Siam Reap remains Cambodia’s most popular destination for property investment but Phnom Penh is not far behind, and the southern coast is the new place to get away from it all.
Siem Reap once a sleepy village caters to an increasing number of tourists as a gateway to Angkor and today the town’s charming streets are home to hundreds of hotels, restaurants and bars.
Days start before the crack of dawn with a long stream of buses, cars, tuk tuks, motorbikes and bicycles making their way to Angkor Wat to watch the sun as it rises over the stupas and reflects in the lotus-filled pond beneath. Later in the day, visitors explore the jungles of Ta Prohm, the enigmatic faces of The Bayou and smaller villages and temples located further afield.
In addition to temple hopping, today’s Siem Reap offers a myriad of luxurious indulgences, Fish spas are the newest fad, and tanks are set up on the street, at markets or inside spas like Bodia, Frangipani or Bodytune. Alley West is the place to find quirky one-off fashion boutiques like Bambou, art houses like Dick Mulder’s photography Gallery and Studio above Circle Boutique and antique shops while the Amansara, Hotel de la paix or boutique hotels like FCC or the One offer the most luxurious digs.
Phnom Penh has grown into a busy city with new businesses thriving alongside the temples and saffron-clad monks, ancient places and markets. Raffles Hotel Le Royal is still a showstopper of luxury, but rivalling in the charm stakes is The Pavilion, an effortlessly romantic colonial townhouse that was once King Sihanouk’s mother’s home. Bringing the twenty-first century to the city, The 252 is a minimal chic boutique hotel with cabanas lining its deliciously cool pool.
Street 240 houses some of the best eateries, designer ware, skills and fashion boutiques and is also home to the upcoming St. 240 Condominium a high-end residential project developed by Sterling Investments, which offers its own mix of trendy amenities including restaurants and boutiques plus a rooftop gym and pool.