It’s not a surprise that after excitement and adventure filled time in South East Asia travellers need some time to rest. It is as important part of traveling as all the new experience. It lets us gather thoughts, contact our families and most likely post some photos on facebook. Naturally, nobody wants to sit around in the hotel room or lobby for too long, but taking few days off discovering the world won’t harm anyone. More importantly, when we do take a break we don’t want to spend too much. Here’s few ways to get a break from adventure, and excessive spending, in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
1. Where to stay
Siem Reap is rather famous for cheap places to stay, but it’s important to know what exactly to expect. For budget travellers it should be between $1-$4 per night per person. Depending on the number of people traveling together and one’s attitude to comfort and haggling. To give you an easy let me introduce some options I have checked out already.
One of the most “backpacker” friendly places in Siem Reap. That’s a place where you can get into a bunk in the dormitory for as little as $1. You will sleep on a roofed and mosquito netted mattress outside the building, but shouldn’t complain for the price you pay. Alternative is a room with just less than 30 people and a fan for $2, and single and double rooms for slightly higher price. This place is certainly one of those where you’ll meet a lot of like-minded people and get a drought beer for only 50 cents in a roof-top bar.
Orchidae Guest House
An amazingly stylish, family-owned and cheap place. Enjoy a higher quality and probably more secure room than the one previously mentioned at not a lot more expensive bill. There’s nothing better to relax all day than a hammock outside where you can connect your laptop to power plug as well as free wifi. Food and drink prices are not as attractive as the ones listed later, but still provide value for money.
Booking in advance
There’s even a way to rest from haggling without paying extra. That can be achieved by planing in advance where exactly you’d like to stay and booking online. There’s a number of accommodation options advertised daily online for less than $4 per person. It also cuts down on time spent asking different places for prices.
2. Where to eat
We’ve mentioned before (here) that the variety of Khmer food isn’t great, but it doesn’t mean you will starve in Siem Reap. Better still, there are places to for as little as $0.5. It’s easy to fill your stomach all day, while washing it down with beer, for under $4.
You’ll find it on the street which immediately where Pub Street ends, down the road from X Bar, on the left. Staff is great, food brilliant and more than affordable.
Street food away from Old Market
Yes, street food is always the cheapest option, but within the city centre it’ s still not as competitive as for example 2 km away. The further away you go, the less expensive it gets and the more variety you can choose from. It’s actually not only street stalls but also local restaurants that offer good prices. Don’t hesitate to try food in less than appealing places – you will be surprised how good it is.
Without a doubt bicycles give the most freedom to explore the city (faster than on foot). Whereas tuk tuks are relatively cheap and certainly very comfortable, they may double (if not triple) your daily expenses. Don’t fall in a trap of either being limited or charged every time you want to go somewhere. Bicycles are the answer. With a possibility of renting one from $1 to $5 a day (depending on a type and quality) they don’t cost a fortune. Rent a local bike for $1 a day and never haggle for a reasonable fare with sometimes greedy tuk tuk drivers.
You can see now that it’s easy to spend less than $10 a day and have all the time in the world to relax and/or explore surround areas. Do you have a tip to share with others?