I thought Angkor Wat was just a temple on it's own? What are the temples in the Angkor Complex? Since I am spending 5 nights in Siem Reap, I should be able to see all the temples?
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You will have PLENTY of time to see all the immediate temples PLUS the outlying temples in 3 full days. The driver/guide usually takes you on this course-
Day 1: The small circuit (+ sunset &/or sunrise one of these days)
Day 2: The grand circuit + Angkor Wat
Day 3: Outlying temples (Beng Mealea, Banteay Srie, etc)
Do a search on these forums for the temples included in these trips, I can guarantee you the driver is not going to leave any of them out!
Whether to spend 3 or more days in Siem Reap is a personal choice, many tire of seeing temples after a day or two. 5 nights is adequate, in my opinion, to see the temples and see the town, and NOT be rushed.
Thank you Maneki-neko for the advice. My daughters and I are looking forward to spending 5 nights in Siem Reap and 2 nights in Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh is just to see the S21.
Another question is we only want to eat the local Cambodian food, could you please recommend some local restaurants for us. We would like some restaurants where the local would go too. It does not have to be a fancy restaurant....we only want authentic local Cambodian dishes
For soem real Khmer cuisine, just go off the side streets, away from Pub Street (NOT authentic and also expensive) and you will find something. Hot pots, grilled chicken, etc. The only problem is most places do not have menus, and if they DO, they will be in Khmer. Also, how are you with fermented fish sauce? :-o
In Phnom Penh DO NOT pass up the opportunity to visit The National Museum, which houses all the significant statuary from the temples at Angkor(before it was all looted) and also visit nearby Wat Phnom,
5 days in Siem Reap is good, you can use 3 day pass for Angkor Wat and you should check out Bantesy Srei Temple, it is further away from town about 40 mins by taxi but it is really beautiful. There is also the national museum in Siem Reap which will tell you history of Khmer and Angkor Wat, pretty interesting.
I used to stay at Soria Moria Hotel and I love restaurant there if you want to check it out, I mean it might not be local khmer food but fish curry is really yummy. I ate at hotel all the time during my stay in Siem Reap. I have tried some other restaurants by Angkor Wat but it is just not my favourite.
Maneki-neko: oh dear, I do not read Khmer neither do I speak the language..I guess I will need the driver to help me out. I love fermented fish sauce - I'm ready to try all food. So I guess I will let the driver know not to take me to Pub Street.
I'm taking the bus (Giant Ibis) and will be arriving Phnom Penh on a Saturday afternoon ..will we have time to visit the S21 or should we visit it on Sunday, provided they are open on Sunday.
Do you know of any guide or tut tut driver that could take us to this places? We are totally on our own in Phnom Penh and I was thinking of asking the hotel to get us a tut tut driver. I rather get one on my own because I know the hotel takes commission from the tut tut driver and I don't like that
Mini M: I am staying at The Privilege Floor at the Borei Angkor hotel. Yes, I plan to buy the 3 days pass. As for the local dishes, I will have to depend on my driver to take me there. This will be my first visit to Cambodia and I do not speak or read Khmer
The tourist sights (museum, Tuol Sleng, etc) close for an afternoon break between 11:30 & 2:00pm so have lunch when you arrive, maybe visit Wat Phnom (10 minutes on foot from the center of town, by the riverside) and then after that head over to the museum. Hit Tuol Sleng (S21)the next morning, it is not closed on Sundays, and they open at 8:00am. Going there will require a tuk-tuk, and if you want to do some shopping the "Russian Market" (aka Psar Tuol Tom Pong) is right nearby.