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The Best Things To Do In Siem Reap


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Roxana Cano



Welcome to Siem Reap, a vibrant and captivating city located in the northwest region of Cambodia. Known for its rich cultural heritage and exquisite temples, Siem Reap has become a popular destination for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the country’s fascinating history and experience its unique charm.


Siem Reap serves as the gateway to the world-renowned Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the magnificent temples of the Khmer Empire. However, there is more to Siem Reap than just ancient ruins. The city offers a plethora of activities and attractions that cater to different interests and preferences.


Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking to relax and unwind, Siem Reap has something to offer everyone. From exploring ancient temples and learning about Cambodian history to indulging in delectable Khmer cuisine and immersing yourself in the vibrant local culture, your time in Siem Reap is sure to be filled with fascinating experiences.


Throughout this article, we will guide you through the best things to do in Siem Reap, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this enchanting city. So, let’s embark on a journey through Siem Reap and discover the wonders that await.


Explore Angkor Wat

No visit to Siem Reap is complete without exploring the iconic Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. Built in the 12th century, it is a masterpiece of Khmer architecture and a symbol of Cambodia. Angkor Wat is not just a temple; it is a complex covering an area of 162.6 hectares.


Take your time to explore the intricate carvings, intricate bas-reliefs, and stunning architecture as you wander through the temple’s vast corridors and courtyards. The central tower offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding area, especially during sunrise or sunset.


As you explore the temple, you will discover the stories and legends depicted in the carvings. From the battle scenes and celestial beings to the stories from Hindu mythology, each detail tells a fascinating tale of the Khmer civilization.


Pro tip: To avoid the crowds, it is recommended to visit Angkor Wat early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water for your visit, as it can get hot and humid.


For an even more immersive experience, consider hiring a guide who can provide valuable insights into the history and symbolism of Angkor Wat. They can take you off the beaten path and show you hidden gems within the temple complex.


Angkor Wat is an architectural marvel that will leave you in awe of the Khmer Empire’s achievements. It is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Siem Reap and an experience that will stay with you long after you’ve left.


Visit Angkor Thom

Situated just a few kilometers from Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom is another must-visit destination in Siem Reap. Built in the late 12th century, this ancient city was the last capital of the Khmer Empire and is known for its grandeur and magnificent temples.


As you enter through the impressive South Gate, you’ll be greeted by a row of stone faces known as the Bayon. These enigmatic faces, with serene expressions and intricate carvings, are one of the most iconic sights in Angkor Thom. Take your time to explore the Bayon Temple’s labyrinthine corridors and climb to the upper terrace for a closer look at the majestic faces.


Inside Angkor Thom, you’ll also find other remarkable structures, such as the Baphuon Temple, Phimeanakas, and the Terrace of the Elephants. Each of these sites offers unique architectural features and historical significance, showcasing the grandeur of the Khmer Empire.


One of the highlights of Angkor Thom is the Terrace of the Leper King, which boasts intricately carved sculptures and bas-reliefs. It is believed to have been used for various rituals and ceremonies during the Khmer Empire.


Exploring Angkor Thom on foot allows you to appreciate the intricate details of the structures and soak in the atmosphere of this ancient city. Rent a bicycle or hire a tuk-tuk to navigate the vast grounds more conveniently, or opt for a guided tour to learn about the historical and cultural significance of each site.


Pro tip: Be sure to bring a camera to capture the breathtaking architecture and stunning vistas within Angkor Thom. Sunset and sunrise are particularly beautiful times to visit, as the soft light casts a magical glow over the ancient ruins.


Visiting Angkor Thom is like stepping back in time and immersing yourself in the rich history of the Khmer Empire. It’s a remarkable experience that shouldn’t be missed during your time in Siem Reap.


Discover Preah Khan Temple

Located northeast of Angkor Thom, Preah Khan Temple is a hidden gem in Siem Reap that offers a unique and tranquil experience. Built in the 12th century, this temple was once a grand Buddhist monastery and university.


As you enter through the grand entrance gate, you’ll be greeted by thick foliage and a serene atmosphere. Preah Khan Temple is known for its intricate carvings and maze-like corridors, which add to its mystical charm. Explore the complex and discover hidden courtyards, stone passageways, and beautiful sanctuaries.


The temple is adorned with exquisite stone carvings, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and Buddhist teachings. Admire the intricate detailing of the devatas (heavenly nymphs) and discover the numerous Buddha statues that are scattered throughout the temple.


Preah Khan Temple also features a unique structure known as the Hall of Dancers. This captivating structure is adorned with intricate carvings of Apsara dancers, showcasing the artistic skills of the Khmer Empire.


One of the remarkable features of Preah Khan Temple is the presence of magnificent trees that have grown intertwined with the temple’s ruins. These massive trees, with their sprawling roots and branches, create a breathtaking and almost mystical atmosphere.


Exploring Preah Khan Temple can be a peaceful and serene experience, as it receives fewer visitors compared to some of the more popular temples in Siem Reap. Take your time to wander through the ruins and soak in the beauty and tranquility of this hidden treasure.


Pro tip: Consider visiting Preah Khan Temple during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds and experience the temple in a more serene setting. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent, as the temple is surrounded by lush vegetation.


Preah Khan Temple is a true testament to the architectural and artistic prowess of the Khmer Empire. Its peaceful ambiance and stunning carvings make it a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique temple experience in Siem Reap.


Marvel at Ta Prohm Temple

Ta Prohm Temple, located in the Angkor Archaeological Park, is a captivating temple that has been left in a state of beautiful ruin. Built in the late 12th century, Ta Prohm is known for its stunning combination of ancient architecture and the encroaching roots and branches of massive trees.


As you step into Ta Prohm, you’ll immediately be struck by the enchanting atmosphere created by the intertwining trees and stone structures. The temple is unlike any other, with massive tree roots snaking their way through the ruins, creating a mesmerizing, almost surreal sight. This unique combination of nature and architecture has made Ta Prohm a favorite among visitors.


Exploring Ta Prohm is like stepping into an ancient jungle. As you wander through the temple, you’ll encounter doorways half-consumed by tree roots, crumbling walls, and collapsed corridors. The sense of exploration and discovery is palpable.


While Ta Prohm is famous for its overgrown appearance, it is also home to intricate stone carvings and bas-reliefs. The walls of the temple depict mythological scenes, celestial dancers, and tales from Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Keep an eye out for the iconic “Tree of Life” carving, which symbolizes the connection between heaven and earth.


Pro tip: Due to its popularity, Ta Prohm can get crowded, especially during peak hours. To fully appreciate the temple’s beauty, consider visiting early in the morning when it opens or in the late afternoon when the crowds start to thin out.


Exploring Ta Prohm is an otherworldly experience that transports you to a time long past. The combination of architectural grandeur and nature’s relentless reclaiming of the temple creates a mystical and awe-inspiring atmosphere you won’t find elsewhere.


Explore Banteay Srei Temple

Banteay Srei Temple, located about 25 kilometers northeast of Siem Reap, is a small but incredibly intricate temple that stands out for its exquisite pink sandstone carvings. Built in the 10th century, Banteay Srei is considered a jewel of Khmer art and is renowned for its intricate detail and well-preserved architecture.


As you approach Banteay Srei, you’ll immediately notice the intricate carvings that adorn the temple’s walls. The level of detail is astonishing, with delicate patterns, mythical creatures, and intricate scenes from Hindu mythology intricately carved into the stone. The fine craftsmanship of the carvings has earned Banteay Srei the nickname “The Citadel of Women” due to the belief that only women could create such intricate artwork.


The temple itself may be smaller compared to other temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park, but its intricate beauty and unique pink-hued sandstone set it apart. As you explore the temple, don’t forget to look closely at the bas-reliefs and lintels, as they showcase some of the finest examples of Khmer art.


Banteay Srei is tucked away in a serene and picturesque setting, surrounded by lush greenery. Take your time to stroll through the temple grounds, admiring the detailed carvings and enjoying the peaceful ambiance. The smaller size of Banteay Srei also means that it tends to be less crowded, allowing for a more intimate and personal experience.


Pro tip: Banteay Srei can be reached by hiring a tuk-tuk or joining a guided tour. Consider visiting early in the morning to enjoy the temple in a quieter setting, as well as to avoid the heat of the midday sun. Keep in mind that Banteay Srei is located a bit further from the main Angkor temples, so plan accordingly.


Exploring Banteay Srei is a journey into the intricate artistry of the Khmer Empire. The sheer beauty of the temple’s carvings and the serene atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for those interested in the fine details of Khmer architecture and art.


Discover Bayon Temple

Nestled within the ancient city of Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple is a remarkable masterpiece that showcases the grandeur and artistry of the Khmer Empire. Built in the late 12th century, Bayon is known for its iconic stone faces and intricate bas-reliefs.


As you approach Bayon Temple, you’ll be greeted by its towering facade adorned with smiling stone faces. These serene and enigmatic faces, believed to represent the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara or King Jayavarman VII, are one of the most captivating features of Bayon.


Step inside the temple, and you’ll find a maze-like structure comprised of numerous galleries, passageways, and courtyards. Explore the various levels of the temple to discover intricately carved bas-reliefs depicting historical events, everyday life scenes, and tales from Hindu mythology.


While the stone faces of Bayon are undoubtedly the main attraction, the temple’s bas-reliefs are equally impressive. The detailed carvings showcase remarkable craftsmanship and provide insights into the history and culture of the Khmer Empire. From battle scenes and ceremonies to depictions of daily life, these bas-reliefs bring the walls of Bayon Temple to life.


Pro tip: Be sure to take your time while exploring Bayon Temple, as there are many hidden nooks and crannies waiting to be discovered. It’s also worth noting that late afternoon offers a magical atmosphere as the soft light casts a warm glow on the stone faces.


Bayon Temple is a marvel of Khmer architecture and a testament to the artistic genius of the Khmer Empire. Its unique combination of towering faces and elaborate bas-reliefs make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the ancient wonders of Siem Reap.


Visit the Landmine Museum

The Landmine Museum in Siem Reap is a powerful and educational destination that sheds light on the tragic legacy of landmines in Cambodia. Founded by Aki Ra, a former child soldier turned deminer, the museum aims to raise awareness about the devastating impact of landmines and advocate for their removal.


As you explore the museum, you’ll learn about the history of landmines in Cambodia and their lasting effects on the local population. The exhibits include informative displays, photographs, and personal stories that highlight the dangers posed by landmines and the efforts made to clear them.


One of the most touching aspects of the Landmine Museum is its dedication to helping landmine survivors. The museum provides support and rehabilitation services to survivors, including medical care, vocational training, and educational opportunities. Visitors can contribute to these efforts by making a donation or purchasing handmade crafts created by survivors.


In addition to the museum, you can also visit the Peace Museum, which displays a collection of weapons and artifacts from the Khmer Rouge era. This museum provides further insights into Cambodia’s tumultuous history and the impact of war on its people.


Pro tip: It’s recommended to visit the Landmine Museum with a knowledgeable guide who can provide additional context and answer any questions you may have. By doing so, you can truly appreciate the museum’s mission and the importance of demining efforts.


Visiting the Landmine Museum is not only an educational experience but also a chance to contribute to the ongoing work of landmine clearance and support for survivors. It serves as a reminder of the resilience and strength of the Cambodian people and the importance of building a future free from the threat of landmines.


Take a Floating Village Tour

Embarking on a floating village tour is a unique and fascinating way to explore the rural communities surrounding Siem Reap. These villages, built on stilts along the Tonle Sap Lake, offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life in Cambodia and provide a deeper understanding of the local culture and ecosystem.


During the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to navigate through the narrow waterways on a small boat, passing by stilted houses, floating schools, and floating markets. Immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings and observe the daily activities of the villagers as they go about their lives, fishing, farming, and going about their daily routines.


Some floating villages you may visit include Kampong Phluk, Chong Khneas, and Kampong Khleang. Each village has its own unique charm and attractions. For example, Kampong Phluk is known for its impressive flooded forest during the wet season, while Kampong Khleang is renowned for its tall stilted houses and vibrant community.


Another highlight of the floating village tour is getting to interact with the local residents. Engage in conversations, learn about their traditional fishing techniques, and gain insights into their customs and traditions. This cultural exchange provides a valuable and enriching experience.


Pro tip: If possible, try to visit the floating villages during the wet season (from June to November) when the water levels are higher. This not only provides a more authentic floating village experience but also allows you to witness the transformation of the landscape as the water expands.


Exploring the floating villages near Siem Reap is not only a chance to witness a unique way of life, but also an opportunity to support the local communities. By taking a floating village tour, you contribute to the sustainable development of these rural areas and help preserve the traditional practices of the Khmer people.


Enjoy a Traditional Apsara Dance Show

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Cambodia by attending a traditional Apsara dance show in Siem Reap. Apsara dance is a classical dance form that originated in the royal courts of the Khmer Empire and is now considered a national treasure.


The Apsara dance is characterized by its graceful movements, intricate hand gestures, and vibrant costumes. The dancers, adorned in elaborate traditional outfits, perform storytelling dances that depict mythical tales, religious legends, and historical events from Cambodian history.


Attending an Apsara dance show is not only a visual delight but also a chance to learn about the country’s cultural traditions and artistic legacy. The performances are accompanied by traditional Khmer music, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere that transports you to the golden age of the Khmer Empire.


Several venues in Siem Reap offer Apsara dance shows, ranging from intimate restaurant performances to grand theater productions. You can choose to enjoy the dance performance as part of a dinner show or as a standalone event.


Pro tip: To enhance your experience, consider researching the storyline or theme of the Apsara dance performance beforehand. This will allow you to have a deeper appreciation for the artistry and symbolism of the dance movements.


Watching an Apsara dance show is truly a cultural immersion that provides a glimpse into Cambodia’s rich history and artistic traditions. It’s a captivating and enchanting experience that shouldn’t be missed during your visit to Siem Reap.


Explore the Old Market

Located in the heart of Siem Reap, the Old Market, also known as Psar Chas, is a bustling and vibrant hub that offers a delightful shopping and cultural experience. This lively market is a must-visit destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the local Cambodian culture and discover unique souvenirs.


As you step into the Old Market, you’ll be greeted by a maze of narrow alleyways lined with stalls selling a wide array of goods. From fresh produce, spices, and traditional Cambodian snacks to handicrafts, textiles, and jewelry, you’ll find a treasure trove of items to explore and purchase.


Take your time to wander through the market, engaging with the friendly vendors and experiencing the sights, sounds, and aromas. The market is a vibrant melting pot of local flavors, with vendors offering exotic fruits, herbs, and spices that will tantalize your senses.


Amidst the bustling atmosphere, you’ll also find stalls selling traditional Cambodian handicrafts such as silk scarves, woodcarvings, silver jewelry, and stone carvings. These unique and locally made products make for excellent souvenirs or gifts to take home.


For those seeking a culinary adventure, the Old Market is also home to numerous food stalls and small restaurants. Sample delicious Khmer street food, from tasty noodle dishes to fried treats and tropical fruit shakes.


Pro tip: Bargaining is a common practice in the Old Market, so don’t be afraid to negotiate the price with the vendors. However, remember to do so in a respectful and friendly manner, as haggling is part of the local culture.


Exploring the Old Market is an immersive experience that allows you to interact with the local community and discover the vibrant soul of Siem Reap. It’s a fantastic opportunity to support local businesses, savor authentic flavors, and bring home cherished memories of your time in Cambodia.


Visit the Cambodian Cultural Village

The Cambodian Cultural Village in Siem Reap is a captivating and educational attraction that offers a glimpse into the diverse cultural heritage of Cambodia. This sprawling complex showcases traditional Cambodian architecture, arts, and traditions, providing visitors with an immersive cultural experience.


As you explore the Cambodian Cultural Village, you’ll have the opportunity to witness traditional performances, observe traditional crafts being created, and learn about the customs and traditions of different ethnic groups in Cambodia.


The village features replicas of traditional Cambodian houses, representing various ethnic groups, such as the Khmer, Cham, and minority tribes. Each house is beautifully decorated and showcases the unique architectural styles and symbolism associated with the respective ethnic group.


Throughout the day, there are cultural performances that highlight the traditional music, dance, and theater of Cambodia. From the graceful Apsara dance to the lively folk dances, these performances provide a mesmerizing insight into the artistic traditions of the country.


In addition to the performances, the Cambodian Cultural Village also offers interactive activities such as traditional craft demonstrations, where you can try your hand at traditional weaving, pottery making, or traditional painting. This provides a hands-on experience and a chance to better understand the skills involved in these traditional crafts.


The village also houses a museum that showcases historical artifacts and exhibits related to Cambodian culture and history. This allows visitors to delve deeper into the rich heritage of Cambodia and gain a better understanding of its evolution through time.


Pro tip: The Cambodian Cultural Village can be quite large, so it’s recommended to allocate enough time to explore all the attractions and performances. Plan to spend at least half a day if you want to fully experience all that the village has to offer.


Visiting the Cambodian Cultural Village is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the diverse cultures and traditions that shape Cambodia. It’s a cultural journey that provides insight into the country’s past and present, leaving you with a deeper appreciation for the rich tapestry of Cambodian heritage.


Take a Balloon Ride Over Siem Reap

When it comes to experiencing Siem Reap from a unique perspective, a balloon ride is an unforgettable and awe-inspiring adventure. Soar high above the city and marvel at the panoramic views of ancient temples, lush landscapes, and the meandering river, all from the comfort of a hot air balloon.


As the balloon lifts off the ground, you’ll be treated to a bird’s-eye view of the magnificent Angkor Wat complex and the surrounding archaeological sites. The breathtaking sight of these ancient wonders from above is a truly magical experience that allows you to appreciate their vast scale and intricate architecture.


The balloon ride offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere as you glide gently through the air. The silence, interrupted only by the occasional sound of the burners, adds to the tranquility and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.


Whether you choose a sunrise or sunset balloon ride, you’re in for a visual feast. During sunrise, watch as the first rays of light illuminate the temples, casting a golden glow over the entire landscape. The soft hues and peaceful ambiance create a serene and romantic atmosphere.


Alternatively, a sunset balloon ride offers a dramatic and colorful spectacle as the setting sun bathes the temples and surrounding countryside in a warm and fiery glow. The changing light and shadows create a mesmerizing canvas of colors, providing ample opportunities for stunning photographs.


Pro tip: Balloon rides are weather-dependent, so it’s important to check ahead for any cancellations or schedule changes. It’s also advisable to make a reservation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.


Taking a balloon ride over Siem Reap is a truly unforgettable experience that allows you to see the beauty of the region from a whole new perspective. It’s an adventure that will leave you with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for the wonders of Cambodia.


Sample Khmer Cuisine

No visit to Siem Reap is complete without indulging in the rich and flavorful delights of Khmer cuisine. With its harmonious balance of fresh herbs, spices, and vibrant flavors, Khmer food offers a culinary experience that is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.


One of the must-try dishes in Siem Reap is Amok, a traditional Khmer curry made with fish or chicken, coconut milk, and aromatic spices such as lemongrass and turmeric. The curry is typically steamed in a banana leaf, allowing the flavors to infuse and creating a melt-in-your-mouth texture.


Another popular Khmer dish is Lok Lak, a flavorful stir-fried beef or chicken dish served with a tangy lime and black pepper dipping sauce. The tender meat, combined with the fragrant spices and fresh vegetables, creates a delicious and satisfying meal.


For those seeking a vegetarian option, try the traditional Khmer dish called Samlor Korko. This hearty vegetable stew is made with an assortment of seasonal vegetables, tofu, and a flavorful curry broth. It’s a comforting and wholesome dish that showcases the abundance of fresh produce in Cambodian cuisine.


No Khmer meal is complete without a side of prahok, a uniquely Cambodian ingredient made from fermented fish. This pungent condiment is often used in various dishes, adding a distinctive umami flavor that is both bold and addictive.


Pro tip: To fully immerse yourself in the Khmer culinary experience, consider taking a cooking class in Siem Reap. These classes offer a hands-on opportunity to learn how to prepare traditional dishes and gain insights into the local cooking techniques and ingredients.


Don’t forget to complement your meal with a traditional Khmer beverage like a refreshing glass of sugar cane juice or a cup of Cambodia’s famous coffee. And for dessert, indulge in sticky rice with mango, a delectable combination of sweet and savory flavors.


Sampling Khmer cuisine in Siem Reap is not just about satisfying your taste buds, but also about immersing yourself in the vibrant local culture and traditions. It’s a culinary journey that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the flavors and culinary heritage of Cambodia.


Relax at Pub Street

When it comes to vibrant nightlife and entertainment in Siem Reap, Pub Street is the place to be. Situated in the heart of the city, this bustling street offers a lively and energetic atmosphere where visitors can unwind, socialize, and enjoy a variety of dining, drinking, and entertainment options.


Pub Street is known for its vibrant and colorful ambiance, with neon lights, music, and a constant buzz of activity. It’s a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike, offering a diverse range of establishments catering to different tastes and preferences.


One of the main draws of Pub Street is its vast array of restaurants and street food stalls. Here, you can savor a variety of cuisines, from traditional Khmer dishes to international fare. Whether you’re in the mood for local street food delicacies or craving a burger or pizza, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your appetite.


After enjoying a delicious meal, take some time to explore the lively bars and pubs that line the street. From rooftop bars offering panoramic views of the city to lively sports bars and cozy lounges, there’s a watering hole to suit every preference. Sit back with a refreshing cocktail or sample locally brewed beers while soaking in the vibrant atmosphere.


Pub Street is also a great place for live entertainment, with many establishments hosting nightly performances, live music, and traditional dance shows. You can enjoy a traditional Apsara dance performance or listen to local bands playing a mix of Western and Cambodian tunes.


In addition to the dining and entertainment options, Pub Street also offers the opportunity for some retail therapy. Explore the local boutiques and souvenir shops where you can find unique handicrafts, artwork, clothing, and jewelry to bring back as mementos of your visit to Siem Reap.


Pro tip: If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, consider visiting Pub Street during the daytime or on weekdays when it tends to be less crowded. This allows you to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere without the night-time hustle and bustle.


Relaxing at Pub Street is an essential part of the Siem Reap experience, offering a lively fusion of flavors, entertainment, and local culture. Whether you’re looking to unwind after a day of temple exploration or want to immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife scene, Pub Street has something for everyone.


Visit Tonle Sap Lake

A visit to Siem Reap is incomplete without exploring the stunning beauty of Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Located just a short distance from Siem Reap, Tonle Sap Lake offers a captivating and immersive experience of Cambodia’s vibrant waterways and unique ecosystem.


As you venture out to Tonle Sap Lake, you’ll be greeted by a vast expanse of shimmering water dotted with floating villages, stilt houses, and scenic landscapes. The lake serves as a lifeline for local communities, providing a source of food, transportation, and income.


Embark on a boat tour and glide through the waterways, passing floating homes, schools, and markets. Witness the day-to-day activities of the local villagers as they navigate their lives on the water. It’s an opportunity to glimpse the traditional lifestyle of the people who call Tonle Sap Lake home.


One of the highlights of visiting Tonle Sap Lake is discovering the unique floating village of Kompong Phluk or Kompong Khleang. These villages are built on stilts and are home to fishing communities that rely on the lake’s abundant resources for their livelihood. Explore the narrow waterways, visit fish farms, and witness the local traditions and customs.


The lake’s ecosystem is also home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Keep your eyes peeled for migratory birds, especially during the winter months when the lake becomes a haven for numerous bird species. Capture the beauty of the serene lake and its surrounding wetlands, which are teeming with vibrant plant life and exotic wildlife.


Pro tip: To make the most of your visit to Tonle Sap Lake, consider booking a tour with a knowledgeable guide who can provide insights into the ecology, culture, and history of the area. They can enrich your experience by sharing their expertise and answering any questions you may have.


Visiting Tonle Sap Lake is a chance to witness the interplay between humans and nature in a truly unique setting. It offers a deeper understanding of Cambodia’s rural life and provides a glimpse into the diverse and delicate ecosystem that makes the lake a true natural wonder.


Discover the Phare Cambodian Circus

If you’re looking for a unique and thrilling cultural experience in Siem Reap, look no further than the Phare Cambodian Circus. This extraordinary circus combines traditional Cambodian performing arts with modern acrobatics and storytelling, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that will leave you awestruck.


The Phare Cambodian Circus was founded by a group of young Cambodian artists who sought to revive and preserve their country’s rich artistic traditions while providing employment and opportunities for underprivileged youths. The performers come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have undergone rigorous training at the Phare Ponleu Selpak school, a nonprofit arts organization.


The circus performances blend high-energy dynamism, artistic creativity, and powerful storytelling. Through a combination of acrobatics, juggling, contortion, dance, and live music, the performers convey poignant tales of Cambodian history, culture, and everyday life, creating emotional and memorable experiences for the audience.


As you watch the Phare Cambodian Circus, you’ll be captivated by the incredible agility, strength, and skill of the performers. The seamless choreography, vibrant costumes, and live music heighten the sense of immersion, drawing you into the world of Cambodian folklore and legends.


Attending a performance at the Phare Cambodian Circus not only offers a thrilling and entertaining experience but also supports a worthwhile cause. The proceeds from ticket sales contribute to the ongoing development of the performing arts school and the welfare of its students.


Pro tip: It’s advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure a seat. Additionally, arrive early to explore the outdoor art gallery and support local artisans by purchasing unique and handcrafted souvenirs.


The Phare Cambodian Circus is more than just a circus show—it’s a celebration of the resilience, creativity, and cultural heritage of the Cambodian people. Prepare to be amazed and inspired by the incredible talent and storytelling that unfolds before your eyes in this one-of-a-kind circus experience.


Explore the Artisans Angkor Workshop

For a glimpse into the intricate craftsmanship and traditional arts of Cambodia, a visit to the Artisans Angkor Workshop in Siem Reap is a must. This artisan collective and social enterprise aims to preserve and promote traditional Khmer arts and crafts while providing employment and nurturing the talents of local artisans.


As you step into the Artisans Angkor Workshop, you’ll be greeted warmly by skilled artisans who are dedicated to preserving the traditional techniques passed down through generations. The workshop offers a captivating insight into various crafts, including stone carving, wood carving, silk weaving, lacquerware, and silverwork.


Observe the artisans at work as they meticulously carve intricate patterns into stone or delicately weave vibrant silk threads into stunning textiles. You can witness the entire process, from raw materials to the finished product, and gain a deeper appreciation for the time, skill, and artistry involved in each piece.


Take your time to explore the showroom, which displays a wide range of beautifully crafted products, including jewelry, home decor items, clothing, and accessories. Each item showcases the unique blend of traditional techniques and contemporary designs, making them perfect souvenirs or gifts to cherish.


What sets Artisans Angkor apart is its commitment to social responsibility. The organization provides training and sustainable employment opportunities to artisans from vulnerable backgrounds, empowering them to improve their livelihoods and preserve their cultural heritage.


Pro tip: Consider taking a guided tour of the workshop to gain a deeper understanding of the traditional techniques and the stories behind each craft. By supporting Artisans Angkor, you contribute to the preservation of Cambodian arts and support the local community.


A visit to the Artisans Angkor Workshop is not only an opportunity to admire the exquisite craftsmanship of Cambodia but also a chance to support the preservation of traditional arts and empower local artisans. It’s a truly enriching experience that showcases the beauty and talent of the Khmer people, leaving you with a deeper appreciation for their rich cultural heritage.


Enjoy a Spa Treatment

Siem Reap is not only renowned for its ancient temples but also for its rejuvenating and indulgent spa experiences. After exploring the wonders of the city, treat yourself to a pampering session at one of the many luxurious spas, and immerse yourself in ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation.


Siem Reap’s spas offer a range of treatments inspired by traditional Khmer healing techniques, as well as international wellness therapies. From traditional massages to body scrubs, facials, and aromatherapy, there is an array of options to choose from to meet your specific needs and preferences.


Step into a serene oasis where the calm and soothing atmosphere will envelop you. The skilled therapists will ensure that every part of your experience is tailored to provide the utmost comfort and relaxation. Indulge in a massage therapy that combines deep tissue techniques with aromatic oils to relieve muscle tension and promote overall well-being.


For a truly authentic experience, opt for a Khmer herbal compress massage, where warm bundles of aromatic herbs are gently pressed onto your body to alleviate stress and promote blood circulation. The use of traditional herbal ingredients adds a unique touch to the treatment, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.


Many spas in Siem Reap also offer facial treatments using natural ingredients that nourish and revitalize the skin. Enjoy a soothing and rejuvenating facial massage, followed by a mask and moisturizer tailored to your skin’s needs. The indulgent experience will leave your skin glowing and refreshed.


Pro tip: To truly enhance your spa experience, some establishments offer the option of private rooms or outdoor settings where you can enjoy your treatments in a secluded and tranquil environment.


Indulging in a spa treatment in Siem Reap allows you to truly unwind and recharge. The combination of skilled therapists, serene ambiance, and traditional techniques will transport you to a state of blissful relaxation. Treat yourself to a spa experience and leave feeling renewed and revitalized.


Learn at the Angkor National Museum

For a comprehensive understanding of the magnificent Angkor temples and the rich history of the Khmer Empire, a visit to the Angkor National Museum is highly recommended. Located in Siem Reap, this state-of-the-art museum offers a captivating journey through time, unraveling the secrets and stories of Cambodia’s ancient past.


As you step into the Angkor National Museum, you’ll be greeted by a wealth of artifacts, exhibitions, and interactive displays that bring the history and culture of the Khmer Empire to life. The museum is divided into several galleries, each focusing on different aspects of the Angkor temples and the civilization that built them.


Explore the galleries dedicated to the ancient city of Angkor and learn about the construction techniques, religious practices, and daily life of the Khmer people. Admire the meticulously crafted statues, intricate carvings, and detailed replicas of temple structures, giving you a glimpse into the grandeur and artistic achievements of the Khmer Empire.


One of the highlights of the museum is the Gallery of a Thousand Buddhas, which showcases a stunning collection of Buddhist sculptures and emphasizes the spiritual significance of Buddhism in Khmer culture. The gallery offers insights into the evolution of Buddhist art and its influence on the Angkor civilization.


Throughout the museum, you’ll find multimedia presentations, audio guides, and informative visuals that provide in-depth explanations and historical contexts. It’s an immersive and educational experience that caters to visitors of all ages and interests.


Pro tip: To make the most of your visit, consider hiring a guide who can provide detailed explanations and share lesser-known facts about the artifacts and history. They can enhance your understanding and appreciation of the exhibits.


A visit to the Angkor National Museum is a journey through time, allowing you to delve into the rich tapestry of Khmer history and culture. It’s an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the Angkor temples and gain a deeper appreciation for the remarkable achievements of the Khmer Empire.


Take a Quad Bike Adventure through the Countryside

For thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts, a quad bike adventure through the Cambodian countryside is an exhilarating way to explore the rural landscapes surrounding Siem Reap. Hop on a quad bike and embark on an unforgettable journey off the beaten path, immersing yourself in the natural beauty and local culture of Cambodia.


As you rev up your quad bike, get ready to explore the stunning countryside that is brimming with picturesque rice fields, lush green landscapes, and charming local villages. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you navigate through rugged terrains, muddy trails, and dirt tracks, taking in the breathtaking scenery as you go.


One of the highlights of the quad bike adventure is the opportunity to visit local communities and interact with the friendly locals. Discover the traditional way of life as you pass through rural villages, where you may witness farmers tending to their crops, children playing in the streets, and monks going about their daily routines.


Along the way, your knowledgeable guide will share insights into the local culture, history, and traditions, offering a deeper understanding of the rural Cambodian way of life. Embrace the chance to learn about traditional farming practices, observe traditional handicrafts, and partake in authentic experiences that go beyond the typical tourist attractions.


The quad bike adventure allows you to explore areas of Siem Reap that are often overlooked, providing a unique and immersive experience of the region. From traversing off-road trails to crossing bamboo bridges and riding through scenic countryside paths, every moment on the quad bike is filled with excitement and discovery.


Pro tip: Make sure to wear appropriate attire for the adventure, such as comfortable clothing, closed-toe shoes, and sun protection. Follow the instructions and safety guidelines provided by your guide, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.


A quad bike adventure through the Cambodian countryside offers a thrilling and off-the-beaten-path experience that allows you to connect with the natural surroundings and the local communities. It’s an opportunity to venture beyond the tourist areas and create lasting memories of your time in Siem Reap.


Visit the War Museum Cambodia

For a sobering and educational experience in Siem Reap, a visit to the War Museum Cambodia is highly recommended. This museum provides a glimpse into Cambodia’s turbulent past, particularly the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and the years of civil war that followed.


As you enter the museum, you’ll come face-to-face with a display of military vehicles, artillery pieces, and other artifacts from the various conflicts that plagued Cambodia. These objects serve as a stark reminder of the country’s troubled history and the devastating impact of war on its people.


The museum offers a comprehensive collection of photographs, exhibits, and personal accounts that provide insights into the atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge era. Learn about the rise and fall of the regime, the political and social turmoil, and the long-lasting consequences of the conflict.


Stepping into the museum, you’ll also have the opportunity to hear the stories of survivors and learn about the ongoing efforts for justice and reconciliation in Cambodia. The narratives tell of resilience, hope, and the enduring spirit of the Cambodian people, even in the face of unimaginable hardship.


Visiting the War Museum Cambodia is an opportunity for reflection, understanding, and empathy. It allows visitors to honor the lives lost and to gain a deeper appreciation for the resilience and strength of the Cambodian people as they strive to rebuild their nation.


Pro tip: It’s recommended to allocate enough time to fully absorb the exhibits and read the accompanying descriptions, as the museum offers a wealth of information. Be respectful of the sensitive nature of the topics and approach them with an open mind and heart.


The War Museum Cambodia serves as a poignant reminder of the atrocities of war and the importance of peace and reconciliation. It’s a place to deepen your understanding of Cambodia’s past, to pay homage to those affected by the conflicts, and to reflect on the importance of fostering harmony and understanding in our world.


Discover the Roluos Group of Temples

Located just outside of Siem Reap, the Roluos Group of Temples is a hidden gem that offers a captivating glimpse into the early days of Khmer temple architecture. Comprising three main temples – Bakong, Lolei, and Preah Ko – this archaeological site is a must-visit for history buffs and temple enthusiasts.


The temples of the Roluos Group were constructed in the 9th and 10th centuries and serve as early examples of Khmer temple architectural styles. They mark the beginning of the golden age of temple construction that would later include the grand temples of Angkor.


Bakong, the largest and most impressive of the three temples, dominates the area with its massive pyramid-like structure. Ascend to the top of the temple and take in panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Marvel at the intricate carvings that adorn the temple’s walls and pillars, depicting various Hindu deities and scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana.


Next, explore Lolei Temple, known for its brickwork and beautifully carved lintels. Discover the fascinating inscriptions that provide insights into the ancient rituals and dedications associated with the temple. Lolei is also renowned for its picturesque setting, surrounded by moats and lush green fields.


Lastly, visit Preah Ko Temple, which is dedicated to the ancestors of King Indravarman I. Admire the stone sculptures of sacred bulls guarding the entrance and the intricate carvings that adorn the lintels and doorways.


Exploring the Roluos Group of Temples offers a sense of tranquility and a chance to escape the crowds often found at the more popular sites in Siem Reap. It’s like stepping back in time to witness the beginnings of Khmer temple architecture and the foundations of the Angkor Empire.


Pro tip: To fully appreciate the historical and cultural significance of the temples, consider hiring a knowledgeable guide who can provide detailed insights and bring the stories of these ancient structures to life.


The Roluos Group of Temples is a testament to the architectural brilliance of early Khmer civilization. With their impressive structures and intricate carvings, these temples provide a fascinating peek into Cambodia’s rich history and a deeper understanding of the evolution of Khmer temple architecture. 

Explore the Siem Reap Night Market

When the sun sets in Siem Reap, the city comes alive with the vibrant and bustling atmosphere of the night market. Located in the heart of the city, the Siem Reap Night Market offers a sensory delight for visitors, with a diverse array of stalls, shops, and street food vendors.


As you wander through the night market, you’ll be surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colors, scents, and sounds. The market is a treasure trove of handicrafts, textiles, artwork, jewelry, and souvenirs, making it the perfect place to find unique mementos of your trip to Cambodia.


Engage with the friendly local vendors, who are always ready to share the stories behind their creations and provide insights into the traditional craftsmanship. From beautifully woven silk scarves to intricately carved wooden statues, each item tells a story and showcases the rich cultural heritage of Cambodia.


The Siem Reap Night Market is not just about shopping; it’s also a culinary adventure. Indulge your taste buds with a wide variety of street food, from deliciously grilled meats and seafood to traditional Khmer snacks and desserts. Expand your palate by trying exotic fruits or sipping on refreshing fruit shakes.


Sit back and relax at one of the market’s many open-air cafes or bars, enjoying a cold beer or a freshly brewed cup of Cambodian coffee. Take in the vibrant atmosphere, people-watch, and soak up the lively energy that fills the air.


Pro tip: Bargaining is a common practice in the night market, so don’t be afraid to negotiate the prices with the vendors. However, always approach it as a friendly interaction and remember to be respectful.


The Siem Reap Night Market offers not only a shopping experience but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, taste the flavors of Cambodia, and interact with the vibrant community. It’s a vibrant and lively slice of Siem Reap’s nightlife that should not be missed.