Siem Reap Christmas: Baby Elephant’s Annual Poolside Barbecue 2018

Siem Reap Christmas: Baby Elephant’s Annual Poolside Barbecue 2018

Join us at Baby Elephant for our annual Siem Reap Christmas party.

International Christmas BBQ – All You Can Eat

Date: Tuesday 25 December, 2018
Time:
11 AM – 4 PM Complimentary rum balls and snacks with “Santa” by the pool
4 PM – 7 PM BBQ and Christmas feast!
Price includes welcome drink and includes taxes: Adults – $25.00 // Kids – $12.50 // Vegan $22.00
Location: Poolside at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel
RSVP: Please let us know ASAP by emailing ilana@babyelephant.asia or messaging us on our Facebook page. Numbers are strictly limited. Drink specials will be available all day.
🌿 Vegan Friendly 🌿

Details:

The annual Baby Elephant Siem Reap Christmas barbecue is back! And it’s better than ever. We are thrilled to invite you to join us as we celebrate the festive season with an all-you-can-eat poolside barbecue on Tuesday 25 December, 2018! This event is open to all our valued guests and friends.

Chef Hoyha will present a beautiful, healthy and delicious barbecue with lots of Christmas trimmings, salads, house-made condiments and other delicious extras. This year we will be adding even more Christmas goodies with Christmas smoked ham, turkey, gravy, and lots of sweet delicacies.

See Full Menu Here

Drink specials will be available for our tropical Siem Reap Christmas all day. Please RSVP to ilana@babyelephant.asia or message us via our Facebook page!

All guests and friends welcome – but numbers are strictly limited.

THE MENU:

Our Siem Reap Christmas feast will include a barbecue, roast vegetables, salad bar, cold meats, a smorgasboard of vegan-friendly Christmas food options, house-made condiments, breads and baguettes, Christmas desserts and more!

See Full Menu Here

AND MUCH MORE 🎉🎄. Check out the full menu on our Facebook event and be sure to follow us for more updates!

What to do in Siem Reap during the green season

What to do in Siem Reap during the green season

Siem Reap’s green season sees the relentless heat give way to welcome rain, and the whole of temple town takes on a luscious shade of verdant.
The rain can bring challenges, as the city’s notoriously dusty streets give way to puddles – but it’s a wonderful time to observe our little city in the midst of change, and often an altogether more comfortable period to take in the sights.

That’s not to mention the fact that the crowds are fewer, and prices at many spots around Siem Reap drop as a result. There’s plenty to see and do at this time of year – here’s a round-up of the green season attractions you’ll want to squeeze into your visit to Siem Reap.

Full Frontal art gallery in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Full Frontal

Take in an exhibition at Siem Reap’s art galleries

Siem Reap has a blossoming art and culture scene that’s continually on the rise, with numerous new openings having hit temple town in the past few years.

The likes of One Eleven, the McDermott Gallery, Theam’s House, Full Frontal and The 1961 display wide-ranging collections that span everything from modern art by local talent to surreal images of Cambodia’s infamous temples by renowned international names.

Even better? A number of Siem Reap art galleries embrace the frankly ingenious concept of an in-house bar, making them the perfect places to skip the rain, soak up some culture, and settle in for an evening of cocktails and enriching conversation.

Read more: see our full post on the best art galleries in Siem Reap

Kandal Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Chris Wotton

Pick up souvenirs at the best Siem Reap boutiques

What better way to pass the time on a rainy day during Siem Reap’s green season than to indulge in some retail therapy? Our little town has a great shopping scene, making it the perfect place to pick up inimitable souvenirs of your time in Cambodia.

The choices are just about endless: you could pick up something homemade or quirky from the boutiques of Kandal Village – perhaps some of Saarti’s fragrant candles, natural skin products, or bright and cheerful fabrics, or a slice of Cambodian kitsch from the Trunkh concept store.

Alternatively, you might be tempted by an arty souvenir from the Theam’s House living gallery, or by a bottle of the sombai infused Cambodian rice spirit that’s popular as a tipple to take home.

Sister Srey Café in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Sister Srey Café

Savour a brew at our favourite Siem Reap coffee shops

Siem Reap’s bounty of cafés and coffee shops are a big draw – in recent years, the town has developed a café scene that’s centred on a real love of excellent-quality coffee served by engaged and expertly trained baristas.

Whether you opt for the comfort of air-con interiors or the atmospheric people-watching potential of a seat outdoors (infinitely more comfortable in the immediate aftermath of one of the green season’s very welcome downpours), there are certainly worse ways to while away a lazy afternoon than by cosying up with a delicious hot coffee and a book (and, go on, perhaps a slice of cake, too) in one of Siem Reap’s many coffee shops.

Read more: see our full post on the best Siem Reap coffee shops

Phare Cambodian Circus in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Chris Wotton

See an impressive, emotionally charged circus performance

There’s no getting away from it: we simply love Phare the Cambodian Circus. This responsibly managed social enterprise combines dance, theatre, live music and acrobatics to tell traditional and modern tales about Cambodian history and culture. The circus’ work supports a school and professional arts training centre in Battambang, as well as providing opportunities for its performers from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Above all else, an evening at Phare the Cambodian Circus is always one to remember – and, under the shelter of the big top, you’re also safe from the rain!

Read more: Phare is one of our Siem Reap bucket list items – take a look at the others

Long's Bar in Siem Reap - photo by Long's Bar

Watch the world go by over cocktails and cold beers

When all else fails, retreating to the bar is never a bad option! Thankfully, Siem Reap has a smorgasbord of unique, atmospheric drinking holes where it’s well worth spending an evening. In fact, we would go so far as to say a leisurely Siem Reap bar crawl of these winning spots is almost an essential component of a trip to temple town.

From Asana – a bar set in downtown Siem Reap’s only remaining traditional wooden house, also offering innovative cocktail classes – to air-conditioned Long’s Bar, retro Shanghai-style Miss Wong, and Le Tiem Sra in Baby Elephant’s own local neighbourhood, there’s enough variety in Siem Reap’s bars to keep you entertained and amused while also ensuring you’re sheltered from any inclement weather during green season.

Read more: see our full post on the best bars in Siem Reap

Beef lok lak at New Leaf café in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Chris Wotton

Taste top Cambodian cuisine and international favourites

There’s little denying that Cambodian cuisine is massively overlooked in favour of that of regional neighbours like Thailand and Vietnam, but it’s complex and exciting in its own unique way – and Siem Reap is home to no end of fabulous restaurants serving excellent Khmer food. All the way from high-end tasting menus of traditional Cambodian recipes given modern twists, to comforting home-style cooking, and simple but satisfying street food classics, there’s plenty to chow down on during your time in Siem Reap.

Taking yourself on a gastronomic discovery is a great way to wait out a storm while also giving yourself a break from the often frantic pace of sightseeing – and if you need a break from local fare, temple town is also home to a wealth of top-quality international restaurants serving dishes from just about everywhere on earth.

Read more: see our full post on the best Cambodian restaurants in Siem Reap

Cambodian Tastes Khmer cooking classes at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Chris Wotton

Learn to master delicious local dishes – and cocktails

Why stop at just eating and drinking? Participating in one of the many cooking classes in Siem Reap means you’ll be able to take home a deeper understanding of Khmer cuisine, and be able to recreate all your favourite dishes long after your trip is over.

At Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel, our very own five-star head chef Hoyha leads guests through a culinary education during our Cambodian Tastes cooking classes. Shop for fresh ingredients at a traditional local morning market, before preparing a full three-course Cambodian meal in our verdant tropical garden (or, in case of rain, under our sheltered gazebo or in our hotel kitchen!) – and then, of course, tuck into the delicious fruits of your labour for lunch.

Asana – a charming, atmospheric bar set in downtown Siem Reap’s only remaining traditional Cambodian wooden house – also offers innovative cocktail-making classes in which you can learn how to whip up potent, flavoursome concoctions that showcase unique local ingredients.

Read more: discover Baby Elephant’s Cambodian Tastes Khmer cooking classes

Take in a Hollywood or Asian flick at Siem Reap’s cinema

Few visitors to Siem Reap expect this bustling yet overwhelmingly small, almost rural-feeling city to have its own cinema – but it does! The Platinum Cineplex shows a variety of Hollywood flicks, as well as movies from homegrown Cambodian talent and from elsewhere across Asia. Chilling out with a film and a bucket of popcorn is an ideal way to beat the Siem Reap heat at the best of times, but it’s equally well suited to hiding out from the rain.

Tonle Sap lake near Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Chris Wotton

Float on the mesmerising Tonle Sap lake

While you might not want to be caught out in the middle of a downpour, the wider green season is the time when the water levels of Tonle Sap – the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, and long since one of Cambodia’s most vital food sources – are at their highest.

This not only renders excursions to Tonle Sap logistically more practical, since navigation by boat through the lake’s numerous floating villages becomes much easier, but it also makes the lake an infinitely more impressive sight to behold.

Angkor Wat sunrise in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by dia_n

Visit the temples and all the other places you would normally

We wouldn’t want you to think that visiting Siem Reap during the green season means temple tours are off the cards – far from it!

While you might want to pack an umbrella, the green season leaves the infamous temples at and around Angkor Wat dressed in splendid, ultra-photogenic verdant mosses – and it’s just as good a time to visit these and the whole host of popular cultural and historical attractions Siem Reap is known for.

What’s more, temperatures are more bearable, prices at many attractions and hotels drop due to reduced visitor numbers, and the crowds are thinner – meaning you can have more of the temples to yourself, and truly soak up the serene, zen vibe that is a big part of the attraction for many visitors.

Read more: see our full post on our Siem Reap bucket list

Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Where to stay in Siem Reap

Looking for a Siem Reap hotel from which to explore the best of Siem Reap come rain or shine, while also being within easy reach of the famous Angkor Wat temples? Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel is waiting for you – click here to take a look at our relaxing rooms, all with free breakfast and use of our gorgeous swimming pool.

Have you visited Siem Reap in green season? What are your favourite attractions during this period? Let us know which spots we should include on our list – leave us a comment below!

Photos by Full Frontal, Chris Wotton, Sister Srey Café, Long’s Bar, dia_n.

Our favourite restaurants to eat vegan and vegetarian in Siem Reap

Our favourite restaurants to eat vegan and vegetarian in Siem Reap

We all know that Siem Reap has a fantastic dining scene. And the even better news for those who lead a vegan lifestyle, whether through choice or for dietary reasons, is that Cambodia’s little temple town is also packed with great restaurants to eat vegan – meaning you can continue to eat delicious, nutritious food while you’re visiting.

Excellent Deals Direct

Planning to stay with us at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel? The secret when booking is to book direct! Book your stay at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel direct on our website and enjoy:

  • The best deals on tours and transport
  • Savings on extra services
  • The best prices on room rates

We look forward to seeing you soon! Or kun cheran.

The ritual bowl at Vibe vegan café in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Vibe

As well as an extensive vegan selection on the menu at our very own Baby Elephant, Siem Reap’s vegan-friendly restaurants make for a diverse foodie scene that has something for everyone. These are some of our favourite places for fantastic vegan food in Siem Reap.

Vegan lasagna at La Pasta Italian restaurant in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by La Pasta

La Pasta

New on the Siem Reap restaurants scene, La Pasta is – you guessed it – an Italian restaurant with a focus on fresh, organic pasta dishes. But even as a relative newcomer, this family-run place is picking up rave reviews left, right and centre for its authentic Italian dishes, which include special vegan and vegetarian menus.

Highlights among the selection of vegan antipasti include Sicily’s famous caponata aubergine stew – which here even has cocoa powder thrown into the mix. Vegan pastas run the gamut from no-egg lasagna to mushroom Bolognese and tofu-and-shiitake-bacon carbonara, vegan parmesan appears across the board, and there are even vegan meatballs made from a mix of breadcrumbs, mushrooms and rice.

Aside from the eponymous pasta dishes, the vegan, vegetarian and carnivorous menus also feature one pizza each, the vegan menu pitches in further with a vegan-cheese-baked-aubergine main course, and all have a range of superfood salads and a tempting choice of desserts.

Tuesday to Sunday, 11am-10pm; Hospital Street; 096-282-6127; www.lapastaa.com

Vegan doorstop sandwich by Vibe vegan café in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Vibe

Vibe

Set at the heart of our favourite hangout Kandal Village, at trendy, health-conscious vegan café-restaurant Vibe, the impeccably designed interiors are as important as the food. And what a selection food it is: all vegan, plant-based, organic and nutritious, with a strong focus on raw, gluten-free and sugar-free dishes. Perhaps most impressive of all, Vibe claims that their bread is the one and only thing they don’t make in-house from scratch.

The just-extensive-enough menu covers a whole range of health-centred breakfast bowls, with on-trend superfood ingredients like acai, chia and goji, plus bircher muesli, quinoa porridge, and even more indulgent brunch treats like smashed avocado on rye toast, and zucchini fritters with coconut tzatziki – all without ever straying from the commitment to healthy eating.

Various vegan bowls make an appearance for lunch and dinner, too, as well as other innovative creations like raw zucchini pasta with cashew cheese, black bean and roasted pumpkin quesadillas, and a bean-and-vegetable-patty burger loaded with avocado and fermented cucumber pickles. Add to the equation irresistible desserts like the walnut-based raw salted caramel and chocolate slice, and it’s easy to understand why this is a spot that meat-eaters are rightly clamouring to get into just as much as life-long vegans. Equally unsurprisingly, a Phnom Penh branch is already on the cards, and due to open later in spring 2017.

Monday, 7.30am-4.30pm; Tuesday to Sunday, 7.30am-8pm; 715 Hup Guan Street (Kandal Village); 069-937-900; www.vibecafeasia.com

The Veg ‘G’ Table Café in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by The Veg ‘G’ Table Café

The Veg ‘G’ Table Café

There’s a homey and casual yet serene vibe to this ‘mostly vegetarian’ (and largely vegan) restaurant set in a secluded garden not far from Wat Bo temple, where French chef-owner Goulven Lego (aka ‘G’) takes a holistic farm-to-table approach to his cooking. He’s helped along by the fact that he has 19 years’ experience in London kitchens under his belt, and he’s not afraid to innovate with bold, natural flavours; The Veg ‘G’ Table Café describes its offering as ‘the funkiest vegetarian food in town’.

There’s a choice of everyday staples like the mixed vegetable and beetroot veggie burger, or more out-there dishes such as white bean, lime and chilli fritters served on homemade flatbread with avocado mousse. The menu is relatively light on heavy, filling mains, combining just a few with more snack-like dishes such as middle-eastern baba ganoush, gazpacho, and beetroot carpaccio (ditch the cream cheese to make it vegan).

‘Just because there isn’t any meat, it doesn’t mean it’s not delicious,’ professes Lego – but he does make the odd concession to meat-eaters in dishes like the spiced chicken taboulé. As for dessert, just thinking about the vegetarian chocolate and beetroot brownies (served with toffee sauce, balsamic syrup, and toasted almonds) has us dribbling.

Tuesday to Saturday, 11am-3pm and 6-9pm; Sunday, 11am-3pm; Craft Alley, Wat Bo Road; 088-642-3753;

Raw vegan passion fruit cheesecake at Artillery Café in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Artillery

Artillery

We’ve already raved about Artillery – which also has branches in Phnom Penh – as being among our favourite Siem Reap cafés. But this retro, design-led spot, complete with an ultra-attractive outdoor courtyard, is also a hot ticket for its wide range of conceptual vegan dishes – even if we’ve found the food here to be somewhat hit-or-miss on occasion.

Vegan brunch favourites here include the likes of avocado sourdough toast spruced up with a dukkah spice mix, and a chia coconut parfait. By way of more substantial vegan grub, there’s a spiced vegetable and quinoa burger, intriguing barbecued jackfruit tacos, and the falafel waffle with garlic tahini, plus a range of vegan-friendly salads, vegan and gluten-free macro bowls, and healthy snacks like summer rolls and garlic-and-chilli-oil chargrilled broccoli.

There’s also a small selection of raw, vegan and gluten-free desserts, plus a solid range of cold-pressed juices, and coffees are available with cashew or coconut milk. What’s more, Artillery has a solid reputation for environmentally friendly practices, including in the sourcing of its range of health, beauty and homewares products to take home.

Daily, 7.30am-9pm; Wat Bo Road; 085-856-511; www.artillerycafe.com

Vegan passion fruit sorbet at Gelato Lab in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Gelato Lab

Gelato Lab

An ice-cream joint might seem like an odd inclusion in an article on places to eat vegan food in Siem Reap, but hear us out: Gelato Lab is special. This Italian-owned gelato bar, tucked into the small eyes that run along from Pub Street in Siem Reap’s Old Market area, has a loyal following that renders worthwhile the painstaking methods that go into making the frozen goodies here.

The extensive selection of ice creams – freshly churned in-house on a daily basis – will satisfy even the fussiest of ice-cream aficionados, including those who want their dessert to be loaded with fresh milk and cream. But it’s the Cioccolato organic 80% Papua New Guinea dark chocolate sorbet that we care about: no word of a life, this stuff is the nectar of the gods (and non-vegans will likely be clueless that it’s utterly dairy-free).

It’s one of a selection of innovative, otherwise fruit-based vegan sorbets that include mango and dragon fruit both sourced from Siem Reap, sweet mandarin from southeastern Cambodia’s Kandal province, passion fruit from the Mondulkiri mountains in the east of the country, and strawberries from Chiang Mai in neighbouring Thailand.

Daily, 9am-11.30pm; Alley West (behind Pub Street); 085-757-590; www.facebook.com/gelatolabsiemreap

Cuisine Wat Damnak in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Cuisine Wat Damnak

Cuisine Wat Damnak

Easily one of the best Cambodian restaurants not just in Siem Reap but in the entire country, Cuisine Wat Damnak’s French chef Joannès Rivière uses contemporary French techniques and locally sourced ingredients to elevate traditional Khmer recipes as part of fortnightly rotating fine-dining tasting menu.

Cuisine Wat Damnak has previously appeared on the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, and it remains one of Siem Reap’s hottest addresses. But perhaps best of all, vegans don’t have to miss out on the lip-smacking foodie fun! Rivière is refreshingly accommodating of both vegetarians and vegans and, with advance notice, the restaurant will happily prepare an alternative menu that promises to be just as exciting and innovative as what the carnivores are served.

Tuesday to Saturday, 6.30-9.30pm; between Psar Dey Hoy market and Angkor High School, Wat Damnak Village; 077-347-762; www.cuisinewatdamnak.com

Yuan Sheng Vegetable Restaurant

Yuan Sheng is a Mandarin phrase which refers to ecology or way of life. It is also the name of a new Chinese-Cambodian restaurant in Siem Reap, which doubles as a sales centre for Buddhist wood carvings. It’s a little bit out from the tourist heart of town, on one of Siem Reap’s main connecting roads between Phsar Leu and High School Road. We’ve been really impressed by the range of fresh greens served with noodle and soup dishes, and also the delicious authentic Cambodian and Chinese cooking on offer. The menu is entirely in Khmer, but fear not – the staff are really helpful when it comes to ordering. We love the large variety of mock meats offered in Yuan Sheng’s dishes, all at very affordable prices. We recommend ordering the curry noodle soup (pictured above), and loading it up with the seasonal leafy greens, fresh flowers and lotus stems offered to accompany each dish.

Daily, 7am-9pm; Lok Taneuy Road; 089-700-168

The food and drink menu, including countless vegan and vegetarian options, at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel

Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel

Of course, no round-up of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Siem Reap would be complete without mentioning our very own oasis at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel. We’re the obvious choice for vegans and vegetarians looking to relax, explore Siem Reap, and discover the town’s tempting array of meat-free meals.

Needless to say, our own extensive menu of Khmer and Asian specialities, international classics, and western comfort foods, includes a healthy array of vegan and vegetarian meals that you’ll have trouble saying no to. Choose from dishes like our infamous chickpea-and-veggie-patty vegetarian burger, our irresistible tofu burger, and a range of vegan pastas that includes tofu puttanesca.

Or pick from a wide variety of local vegan delights, such as the creamy, coconut-based Cambodian tofu and vegetable curry, the Cambodian coconut pumpkin soup, a hot and sour tom yum soup with tofu, or our delightful pan-fried tofu garden salad with sesame dressing. Just fancy a quick bite to eat while you lounge by the pool? Our vegan golden taro and shiitake spring rolls are the perfect answer to your mid-afternoon hunger pangs.

Take a look at our restaurant and bar menu here, and see our 25 stylish rooms here.

Where else for vegan food in Siem Reap?

Plenty of other spots around Siem Reap have a few dedicated vegan menu items that are worth recommending, like Sister Srey, the Little Red Fox Espresso, the Hive, and Atmosphere. Plus, don’t miss the vegan barbecues at the Hangout on Saturdays and at Footprints on Tuesdays!

Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Where to stay in Siem Reap

Looking for a Siem Reap hotel from which to explore the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants that Siem Reap has to offer, while also being within easy reach of the famous Angkor Wat temples? Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel is waiting for you – click here to take a look at our relaxing rooms, all with free breakfast (including vegan options, of course!) and use of our gorgeous swimming pool.

Which of these Siem Reap vegan and vegetarian restaurants is your favourite? Let us know which spots we should include on our list – leave us a comment below!

Photos by Vibe, La Pasta, Vibe, The Veg ‘G’ Table Café, Artillery, Gelato Lab, Cuisine Wat Damnak, Ilana Tulloch, and Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel.

What to expect from our Siem Reap hotel

What to expect from our Siem Reap hotel

We think Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel is a pretty special place, and we’re both proud of what we’ve built here in Siem Reap, and excited for what’s still to come in the future.

Excellent Deals Direct

Planning to stay with us at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel? The secret when booking is to book direct! Book your stay at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel direct on our website and enjoy:

  • The best deals on tours and transport
  • Savings on extra services
  • The best prices on room rates

We look forward to seeing you soon! Or kun cheran.

Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia

But we know we’re not for everyone, and we think it’s only fair that you know what to expect when you stay with us, so that you’re guaranteed to have an enriching, memorable and all-round awesome experience.

That’s why we’ve taken the time to outline all the great things Baby Elephant definitely is – and the things we’re not.

We’re not a five-star luxury property

Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel is a small, three-star hotel, and we pride ourselves on offering a friendly, intimate, affordable luxury experience that makes you feel like you’re staying in your home from home.

You might also think of us as being a notch above most run-of-the-mill three-stars. That’s because, among heaps of other facilities, there aren’t many three-star properties – either in Siem Reap or elsewhere – with a gorgeous saltwater swimming pool (complete with spa jets) like ours, perfect for a refreshing dip or a spot of sunbathing, and where it’s not uncommon to have the space to yourself.

Many of our team come from a hospitality background in four- and five-star hotels, so we’re able to provide a truly relaxing, friendly service that offers all you need to make the most of your stay. We always go out of our way to take care of our guests, and we will do our very best to accommodate any special requirements you might have.

But we’re not a large, sprawling international chain hotel with hundreds of rooms – even after doubling in size in 2016 we still have just 25 rooms, which we think keeps the space welcoming and intimate.

We’re not right in the thick of it

We’ll be honest – if you’re looking for somewhere you can roll right out of bed and onto Pub Street for your next day of boozing and partying, we’re probably not for you. But our location is still perfect for seeing all that Siem Reap has to offer, including Pub Street and the Night Market.

We’re located on a small, local Cambodian lane, where you’re likely to see children, ducklings and kittens roaming around – and we think that just oozes charm! When you’re ready to relax at the pool or catch an early night after hours of sightseeing, you’ll be pleased to feel like you’re a million miles from the hustle and bustle of central Siem Reap – but in fact we’re just a short walk or tuk-tuk ride from the heart of downtown.

(Some of our guests like to get the best of both worlds during their time in Siem Reap, by combining a couple of days at one of the downtown party-hard and drink-till-you-drop hostels with a more peaceful, detoxifying stay at Baby Elephant.)

To be more specific: our little Siem Reap hotel is about 800 metres from the Night Market, which will take you around 10 minutes to walk, or about three minutes by tuk-tuk. And we’re about 1.1km from Pub Street; around 15 minutes on foot, or four minutes in a tuk-tuk.

We know you’re probably in Siem Reap first and foremost to visit Angkor Wat, and we’re not too far from these majestic temples, either – less than 7km, in fact. It’ll take you around 12 minutes to whizz there in a tuk-tuk or air-conditioned car or van, meaning you can still catch the sunrise after snoozing for just a little longer than you might have expected.

Finally, on arrival, we’re under 9km from Siem Reap’s international airport. We offer a free meet-and-greet service for all our guests – just make sure we’ve got your flight details, and one of our friendly tuk-tuk drivers will be waiting for you on arrival, ready to whisk to our serene tropical paradise in just 15-20 minutes. Of course, when you’re ready to leave we can arrange a return transfer to the airport, too. And if you’re arriving by land, we’re less than 6km from Siem Reap bus station – about a 20-minute ride.

We’re in Cambodia, a developing country

There’s no escaping the fact that we’re based in Siem Reap, Cambodia – in fact, in case you hadn’t noticed, we love it here! But it’s one of Southeast Asia’s poorest countries, and is still a developing nation in just about every sense – and that comes with its challenges (though we think they are worth the rewards).

There are times when we suffer power cuts, though it’s unlikely you’ll be affected since we have our own on-site generator to provide backup electricity. Short outages to our water supply and internet connection are also a possibility, though these occur much less frequently. These situations are almost always out of our control, but we always do everything we can to put them right as quickly as possible in order to minimise disruption to our guests, and of course we’ll keep you in the loop, too.

Likewise, while walking or cycling around Siem Reap can be incredibly pleasant, road conditions and driving practices may not be what you’re used to, so it pays to be alert. Seasonal weather conditions can also be a challenge sometimes, meaning roads can be either somewhat dusty or slightly wet. But again, we’ll do all we can to make you comfortable, and to equip you with local tips for getting around safely and having fun – just ask.

We’re not a place for sex tourism

We take a firm stance when it comes to sex tourism. Over a third of those connected with sex tourism in Cambodia are under 18, including victims of abuse and trafficking, and we believe we have a responsibility to do what we can to combat this. To avoid any embarrassment during your stay, we’re totally upfront: we don’t accept sex tourism, prostitution, escorts or outside massage therapists at Baby Elephant.

We ARE a great place to relax and rejuvenate

We know Baby Elephant won’t be for everyone – we would be kidding ourselves and chasing after the impossible if we pretended it might be. But we love the little oasis we’ve created here, and we strongly believe it’s a beautiful place for guests looking to relax, rejuvenate, nourish themselves and immerse themselves in a little slice of local life and culture, all the while being within walking distance of everything else our beloved town has to offer. We hope you’ll get the chance to discover the tranquillity of our Siem Reap hotel for yourself.

Got a question about what it’s like to stay with us? Just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!

Exploring Around Siem Reap Hotels – Brahman Cows

Explore around Angkor Wat and Siem Reap hotels, and you will likely see lots of gorgeous white cows. These are called Brahman cows. They’re actually a mix between four types of cattle from India and were originally bred in the United States.  Personally, I think they look like a mix between a lop-eared rabbit, a deer and a cow- so cute!

Excellent Deals Direct

Planning to stay with us at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel? The secret when booking is to book direct! Book your stay at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel direct on our website and enjoy:

  • The best deals on tours and transport
  • Savings on extra services
  • The best prices on room rates

We look forward to seeing you soon! Or kun cheran.

Brahman cows around Siem Reap hotels

Baby Brahman cows while exploring around Siem Reap hotels.

The breed is known for its excellent quality of beef and also its ability to tolerate heat and thrive in hot climates. An oily skin and short coat makes them remarkably resistant to ticks and other biting insects- and as a result less susceptible to diseases. Perfect for the hot, swampy rural areas of Cambodia.

There are around 3.5 million Brahman cows in Cambodia, 70 percent are used for farming and the remainder for beef.

Brahman cows Cambodia

Explore around Siem Reap hotels – and discover Brahman cows!

Working Animals

Around Siem Reap hotels, it’s common to see one or two of these cows harnessed to a plough, tilling the fields.

Unlike a tractor, these animals can easily move through the marshy, muddy wet fields and not get stuck. Adult bulls weigh around  2000 pounds and cows 1400 pounds. The calves are small at birth, weighing 60 to 65 pounds.

Although appearing docile, be wary as they can give you a good kick and are very strong if you get too close.  Mothers can be extremely protective of their calves, so be cautious when they have babies around.

These cows have very long lives and it isn’t uncommon for them to live to 17 or 18 years old, and still be having calves at 15.

(If you want to explore around Siem Reap hotels by bicycle, have a read of my last post about biking around Siem Reap.)

Exploring Around Baby Elephant  and Siem Reap Hotels

An easy bike ride from the Baby Elephant hotel, up Night Market Road, you will discover verdant farmers fields and typical rural scenery – with lots of Brahman cows!

From Baby Elephant hotel, head down the dirt road and take a right onto the paved road. From here, merge onto the left hand fork (called Night Market Road). Ride on this road until you come to a main intersection. Carefully cross the intersection and the road again becomes red dirt.

Bike a few more kilometers up the road, until you see a pagoda on the left, turn left here and follow this dirt road all the way to the paved main road and the river. Turn left here, and loop back to Siem Reap on the paved main road. If you want less traffic, cross one of the walking bridges to the dirt track on the other side of the river, a bumpier ride – but far less traffic.

Brahman cows and Siem Reap hotels staff - a close connection.

Brahman cows are an integral part of life in Siem Reap Cambodia. Many of the Siem Reap hotels staff come from farming families.

Cows for Cambodia

Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world, and many Cambodians earn less than $1US a day. Most families live in rural areas and are subsistence farmers, they rely on livestock and personal gardens to feed themselves.

Having a cow can be an asset in many ways – moving heavy loads, collecting water and tilling rice – not to mention the valuable meat an adult cow can provide a family. The average cost of a Brahman cow is $650US which means 80% of most Cambodian families can’t afford to buy one.

Recently, an interesting charity was created called Cows for Cambodia. This charity provides a pregnant cow to a family in need, allowing the family to keep the baby Brahman cow when it is born, returning the mother to the charity.

Of course, there is a strict requirement for the animals to be well cared for and the charity follows up regularly to ensure the health and well-being of the animals! A fantastic way to ensure these beautiful Brahman cows continue to be a valuable part of Cambodia’s rich cultural tapestry.

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