Siem Reap is the capital of the Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia, and the gateway to the magnificent Angkor Wat temples. The awe-inspiring heritage site, originally built for King Suryavarman II, was the capital of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to 13th century. Often referred to as the 8th World Wonder, Angkor Wat is now a protected UNESCO World Heritage site.
Since the discovery of the Angkor complexes, the town of Siem Reap has transformed from a small village into a major tourist hub of Cambodia. More than two million visitors come to see the ancient wonder every year.
While the historical site is what Siem Reap has become well known for, visitors to the town will soon realize there is a lot more to discover and enjoy. From its friendly and welcoming residents to its charming colonial and Chinese-style architecture, the charming town is also next to the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Siem Reap is home to a lively restaurant and bar scene, colorful local markets, museums, spas, art galleries, yoga retreats, handicraft workshops, and an array of shops with many treasures to discover.
DID YOU KNOW?
- In Khmer language, ‘rice’ and ‘food’ is the same term!
- Siem Reap literally translates to “Flat Defeat of Thailand”.
- Traditional boat racing, buffalo racing, Pradal Serey, Khmer traditional wrestling, and Bokator are the local sports of Cambodia.
- The Cambodian flag is only one of two, worldwide, that features a building.
Click through the tabs above to find out more about Getting Here, Where To Stay, Things To Do, and of course, Eating & Drinking in Siem Reap!
All photos by Anjali kids during the Anjali Photo Workshops
2014 FESTIVAL & WORKSHOP CENTER
For the second year in a row, we are proud to have our Festival & Workshop Center hosted at The Loft, located in the heart of Siem Reap’s Old Market district. The spacious restaurant is the hub of all festival and workshop activities, including our free portfolio reviews, artist sharing sessions, afternoon symposiums.
IN SIEM REAP
Getting around in Siem Reap, even by foot, is very easy and Tuk-tuk’s are awaiting weary feet in every street corner. Bicycles do make for an interesting and fun means of transport. Please note that motorbikes are not available for rent in Siem Reap.
Many international airlines fly directly to Siem Reap every day. The Siem Reap International Airport is only 7km from the town of Siem Reap, and a 20-minute tuk-tuk or taxi ride away. The one-way fare from the airport ranges from US$5 to $7 – depending on your bargaining skills!
For flights (Phnom Penh <-> Siem Reap) from Bangkok, be sure to check out our Partner Bangkok Airways’s website.
OVERLAND (Bangkok to Siem Reap)
Bangkok and Siem Reap is a mere 357 km apart and there are a variety of transport options available. Minibuses have been the most popular (yet not most reputable) choice and tickets are sold by many travel agents throughout town, often “all the way” to Siem Reap, but, do involve a car change at the border. However, there is a new, increasingly popular, direct bus service running from Mo Chit bus station to Siem Reap (and vice-versa). It departs Bangkok at 9am daily and costs 750 Baht. The bus will take travelers to the border, wait in Poipet until passengers have cleared customs, and then continues the journey. Here is how to book: click here!
Another option, for the more intrepid travelers, is taking the official Government bus (departs from Ekkamai bus station) or the train to Aranyha Phrathet (the town at the Thai side of the border), then taking a quick tuk-tuk ride to the border. Once on the Cambodian side, getting a taxi from the Poipet border to Siem Reap (2 hours, approx. $35-40/per car) is a popular and efficient choice. Total travel time from Bangkok to Siem Reap is approx. 8 hours, including the border crossing, but please be aware that this may vary!
Please be aware, that most, but NOT ALL nationalities can enter Cambodia overland. The same applies to being granted a visa on arrival or applying for an e-visa (evisa.mfaic.gov.kh). Please check your individual passport and visa requirements carefully prior to your trip!
Fore more travel information also see: www.travelfish.org
OVERLAND (Phnom Penh to Siem Reap)
There are many private bus and minibus companies serving this popular route. Travel time is usually between 5 and 7 hours, with most departures in the morning. Note that there is no official bus terminal in Phnom Penh, bus companies usually offer a free pick-up from your accommodation. Best is to pre-book with your hotel / guesthouse or one of the many travel agents in town. Giant Ibis, a new and increasingly popular company, provides online booking! See these websites for more information and schedules:
Most nationalities can enter Cambodia on a 30-day tourist visa, granted on arrival ($20, 1 passport photo) or can apply for an e-visa in advance (evisa.mfaic.gov.kh). Please do note that this is not the case for all nationalities, and does not always apply to those entering overland at the border. Please check your individual passport and visa requirements carefully prior to your trip! We wish you a safe journey and are looking forward to having you with us at the 9th Angkor Photo Festival!
There are plenty of accommodation choices in Siem Reap. Depending on your budget, you can have a luxurious time in some of the best hotels in the world, or have a good night’s rest in a cozy guesthouse. Before you search for a place to stay, take a look at these accommodation partners who have been generously supporting the festival!
PREFERRED ACCOMMODATION PARTNERS
The FCC Angkor sits at the heart of Siem Reap Town, overlooking the Siem Reap River and just minutes away from Cambodia’s most alluring attraction, Angkor Wat.
Renovated from the old French Governor’s mansion, art deco embraces chic hotel, creating an atmosphere of refined luxury and casual elegance. Defined by its lush green gardens and the salt-water swimming pool, the FCC Angkor embodies Cambodia’s tranquil pace of life: a casual swim, drinks in the garden, dinner on the terrace.
For total relaxation visit Visaya Spa — on the grounds of the FCC — where traditional therapies nourish the body as well as the mind.
Shinta Mani Club, an upscale boutique hotel created by acclaimed architect Bill Bensley, showcases 39 contemporary designed rooms and public spaces in an Angkorian-inspired design. This exceptional Angkor hotel enjoys a tranquil and leafy setting within the township of Siem Reap – just a 15 minute tuktuk ride from the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat.
The Shinta Mani Resort is a newly renovated boutique property centrally located in the leafy French Quartier between The Royal Gardens and the Old Market Area just 15 minutes from the Angkor Wat. The courtyard-style resort’s 62 rooms & junior suite enjoys a surprisingly different “Bensley twist” with direct access or first floor balcony views to the stunning swimming pool and flourishing tropical gardens.
Shinta Mani means “good heart” in Sanskrit, and the brand offers more than innovative hotels and resorts – it is a leader in responsible tourism through its not for profit component, the Shinta Mani Foundation. The mission of the registered Foundation is to enhance the lives of individuals in local communities, by increasing their human capital and providing them the tools to overcome the constraints of poverty.
Prince D’Angkor Hotel & Spa www.princedangkor.com
Prince D’ Angkor Hotel & Spa is a sanctuary for tourists and corporate guests alike who expect excellent hospitality and friendly service. So whether you are here for business or pleasure, the Prince D’ Angkor Hotel & Spa offers a luxurious haven, elegantly furnished to provide you with a comfortable stay, all the facilities and traditional Cambodian hospitality you would expect.
Experience ultimate luxury and bask in the splendor of elegance at the Prince D’ Angkor Hotel & Spa, the perfect base from which to explore the legendary Angkor temples and undiscovered treasures of Cambodia. It is conveniently located in the heart of the city; a minute’s walk from shops, restaurants and markets.
An elegant cage elevator adorns the lobby, gracefully carrying guests upwards as if it was 1932 all over again. Overhead, ceiling fans gently beat a rhythm and move the still air. From a cool uncluttered lobby, Art Deco black-and-white tiled halls lead you to rooms of perfect luxury. Welcome to Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, once the home of royalty, now the King of Hotels.
Located in the heart of Siem Reap, in the Old French Quarter only 8 kilometers from the extraordinary Angkor Wat temple complex, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor is the ideal place to explore the spiritual and archaeological masterwork. Relax and revitalize beside a magnificent pool inspired by Angkorian architecture or take a short stroll along the riverside to discover the vibrant local markets.
The 1961 is an artist retreat & creative space, where one can stay and immerse into a world of artists, poets, musicians and writers. Not only do they allow guests indulge in the artists’ worlds, but also encourage them to take part in the process of the creation of the room as a living art space.
The 1961 is a home for artists, art enthusiasts and travelers seeking creative nourishment. If that’s you, then come and stay at The 1961.
Heritage Suites Hotel www.heritagesuiteshotel.com
This sophisticated boutique retreat is nestled in tropical gardens within a few paces from the peaceful Siem Reap River. The Heritage, a “Relais & Châteux” member, is the ideal intimate base for an astounding Angkor experience. At Heritage, the focus is on a highly customized service, authenticity and tradition, while providing all expected modern facilities.
The architecture, the beautifully spacious suites, the unequaled kindness and efficiency of the staff and its culinary delights make Heritage unique as a luxurious sanctuary.
The Heritage Suites Hotel is located only 6 kilometers from the renowned Angkor temples and 15 minutes from Siem Reap international airport. It takes a gratifying 4 minutes tuk-tuk ride to reach the Old Market, the new fascinating National Museum and lively Pub Street area.
Situated in Siem Reap, the cultural capital of Cambodia, just 10 minutes from the entrance to Angkor, Amansara was once the guest villa of King Norodom Sihanouk. Today the walled garden compound serves as a tranquil 24-suite Angkor Wat luxury resort with the ambiance of a gracious home.
Once known as Villa Princière or Villa Apsara, this former royal retreat was built by French architect, Laurent Mondet, in 1962 for King Sihanouk to accommodate visitors unable to stay at the royal residence nearby. Quintessentially ’60’s in character, it featured cool, low-slung chalets spaced around an irregular-shaped swimming pool and a shady lawn.
Casa Angkor Hotel www.casaangkorhotel.com
Casa Angkor Hotel, located in the leafy old French quarter, is replete with a sense of history, place and tradition. Its distinctive French colonial architecture, its central (yet quiet) location and friendly staff make it a firm favorite amongst the ones in the know.
The tastefully decorated rooms feature city or garden views and come with a full range of modern amenities. For those looking for that extra bit of luxury, a range of larger Suite rooms are also available.
A special package* awaits visitors to the 9th Angkor Photo Festival!! Contact [email protected] for details!!
*(Please note, this package is a special offer and not available online!).
The Cashewnut Guesthouse www.thecashewnut.com
From the moment you arrive at this personally run Siem Reap guest house you’ll feel the warmth and hospitality offered by your host Alan and staff.
The Cashew Nut Guesthouse is situated only a short 10 minutes’ walk away from the lively markets and the restaurant district making it the perfect place to base yourself during your stay in Siem Reap. It also offers one of the best views of Siem Reap city and awesome sunsets from the roof top ‘chill zone”. You can even see Angkor Wat from there!
The spotlessly clean guest house has been designed to meet all travelers needs, with reliable up to date travel information and magnificent customer service. For the second time, the Cashewnut has been awarded the “Travellers Choice 2013 winner” award by Tripadvisor. 5 Star service at a budget price!
The Loft [social_icon title=”The Loft” url=”https://www.facebook.com/theloft.angkor?fref=ts” profile_type=”facebook” window=”yes”]
Join us at The Loft, located in the heart of Siem Reap’s Old Market district. The spacious restaurant is not only the hub of all festival and workshop activities, but also serves a range of mouthwatering Asian and Chinese dishes.
Casually elegant, east-meets-west dining, indulge in casually elegant dining at the FCC Angkor, where rich aromas drift in the tropical breeze and laughter echoes through the open-air canteen.
Catering to an international clientele, the Head Chef has created a menu highlighting the textures and flavours of Cambodia — think Fish Amok and Cambodian Curry, Papaya Salad and Fried Vegetable Spring Rolls — while deftly travelling the culinary globe.
Kroya which means “food” in the Khmer Royal language is the Shinta Mani Club’s unique restaurant inspired by Shinta Mani’s heritage. The menu blends international as well as local product, combining fresh ingredients, native herbs and spices to create innovative, palette pleasing flavours. For those seeking an unforgettable Khmer culinary experience, savour the authentic taste of traditional cuisine with our 7 set Khmer Tasting Menu which follows the seasons and the local harvest. Meals may be enjoyed indoors or outdoors on one of our Khmer swings.
Combining the best of the local culture and cuisine with dishes from around the world, each of our restaurants and bars has its own unique atmosphere and setting
Restaurant Le Grand- showcases Royal Khmer cuisine and Western fine dining. The ancient Royal Khmer cuisine has been handed down through centuries by the chefs of the Royal Palace. It encompasses the blending of ingredients with intriguing textures, complex aromas and fresh exhilarating flavors, to create a distinct and elegant gastronomical experience.
The Mouy Lounge (Prince D’Angkor Hotel & Spa) [social_icon title=”The Mouy Lounge ” url=”https://www.facebook.com/TheMouyLounge/info” profile_type=”facebook” window=”yes”]
The Mouy, Siem Reap’s first and only Resto Lounge, combines upscale food and contemporary cocktails with a comfortable yet lavish atmosphere. The nature-inspired restaurant/lounge is a one of a kind visual experience, with bold natural graphics inside, and a natural light as a centerpiece to this urban venue. We are very honored to have you in the house.
The Mouy Resto & Lounge is the place to be if you are looking for a bar with no pretension and provides you with the ambiance of a Siem Reap styled environment, it makes a great venue for catching up with an old friend or just chilling out with your group.
Laundry Bar [social_icon title=”Laundry Bar” url=”https://www.facebook.com/laundrybarsiemreap” profile_type=”facebook” window=”yes”]
Established in 2002, Laundry has played its eclectic mix of tunes to a chilled out crowd for a decade. Well prepared drinks are served at reasonable prices to a mixed crowd of expats, locals and visitors. Darts, pool and wifi are free. Bands and guest DJ’s make regular appearances.
Asian Square www.asiansquare-restaurant.com
We would like to warmly introduce Asian Square Restaurant & Lounge, a fine dining venue to enjoy culinary delights from exotic local cuisines, to tangy Asian dishes and Western favorites, all under one roof.
HAVEN Cambodia www.haven-cambodia.com
Helping has never tasted this good! While enjoying a dish from our special selection of flavourful Asian and Western food – including some Swiss specialities and many fresh vegetarian tidbits –you are supporting our training programme and are thereby helping a disadvantaged young adult to achieve a secure and independent future. Open for lunch and dinner. Please book ahead to avoid disappointment!
New Leaf Book Café [social_icon title=”New Leaf Cafe” url=”https://www.facebook.com/NewLeafCafe.org” profile_type=”facebook” window=”yes”]
New Leaf Book Café is a non-profit bookshop, restaurant and events space in one. This friendly place has become somewhat of a second home to the Festival Team.
Located in the heart of Siem Reap, New Leaf Book Café is an oasis for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Cambodia’s most popular tourist town. The café provides training and paid work experience in the service industry to disadvantage youths. 100% of the profits are donated to local good causes, including Anjali House.
Sala Baï www.salabai.com
The training Hotel and Restaurant are places of essential learning activity and work experience. Opened to the public,they enable the students to work in real conditions. Sala Baï Hotel & Restaurant School was founded in 2002 by the French NGO Agir pour le Cambodge. Entirely and exclusively meant for young Cambodians coming from underprivileged families
Featuring a winning mix of creative local cuisine, Marum is training restaurant, run by Kaliyan Mith, an NGO that has been working with street children and other marginalized youth in Siem Reap since 2005.
Bistrot de Siem Reap www.victoriahotels.asia
A cosy restaurant presenting modern French gastronomy.
Le Malraux www.le-malraux-siem-reap.com
Senteurs d’Angkor www.senteursdangkor.com
Awakening of senses! The moment you walk into Senteurs d’Angkor shop you are immediately struck by an explosion of the senses with heady aromas floating from every corner. Pamper yourself with delicately perfumed massage oils, body creams or scented candles or tease your taste buds with a fine selection of Cambodian spices. The scent-sation of Senteurs d’Angkor can stay with you long after your holiday! Senteurs d’Angkor prides itself on sourcing all of its products in Cambodia, from raw ingredients to packing materials. This philosophy ensures that jobs and income stays within Cambodia. For those wanting to see more of what goes into making the scents and colours of Senteurs d’Angkor products, visit their workshop.
Kaya Spa & Café
Located in a newly renovated colonial house in front of the Old Market, Kaya Spa & Café is the place dedicated to your body and taste well-being.
The team of the Spa will provide you a full range of high quality traditional massages as well as special treatments such as candle massage and facial treatments.
Our chef at Kaya Café prepares a selection of fresh daily Khmer desserts and an assortment of exclusive palatable juices and shakes to savor on the terrace enjoying the view of the busy market.
It is definitely the place to be to make the most of the Cambodian pleasures in a comfy atmosphere.
Smateria’s product creation is not only about recycling: it is also about creating useful, attractive and innovative items from the most mundane materials. By using materials that already exist, or have already been used, we draw our customers into a world of new perceptions and imagination
Smateria is all about transformation. A used milk carton becomes a diary or maybe a handbag. Creative thinking adds value to an object, regardless of its original worth.
Smateria aims at a continuous process of transformation, beginning with discarded objects. Obviously this implies a strong eco-friendly message: let’s not be wasteful; we can look beautiful even while wearing recycled material. Whether it be a handbag, a lamp or a fairytale hat. We know that fairytales always come true…
Body Tune www.bodytune.co.th
Tune in your body, mind and spirit. Let yourself go, get pampered and re-energized. Indulge yourself in the relaxation and simplicity of Body Tune. The tastefully decorated spa provides a range of professional massages and spa treatments in a quiet, stylish ambiance, overlooking the tranquil Siem Reap River. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap and book your appointment today!
The Mouy Lounge (Prince d’Angkor Hotel) [social_icon title=”The Mouy Lounge” url=”https://www.facebook.com/TheMouyLounge/info” profile_type=”facebook” window=”yes”]
A Big welcome to The Mouy Resto & Lounge! The Mouy, Siem Reap’s first and only Resto Lounge, combines upscale food and contemporary cocktails with a comfortable yet lavish atmosphere. The nature-inspired restaurant/lounge is a one of a kind visual experience, with bold natural graphics inside, and a natural light as a centerpiece to this urban venue. We are very honored to have you in the house. The Mouy Resto & Lounge is the place to be if you are looking for a bar with no pretension and provides you with the ambiance of a Siem Reap styled environment, it makes a great venue for catching up with an old friend or just chilling out with your group.
Phare “The Cambodian Circus” www.pharecambodiancircus.org
A unique experience! The famous artists of Phare Ponleu Selpak, after performing around the world, are now pleased to offer you a unique show in Siem Reap!
An amazing blend of traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatic, juggling and contortion beautifully choreographed and performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society.
“Phare, the Cambodian Circus” is an offshoot project of Phare Ponleu Selpak (Association) which translates as “Brightness of the Arts” in English. PPS Association is a Cambodian non-profit, non-governmental association founded in 1994 by eight young Cambodians ex-refugees artists.
2013 FESTIVAL & WORKSHOP CENTER
1 The Loft
EVENING OF SLIDESHOWS
4 McDermott Gallery (Old Market)
5 E.F.E.O. (Ecole Française d’Extreme Orient)
Where To Stay
Eating & Drinking
F The Mouy
Things To Do
N Kaya Spa & Cafe