Siem Reap, Cambodia
Bus from the capital, Phnom Penh, to the ancient city of Siem Reap. It's not the sort of ride you'd take kids on; it's six hours, and the locals have a habit of singing karaoke (fun for entertainment, bad for napping). Plus, the buses rarely have seatbelts, and you'd be hard- pressed to find a car seat even if there were something to strap it in with. The ride's well worth it though to see the 900-year-old ruins and stunning landscape.
Where to Stay
The earthy, minimalist aesthetic of the seven-room Viroth's Hotel feels just like stepping into a rock garden with a well-placed salt-water pool, rooftop Jacuzzi and spa (from $90; Viroth-Hotel.com).
Go for the name, stay for the bargain basement nightly rates at The Kool Hotel, where you'll also get discounts on food and massages. The friendly staff rolls out the welcome mat with a refreshing drink when you arrive, serves up awesome local dishes and can arrange any day trips you desire (from $37; KoolHotel.com).
What to Do
Check out the ancient temples at Angkor Wat at sunset—or sunrise— nicknamed the “magic hours” for shutterbugs.
Explore the floating village of Kompong Phluk and the flooded forest with a local tour service like Saron Tours. Or have your hotel arrange a trip with a local guide (SaronTours.com).
Shop for silk hangings and Buddhist curios at the stalls of the Old Market (Phsar Chas) on the south side of town.
Hunker down in a plastic chair on the north end of the Old Market and try the super-cheap street food, like Khmer satay.
Drink and dance at Nest, a bar-café that serves up small plates while DJs set a relaxed lounge vibe (NestAngkor.com).
What to Bring
Bug spray. The (very) hot, humid climate is essentially a gigantic breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects that bite.
Delish asian recipes.