Siem Reap, Cambodia – Luggage Factory

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Siem Reap, Cambodia

Probably most famous for its proximity to the world famous Angkor Temples, Siem Reap has plenty of its own to offer as well. Known as a hub of travel within Cambodia, the city is also home to ancient ruins, rice fields, and the Siem Reap River.  

5 Must-See Attractions:
  1. Angkor Temples (Angkor Wat): Take a day trip here to see these beautiful temples and wander around the ruins. Don’t leave without seeing the largest and most breathtaking temple at Angkor, Angkor Wat.
  2. The Killing Fields: The Killing Fields were the execution grounds for the Khmer Rouge during the genocide between 1975 and 1978. Admission to the fields comes with an excellent audio guide. This is a depressing sight but one definitely worth seeing to truly get a grasp of Cambodian history and people.
  3. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum: A very heartbreaking, yet touching museum, this former torture and detention center has been converted into a museum to document the crimes of the Khmer Rouge and honor the victims. We recommend that you visit the museum after the Killing Fields.
  4. National Museum: If you’re interested in checking out the art, culture, and architecture during the Golden Era of the Khmer Kingdom, this is the museum for you.
  5. The Cambodian Landmine Museum: This small museum is run by a NGO dedicated to at-risk families and communities affected by mines. Proceeds go into mine-awareness campaigns and relief work.
5 Kid-Friendly Sights:
  1. Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary: This bird sanctuary plays an essential role in breeding endangered species of water birds. It makes for an excellent daytime activity.
  2. Ta Prohm: This amazing temple is famous for its massive tree roots that intertwine with the building stonework.
  3. The Happy Ranch Horse Farm: Take your kids to the countryside for a day and explore Siem Reap by horse.
  4. RiverGarden Hotel Pool: Head over to this hotel and take a dip in their salt-water pool for a fun filled family day!
  5. Jungle Junction: This house of fun is designed just for kids and is fully equipped with an outdoor playground, sand pit, bouncy castle, and shaded outdoor seating.
5 Great Free Attractions:
  1. Pub Street: Pub Street is the place to be at night in Siem Reap. Somewhat overwhelming, this street is always bustling with crowds and lined with restaurants and street vendors.
  2. Tonle Sap Lake: This large lake is a great place to take a boat tour or just check out for a few hours. It’s home to exotic species of birds, floating villages, and more.
  3. Temple Bar: This restaurant features a free Apsara show every night with traditional music and dancing.
  4. Old Market: Explore this tourist-friendly local market and find great authentic clothing, food, souvenirs and more.
  5. Volunteer for a day: There are plenty of ways to get involved with the locals in Cambodia; one great way is to volunteer. There’s no lack of organizations seeking help for you to choose from.

5 Great Restaurants:
  1. Under Construction Bar & Restaurant: Yes, this is the name of this quirky and creative place. A fun, unique atmosphere with reasonably priced food and drinks.
  2. Bayon Restaurant: Bayon is situated in a lovely garden setting and serves traditional Cambodian cuisine.
  3. The Blue Pumpkin: This cute café will provide you with your daily pastry and ice cream fix!
  4. Singing Tree Restaurant: This café features a range of delicious meals, all fresh and healthy options.
  5. Cuisine Wat Damnak: A slightly pricier option, the food will be well worth the price.
5 Nightlife Recommendations:
  1. Asana: Always sure to provide a great atmosphere and tasty cocktails!
  2. The Yellow-Sub: As you might guess, this bar serves as a Beatle’s tribute. It’s slightly tucked away but definitely worth seeking out.
  3. Picasso Bar: This small, stylish bar offers an intimate friendly ambiance for a great night out.
  4. Angkor What? Bar: Usually found crowded with backpackers, this lively place was the first bar to open on Pub Street.
  5. Beaches: With sand on the ground, it’s just like being on the beach. The low-key, fun vibes here usually draw in a crowd of locals and ex-pats.
5 Romantic Getaways:
  1. Take on a Khmer Cooking Class: Try something different by taking on a traditional cooking class and learn how to cook some of your favorite curries for each other.
  2. Angkor Thom: Take a stroll through this enormous temple complex where you’ll find ancient ruins alongside vast stretches of jungle.
  3. Sunset at Phnom Bakheng: This beautiful temple offers a rewarding view of the sunset after an evening climb up the mountain.
  4. Kompong Phluk: Take a break from the city and visit this floating village by boat. It’s a great excursion as well as a way to see how the Cambodian people live outside of the city.
  5. Yoga: Do some soul-searching in a yoga class or even full retreat. Siem Reap has some of the best atmospheres for this exact kind of activity.
5 Great Hotels:
  1. Sojourn Boutique Villas: Treak Village Road, Treak Village, Krong Siem Reap
  2. Sala Lodges: Salakomreuk no. 498, Cambodia
  3. Hotel Be Angkor: The Passage, Old Market Area, Cambodia
  4. Golden Banana Boutique Hotel: Voat Damnak, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  5. Angkor Boutique Hostel and Jasmine Family Hotel: Salakanseng village, Svay Dangkheum commune, Siem Reap, Cambodia
5 Must-Try Foods:
  1. Fish Amok: A fish curry with beautiful presentation and delicious taste.
  2. Nom Banh Chok: Referred to as Khmer Noodles in English, this dish is made up of thin rice noodles, vegetables, and herbs.
  3. Bai Sach Chrouk: Two staples in Cambodia, pork and rice is a simple and delicious meal that can be found everywhere.
  4. Lort Cha: Fat rice noodles combined with soy sauce and fish sauce, Lort Cha is often topped with a fried egg and chili paste.
  5. Khmer Curry: This curry is less spicy than others, but combines the usual ingredients of coconut milk, spices, vegetables, and meat.
Climate: Similar to other countries in the region, Cambodia is defined by two distinct seasons. May-October: During these months comes wet season which is characterized by frequent rainfall. Don’t let that stop you from traveling during this times- the rain is usually only heavy for a few hours each day and often offers a nice break from the heat. Keep in mind that from May-August, temperatures will be high between the 70’s and 80’s. By October, it will begin to cool down to the low 70’s. November- April: These months constitute Cambodia’s dry season. November and January remain cooler, with temperatures averaging in the mid 60’s. By March temperatures quickly pick up, hovering in the 80’s by April. Electrical Converter Information: Electrical outlets in Siem Reap use 230 V and 50 Hz. Be sure to bring an adapter for chargers and an electrical converter for some appliances. Cultural Differences: There are many cultural differences to be aware of in Cambodia. Be sure to talk to the locals and take the time to learn about the history of the people. Be aware that it’s very insulting to touch someone’s head or point to someone’s feet in Cambodia. Transportation: Getting around Siem Reap is easy; there are taxis and rickshaws available everywhere. They are an easy and cheap way to get around, but be sure to agree upon a price before beginning the trip. Safety: It’s important to keep in mind that Siem Reap is a big and crowded city. Because of this there are always precautions to take that reduce the risk of loss and theft. Scan all major documents and email them to yourself before leaving, so even if your bag goes missing you still have copies. Be sure to keep a list of your emergency contacts with you at all times and always send your itinerary to a friend. Both men and women should avoid carrying valuables in their pockets, especially in their back pockets. Women should consider wearing an over-the-shoulder purse with a zipper; we carry a great brand of these bags called PacSafe, which greatly helps in reducing the risk of theft. Paperwork Needed: To travel outside of the U.S., you will need a valid passport with sufficient blank pages. Before traveling we recommend that you consult your local consulate of the country you are visiting to ensure you obtain the proper documentation and identification. Air Travel Information: Siem Reap is serviced by one major airport: Siem Reap International Airport (REP). The airport has ample public transportation and taxi services to carry you to and from your destination. Nearly all major airlines fly to these airports such as: JetBlue, United, Delta, American Airlines, and more. Keep in mind there are also a number of other airports nearby in other parts of Cambodia as well as in neighboring countries like Thailand. Trip Highlights: The highlights of the trip are easily the vast Angkor ruins and temples as well as learning about the Cambodian Genocide through the Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Best Luggage to Use: Wheeled luggage is the way to go because often in the city you are walking from block to block for a taxi or subway. Also, a small over the shoulder bag would be useful for daily travels. Must Have Travel Accessories: As with any city, it is best to carry your money and credit cards in your front pocket. To accommodate this, try using a small money clip to keep in your pants pocket. Also, these garment bags maybe useful if you plan to bring a suit or dress for a night on the town check out our garment bags.  

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