In 2012, Siem Reap International Airport (airport code: REP) reached the milestone of welcoming 2 million passengers within a year. How did they celebrate? With a flash-mob, Cambodian-style, of course!
Sadly, it’s not likely that you’ll be greeted by choreographed Khmer-dancing on-masse when you touch down on the tarmac. However, this small-but-perfectly-formed airport does have real charm and is a nice introduction to Siem Reap and Cambodia in general. If you’re lucky you might be fortunate to glimpse the magnificent Angkor temple complex from the air, as the airport is situated only 3km from the temples and 8km from Siem Reap city center.
Airport arrivals – what to expect
Siem Reap International Airport is one building which is divided into two terminals – one for international flights and one for domestic flights. The airport is very small and all passengers alight straight onto the runway by the main building. It is just a short distance from the plane into the airport and arrivals for both domestic and international flights walk you straight from outside into the immigration hall. It is possible to purchase a tourist or business visa on arrival, but those who already have their travel documents, can proceed straight on to immigration. A few meters after the check point is the baggage hall, where a small number of carousels make it very easy to pick luggage out from the crowds. The baggage claim is generally pretty efficient with trolleys available and not too much waiting time (there aren’t enough flights arriving at the same time for this to be problematic) There are also nearby toilets and a currency exchange if needed.
The airport is designed in a contemporary Khmer style and decorated with traditional crafts. The surroundings are nicely landscaped with trees and flowers – especially pretty in wet season when everything is green and lush. The small size and scope of the terminal building make for a relaxed, relatively stress-free process without too many people jostling for space.
Getting to town
For international flights, on leaving the airport, if you have a pick-up arranged by your accommodation in Siem Reap, the driver will be waiting with a sign by the transport desk. There is also a small café situated here – this serves food and drinks at quite reasonable prices.
To arrange your own transport to town, speak to the staff at the transport desk on the right hand side and they will arrange a tuk tuk or taxi according to your preference. Domestic arrivals exit the airport at the front rather than at the side and if you have any problem finding your pick up or arranging a tuk tuk, just turn left around the corner and head to the services at the international arrivals area.
A tuk tuk to or from the town center will cost $5 and can fit a maximum of four people with minimal luggage. The journey takes around 20 minutes. An air-conditioned taxi ride is $7 and takes around 10 minutes.
Airport departures – what to expect
Being a small airport with relatively few flights, it is not necessary to leave large amounts of time at the airport before your flight. Even for an international flight, arrival 1 hr 30 minutes before departure will give you ample time to check in, deposit bags, go through immigration and peruse the small collection of shops. The only instance, in which it can take longer to check in, is if you have the misfortune to arrive behind a large tour group. However the airport staff members are accommodating and will help you if you are short on time.
Anyone entering the airport has to go through a brief security check. In the check in area, there are a few shops and small cafes but it’s worth checking in and going through security and immigration quickly as there is more choice in the departures area. Expect and prepare for the same security procedures as at any other international airport.
For domestic departures there are only 2 gates, for international departures there are 4 gates, but none of these are very far away from one another so there is little chance of being in the wrong place or missing a flights once through security.
Shops and restaurants
- The duty free shop is located in the international hall, departure and arrival area.
- Bamboo Indochine is a fashion and accessories boutique, located in the international departure hall.
- Soma Flower, a flower, souvenir and decoration shop, is located in the international departure hall.
- Monument Books, selling books and toys, is located in the international departure hall.
- Artisans d’Angkor is an arts & crafts boutique, located in the international departure hall.
- FCC Bar offers local beers, wines and other alcoholic beverages at the lounge of the international departure hall.
- Asian Spice, a restaurant with local dishes, coffees and fruit shakes, is located at the public concourse at the international arrival zone.
- Deli Paris offers Western and French snacks, pastry and soft drinks. It is located at the international departure check-in zone.
- Blue Pumpkin offers Western and French snacks, pastry and soft drinks. It is located at the international departure hall.
- The Dairy Queen serves ice-cream, waffles, burgers, hot dogs, etc. Located in the international departure hall.
- Burger King, the well known international fast food chain.
- Beauty Spa Foot Massage offers relaxation and all types of massages in the international departure hall.
- Le salon CIP Lounge is a restaurant and rest zone with total privacy, located in the international departure hall.
All shops are open from 5.00 in the morning until midnight. The Beauty Spa Foot massage opens later at 8.00 in the morning.
The following 16 airline companies operate at the airport: Air Asia, Asiana Airlines, Bangkok Airways, BB Airways, Cambodia Angkor Air, Cebu Pacific Air, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Jetstar Asia, Korean Air, Lao Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Silk Air, Sky Wing Airlines, Tonle Sap Airlines and Vietnam Airlines.
Siem Reap International airport extends over a land of 195ha with a terminal building of 13,000 square meters (plus an additional 700 square meters for the domestic terminal and 649 for cargo). It’s a 4C category airport with a runway of 2550m x 45m large with shoulders of 2.5m.
There has been much debate surrounding the 1 billion dollar proposal for a new, much larger airport located 60km away from Siem Reap. However, no ground has been broken and the project is delayed with no published date for commencement.
Passenger Information Requests
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