How to get from the airport into Siem Reap

Visitors to Siem Reap will be relieved to hear that airport transfers to Siem Reap are pretty painless. The reason for this is that there’s virtually no competition from the Siem Reap Airport (REP) and the drivers have strict rules about not line-jumping or undercutting each other. This means prices are set and you will not usually need to bargain. You also can book a less expensive ride in advance through your hotel or travel agent.

You have four options for getting to Siem Reap from the airport: taxi, moto, tuk tuk, or van taxi.

Siem Reap Airport

Welcome to Siem Reap Airport! Here’s how to leave.

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Review: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap PSD Xpress bus

Now that the road between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap is fully paved and the trip takes only six hours, there’s no better time to get a glimpse of the Cambodian countryside through a bus window. PSD Xpress is a new company running full-size buses twice a day. If you’re trying to decide which company to take for the bus ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, I’ve got a report from a recent trip (I’m actually writing this review on the bus right now).

PSD Xpress Cambodia

PSD Xpress is the latest luxury bus plying the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap route.

PSD Xpress is aimed at the tourist market, positioning themselves alongside Giant Ibis and Mekong Express. But how do they compare? Continue reading

Kampot late-night eats

Kampot is a foodie town, and that holds true even after most restaurants close — usually around 10 p.m. But fewer options and your current state of inebriation should not deter you from venturing out to satisfy those midnight munchies — particularly if it’s earlier than 1 a.m. )After that hour your options become rather grim and you’ll find yourself stumbling around to the handful of bars still open begging for a packet of Kampot crisps.) If it’s nighttime and you’re hungry, I’ve put together of the best late-night eats in Kampot.

Open late Kampot

Late? Hungry? Never fear, Kampot has lots of options.

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How to get a visa for Vietnam in Cambodia

If you’re headed to Vietnam after Cambodia, you’ll need to arrange a visa in advance. The price of getting a Vietnam visa in Cambodia is far cheaper than in Western countries, so you can save a bundle by getting it here.

Vietnam visa

Heading to Vietnam and need a visa? Skip the embassy and head to a travel agent.

At the time of writing, the following countries are able to visit Vietnam without a visa:

  • 15 days: Germany, France, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Japan, South Korea
  • 21 days: Philippines
  • 30 days: Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia

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Siem Reap: Tour the temples by bicycle

Time is a funny thing. Six weeks ago, waking up at 4 a.m. to cycle around the Angkor Wat temple complex seemed like such a good idea. Now, at 4 a.m. on the day of the tour, I am significantly less enamored by the idea. It’s still dark out on the way to the pickup, and on Sok San Road we passed last night’s stragglers who are refusing to admit that it’s morning. Exactly what you need to see before going on a 5 a.m. bicycle tour.

Grasshopper Adventures temple tour

Cycle your way through the temples.

Grasshopper Adventures is one of the biggest bike tour companies in Asia and has a great reputation and glowing reviews so I signed up for the Angkor Sunrise Discovery Tour. We were picked up by our guide, Som, and a nameless driver who laughed uncontrollably every time I said anything in Khmer. First stop was the ticket booth to buy our $37 temple passes, not included in the $85 tour price.

This may seem expensive, but you are fully catered for with bike and helmet, breakfast, lunch, snacks, pickup and drop-off, as well as a qualified Angkor temple guide to show you around. The Angkor Sunrise Discovery Tour is one of their more expensive day tours, others are significantly less. Continue reading

Abortions in Cambodia…what you need to know

Information about abortion can be difficult to come by in Cambodia, especially for expats. Here’s what you need to know. Abortions are legal in Cambodia up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. After that, abortions are allowed if the pregnancy is developing abnormally, if there is risk to the mother’s life, or in case of rape. However, many of the hospitals and clinics that deal with foreigners (i.e., the ones with English-speaking staff who have trained abroad) will not terminate pregnancies — or even perform a D&C after a miscarriage — and the Khmer clinics may shy away or even refuse to treat foreign women.

Even in situations where abortion is legal in Cambodia, it is frowned upon. Unmarried women are expected to remain abstinent until marriage, and if they do get pregnant, they are expected to marry the father rather than terminate the pregnancy. For married women, abortions are more acceptable, but the husband must give his permission for the procedure if it is done in a government clinic or hospital.

Finding information on abortion in Cambodia can be difficult, and many providers may be hesitant to talk about it; some are unaware that it is now legal. Clinics may tell you over email or the phone that they do not offer the procedure when they actually do, so it’s worth going to talk to the clinics in person. Continue reading