Siem Reap is the second biggest city in Cambodia after the capital Phnom Penh. Siem Reap may not be Cambodia’s capital, but it draws thousands of tourists every year. Its biggest attraction is the famous and stunning Angkor Wat. The latter is an ancient complex that King Suryavarman II had built centuries ago. The complex covers just over 160 acres and was originally a Hindu place of worship before its transformation as a Buddhist temple in the late 12th century. There are also other noteworthy temple ruins near or around Siem Reap such as Bayon, Ta Prohm, Ta Som, and others. 

Bayon. Photo by Joshua Berida/Rappler
Visa requirements

Since Cambodia is part of ASEAN, Filipinos can enter the country and visit Siem Reap visa-free. Filipinos can stay for 30 days. If you plan on staying longer, you’ll need to apply for a visa extension.

Get into Siem Reap

By plane and bus combo

There used to be direct flights from Manila to Siem Reap. During my first trip to Cambodia some years ago, I booked flight tickets directly to Siem Reap. This is no longer possible. Only Philippine Airlines (PAL) has direct flights to Phnom Penh. These aren’t everyday so you have to check the schedules when you plan. From Phnom Penh you can take a bus to Siem Reap; the trip takes around six hours and costs anywhere between $11 to $17 depending on the company. 

By plane

You could include Siem Reap as part of a longer trip around Southeast Asia. There are regular flights from major cities in the region such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh City. Book tickets in advance to get discounted prices.

By land

Via Bangkok

If you’re already in Bangkok, you can travel by land to reach Siem

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