Our Siem Reap travel guide for backpackers is packed with tips and advice about backpacking in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Discover the must visit places, travel safely in Siem Reap, find good places to eat, get around the city with ease, discover quality accommodation options and much more. Written by fellow travellers, our Siem Reap backpacking guide will help you make the most out of your time in Cambodia – you can even post your own experiences and connect with fellow travellers.
Siem Reap is the capital city of Siem Reap Province, and located in northwestern Cambodia. Siem Reap is the epicentre of Cambodia’s tourist traffic owing to its proximity to the magnificent Angkor temple complex. Once a series of small riverside villages, Siem Reap has seen a flurry of expansion since the 1990s when the Khmer Rouge era ended, and is now a popular lure for backpackers, volunteers and expats alike. Siem Reap is attractive for its laid-back pace of life and low cost of travelling. It has a balance of traditional Cambodian life and most Western amenities, thanks to a large expat population.
The Main Tourist Area
The main tourist area of Siem Reap is a relatively compact triangular block that contains the Old Market (Psar Chas) and Pub Street. This area is jam-packed with inexpensive restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, coffee shops and cute boutiques. A stone’s throw away are several night markets that are well worth a browse for cheap clothing, accessories and gifts, plus a multi-screen cinema showing English-language movies and numerous supermarkets and mini marts.
Other popular areas
Other popular spots for drinking, dining and budget accommodation are the Wat Bo area and Sok San Road, which are to the east and west of the town centre respectively.
Nightlife in Siem Reap
Siem Reap undoubtedly has the best nightlife in Cambodia, and there are innumerable places to drink and party, ranging from big hectic clubs on Pub Street to chic cocktail bars squirrelled away in the lanes. Beer is cheap, starting from 50c for a mug of local draft.
Activities in and around Siem Reap
In and around Siem Reap, there are a number of other attractions besides the temples, including Angkor National Museum, Phnom Kulen, the Cambodian Cultural Village, the Tonle Sap Lake, and the Cambodian Landmine Museum. There are also various activities available in town, including cooking classes, cocktail classes, some fantastic yoga studios, and plentiful places to get a massage.
You may also be interested in our Phnom Penh backpacking guide.