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Inquiry Submission By iTravel-A2Z

Hello everyone,

I am coming to Siem Reap (SR) for the first time at the end of March. Whilst I travel a lot and I am quite used to researching and planning a trips, I am finding this trip a little overwhelming, particularly, but not exclusively, around planning the temple area excursions. There is so much to see, so much information out there and so many tour options and a miriad of temple sites, that I am not quite sure what to do.

I would be grateful if people could help, please. I have numbered my questions so that it is is easy for people to provide advice to one or more by simply quoting the question number.

Hopefully this post and the answers will help other travellers too.

1. Visa. There?s no point in applying for a visa online if flying into SR as a visa can easily be bought on arrival as long as the country of passport is included on the visa on arrivals list of countries?

2. Malaria prophylaxis. NHS immunisation map in the UK suggests this is not required for SR and AW. Do people who travel there often still do it as a precaution and if the answer is yes, how do they balance this up with these drugs making people light sensitive, yet being under the sun when exploring or around the hotel pool? I have read lots of threads on this on TA, but I am nonethewiser.

3. Rabies vaccination. I will be staying just for 4 days and hire car and driver for excursions (most likely). Will I realistically speaking be at risk from dogs and monkeys? I have no intention of taking food with me or water (having read some of the threads) when visitng temple sites. I am confused as even my hotel offeres pack lunches to take on day excursions. If there is such a risk, why would they? Vaccine is almost œ200 in the UK and takes 3 injections over a month. Do I really have to bother?

4. I will be staying at Viroth Hotel. According to TA reviews this is one of the best hotels in the world. I want to enjoy the pool and th spa there and and also relax. I don?t want to be rushing around exploring a million temples as if my trip were a tick box exercise. I?ll have 2 days for the temples and maybe a few hours on a third day. If I did the small and grand circuits and maybe a sunset trip, do you think this is the best thing to do for a first timer? Would you suggest anything different?

5. Other excursion. Would you do the floating village (and if so, morning or evening, maybe with the cruise and dinner), the Rolous Group or anything else? Have excluded Beng Mealea as it?s too far. Not worth it for me.

6. Night time in SR. What time are the night markets open from and to and what time would you suggest to book restaurant meals or go for a meal in town? Every place is different and I am not sure if for example I could have dinner around 8pm and still have time to explore the markets afterwards, assuming dinner will last 1/1.5 hours. I am travelling by myself, so I don?t see myself staying out very late into the night, especially if having to start early the following day, so I wouldn?t have a late dinner.

7. Visiting temples. Any suggestions to avoid (as much as possible) the crowds? Shall I visit key temples at lunch time for example or a popular sunset time temple in the morning and vice versa? Or would any of these tricks really make little to no differnce?

8. Excursion costs. My hotel has provided with some potential trips and relative costs. As the hotel is so well thought of by TA users and having looked at a few sites where prices aren?t drammatically different, I am thinking of going with them. They use free lancers as drivers and giudes. Small Circuit 8 hour tour with private car and driver is US$ 40 with extra US$ 35 for a tour guide. Does that sound reasonable? Do I need a guide? And if too expensive for a private 8 hour tour, any recommendation for a firm that can provide a better price with a solid trustworthy reputations? Again, lots of threads about this and a huge number of companies online, so it?s so hard to figure out what is best to do.

9. Is it best to buy US Dollars in Cambodia and would I be able to get lots of small Dollar bills there. It?s unlikely I will get anything below 10 Dollar bills in London and I am not sure whether I would get a better deal. If people suggest to change money in Cambodia, where exactly is it best to do so? Any recommendations? Is it worth buying any local currency AT ALL?

Sorry for posting so many questions, but hoepfully using questions numbers should make things easier for people to provide advice of specific topics.

Thank you very much to everyone who will be so kind to help.