Getting there and away
Siem Reap's international airport is seven kilometres out of Siem Reap proper.
If arriving on an international flight, you have two choices for a visa. The best option if wanting to be on your way quickly is to arrange an e-visa in advance, which may be done with a credit card through http://www.mfaic.gov.kh/evisa/. The cost is US $25 and you will need to submit a digital passport photo. It takes three working days to process the e-visa and it's valid for three months, single entry only.
The more common choice is to apply for a visa-on-arrival after you land. You will need one passport photo and a crisp US $20 bill (marked or torn bills are not accepted anywhere in Cambodia). If arriving on a weekend, you'll also need a $5 bill for the immigration officers' "overtime" fee. To avoid getting stuck behind plane loads of other applicants, be sure to ask your flight attendants for the necessary documents and fill them out while still in the air.
Means for getting from Siem Reap International Airport into Siem Reap include:
Taxis can be picked up from a booth at the airport. The fee is US$8. Bear in mind the driver will hope to garner your custom for the duration of your stay, taking you around Angkor and so on -- this is totally up to you.
Tuk tuks are not allowed to pick up business inside the airport, but there may be some waiting on the road outside if you want to take a look. The ride into town should be $5.
Motos are similarly not allowed to do pick-ups from the airport , but again there may be some outside. A moto ride into town should be about $1.50 to $2. You can often get the ride effectively for free by agreeing to hire the moto to take you around the ruins or show you to a guesthouse where they can get a commission for your stay. It is extremely bad form to negotiate a free ride and then decide not to use the moto for the ruins after all.
The main bus station is situated outside about four kilometres from Siem Reap and many bus companies will offer to pick you up and ferry you out to the bus station. The best company doing the Siem Reap to Phnom Penh run is Mekong Express, which costs US$11 and takes around six hours. GST and Sorya buses also take about six hours but only cost $5 and tend to be less comfortable. The real difference lies in the hope that Mekong Express drivers are better trained and less likely to take insane risks than other drivers. We're not sure if this is really true anymore. All buses break the journey for a snack at Kompong Thom. The Mekong Express buses have a toilet on board -- other (cheaper) services often do not. Minivans are a good, quicker option, and can also be booked through travel agents in town. The ticket should be $10.
If you're arriving by boat from either Phnom Penh or Battambang, you'll disembark at Chong Khneas ferry dock, some 12 kilometres south of Siem Reap. The trip to or from the pier takes about 30 minutes. The boat to Phnom Penh is a speed boat, costs $35 and takes around five to six hours. Transport to Siem Reap should be included in the price. The boat to Battambang is a slow boat and can take anywhere from four to 12 hours, depending on the time of year and current, and how many times you stop. Expect a moto to charge around US$2 to get into town while a car should cost about US$6.
The easiest and fastest way to get to the Thai border at Poipet is to take a share taxi from Siem Reap. You can either hire the entire car (US$30-35) or buy one (or two) seats in a car. Do not, under any circumstances, take an organised minibus to Bangkok. See Tales of Asia for detailed coverage of this route.
Best described as a motorcycle towing a chariot, remorque-motos, or tuk tuks, can be found on just about every street corner. Short hops around town shouldn't cost more than a dollar depending on the number of passengers, but if you're planning on using these frequently, hire one for the day at the universal price of $15. They can comfortably seat two people and three or four at a squeeze.
Short hops around town shouldn't cost more than a few thousand riel, with daily hiring starting at about US$8 depending on where you want to go.
Foreign tourists cannot hire motorcycles in Siem Reap unless they're using them for tours through one of the motorcycle tour operators identified above.
More expensive but more comfortable than other options, figure on US$25-30 per day for a Toyota Camry, more for a minibus. If you're planning on visiting outlying ruins and have a few people to split the fare with, this can be a smart way to get there. Most guesthouses and travel agents will be able to sort out a car for you, or just ask a moto and he'll find you one.
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