Kristin and I were hot, sticky, and tired we when finally reached Siem Reap. The long overland travel from Thailand was a bit exhausting. Our driver dropped off his crew of passengers before taking us to a few hotels. They were either too expensive or too unimpressive until we reached the last one. We didn't see any other guests, but it seemed to check all the boxes: the price was right, the rooms were air-conditioned, and there was a small swimming pool out front. We checked in, quickly unloaded our bags, and jumped in the pool to cool off. Before leaving for dinner, the hotel staff helped us organize a tuk-tuk driver to take us to Angkor Wat the following day.
The tiny town of Siem Reap has become a major tourist destination due to its historical significance. Other than the remnants of ancient civilizations, the town is packed full of hotels, restaurants, massage parlors, and bars all within walking distance or a short tuk-tuk ride. The downtown area's two main attractions are Pub Street and the Night Market; I'm not sure why they found it necessary, but both are demarcated by several massive neon-light signs. Interestingly, most businesses here operate in US dollars instead of the Cambodian Riel. My guess is the primary reason is due to the Riel's volatility, but it also makes services look extra cheap. Kristin and I enjoyed a really nice dinner and a few cocktails for $15.