Siem Reap is emerging like a butterfly from a chrysalis after the Pandemic. The city took the opportunity to improve roads, drainage, and the landscape on the riverfront, and now looks beautiful. A few things changed in Siem Reap over the last two years, so even if you have been to the city previously, it is now a different place.
The first things to do is Angkor Archaeological Park and Angkor Wat
Most people come to see Angkor Wat, so we will begin there. The amazing temples and monuments of the Khmer Empire remain open for visitors. Until late December 2022, tickets are double the time. A one-day ticket now allows you two days. A year ticket is now $200, previously the cost of a six-month ticket.
It is a fantastic time to visit as well. The tourist numbers are still low, so you often have an entire temple to yourself. Angkor Wat with no one but a few Buddhist Monks and Nuns praying is an amazing experience. You can really feel the ambiance and sacred nature of the temple without the crowds.
The overgrown temples like Ta Phrom or Preah Khan are fantastic to visit without the crowds. The birds and wildlife have returned to the quiet temples, making a visit absolutely delightful, but do stay away from the monkeys. You can feel like an intrepid explorer finding hidden cities in the jungle and make up your own adventure. It is likely you will be completely alone, perhaps accompanied by a friendly local dog curious to see if you might share your lunch.
Travel Guide To Floating Village ( Tonle Sap)
The great lake and its floating villages are also great to see without the tourist boats everywhere. Now is the best time to really get a feel for what life is like in the floating villages and stilt houses of the lake. Without the wash from as many boats, some of the vegetation has had a chance to regrow and the flooded forests are looking even more wild and adventurous now. You will see more birds now as they aren’t being disturbed by the sound of motor boats so often.
Guide to Local Markets
The Old Market remained partly open but the Night Market and the Art Night Market both had to close down. With the Old Market leading the charge, the market stalls are slowly reopening now with plenty of bargains to be found.
Once the booming center of nightlife in Siem Reap, the vibrant city center is beginning to awaken with a vengeance. Restaurants are reopening, some old favorites and many new. The nightclubs are pumping out music every night. , Cheers and Viva are still going strong in Pub Street. The amazing El Toro Grill has also just reopened dishing up their delicious and long-missed steaks.
Pub Street is home to several of the Temple Group venues now, which offer modern Khmer surroundings and extensive food and drink menus. Later in the evening, Pub Street is perfect for the young and energetic who want to trip the light fantastic and dance until late.
Street 26, Wat Bo
Street 26 is now the place for a night out for the more discerning, or those not into the loud dance music of Pub Street. Some of the former iconic bars of Pub Street have moved into this gorgeous little street. The Laundry Bar and Miss Wongs have opened in lovely new premises but with the same ambiance and service that we loved before. Another new bar on the street is Stewarts On 26 opened by the former owner of the Vintage Café. They joined long-time local favorites Tevys Place and Footprints Café.
Sok San Road
Once the hangout of backpackers wearing elephant pants drinking in cheap girlie bars, Sok San Road has changed. Some of the old favorite restaurants like Nick, Khmer Taste, and Taste For Life are still serving up great food at great prices. Many of the bars have been taken over and revamped and joined by plenty of others. It’s the perfect place to play pool and watch sports in a bar that will make you feel like a welcome local.
The Siem Reap River, actually a Khmer Empire canal, has been landscaped with parklands. It is even more beautiful than before and you can walk for several kilometers along the river now. The wooden pedestrian bridges and some of the larger bridges are festooned with lights and look stunning reflected in the water of an evening.
The FCC Scribe Bar is still offering great happy hours in the evening. Their extensive cocktail list is half price! A few other cocktail bars are also beginning to open along the riverside. They are lovely places to sit and sip a cocktail while watching the late afternoon sky change to pinks and purples, all reflected in the river as the sun goes down.
Some Restaurant is still serving up fantastic meals throughout the day and supporting the Landmine Detecting Rats. New Leaf Café is continuing to also serve great meals and support local community organizations.
Siem Reap’s trendy shopping district has also bounced back. Several of the fantastic cafes like Little Red Fox and Common Grounds survived, attesting to their great service, prices, and meals. Both also support community organizations, local farmers, and fair trade goods. The trendy boutiques offering gifts, handmade clothing, and antiques are open and being rejoined by new cool shops every week.
Start Planning Your Trip To enjoy a wonderful tour in Siem Reap and FIND a friendly AND FAMILY-ORIENTED tour service to explore the MAGICAL Angkor STONE TEMPLES and other natural places with Angkor Guide Travel in Siem Reap.