Being somewhat older travellers than the average backpackers - we took the safer option of prebooking a three day trip to Cambodia from our base in Thailand. As part of the package we were offered the choice of a three or four star hotel and, having opted for the 4 star, we found ourselves spending two nights in the Angkor Riviera in Siem Reap. The hotel was centrally located, allowing easy access to the Night Market and Pub Street and within easy driving distance of all the major temples on the tourist trail. We had a room on the first floor which was smallish but clean, comfortable and quiet. There is a small swimming pool with a few loungers which could easily become crowded in the high season. The pool and surrounding area was clean and pool towels were provided by the hotel on request. Breakfast was included and proved to be an interesting experience, highlighting the fact that European visitors are still in the minority. Although there was a fair selection of food - the predominance of noodles, rice and other oriental fare, which we Westerners would normally associate with lunch or an evening meal seemed strange to our palate. However there were also excellent omelettes, fresh fruit, croissants and pastries. The coffee was suspect! The hotel staff were friendly and helpful, the bar staff extremely so - as were the majority of the Cambodian people we met. We found Siem Reap to be a fascinating city and one in which we felt completely at ease. With hindsight, we made the mistake of spending two of our three days travelling to and from the City by minibus. Although this gave us the benefit of seeing the surrounding countryside, it meant cramming all our visits to the significant temples into one day, which, in temperatures of 35c+ was hard and tiring work. Thank goodness for the pool at the hotel. Be aware that it pays to have organised a visa into Cambodia prior to a visit. Although an earlier purchase does not lessen the queuing and complete lack of organisation that is the Cambodian border agency - it does mean that you purchase a visa at a price determined by the Cambodian state rather than have to haggle with the local representatives. However we had a wonderful time and would have no hesitation in recommending the Hotel and Siem Reap to fellow travellers.
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