Siem Reap International Airport is the busiest airport in Cambodia, serving over 3 million passengers in 2014. It is the gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park, one of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located approximately 7 km from the town center, Siem Reap Airport was constructed in traditional Khmer style and has an international and a domestic terminal. It is a hub for Cambodia Angkor Air and Sky Angkor Airlines. Although the new airport terminal was opened in 2006, the Cambodian government already has plans to build a new airport 60 km from Siem Reap to manage increasing passenger volume. The airport has all the basic amenities such as a free wireless Internet, duty-free shopping, souvenir shops, various dining options, and an airport lounge located at the International Terminal. The official currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel, however, the most widely used currency is the US dollar.
There are four options to travel from the airport to the city center – taxi, van taxi, tuk tuk (a kind of motorized rickshaw), or motorcycle taxi (moto). A regular taxi costs USD$7, while a van taxi, which takes up with 6 people, will cost USD$10. Do note that regular taxis usually only have enough space for two sets of luggage; so if you are traveling with 4 or more people, it may be necessary to hire a van taxi instead. Taxis at Siem Reap Airport follow an orderly queue and each person is given a ticket with a fixed price. If you walk out of the airport premises to the main road, you will be able to find a crowd of tuk tuks that will take you to the city center for USD$5. Beware of tuk tuk drivers that try to offer you cheap temple tour packages, as they are notorious for raising their prices midway through the tour. Motos are also available from the roadside for USD$2 a trip – however, do note that these tend to be quite dangerous and uncomfortable, and only work if you have no luggage to carry with you.
The star and main attraction in Siem Reap is the Angkor Archaeological Park, which spans a massive 400 square km. It is one of the most important archaeological sites today, as it contains the remains of the largest pre-industrial city in the world – the Khmer Empire. The most famous temple complex in this area is Angkor Wat. Originally constructed as a Hindu temple for the Khmer Empire, it remains the largest religious monument in the world. Angkor is located approximately 20 minutes from Siem Reap city center. Tourists can join tour buses, hire a private driver, or even rent a bicycle to cycle around the park. To enter the park, visitors will need to buy a pass at the front gate which costs USD$20 for 1-day, USD$40 for 3-days, and USD$60 for 7-days. If time permits, it is recommended that you get the 3-day pass to give yourself ample time to visit most of the temples at Angkor. Given the sheer size of the park, hiring a guide for USD$20 a day might be a good idea to help orientate you and to give you a background of the history of this landmark. If you get hungry or thirsty, there are shops set up around the temple complex selling food and drinks.
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