The city of Siem Reap may not be the capital of Cambodia, but its airport is almost as busy as Phnom Penh's. This is where travelers begin their journey to Angkor Wat, the largest and oldest religious monument in the world. The Siem Reap International Airport (REP) sits on about 200 hectares and sees more than 5 million passengers yearly (double what it saw in 2012, as Angkor Wat attendance continues to grow). Although the Phnom Penh International Airport is double the size, it seems only slightly more people pass through its gates per year.
Despite its popularity spike, REP remains humble. It has two terminals—one for domestic and one for international flights—16 operating airlines, and only a handful of shops and restaurants. Its capabilities have been outpaced by the meteoric influx of tourism in the city, which is why the government plans to build a new facility more than three times the airport's current size. Siem Reap's replacement airport will be constructed in the Sot Nikum district, about 23 miles east of Siem Reap proper.
Airport Code, Location, and Contact Information
- Cambodia's Siem Reap International Airport (REP) is located less than 2 miles from the world-famous temple complex that is Angkor Wat and about 5 miles (a 20-minute taxi or tuk-tuk ride) from Siem Reap's city center.
- Phone Number: +855 63 761 261
- Website: https://rep.cambodia-airports.aero
- Map: Location on Google Maps
- Flight Tracker: https://rep.cambodia-airports.aero/en/flight/information-arrivals-and-departures
Know Before You Go
Upon arrival to Siem Reap, you'll find a beautifully bedecked airport designed in the traditional Khmer style reminiscent of Angkor Wat, itself. The exterior, planted with palm trees and lush flora, offers a taste of Southeast Asia's tropical climate. There are two terminals—the domestic with two gates and international with four—both of which lead passengers the short distance from their planes to the immigration hall.
There are 16 airlines operating out of Siem Reap International Airport, including Air Asia, Bangkok Airways, Jetstar Asia, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, and the biggest, Cambodia Angkor Air. Most of the shops and dining are located in the international terminal, the larger of the two, but domestic flyers may wander about without regard because the terminals are extremely close together—no snazzy shuttles or transfer buses here.
Depending on which country you're coming from, you may be able to secure a visa before flying in. Otherwise, many foreign tourists can get a visa on arrival at immigration (for a fee). The lines here can be long, though, especially during peak season, so you might want to consider getting an e-visa instead.
Siem Reap International Airport Parking
Not many international tourists rent cars to get around in Cambodia (or in any Southeast Asian country, for that matter), seeing as traveling by taxis, tuk-tuks, and buses seem to be far easier, safer, and cheaper. The road rules in Southeast Asia are not only vastly different from Western countries, but they're also scarcely followed by the locals. The roads are usually a chaotic tangle of horn-blowing motorbikes, which is simply not something many travelers want to get involved with.
If you insist on driving yourself to the airport, however, there are parking facilities available. Lots are for day use only—overnight parking is not permitted—and range in price from $1 USD for 30 minutes to $3 for four hours (for a car).
Siem Reap International Airport is a 17-minute drive from the city center via NR6. It's even closer to Angkor Wat, which can be reached directly from Airport Road. Again, rarely does a tourist navigate Cambodian roads alone, though, save the odd motorbike day rental to visit a temple or a waterfall.
Public Transportation and Taxis
Taxis are commonplace in Siem Reap, but even more common are tuk-tuks, the three-wheeled, open-air rickshaws that monopolize Cambodia's streets. Getting one or the other for a ride to or from the airport is a breeze.
At the end of your trip, you may arrange a taxi ride to the airport through your hotel, which should cost about $10 USD (or 41,000 Cambodian riel). While it might sometimes be necessary to pay in the local currency, U.S. dollars and coins are accepted here. A tuk-tuk would be slightly cheaper but might fit only two people with two small suitcases—nothing more. In any case, you'll find tuk-tuks waiting for customers on just about any corner.
Getting from REP is another story. While tuk-tuks are not allowed to line up at the airport, you may be able to snag one near the taxi stand. It should cost no more than $10 to get to the city center. Getting a taxi costs the same, will be safer, and will provide more legroom anyway.
Where to Eat and Drink
If you happen to get hungry while you're waiting for a flight, there are a half-dozen restaurants to choose from, all located in the international terminal. There's Asian Spice, where you'll find a menu full of local flavor, Deli Paris (French cuisine has been a staple here since the French colonization), a bar, a Starbucks, and the ever-familiar Burger King. Most restaurants are open from 5 a.m. to midnight daily.
Where to Shop
Like the restaurants, the shops at REP can be found primarily in the international terminal. There's a duty-free shop, of course, and Bamboo Indochine for Khmer-style fashion. There's a bookstore and a plethora of gift shops selling silk items, sandstone sculptures, jewelry, and clothes—the perfect souvenirs to take home.
If, on the other hand, you've arrived in Siem Reap and are looking for a SIM card for your phone, those can be found after baggage claim. Expect to pay $4 USD or more.
How to Spend Your Layover
Being a small airport, there isn't actually an extraordinary number of things to do during a layover. REP does, however, have a mini version of a spa in the international terminal. Beauty Spa Foot Massage offers several different massages, which isn't the worst way to kill an hour at the airport, per se. There's also Le Salon, a restaurant and "rest zone" that has cable TV, wifi, and a bar.
As far as airline lounges go, the only one you'll find at Siem Reap International Airport is Bangkok Airways' Blue Ribbon Lounge, which offers snacks, wifi, computers, and newspapers in a private and cozy setting. Otherwise, there's the Plaza Premium Lounge, where you can pay at the door and take a hot shower.
If hanging out in the airport isn't your thing (or if you have an overnight layover, because the airport closes at night and overnight stays are not permitted), consider sleeping over at the nearby La Palmeraie d’Angkor or La Maison d’Angkor, both five minutes from the airport. Just make sure that you first have your visa, if applicable.
Wifi and Charging Stations
REP has free and unlimited wireless internet, but charging stations might be hard to come by. Many of the restaurants and the lounges, however, will have outlets for paying customers to use.
Airport Tips and Tidbits
- There are ATMs and cash points dotted around the airport that dispense both US dollars and Cambodian riel. There are also currency exchange kiosks located in both arrivals and departures, but Americans may want to save their coveted dollars and coins.
- The airport does not provide luggage storage or designated rest zones. It also closes at 1 a.m., so extended stays are not encouraged or, in some cases, permitted. Don't expect to linger for too long.