Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cambodia - Pub Street (Siem Reap)

Siem Reap is famous for its ancient temples and ruins.

Because of this, tourists normally flock to temples from sunrise to sunset. As the sun goes down, a not-so-informed tourist might ask himself where do I go after temple hopping. The worst decision a tourist can make in Siem Reap is to think that Angkor Wat is Siem Reap.

A well-informed tourist would attest that although Angkor Wat had made Siem Reap famous it is very important to mention that there are several places worth visiting also while in Siem Reap. One of them is Pub Street and its nearby alleys.

After the sun goes down, the sleepy downtown Siem Reap becomes alive and the focus shifts to Pub Street and nearby alleys. Pub Street mainly caters to alcohol thirsty tourists but one should not overlook the local cuisine and Apsara dance being showed nightly in one of the bar/restaurant along Pub Street.

Temple bar offers Apsara dance show during dinner time

Wide screen projection TV are also a common sight where you can watch a live football match or other sports.  

By merely walking along the street, one will be astonished due to massive concentration of colorful lights and billboards along Pub Street though the street itself is just more than 100 meters long. Khao San road of Bangkok can easily dwarf Pub Street but in spite of this, one can easily indulge on different kind of cuisines such as Khmer, Thai, Indian, French and so on, along Pub street and some nearby and alleys. Not to mention that several global beer brands can be ordered from numerous bars such as San Miguel; a leading Philippine beer brand. Cheap local beers such as Angkor are also readily available.

Pub Street was originally called Street 8. It all started in 1998 when Angkor What? bar opened. The quiet street metamorphosed into a street packed with bars, shops and restaurants. A place where one can unwind after a tiring day of visiting temples. During evening, Pub Street is closed for motor traffic thus providing pedestrians more elbow room while strolling.

However, if you prefer to shop rather than bar hop then it is worth to pay a visit to several night markets around Pub Street. It was surprising to find several of them concentrated in such a small area. I believe I have seen 4 night markets nearby. Additionally, a huge Center Market remains open until sunset along Sivatha Blvd which is 2 blocks away from Pub Street. In my case, I prefer to shop at Center Market due to cheaper price and more varieties. I visit the night market for cheap foot massage only. I pay 4 USD for 1 hour foot massage. Doctor fish massage also abounds around Pub Street and no worry at all because I read their sign that they were not using piranha, LOL.

At the end of Pub Street is a queue of tuk tuk or remok. One can always haggle depending on your hotel's location. I stayed at Ta Som Guesthouse which is around 1 km away from Pub Street. I always walked back to Ta Som from Pub Street after consuming my dinner. The locals are nice and most of them can communicate in English. You have nothing to worry even if you go back to your hotel reeking with alcohol. On the other hand, I saw one notice at Ta Som Guesthouse; the local authority is very strict when it comes to minor. As much as possible avoid those " extra friendly" local minors.




  1. Hello

    How many days do I need at Siem Reap to complete the tour? And the budget all in all?
    Your site is very informative and helpful, just perfect for my need as I booked a cheap flights from SG to Phnom Penh and Bangkok to SG. I am a Filipina so you can give me figures in Ph peso. :)
    Thanks a lot.

  2. You're welcome.

    For an approximate expenses in SR temple hopping you may see/click my post above: Temple Hopping (Introduction)