Siem Reap, one of Best Digital Nomad Destinations in South East Asia
This was my sixth time to visit Cambodia but only my first time in Siem Reap and loved it. Having lived before in some very good digital nomad cities such as Prague (Czech Republic) Granada (Spain) and Chang Mai (Thailand), I know what makes a great digital nomad destination.
1. Cheap food and beer
Expect to pay $3 to $5 for a main course in and around the Pub Street area. Pub street appeared to be 2 different streets, well that was my impression. The cheapest food options are on Street No.9 and I thought the best options are on the alley in between Street No 8 and 9. There are of course the fast food chains of McDonald’s and KFC. Siem Reap is now getting a reputation for a great and diverse nightlife scene. Pub Street says in all in the name, it just all bars and restaurants. On Pub street and the surrounding nearly all the bars and restaurants sell a local beer for only $0.50 (normally Cambodia or Angkor beer) and try to make their business on food.
We entered Cambodia via the Hat Lek/Ko Kong Border crossing. A normal tourist visa costs $30 (30 days) but as I intended to stay longer I got the business visa which costs $35 (also 30 days but it’s renewable). Don’t forget you have to have 2 passport size photos. Then extending your visa is fairly easy if you want to stay longer the 30 days. Just go to a tourist agent and they will gladly do it for you. It’s takes up to a week because your passport has to sent to Phnom Penh for processing. You can find more information about this here.
We stayed in Siem Reap for 2 weeks and stayed in 2 different Guesthouses. Both Guesthouses have air conditioning. Personally I would settle for cheaper rooms with a fan, but as I travel with my wife and 3 year old boy we have to have air conditioning (to keep the baby cool).
We managed to get this excellent accommodation as a deal with agoda for only $20 per night (including breakfast which was served in the room). It normally goes for $40 plus per night. I can’t recommend this hotel enough. It has a beautiful swimming pool and you get a free tuk tuk to the center (you have pay for your way home). The customer service was absolutely excellent. The Wifi was very good as well. We would have stayed here longer but it was already fully booked.
(B) Rosy Guesthouse
This was another excellent guesthouse that also focuses on a lot on customer service. Here we paid $22 per night but this did not include breakfast and it has no swimming pool. It’s only a 15 minute walk to Pub street in the center. However the restaurant in the guesthouse has very good food and many good options for breakfast. The wifi in the room was Ok and the wifi in the restaurant was very good. They get a superb rating of 9.1/10 on Hostelworld.
If you intend to stay longer there are many serviced apartments in Siem Reap. These start at $200 per month. For $300 you get a very nice apartment. These are some of the best resources:- The facebook page Siem Reap Real Estate was recommended to me. Here are 2 other good websites:- Angkor Wat Real Estate and Siem Reap Properties.
4. Coworking Spaces
There are 2 excellent coworking spaces located at either end of the city center. I spend a few days in both of them.
(A) Angkor Hub
Angkok Hub is only a 10 min walk from the center, and was difficult to find as it’s off the street. You can work inside in the A/C or outside. They offer cheap lunch option if you are there all day and they cost only $5 per day. The wifi download speed was 14 mbs per second and the upload speed was 24 mbsp per second when I tested it.
1961 coworking space is far more flash than Angkok Hub. 1961 is a vast complex that includes an Art Gallery. It’s like a coworking space in Europe and costs $10 per day. The wifi download speed was 8 mbs per second and the upload speed was 9 mbsp per second when I tested it.
If you prefer to work from a cafe, there are a few good options in the center.
The center of Siem Reap is very walkable and if you do need to get a 5 to 10 min tuk tuk ride, this only costs $2. Make sure to set the price before your journey. If you leave yourself vulnerable the tuk tuk driver will take advantage of this and try to charge you more. Also it is very popular to rent a bicycle. A lot of guesthouse offer the service. Rosy Guesthouse for instance charges $3 per day to rent a bicycle.
7. Angkor Wat
A visit to Siem Reap is not complete without at least one visit to the Angkor Wat Temples. Your hotel will arrange a tuk tuk to take you to the different Angkor Wat Temples. This normally costs $15 for the day and the entrance fee is $20. Don’t forget to bring water. At Angkor Wat it seems to be far hotter (and more arid) than Siem Reap. Don’t wear flip flops, if you have hiking shoes/boots wear them. If not wear trainers.
Be sure to pick up a (free) copy of Siem Reap’s pocket guide. You will find this in all bars,restaurants and hotels in Siem Reap. This lists all bars, restaurants and hotels in Siem Reap.
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