Siem Reap was the last stop on our adventure in Cambodia. We had visited the dusty capital Phnom Penh and learnt about the Khmer Rouge, chilled out in sleepy Kampot, explored abandoned buildings at Bokor National Park, escaped the crowds in Sihanoukville and hunted for temples in Battambang. Siem Reap was a fantastic city to finish up our adventure before heading over to Thailand.
Unsurprisingly, Siem Reap is a major tourist hub in Cambodia as it boasts the incredible temples of Angkor. You can’t tell anyone you’re going to Cambodia without the obligatory ‘Are you going to see Angkor Wat?’ question. We, of course did see Angkor, but Tim is going to cover that in posts to come!
Siem Reap is one of those cities where it’s really easy to be a tourist in (a little too easy!) If you want bars, restaurants, cheap beer and bright lights – Pub Street is where it’s at and even beyond that – there are so many night markets, day markets, cheap massages and street vendors. It’s a great city to be a backpacker in, especially if you want to get wasted with other backpackers. It is SO different from the rest of Cambodia.
We enjoyed our time there, but I think a huge reason for this was where we stayed. We decided not to stay ‘100 metres walk from Pub Street’, or whatever it is that a lot of accommodation providers advertise. We stayed out of the city, about a 10 minute tuk tuk drive down some of the most dusty, bumpy and pot holed roads we have so far experienced!
Welcome to our oasis in Siem Reap – The Overflow Guesthouse. We booked a couple of nights here and ended up staying over a week!
The reason we loved staying here was because we were outside the hustle and bustle of the city, away from Pub Street and the pumping music, away from the singlet clad backpackers (not that we can talk, Tim wears singlets all the time) and out in what felt like – the countryside. From the rooftop, we could watch the locals out and about doing their thing. It was so quiet and so relaxing.
I know most of the time it seems the easy option to stay ‘in’ the city, but this time – it was a ‘good for the soul’ choice to stay further out. It only cost US$2 -3 for a tuk tuk in and out. Now you can’t do better than that! 😉