so comfortable to travel around with him. It couldn’t get better.

    Bunthy is doing pretty well right now! He told me to leave you a message, so that you will be happy with him too! hahaha! :D

    Thanks ya!

    Juliana, Singapore

    1. Trav says:

      @Juliana – Thanks Juliana for relaying the message from Bunthy. He’s awesome – so glad you got to experience the best of Siem Reap!

  38. Linda Potter says:

    Hi My husband and I are in Siem reap from the 10th-15th of September. Would love to contact and book Bunthy, could you please forward his contact info, thanks Linda

    1. Trav says:

      @Linda Potter – You can find his info in the post above.

  39. When traveling in Siem Reap Temples & there are lots of orphan children hanging (around gunuine or not ? )
    Take some tennis balls or chalk & water bottles to give them .
    They love the balls – pens are useless no paper ect .
    I observed 4 kids playing kick with a old lost thong (shoe ) .. They can scribble on anything with chalk ..

  40. Mark B. says:

    Just spent a day with Bunthy. This guy is great! Don’t go to Siem Reap without taking advantage of this hidden gem of a person! He will add depth and perspective to your exposure to Cambodian people and culture. Also, try to go to the Phare Circus…it’s a great show of young acrobatic talent with all proceeds going to fund arts education for underprivileged Cambodian kids. And finally, if you can afford a splurge, stay at the Belmond Hotel. I’ve stayed at a lot of magnificent hotels around the world, and this one ranks right up there!

    1. Trav says:

      @Mark B- So glad you liked Bunthy…he truly is a gem. One of my favorite persons in the whole world! Next time, I’d love to hit up the Phare Circus. I can’t believe I missed it twice!

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