If you like one dollar Tacos and Margarita’s you’re going to love Siem Reap. I’m not even joking. The city is based around the infamous Pub Street. Here you’ll find countless western restaurants, bars, massage parlors, and hotels. It’s great for partying and getting your hamburger fix but it’s not so great for your budget. Fortunately there are plenty of cheap guest houses, hostels and local restaurants all around town. Below you’ll find out how to live cheap, eat cheap, and discover Angkor Wat and all the attractions around Cambodia’s second largest city, Siem Reap.
How To Get To Siem Reap
- From Bangkok
Flying on Air Asia is often the cheapest and easiest option if you book in advance.
- From Phnom Penh
Local busses are your cheapest option with tickets as low as 7$. These can be bought at your hostel/hotel but will cost an extra 1-2$. For the cheapest fare, head directly to the bus station . Busses take around 10 hours. You can also take a boat for 32$/6 hours.
How To Get Around Siem Reap For Cheap
- Tuk Tuks
Siem Reap is full of drivers constantly yelling Tuk Tuk! You can go just about anywhere in the city for 2-3$. Be sure to haggle and set the price before you get in.
Riding on the back of a scooter is the cheaper than taking a tuk tuk and usually costs between 50 cents and 1.50$.
Most hostels and hotels offer Bicycle rentals for 1-2$/day. You can use them to explore the city and Angkor Wat.
Where To Eat Cheap In Siem Reap
- Street Stalls
Siem reap is full of local street stalls and restaurants where you can have a chicken over rice or Amok curry for between 1-2 dollars.
Viva rivals any Mexican restaurant in the US but is at least 50% cheaper. Daily specials include 1$ Fish Tacos and 1.50$ Margaritas. The taquitos, chicken wings, and chicken fajita are also good choices.
- Soup Dragon
Despite being located on the main drag, this restaurant offers every kind of Asian soup at really fair prices. A filling bowl of wan ton soup goes for just 2.50$.
- The Sun
The Sun isn’t for budget backpackers but it’s one of the best restaurants in Cambodia. Everything on the menu is worth a try but the hamburger really stands out. It’s a huge beef patty imported from Australia surrounded by sweet beat, pineapple, a pesto-mayonnaise sauce, bacon, egg, cheese and a bagel like bun for 7$.
Where To Sleep Cheap In Siem Reap
The following accommodation recommendations are all places I’ve been to. They are the best value options for travelers on any budget.
Down Town Siem Reap Hostel #UltraBudget #Dorm
This is one of the cheapest backpacker hostels with dorms for just 4$. It’s got a bar, pool table and large swimming pool. It’s located 5 minutes away from Pub Street.Run Away!
Mad Monkey #Budget #Dorm #Pool
Mad Monkey is another great backpackers hostel known for it’s incredible food and pool parties. Dorms cost 8$ and privates go for 14$. It’s not the cheapest but it definitely has the best food, staff and backpacker atmosphere.Run Away!
Tropical Breeze Guest House #Budget #PrivateRoom
This guesthouse is right next to Downtown Siem Reap Hostel. They offer pretty simple but nice private rooms for 10$ during the low season. They also have a small restaurant with delicious food and cheap prices.Run Away!
Oral D’Angkor #Budget #PrivateRoom #50%Discount
I’ve stayed at this hotel a few times over the years because it caters to both tourists and locals and the prices for privates are the cheapest in town. In late 2014, a Cambodian-American named Cha purchased the hotel. He’s super friendly and makes a delicious homemade bagel with cream cheese. His advertised price is 14$/night but he’s willing to offer a 50% discount if you tell him I sent you and you book in person.Run Away!
Shadow Angkor Villa #ComfortBudget #PrivateRoom
This hotel is perfect for a couple looking for luxury on a budget. Rooms start at 25$ and include AC, cable tv, wifi, free water, fridge, electric kettle, blow dryer and hot water. There’s a pool downstairs and it’s just a 3 minute walk to Pub Street. There are only 15 rooms, so be sure to book in advance during the high season.Run Away!
Top Budget Adventures In Siem Reap
- Angkor Wat
No other ancient wonder, not even the Pyramids, can compare to the authenticity, detail and magnitude of Angkor Wat. Get yourself a bike for 1$ and a 1 day pass for 20$. For more info, “Budget Backpacker’s Guide To Angkor Wat.”
- Kompong Khleang Floating Village
Kompong Khleang is a fishing village on Tonle Sap lake. It’s a bit touristy but a nice boat ride and way to witness a unique way of life. The best part, there’s no 20$ entrance fee.
- Waterfall / Swimming Pool
This place is way off the beaten path and subsequently costs 30$ by tuk tuk to get to. It’s basically a waterfall and public swimming pool on the side of a mountain. If you ever wanted to go swimming with monks, this is the place.
- Shoot an AK-47
If you’ve ever wanted to shoot anything, blow up something with a bazooka, or throw a grenade, you can do it in Siem Reap. Grenade throwing goes for 30$, and a magazine for an M-16/AK-47 costs 50$. Just ask any Tuk Tuk driver to take you to the range.