6 Questions… will be a series dedicated to answering the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of locations I have visited, serving to answer questions fellow travelers may have when planning their trip.
Who (is this suitable for): Siem Reap is a great trip for the adventurous traveler. You won’t find all-inclusive resorts here, and there are few hotels that offer the extravagance and unnecessary amenities most have come to expect. Not for the faint of heart, Cambodia in general is still a developing country, and Siem Reap in particular has few paved roads. Dust and smog is in the air, and your feet and legs will get dirty every day. There are often uneven footpaths instead of sidewalks, and large potholes in dedicated roads. You do not need to be in shape to travel to Cambodia, but be aware that Cambodia is hot and humid, and is best for those who are not easily winded or exhausted.
What (kind of trip will this be): Siem Reap is great for a backpacking adventure. It would make an incredible journey for a honeymoon, a trip through Asia, and as an entry into travel to developing countries. Siem Reap is incredibly safe, and would be suitable for people of all backgrounds.
When (should you go): I was able to travel through Asia in November, and highly recommend this time. I was able to avoid the painful heat and humidity that other times if the year offer, as well as the rainy season that would have completely ruined my trip. For more detailed seasonal dates, check out this Trip Advisor site.
Where (to stay): My whole-hearted, honest opinion is to stay at the Pavillion d’Orient Boutique Hotel. It comes furnished with two amazingly serene pools surrounded by palm trees, breakfast with to-die-for croissants, and a spa with the cheapest massages and treatments you’ll ever find. A tip on booking with POBH is to reach out to the hotel directly. When I booked with them, I went through their front desk instead of booking through a third party such as booking.com, and they were able to provide me with a complementary tuk tuk driver for the duration of my stay. This alone was worth its weight in gold, and saved me an incredible amount of time, energy, and headaches while I was there.
Why (do I recommend this place): I cannot recommend Siem Reap, Cambodia enough. This is a great place to really test your travel skills, and to see a completely new perspective. While it is not for the faint of heart, Siem Reap is a great experience for those who want to see a less touched part of the world and have a truly unique experience.
How (do I get there): You can fly into Siem Reap directly from any major airport in Asia. I flew in via Air Asia from Bangkok, which was only about an hour and a half flight. Since it is a smaller airport, you will land and exit the plane via the tarmac. I suggest arranging a personal taxi with your hotel to pick you up and drop you off at the airport. The car ride from the airport into Siem Reap city center is roughly a 30-minute ride.