When people visit Siem Reap, the land of the former glorious Khmer Empire, they usually explore Angkor Wat and other sacred ancient temples while the enthusiastic adventurers enjoy travelling far off the beaten track for excitement or to get stunning photographs for their travel blogs. Yet, if you still have the energy after a long day, you should go out and revel in the wonderful nightlife. Taing Rinith suggests some activities and place that can help you enjoy travelling in the city to a full extent, Taing Rinith writes.
A trip to Pub Street
Let’s be honest about this one. Missing Pub Street, while you are in Siem Reap is likely to make your trip meaningless, because it is synonymous with the nightlife there. It has restaurants and street food stalls, night clubs and bars with live bands and many other things an active night owl could ask for. The most well-known pub in the area is probably The Red Piano. In 2001, while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, the iconic Hollywood star visited the place, resulting in its popular Tomb Raider Cocktail. What makes it even special is that every 10th cocktail is free while every 500th patron receives two free cocktails, a t-shirt and $100.
Having something sweet and cold while trekking through Pub Street will make it even more enjoyable, particularly during a hot evening. You can buy 100 grams of frozen yoghurt from the Project Y Yoghurt, where you can choose different flavours while your cash will also go local students’ education through the Cambodia Rural School Trust (CRST).
Meet “Doctor Fish”
All over Siem Reap town, there are massage parlours, which provide traditional Khmer-Thai massage usually at $5 an hour. Having a massage helps your body relax and ease your pain from travelling from one tourist attraction to another. Yet, you should not miss the chance of trying fish pedicure from the shops at night markets in the centre of the city which are only open in the evening. In case you do not know what it is, it means putting your feet in a tank containing small fishes which nibble away dead or calloused skin.
A natural and organic exfoliation treatment, the massage by “Dr Fish” helps with the disappearance of minor scars and reduces psoriasis and eczema symptoms. The prices are different, by they generally range from $3 to $10, which are much cheaper compared to those in other countries.
A cocktail near the stars
Siem Reap boasts several rooftop bars, where visitors can admire the splendid view of the city under the starry sky. Doing this is even more enjoyable while sipping a glass of cocktail while listening to the songs you request from the DJs.
Most of the best sky bars are atop hotels near Pub Street, offering vibrant parties and happy hour promotion. Some even have a swimming pool or a Jacuzzi. At the Moon Sky Bar, an example on the top of Asia Plaza Supermarket, gives a relaxing atmosphere and tasty Golden Eye Steak ($12.50), a perfect match with the every popular Singapore Sling Cocktail ($4.50)
Have a nickel? How about a KOF match?
Are you an enthusiastic gamer and looking for competition? The third floor of the Asia Plaza Supermarket, located on Preah Sangreach Tep Vong Street, is an arcade where you can reminisce your childhood, the time when playing video games meant going out and socialising, instead of touching the screen of a smartphone and when winning depended on skills alone rather than by In-App purchases. In addition to the classic retro games, there are also the latest claw machines, driving and shooting simulator and arcade dancing machine. You can come here with your friends for a King of Fighter tournament or bring your kids to compensate for sticking with you for the entire day although they do not enjoy exploring the former Khmer Empire as much as you do. Just a dollar can buy you seven arcade tokens.
A film? Why not?
You see the ancient temples during the day, and in the evening you want a change by going to a cinema instead? Siem Reap does not deprive you of your favourite hobby. Two modern cinemas operate in Siem Reap: Major Cineplex on Sivatha Road and Legend Cinema at the Heritage Walk on National Street Number 6. They present the latest local and international motion pictures. You can find the information about the movies and show times by visiting both cinemas’ websites.
If you want to watch old Khmer films, usually with English subtitle, you should go to Baray Andet Cinema and Angkor Cinema.
An evening on the Siem Reap River
Of course, not everyone prefers going out into the crowd, dancing to loud music or socialising. Many tourists simply want to spend their evening in a quiet place, somewhere away from their hotel rooms. The Siem Reap River, flowing through the north-western province, could be the perfect place for them. Along the river, you can enjoy the stunning view of the illuminating city with its reflections in the water, in the cool evening breeze. The bridge that spans over Siem Reap River, meanwhile, provides a peaceful and lovey-dovey atmosphere for couples – not to mention that it is a nice place for taking a selfie. When you are hungry, you can always buy some treats from food carts on the riverside. To wash down your food, you should also buy a cocktail, starting from $1.50, from the Creative Cocktail, managed by a friendly Cambodian man.