Siem Reap was by far our favorite city in Cambodia. It was laid back and relaxed, while still being a fun place to go out day or night and explore. The obvious thing to do while there being to visit the temples of Angkor, but we decided not to do that the first day of the 3 (later turned 5) we planned to stay there and rather we explored the city.
We arrived from a 13 hour bus ride at 8pm, which in Asia is dark out side, and went straight to our prebooked hostel. There we ate dinner and slept (believe it or not sitting on your a$$ for 13 hours really takes it out of you). and after all of the smells and the rediculous temperature of the bus it was great to lay in an air conditioned room for a while.
In the morning we went exploring and stumbled upon the old market. This was a clausterphobic maze of shops and food and drink vendors that kept us entertained for a huge part of the day. We bought clothes (Deans first tank top!) and souvenirs and extremely cheap beers (once again). When we decided that was enough of people doing all that they could to get as much money as possible from us we went on a long sunny walk to the museum of the area and learned about the temples we would see the following day.
The museum was... informative. Though not a place either of us are often found in we took it upon our selves to be our own tour guides. The common thing to do in Siem Reap is to hire a Tuktuk with a registered tour guide and spend anywhere from 1 to 3 days being shown every knook and cranny of the temples, which span over a huge area of the province. Against the better judgement of everyone in the city, we instead spent an hour in a museum, took a photo copy of a map and rented bycicles. We planned to leave at 6 Am, as the temples are open between 5 Am and 5:30 pm, and we only wanted to spend 1 day there. Needless to say we did not wake up until 9 Am, and still needed a coffee shake (some things are a necessity), so we left around 10.
We saw every inch of every temple we planned to see by 3 Pm, aside from the interior of Angkor Wat (the main temple) because it was closed for 1 day of cleaning =(. With our extra time we found a lake, bought beers and hung out for a while. Then we travelled to the last remaining temple to see, for the sunset that it is famous for. When we arrived there we were told that brand new rules state it is closed, just 30 minutes before sunset. In place of that we bought a few beers and some really spicy chicken and sat near a temple moat and watched the sky change colour.
38 Km on a bycicle, amazing temples and ruins, and great food and beer made this a great day. We had so much fun we decided to go out for drinks and food when we rode back to town, however 1 beer in a bar at 7:30 Pm we were both passing out at the table (mom would say "too much fun for 1 day").
Over the next couple days we spent more time in the old market, and discovered a street closed to cars called pub street as well as a huge night market open very late. Once we were ready we booked the bus back to Phnom Penh and a flight from there to Bangkok. I would be lying to say we didn't sing "One night in Bangkok" alot of the way