I flew into Siem Reap at around midday. The flight from Kuala Lumpur is only two hours and over before you know it. Arriving at the airport is pretty straightforward, you walk into the arrival hall and there's only two option you can go, turn right to get to "visa on arrival", or to the left for to the immigration counters.
You will get a declaration form on the plane to fill out before you land. At the airport you have to fill out two forms, the information for your Visa and the other one is your arrival and departure card.
What you need for your visa on arrival:
- Passport (valid minimum six month and one empty page)
- Passport photo for you visa information (3x4cm)
- The visa information that you had to fill out
- 30$ USD for a tourist visa
Now stand in line at the visa on arrival counter and wait till you can get rid of your money :).
The whole process will not take longer then 30 min.
Your information, passport and your money will be collected and send into line of about six or seven immigration officers, who will one after the other, stamp, sign and check your passport.
All you have to do is to go to the end of the line and wait for the last officer to hold up your passport so you can collect it. Easy.
With your freshly stamped passport and your arrival card go to the immigration desk and wait in line. After the immigration officer took your photo and your fingerprints you are nearly there. The two more things you have to do now is, collect your luggage and to give your declaration card to the officers on the way out.
Done. Welcome to Cambodia.
Because I already exchanged my money to US dollars in Kuala Lumpur, I didn't have to worry about doing it at the airport, so I could go straight outside.
US dollars are the way to pay in Cambodia. They still have their local Cambodian money but US dollars are more common and exempted everywhere. You will get US Dollars back but only for the cents they will give you Cambodian Riel.
As always I got a prepaid card at the airport. It was 30days, 1$ phone and 6gb data for $10 from Smart (one of 5 providers in Cambodia).
I was surprised how organized the Siem Reap airport is, even the transport is pre-arranged. You just have to go to a counter and order a driver, there is no other way of transport available as far as I could see.
There are four options to get to the city from the airport. Mini van 15$, taxi 10$, tuk tuk 9$ or motorbike also 9$.
I decided for a tuk tuk and as I was standing in line I started chatting to the girl behind me, who I ended up sharing my tuk tuk with.
Her name was Freya (New Zealand) and she just came from the Phillipines and told me all about it (So tempted to go now).
I pre-booked my hostel before I flew to Siem Reap. Central hostel is 3$/night including a hostel pool and a few other extras. You would be surprised how many amazing hostels there are in Siem Reap for cheap as chips.
I liked Siem Reap straight away and even Freya did not stay in the same hostel we decided to have dinner together.
In my room I met Sarah from NYC who also just arrived the day before and invited me to join her for drinks in the hostel next door with some other people she met.
So 30 min later (at around 5.30pm) we were on our way to the Siem Reap Hostel happy hour (0.50cent beers).
Food, drinks and accomodation are so cheap here that you can plan with approx. 15$/day (all included) to have a great time.
We met Gabriel (Canada) who shared a room with us in Central Hostel, Ellen from Germany, a few other people and Freya came too. We ended up being a table of around 10 people chatting away.
Sarah and a few others booked a Angkor Wat sunrise tour for the next day at the Siem Reap Hostel and I spontaneously decided to join them.
We also payed the night market a visit for food before returning to the hostel at around 10pm to prepare for a 4am wake up call to see the largest religious monument in the world. Angkor Waaaaattttt