As an American expat living in SE Asia, I haven’t used US currency in a very long time. I actually forgot what it looks like. Just recently I had the chance to see Mr. Benjamin, Mr. Washington, and even some Jacksons again. What place in Southeast Asia allows for the use of dollars? A few places, actually. But today, I’m talking about none other than Cambodia, more specifically, Siem Reap, Cambodia
A group of friends and I were heading to Cambodia. Some of folks were there to run the famous Angkor Wat Marathon, others, such as me, went to Siem Reap for a relaxing vacation. Siem Reap is definitely a tourist spot, but if you hop on a Tuk-Tuk or grab a bike you can see for yourself what the residential side of Cambodia looks like. Watch out for the cows though.
One thing that you’ll notice about Siem Reap is… everything is cheap, really cheap. Also, American dollars are commonly used, with Cambodian riel (KHR) given as change and used for transactions of less than one dollar US.
Some draft beers are 50 cent. Yes, 50 cents. Which is incredible. Also the hotels, very nice looking hotels, have very good nightly rates. Look for a hotel that is about twenty US dollars a night. You won’t be disappointed. Some hotels are cheaper than twenty dollars too.
For those looking for a nightlife, you can find it on Pub Street, where, guess what, a lot of nice pubs line the street. You can hear the music flowing out of the pubs, from live music to club music; it’s all there on this one street.
While in Siem Reap, one place everyone must visit is the beautiful Angkor Wat. This is one lovely place for your eyes to see. As you come upon the front of the temple, you’ll be greeted by a huge moat and long walkway that leads to the temples.
Another great place to visit is Angkor Thom, (shown in the photo above). Angkor Thom made its way into a few Hollywood movies, most recently Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie. There you can see the huge trees meandering through the temple.
You don’t have to worry about learning the native language (Khmer
) as English is widely spoken in Siem Reap.
If it’s not already there, add a visit to Siem Reap, Cambodia to your bucketlist. When you get there, grab a bicycle, take a spin around town, and enjoy what Siem Reap has to offer. You won’t be disappointed by this SE Asian gem.