Information & Facts
The Siem Reap climate can be described as tropical with seasonal
monsoons, and the weather is warm year-round. There are two
distinct seasons - the rainy season and the dry season.
Temperatures during the rainy season (June to October) average at
about 88°F (31°C). Dry season temperatures, from November to May,
are slightly higher at 91°F (33°C).
All modes of transport arrive in Siem Reap; an airport lands
planes from all over South East Asia, a ferry arrives via Tonlé Sap
Lake from Phnom Phen and buses arrive from all over the country
(and also from Thailand and Laos). A terrible road leads to Siem
Reap from the Thai border, but a six hour stretch from Phnom Phen
is easy riding. Coercion from bus guides to stay in their
associated hotels is common but finding available accommodation
elsewhere is usually easy. There are taxis, rental cars, buses and
tuk-tuks available throughout the city, while renting a bicycle or
scooter is also an option. There are many attractions in the city
and surrounds that can easily be reached on foot.
Khmer is the official language. French is also spoken,
but English is fast becoming popular with the younger
Riel (KHR) is the official currency and is divided into 100 sen.
Foreign currency is difficult to exchange with the exception of US
Dollars. Most transactions require cash. US dollars and Thai Baht
are accepted, although smaller transactions are usually done in
riel. A torn US dollar note renders it useless. Credit cards are
only accepted in a limited number of tourist-orientated hotels and
restaurants in Phnom Penh and larger towns. There are a few ATMs in
Phnom Penh, but they shouldn't be relied upon as a source of money;
travellers cheques in US dollars or sterling can be cashed at a
limited number of banks and larger hotels, though travellers
cheques are not recommended due to limited acceptance.