Siem Reap is the gateway town to the mighty Angkor complex ruins, with the iconic Angkor Wat just 7km down the road from central Siem Reap. With well over 2 million tourists visiting here every year it has driven an explosion of international restaurants offering all types of world cuisine, loads of accommodation options, thriving nightlife, shopping and plenty of activities even for non-temple days. All this has created a tourist bubble around central Siem Reap, and it doesn't look or feel like anywhere else in Cambodia. Those travelling for a while will probably find themselves having a splurge on some quality western food; it's pretty hard to resist!
If you’re not coming to see the temples and prefer non-touristic places, Siem Reap probably isn’t for you.
Plenty of reasonably priced spas and massage parlours are around to soothe after a long day of walking round the temples. Siem Reap still has some traditional Cambodian markets around as well as plenty of classic souvenir shopping to be had. You can also find some action fuelled entertainment with Khmer kickboxing and off-road motorsport trips around the countryside. There’s a very active nightlife scene with many bars centred around Street 08, better known as Pub Street. With super cheap drinks prices and permanent drinks promotions, Pub Street is always heaving.
You’re likely here to see the epic Angkor ruins, in which case you can either buy a 1 or 3 day pass. You need to be here at least the day before you go to Angkor so you can get your park entrance pass sorted. So a minimum of 2 or 4 days depending on the pass you get is recommended.