Getting Settled – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Most likely you’ll spend most of your stay in Siem Reap at the temples of Angkor Wat, but the town has enough amenities to make you comfortable.

The Cambodian riel, Thai baht and U.S. dollar are all accepted, but people seem to prefer the dollar; don’t be surprised if the locals give you change in any one of these currencies. When we went, the dollar exchanged for 4,000 riel.

Siem Reap Provincial Hospital has doctors on call 7 a.m.-11 a.m. and 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m.-noon on Saturday. It’s down an alley off Vithei Sivatha.

Tourist Information:
There’s a tourist office along Route 6 opposite the Grand Hotel where travelers can get maps of Angkor Wat and Siem Reap. You can rent tuk-tuks, motorcycles or cars with drivers here, as well as licensed guides for $20 U.S. per day. Hours are 7:30 a.m.-11 a.m. and 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m.-11 a.m. on Saturday.

Phone and Internet:
You’ll find numerous Internet cafes lining the main road; at least five were within a quick walk from where we stayed at Jasmine Guest House. Make sure to compare prices and service, though. Many will frustrate you with slow loading times and dated machines. Phones with international service are available at many guesthouses as well as the post office.

Mail and Newspapers:
The Siem Reap Angkor Visitors Guide has both print versions and a Web site of tourist information. There are links to local dance theaters and cultural events on the site, and the print guide has maps of Angkor Wat and in-town shopping.

Other Tips:
Businesses close for a large part of the day. Normal business hours are 7:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Most stores are closed Saturday afternoon and Sunday.