Here are some tips and links, based on my own experiences, that could be helpful. Links should open in a new window. This page is a work in progress. Take a look and find good sources for planning your trip, suggestions for excellent background info to the temples and guide books, my experience with several styles and budgets of lodging, links to my personal impressions and travelogue.
Great place to start: If you want one great website to start researching a trip to Angkor Wat I highly recommend Canby Publications .
Guide books and Angkor Wat information:
- This is something from National Geographic that I can highly recommend before visiting the temples. It is a superb and engaging insight into the ancient Angkor empire from their July, 2009 issue which you can find here online. It gave me a totally new perspective for my own subsequent visits.
- GUIDE BOOK: My favorite 'guide book' for the temples is the inexpensive, downloadable chapter 'Temples of Angkor' from Lonely Planet's Cambodia guidebook. In my view, it gives more than enough information and since its only one chapter and digital you can easily print copies for everyone in your party and its easy to carry around.
- CURRENT INFO: For up-to-date information about events, new things to do, eateries, etc do check out the locally produced Siem Reap Post website.
- SUNSETS: Since sunset viewings are so popular, and since a couple of places get almost unmanageable crowds, the Apsara authority has launched a website called Angkor Sunset Finder dedicated to promoting sunset viewings at alternative places hoping to disperse the crowds and enhance everyone's viewing pleasure.
- If you are interested in some alternative guidebooks or good sources that explain Angkor Wat from a fascinating cosmic perspective check out this article
- DRIVER OR GUIDE: And don't forget to check out our "Driver or Guide?" page which also includes some additional great links for digital and downloadable guidebooks for the do it yourself traveler or any traveler for that matter.
- TONLE SAP: Considering a visit to Tonle Sap on your trip? Use the Contact Page to ask for my 3-page brochure with all the background you'll need to make a good choice of where to visit. It also includes some links to great background info about this totally unique and invaluable ecosystem.
Cambodia's e-visa: I and many other people I know always use it. But to be fair, the visa on arrival process is also generally quick and easy except for the occasional attempt of the immigration officers to get a few bucks extra out of unsuspecting tourists when paying.
Thru My Eyes: If you would like to know some more about me and my impressions of Cambodia you can read two articles I wrote shortly after my first amazing trip in October, 2007: "Welcome to Cambodia" & "Give and You Shall Receive". You can also read my travelogue entries from my subsequent trips at "Leonard's Trails".
There must be around 200 hotels, guesthouses and bed & breakfasts in Siem Reap in every price class imaginable. Here's my experience:
Tripadvisor: a great resource to explore various lodging options from the cheapest to the most expensive. Places are ranked and rated by fellow travelers. Have been very satisfied when using it.
Where have I personally stayed? Over my six trips, I have made a point of staying at many different places so I could share my experiences with the website visitors. They are in the $20 - $120 price range. Excuses to the real budget travelers as I did not stay in any super inexpensive places. Although I was very happy with all of these quite different places, Seven Candles Guesthouse has become my go-to guesthouse and my home away from home when visiting!
Seven Candles Guesthouse
Golden Banana Boutique Hotel
Golden Banana Boutique Resort
The Villa Siem Reap
Journeys Within Bed & Breakfast
La Niche d'Angkor
And here's a place I have never stayed at but I do know them well and feel comfortable having them in this list. Shinta Mani is one of the city's pioneers, innovators and still leaders in social responsibility so its a great place for those seeking luxury, heart and perhaps some giving back of their own.