Ah, Siem Reap. What a funny and wonderful place you are.
We arrived in the city late on our first night, so we were able to see the city in all it's lit-up splendour. It's kind of like a mini-Vegas in some parts, with large tacky hotels lining the airport road and lights strung up everywhere.
We stayed at the Golden Banana Hotel, which is def not a backpacker place. It has an amazing pool and gorgeous trees everywhere - again, I was spoiled! Ah, what a life.
On our way to pub street, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant called xxx for the best (and only) Mexican food I have had in a loooong while, along with $1.50 daiquiris. Amazeballs.
We then hit up pub street and all of it's fabulousness. We stopped at a place for $1 draft beers that had a Filipino Journey cover band. So good.
We ended up at the infamous Temple bar, and I soon joined the crowd dancing on the street. There was a huge group of flamboyant Cambodian guys who had dances to all of the pop hits, so we all followed along (or at least tried to) in rows behind them. So much fun!
There is obvi a huge night market here, complete with a neon sign and flashing arrows pointing you in the right direction. It has the same loverly touristy souvenirs along with some knock-off purses and head phones.
The city itself is huge and has a good energy to it. The prices seem a bit more than in Laos - for example, my dorm is $6 a night instead of the usual $4 - but you can still find some good street food (curry, noodle soup, etc) for $2.
There are tons of more high-end western hotels and restaurants for those who are craving a taste from home as well!
I stayed at a cool place called Downtown Siem Reap Hostel, which even had a pool(!) and regularly had live bands playing.
Someone pointed out an awesome running path next to the river as well, which has cool sculptures and parks along the route.
Overall, Siem Reap is a bustling city with a good vibe and a great party scene. Can definitely understand how people get stuck here!
If you are here on the weekend, you MUST check out the Khmer Circus and the concert at the children's hospital - I misse out on this, but heard amazing things about both!