Siem Reap, Cambodia

The obvious reason to visit Siem Reap, Cambodia is Angkor Wat and all of the amazing temples… but there’s much more to enjoy than just that! If you’re planning to visit Cambodia, make sure you stay for at least 4 or 5 days so you can really enjoy the city.

During our visit, we stayed at the Golden Temple Residence, a beautiful boutique hotel, with some of the best service I have ever experienced . And the best part is that rooms are about US$80-90 per night (during July 2016, when I visited). Yes, you read that right!

The service began from the second we landed. Someone from their staff was waiting for us at the airport. There was also a driver, in a Lexus SUV, waiting to drive us to our hotel. As soon as we got in the car, they offered us each a beer and a bottle of water to enjoy during the short ride. As soon as we arrived at the hotel, they had a tray of snacks, tea and cold towels for us while we checked in. (All of this is included with your room at no additional cost!)

Travel Tip: There’s 2 main currencies in Cambodia- The Cambodia Riel and US Dollars. Everyone takes USD! Don’t stress about the currency exchange, just make sure you have US Dollars with you. Even the ATM will give you US Dollars.
img_4550Snacks while we checked in
img_4624Our beautiful room
img_4635View of the city from our balcony

As soon as we got situated, we headed down to the pool for happy hour. Every night from 6-8PM you can join them by the pool for a free drink. Everything about the hotel was amazing, but the pool was my favorite part. It gave me major pool envy! I came back wanting to remodel my backyard and copy their pool area. 

img_4658The pool area at Golden Temple Residence
img_4626First stop… Happy Hour!

Our first outing in the city was for dinner. We had heard great things about Malis so we had to check it out and it did not disappoint. Our hotel arranged a Tuk Tuk to take us and the driver stayed outside waiting for us during our dinner (round trip cost US$5).

img_4553Tuk Tuk ride to dinner
img_4636Dinner at Malis

Day 2 was all about temples. I arranged a private tour with Angkor Wat Photography Tours. There’s about a thousand pictures from our temple tours and they’re pretty all amazing, so it has it’s own post. Here’s the link to my photo diary.

Meanwhile, a sneak peek…

img_4664Visiting Banteay Kdei
img_4702The famous spot from Tomb Raider – at Ta Prohm

After a long day of visiting temples in the heat, we needed a drink! And there’s no better place for a drink in Siem Reap than Pub Street. It’s a great little area full of bars and nightlife, only a few blocks from our hotel. Even if you’re not staying nearby, you cannot go to Siem Reap and not visit Pub Street!



On day 3 we were exhausted and needed to relax. It was a gorgeous (and super hot!) day, so we went straight to the pool after breakfast.

Lounging poolside at Golden Temple Residence
img_4616Learning how to use our over/under dome
img_4900My travel essentials

After a few hours at the pool, we headed to the hotel’s spa. We had 2.5 hours worth of treatments in a couples room for US$60 each! It’s insanely cheap. Our treatments started with a foot scrub, followed by a body scrub, a body wrap, a massage and a mini facial.

img_4875My hubby ready for his foot scrub
img_4889Perfect way to end our spa day

After such a relaxing day, we weren’t going to let it rain on our parade, so we picked a restaurant right down the street and headed there for dinner. The food at Genevieve was really good and their story was even better. A man from Australia began the restaurant after losing his wife. She had dedicated her life to helping others, so in her memory he decided to do the same by moving to Siem Reap and opening a restaurant that would hire anyone needing a job and giving part of the proceeds back to the community.


img_4581Dinner at Genevieve

On day 4 we visited more temples! Yes, more temples! You could spend a week visiting temples and still not see them all. But they’re absolutely gorgeous and worth taking your time. Here’s one of my favorites from this day, but there’s a ton more on the next post.

img_4725Angkor Wat

That evening we visited the night market near our hotel and bought ourselves several tank tops for US$2 each. Then we walked back to Pub Street to have dinner at Il Forno. I was expecting an average Italian restaurant since those are not common ingredients in Cambodia, but I was so wrong. The food was delicious! We felt like we were eating at a great restaurant in Italy. The food and ingredients were top notch. We spoke to the owner at the end of our meal and he said that he has the ingredients flown in from Italy… and you can tell.

img_5544Shopping at the night market 
img_5549Charcuterie platter at Il Forno
img_4925Delicious meal at Il Forno

On our last day we decided to try something different…. a cooking class. We really enjoyed the food in Cambodia, especially the curry, so we figured we should learn how to make it.

img_4607In the Tuk Tuk heading to our cooking class
img_4921Ready to learn how to make curry
img_5511He’s pretty good at it… I’m going to make him start helping me in the kitchen
img_5524Our appetizer
img_4916Our creation… curry chicken with steamed rice
img_5492This school girl walking home was just so sassy!
img_4923Enjoying our balcony one last time

Siem Reap was an incredible experience and super budget friendly. The temples are unbelievable to see in person and the Golden Temple Residence is a great choice for your visit.

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  • Reply Kim September 19, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    This is great info and awesome pics. Very helpful information, however when I looked at the Golden Temple hotel the rooms started at 230 per night. I’m looking at February. Did you use a different website to book?

    • Reply The Traveling Red September 19, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Hi Kim,

      It must be due to availability or maybe the time of year. I went in July and our room was $87/night. Honestly, even at $230 it’s still worth it. If it’s due to the time of year, than the other hotels will be more expensive as well. I hope you enjoy Cambodia as much as we did!

      Happy Travels!
      The Traveling Red

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