Cambodia is one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia and my four day Siem Reap travel itinerary will help you to organise your own perfect trip to this unique country.
The main attraction in Siem Reap is undoubtedly the Angkor Archaeological Park, where visitors can see the formidable Angkor Wat – the biggest religious site in the world. It is also here that visitors will find the famous temples of Bayon and Ta Prohm, brought to the world’s attention after being featured in the Tomb Raider films.
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Why You Need Four Days in Siem Reap
When I was planning my Siem Reap travel itinerary, I knew I would be at the end of my 3-month world trip, and I wanted to experience the Angkor temples in Siem Reap without feeling rushed.
For this reason, I decided to stay in Siem Reap for four days to allow me enough time to visit the ancient Angkorian temples at my own pace and also have free time at my hotel to relax. To be honest, after travelling to eight different countries over 90 days, I was shattered and needed a rest!
Spending four days in Siem Reap also allowed me to experience some of the other attractions that this Cambodian hotspot had to offer besides the Angkorian temples.
In this post, you will find essential information on how to visit Siem Reap and a Siem Reap travel itinerary similar to the one I used during my trip. I hope that it will help other travellers to plan their own trips to Cambodia.
What is Siem Reap Like?
Siem Reap is like nowhere I have ever been before, and that’s a fact! It is a bustling town that is steeped in history, from its famous jungle temples to its turbulent war-torn past. Siem Reap is a place that opens its heart to visitors and leaves them with a yearning to return.
The main town is busy and noisy, but strangely it all adds to its charm. You will discover fabulous restaurants cooking authentic Khmer and western dishes. And luxury hotels give you the chance to leave the backpacker trail behind and pamper yourself without breaking the bank.
There are so many great things to do in Siem Reap in addition to visiting the incredible Angkor temples. Visit a museum and discover Cambodia’s past, watch traditional dance shows, or even take part in a cookery class.
Depending on which country you reside in, you may need a visa to enter Cambodia. Check out iVisa.com to learn about the requirements and to apply for your visa (if required).
Flight Routes and Times to Siem Reap
We arrived in Siem Reap from Hanoi after spending two weeks in Vietnam. The flight time from Hanoi to Siem Reap is one hour and 45 minutes.
If you are planning a two-centre trip to Cambodia, staying in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, the flight time between the two is 55 minutes.
If you are flying into Siem Reap from Bangkok in Thailand, the flight time is 60 minutes.
There are no direct flights from the UK to Siem Reap. Travellers would need to book connecting flights in one of the leading flight hubs in Asia.
Transport from Siem Reap Airport to Siem Reap Town
From the airport, you can pick up a taxi to take you the 20-minute journey to the centre of town for around $10. Or why not pre-book an airport transfer to Siem Reap town so that a car will be waiting for you on arrival.
Getting Around Siem Reap
Siem Reap Town is a walkable city and will allow you to see the city on foot. Tuk-tuks are the cheap and easy way of getting around Siem Reap for tourists and locals and for travelling to the Angkor temples.
You can read here about Travel Advice on How To See The Angkor Temples in Siem Reap.
Where to Stay in Siem Reap
Make sure you book a hotel with a swimming pool because it will be a godsend in the heat!
Visitors can book alternative Siem Reap Hotels on Booking.com
Currency in Cambodia
American dollars are the preferred currency in Cambodia, although small Cambodian notes are handy for tipping or buying from local stalls.
I used the Caxton app to pre-load currency and local ATMs in Siem Reap to withdraw what I needed during my four days in Siem Reap.
The Perfect 4-Day Siem Reap Travel Itinerary
Arrive at Siem Reap International Airport and head to your hotel. You can pre-book an airport transfer to take the hassle out of finding a taxi once you land. Freshen up and head out into town to get dinner at one of Siem Reap’s community restaurants.
Wake up to the sights and sounds of Siem Reap! Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and spend your first morning relaxing around your hotel pool and planning which temple you want to visit on your first afternoon in Cambodia.
Around 1 pm – Hail a tuk-tuk from outside your accommodation, negotiate a price and hop aboard. Make sure your driver knows you need to buy an Angkor Pass as this is your first day in Siem Reap. Also, make sure he knows which temple you want to see.
Angie’s Tip: Get your hotel receptionist to write down your instructions in Cambodian so you can show them to your tuk-tuk driver.
I chose to visit Bayon Temple on my first day in Siem Reap, and it became one of my favourite temples in Angkor. You can read all about it in my post: Visit Bayon – The Smiling Face Temple in Cambodia.
5.30 pm Head back to your hotel via Angkor Thom Bridge and Terrace of the Elephants and catch the sun setting over the Angkor archaeological park. If you ask your tuk-tuk driver to stop, he should be happy to let you take a few photographs from this iconic viewpoint.
8.00 pm Head to dinner at either Footprint Cafe or Haven. Both are restaurants supporting the local community.
8.30 am Wake Up
9.30 am Walk into town for breakfast at The Missing Socks Laundry Cafe and then head to Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap town centre to discover the history behind the temples and the Khmer civilisation.
11.30 am Return to the hotel to relax around the pool
1.30 pm After lunch, meet your tuk-tuk driver to explore two popular Angkor temples.
A visit to Ta Prohm, made famous in the Tomb Raider film, is a must-see on your Siem Reap itinerary. Marvel at the tree roots engulfing the temple structures and afterwards, continue to Ta Nei, a smaller temple hidden deep in the Cambodian jungle.
You may like to read my Siem Reap temple posts:
5.30 pm Return to the hotel and freshen up for your evening in Siem Reap
8.00 pm Head to dinner at either Footprint Cafe or Haven or join a private street food tour in Siem Reap.
10.30 pm Wander back past Siem Reap’s night markets and pick up a souvenir. Or head to Pub Street, home to Siem Reap nightlife.
We walked through Pub Street and decided it wasn’t for us. It was loud and brash and not where we wanted to spend our time in Siem Reap. It is a popular tourist haunt, but it’s not somewhere I would include on my Siem Reap travel itinerary.
8.30 am Wake up
1.30 pm Grab lunch and meet your tuk-tuk driver to explore two more Angkor temples.
Preah Khan is one of the most intact Angkor temples, and Angkor Wat is the most photographed temple in Cambodia, if not the world!
You may like to read my post: Visit Preah Khan – The Sacred Sword Temple
5.30 pm Return to the hotel to freshen up.
8.00 pm Head out to see the circus show Phare. This is one of the best things to do in Siem Reap in the evening. You may also enjoy an Apsara Dance Show if you love the arts. The dance is performed in various places around town, including the luxurious Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor.
10 pm Return to the hotel and enjoy late-night drinks at the bar.
10 am Check out of your Siem Reap hotel and wander into town for breakfast at Brother Bong Cafe. Afterwards, pick up some last-minute Cambodian souvenirs before heading to Siem Reap airport and your next destination. For us, it was Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Reflections of Cambodia
Cambodia is, without doubt, one of the world’s most intriguing places to visit and somewhere that is hard to forget. Siem Reap is a must-visit on any Cambodia Travel itinerary, and the feeling of seeing the iconic Bayon face temple and the monumental Angkor Wat will stay with me forever.
However, the ancient Angkorian temples are not the only reason that travellers plan a trip to Cambodia; there are many other places in Cambodia also worth visiting.
You could head to Phnom Penh to see and hear the sights and sounds of Cambodia’s capital city or take time out and relax on one of Cambodia’s beautiful golden beaches.
One thing is for sure, time spent in Cambodia will be the trip of a lifetime.
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