Siem Reap Basic Information

Believe it or not, fried spiders are a delicacy in Cambodia. While it’s possible to track them down on the streets of Siem Reap, if you’re feeling brave consider taking a day trip to Skuon and tuck into a tasty fried tarantula. Apparently it tastes like chicken. Surprise, surprise. Want to know more about the tourist capital of Cambodia? Read on.

VISA REQUIREMENTS

Australians travelling to Cambodia will need a tourist visa. This visa will allow you to stay in Cambodia for 30 days. You can apply for your Visa online but make sure your passport is valid for another 6 months and please note E-Visas will only be accepted through certain locations, one of which is Siem Reap International Airport. Cambodian visas are also available on entry too, but you will need to have more than 4 months validity left on your passport. Remember, this is general advice only, for up to the minute advice see Smart Traveller or contact the Cambodian Embassy.

CURRENCY

In Siem Reap, you’ll use Riel – the national currency of Cambodia. But like many Asian countries, you can also get by with American Dollars here too. Best to exchange your money into US dollars before you leave to ensure you get the best price for your Aussie dollars. However, there are banking facilities in Siem Reap where you can get credit card advances and change travellers cheques. ATMs can also be found all over town too.

FOOD

It’s one of the oldest cuisines in the world and also one of the most delightful, with a focus on freshness and seasonality and just the right hint of spice. Cambodians are thought to have perfected blending spice pastes with a range of ingredients including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, turmeric and star anise. Like many Asian cultures, rice is a staple in the Cambodian diet from wild brown rice to sticky rice for dessert. Noodles, soups, stir-fries, curries and loads of tropical fruits and vegetables are also staple meals too. A popular dish to try is Amok – it’s essentially a seafood curry wrapped in a banana leaf.

NIGHTLIFE

Before 2000, Siem Reap was hardly party central. But now there’s a bunch of cocktail bars, karaoke bars, nightclubs and places to wine and dine. And there are a few cool cultural experiences too. You should definitely check out the Apsara Theatre – it’s an incredible dance experience set in a spectacular wooden pavilion. You can also check our traditional and classical dance performances at the Dining Room and La Noria. The Angkor Night Market is also a sweet spot for a night out – it’s not just any old market, it’s even got an island bar serving delicious cocktails and delectable cuisine. Cheers big ears!