Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Siem Reap Itinerary & Travel Guide: 3 Days+ (Cambodia)


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Deena Heffernan



Welcome to Siem Reap, Cambodia’s vibrant gateway to the magnificent ancient temples of Angkor. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, Siem Reap has become one of the top travel destinations in Southeast Asia. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or a culture lover, this city has something to offer everyone.


Siem Reap is best known as the home of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. Built by the Khmer Empire in the 12th century, Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit attraction. However, there is so much more to explore beyond the awe-inspiring temples.


In this comprehensive travel guide, we will take you on a journey through Siem Reap, providing you with insider tips and advice to make the most of your visit. From exploring the ancient wonders of Angkor to immersing yourself in the local culture and cuisine, Siem Reap offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you captivated.


Whether you have three days or more, this itinerary will help you plan your trip to Siem Reap, ensuring that you don’t miss any of the highlights. We will also provide practical information on accommodation options, transportation, food and drink, and share valuable tips to enhance your visit.


So, strap on your adventure boots and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting city of Siem Reap. Let’s dive into the first day of our itinerary: Exploring Siem Reap.


Day 1: Exploring Siem Reap

Welcome to your first day in Siem Reap! Today, we will dive into the heart of the city, exploring its rich history, vibrant markets, and unique cultural experiences.


Start your day by visiting the famous Angkor National Museum. This museum provides a comprehensive insight into the history and artistry of the Khmer Empire, which ruled over the region. Wander through the galleries to see ancient artifacts, intricate sculptures, and informative displays that bring the history of Angkor to life.


After immersing yourself in the ancient past, head to the Old Market, also known as Psar Chas. This bustling market is a sensory delight, with a myriad of stalls selling everything from fresh produce and spices to souvenirs and handicrafts. Take your time to explore the maze-like alleys, interact with friendly locals, and sample some of the delicious street food.


Next, make your way to the Artisans Angkor Workshop and Gallery. This social enterprise aims to revive and preserve traditional Khmer arts and crafts, providing training and employment opportunities for local artisans. Explore the workshop to watch skilled craftsmen carve intricate sculptures, paint exquisite silk paintings, and create beautiful jewelry. Don’t forget to visit the gallery where you can purchase unique and authentic Khmer souvenirs.


No visit to Siem Reap is complete without experiencing the vibrant nightlife. In the evening, head to Pub Street and the nearby Night Market. Pub Street is a bustling hub of bars, restaurants, and lively street performances. Whether you want to unwind with a refreshing cocktail, sample local delicacies, or dance the night away, Pub Street has something for everyone. After exploring Pub Street, take a leisurely stroll through the Night Market, where you can browse an array of handicrafts, artwork, and clothing.


As the day comes to a close, take a moment to reflect on the rich experiences and vibrant energy of Siem Reap. Tomorrow, we’ll embark on an incredible adventure to Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, where we’ll discover the ancient wonders of the Khmer Empire.


Day 2: Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom

Get ready for an awe-inspiring day as we explore the ancient wonders of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, the crown jewel of Siem Reap’s temple complex.


Start your day early to catch the mesmerizing sunrise over Angkor Wat. The iconic silhouette of the temple against the colorful sky is a sight you will never forget. Take a moment to soak in the beauty and tranquility before entering the temple complex.


As you step inside Angkor Wat, prepare to be amazed by its intricate carvings, grand architecture, and spiritual atmosphere. Explore the vast complex, marveling at the intricate bas-reliefs that depict mythological stories and historical events. Climb to the upper levels to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.


After exploring Angkor Wat, continue your journey to Angkor Thom, the last great capital of the Khmer Empire. The highlight of Angkor Thom is undoubtedly the Bayon Temple, with its enigmatic smiling faces carved into the stone towers. Explore the temple complex and unravel the stories and symbolism hidden within its walls.


From Bayon, visit the nearby Baphuon temple, a massive sandstone pyramid that has undergone extensive restoration. Climb to the top for breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Nearby, don’t miss the Terrace of the Elephants, adorned with intricate carvings of elephants and other mythical creatures.


Finish your exploration of Angkor Thom with a visit to the Terrace of the Leper King, known for its detailed carvings and mysterious depiction of the leper king.


After a day of immersing yourself in the ancient history of Angkor, take some time to relax and unwind. Enjoy a soothing massage or indulge in a traditional Khmer dinner as you reflect on the wonders you’ve witnessed.


Tomorrow, we’ll venture beyond the Angkor Temple complex to discover lesser-known but equally fascinating sites around Siem Reap. Get ready for a day of exploration and adventure!


Day 3: Beyond Angkor

On day three, we will venture beyond the Angkor temple complex to explore lesser-known but equally captivating sites around Siem Reap. Today’s itinerary will introduce you to the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and local charm of the region.


Start your day by visiting the fascinating Beng Mealea temple, located around 40 kilometers from Siem Reap. Often referred to as the “Indiana Jones temple,” Beng Mealea offers a unique and adventurous experience. This sprawling temple is largely unrestored, with trees and vegetation growing over the ancient structures, creating a mystical and awe-inspiring atmosphere. Be prepared to do some light jungle trekking as you explore the hidden chambers and crumbling hallways.


After Beng Mealea, continue your journey to the floating village of Kampong Phluk. This authentic village is located on the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Explore the village by boat, witness the daily life of the locals, and observe the fascinating stilted houses that rise above the water. Gain insights into the traditional fishing techniques and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the lake.


From Kampong Phluk, visit the Roluos Group, a collection of stunning temples that predate the Angkor period. Discover the intricate carvings and architectural beauty of Preah Ko, Bakong, and Lolei temples. These temples provide a glimpse into the early foundations of Khmer temple architecture and offer a quieter and more serene experience away from the crowds.


As the day comes to a close, make your way back to Siem Reap and indulge in a delightful Khmer dinner. You can choose to dine at one of the local restaurants in town or opt for a traditional Khmer dance performance accompanied by a sumptuous meal. This is the perfect way to end your exploration of Siem Reap and celebrate the rich culture and history of Cambodia.


With Day 3 complete, you have experienced the wonders of Angkor and ventured beyond to discover the hidden gems around Siem Reap. But remember, your Siem Reap adventure doesn’t have to end here. If you have more time, consider extending your stay or exploring other parts of Cambodia, such as the capital city Phnom Penh or the beautiful coastal town of Kep.


Get ready for an optional Day 4 for those who want to experience the unique charm of the floating villages. But if not, you can spend your extra day back in Siem Reap, visiting local markets, trying out more delicious Khmer cuisine, or simply relaxing and reflecting on your incredible journey.


Optional Day 4: Floating Village Tour

If you have an extra day in Siem Reap and want to delve deeper into the local culture and natural wonders, consider taking a floating village tour. This unique experience will take you to the picturesque villages located on the Tonle Sap Lake, offering a glimpse into the daily lives of the local communities.


Start your day by heading to Chong Khneas, the closest floating village to Siem Reap. From there, board a traditional wooden boat and cruise along the serene waters of the Tonle Sap Lake. As you navigate through the floating village, marvel at the stilted houses, schools, and community buildings built on wooden platforms.


Interact with the friendly villagers and learn about their traditional fishing techniques and ways of life. Gain insights into the challenges they face and hear heartwarming stories of resilience and community spirit. If you’re lucky, you may even get the chance to witness the floating markets, where locals trade fresh produce and other goods.


As you explore the village, take in the breathtaking scenery of the lake and its surrounding wetlands, which are home to a rich diversity of bird species. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive freshwater dolphins that inhabit the lake, a rare and endangered species.


During the tour, you will also have the opportunity to visit a floating school or a local fish farm, where you can learn more about the efforts to sustainably manage the resources of the lake and support the education of the young generation.


After the floating village tour, return to Siem Reap and reflect on the unique experience you just had. Take some time to unwind, explore more of the city, or indulge in some last-minute shopping for souvenirs and local handicrafts.


With the optional Day 4 complete, you have had the opportunity to explore some of the lesser-known but equally fascinating aspects of Siem Reap. Whether you choose to embark on the floating village tour or spend your extra day back in the city, your time in Siem Reap has been filled with incredible adventures and unforgettable memories.


Practical Information

Before embarking on your Siem Reap adventure, it’s essential to have some practical information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Here are some key details to keep in mind:

  • Visa: Many nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date.
  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Siem Reap is during the dry season, from November to April. The weather is pleasant, and you’ll have sunny days to explore the temples and outdoor attractions.
  • Transportation: Tuk-tuks are a popular mode of transportation in Siem Reap. Negotiate the price with the driver before getting in. Private taxis and rental bicycles are also available for exploring the city and surrounding areas.
  • Currency: The official currency in Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHR), but US dollars are widely accepted. Ensure you have enough small denominations for street food and small purchases.
  • Language: Khmer is the official language, but English is spoken in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants.
  • Health and Safety: Make sure to drink bottled water, use mosquito repellent, and wear sunscreen. It’s also advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.
  • Respect Local Customs: When visiting temples, dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees. Remove your shoes and hat before entering temple grounds as a sign of respect.

It’s also a good idea to have a local SIM card or access to Wi-Fi to stay connected during your trip. Many accommodations, cafes, and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi.


Siem Reap is generally a safe city, but be cautious of your belongings in crowded areas and use reputable transportation options. It’s always helpful to have the address and phone number of your accommodation readily available.


Lastly, be open to embracing the local culture, interacting with the friendly locals, and trying the delicious Khmer cuisine. Siem Reap is a city that offers a blend of ancient wonders, natural beauty, and warm hospitality, making it an unforgettable destination for travelers.


Accommodation Options

Siem Reap offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Whether you’re looking for luxury resorts, boutique hotels, or budget-friendly guesthouses, you’ll find something that meets your needs. Here are some popular options:

  1. Luxury Resorts: Siem Reap is home to several world-class luxury resorts that offer impeccable service, stunning surroundings, and luxurious amenities. These resorts often feature spacious rooms or suites, beautiful pool areas, spa facilities, and fine dining options. Some well-known luxury resorts include Anantara Angkor Resort, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, and Park Hyatt Siem Reap.
  2. Boutique Hotels: For a more intimate and personalized experience, consider staying at a boutique hotel. These unique properties often showcase local artwork, traditional architecture, and stylish decor. Many boutique hotels provide excellent service and offer modern amenities. Some popular boutique hotels in Siem Reap include Viroth’s Hotel, Templation Hotel, and Shinta Mani Shack.
  3. Guesthouses and Homestays: If you’re traveling on a budget or prefer a more local experience, guesthouses and homestays are a great option. These accommodations are typically family-run, offering a warm and welcoming atmosphere. They provide comfortable rooms, basic amenities, and the opportunity to interact with local hosts. Some recommended guesthouses and homestays include The Rose Apple Guesthouse, MotherHome Guesthouse, and Jasmine Lodge Guesthouse.
  4. Hostels: For solo travelers, backpackers, or those looking to meet fellow adventurers, hostels are a cost-effective and sociable accommodation choice. Siem Reap has a good selection of hostels that offer dormitory-style rooms, private rooms, and communal areas to socialize with other travelers. Some popular hostels include Mad Monkey Hostel, Onederz Hostel, and HI Siem Reap Hostel.

When choosing accommodation, consider the location and proximity to the attractions you plan to visit. Stay near Pub Street if you prefer a vibrant nightlife scene and easy access to restaurants and bars. Alternatively, opt for a quieter location if you prefer a more tranquil experience.


Regardless of your choice, make sure to read reviews, compare prices, and book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Booking platforms such as Booking.com and Agoda offer a wide selection of accommodation options with user reviews to help you make an informed decision.


With a range of accommodation options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate during your time in Siem Reap.



Getting around Siem Reap is relatively easy, thanks to the variety of transportation options available. Here are the main modes of transportation you can utilize during your stay:

  • Tuk-tuks: Tuk-tuks are a popular and convenient way to travel around Siem Reap. These three-wheeled vehicles can accommodate up to four passengers and are readily available throughout the city. Negotiate the price with the driver before getting in and clarify the destination. Tuk-tuks are particularly useful for short distances or sightseeing around the Angkor temple complex.
  • Taxis: Private taxis are a more comfortable option for traveling around Siem Reap. They can be booked through your hotel or hailed from the street. Taxi fares can vary, so negotiate the price or make sure the driver uses the meter. Taxis are a good option for longer journeys or when traveling with a group.
  • Rental Bicycles: Many hotels and guesthouses in Siem Reap offer bicycle rentals. Exploring the city and its outskirts by bike allows you to move at your own pace while enjoying the scenic views. Bicycles are a popular choice for visiting the temples of Angkor, as the distances between them are relatively short.
  • Taxis and Ride-Sharing Apps: Uber and Grab are popular ride-sharing apps in Siem Reap. Using these apps allows you to conveniently book a car and get an upfront fare estimate. It’s a more reliable option for those who prefer the convenience of booking through their smartphones.
  • Motorbike Rentals: For experienced riders, renting a motorbike can provide more flexibility and independence. However, be aware of the traffic conditions and local driving habits before opting for this mode of transportation.

It’s important to note that traffic in Siem Reap can be congested at times, especially during peak tourist seasons. Plan your itinerary accordingly, allowing extra time for travel between destinations.


When it comes to transportation to and from the airport, most hotels offer airport transfer services. Alternatively, taxis are readily available at the airport for your convenience.


As you explore Siem Reap, always carry the name and address of your accommodation written in Khmer or English to assist with navigation. Familiarize yourself with landmarks and major roads to make it easier to communicate your destination to drivers.


By choosing the appropriate mode of transportation and planning your routes, you can navigate Siem Reap with ease and make the most of your time in this enchanting city.


Food and Drink

Siem Reap offers a delightful culinary experience, with a wide array of dishes to satisfy every palate. From traditional Cambodian cuisine to international flavors, here’s what you need to know about food and drink in Siem Reap:


Khmer Cuisine: Don’t miss the opportunity to savor authentic Khmer dishes during your stay in Siem Reap. Try iconic dishes like Fish Amok (a fragrant fish curry), Lok Lak (stir-fried beef with a tangy sauce), or Nom Banh Chok (Cambodian noodles with curry). Many restaurants and street stalls in Siem Reap offer Khmer food, allowing you to experience the unique flavors and culinary traditions.


Street Food: Siem Reap is a street food paradise, with an abundance of food stalls and carts lining the bustling streets. Sample tasty treats like fried spring rolls, skewered grilled meats, fresh fruit shakes, and sweet sticky rice with mango. Be adventurous and try local favorites like Num Krok (coconut rice cakes) or Khmer BBQ.


Restaurants and Cafes: Siem Reap has a vibrant dining scene, with a wide range of restaurants and cafes to choose from. From upscale dining establishments serving international cuisines to trendy cafes offering fusion dishes and specialty coffees, you’ll find something to suit every taste. Pub Street is a popular area for dining, offering a mix of local and international options.


Vegetarian and Vegan Options: Vegetarians and vegans will find plenty of options in Siem Reap. Many restaurants and cafes offer plant-based dishes, and some even specialize in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. Check out restaurants like Chamkar Vegetarian Restaurant or Vibe Cafe for mouthwatering meat-free meals.


Refreshing Drinks: Don’t forget to try Cambodia’s classic beverages. Enjoy the national beer, Angkor Beer, or sample local favorites like sugar cane juice, coconut water, or fresh fruit shakes. For a unique experience, try a glass or two of palm wine, a traditional Cambodian alcoholic beverage made from fermented palm tree sap.


When it comes to dining etiquette, it’s customary to remove your shoes before entering some traditional Khmer restaurants. It’s also common to share dishes with others, so feel free to try a variety of dishes and flavors.


As with any destination, it’s important to exercise caution and choose reputable food establishments to ensure food safety and hygiene. Look for stalls and restaurants with a high turnover of customers, as this generally indicates freshness.


Siem Reap is a culinary delight, offering a diverse range of flavors and experiences. Immerse yourself in the local cuisine, try new dishes, and embrace the vibrant food culture that awaits you in this fascinating city.


Tips for Visiting Siem Reap

As you prepare for your visit to Siem Reap, here are some essential tips to make the most of your trip:

  • Plan Your Temple Visits: The Angkor temples can be overwhelming, so plan your visits strategically. Start early to avoid crowds, bring a map or hire a knowledgeable guide, and prioritize the temples you most want to see.
  • Stay Hydrated: Siem Reap’s climate can be hot and humid, so drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially during temple visits. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it at your hotel or restaurants.
  • Dress Appropriately: When visiting temples, respect the local customs by dressing modestly. Wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for protection from the sun.
  • Keep Cash on Hand: While credit cards are accepted in many establishments, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash, especially for smaller purchases or when visiting local markets or street food stalls.
  • Be Mindful of Your Belongings: Keep an eye on your belongings at all times, especially in crowded places. Use a money belt or a secure bag to protect your valuables and avoid displaying large amounts of cash or expensive items.
  • Be Respectful to the Locals: Cambodians are known for their warm hospitality and kindness. Show respect by greeting locals with a smile, engaging in polite conversation, and asking for permission before taking someone’s photo.
  • Try Local Transportation: Embrace the local experience by taking a ride in a tuk-tuk or renting a bicycle to explore the city. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with the friendly locals.
  • Experience the Evening Scene: Siem Reap comes alive in the evening, with night markets, street performances, and vibrant nightlife. Take the time to explore Pub Street, visit the Night Market, or enjoy a traditional Apsara dance performance.
  • Support Responsible Tourism: Choose tour operators, accommodations, and restaurants that prioritize sustainable and responsible practices. Support local businesses and initiatives that give back to the community and protect the environment.

Remember, Siem Reap is more than just the Angkor temples. Take the time to explore the local markets, interact with the friendly locals, and savor the delicious Khmer cuisine. Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of this enchanting city, and you’ll leave with memories that last a lifetime.



As your Siem Reap adventure comes to a close, take a moment to reflect on the incredible experiences, awe-inspiring temples, and the rich culture you have immersed yourself in. Siem Reap is a destination that leaves a lasting impression on every traveler, offering a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality.


From exploring the ancient wonders of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom to venturing beyond the temples to discover hidden gems, Siem Reap has offered you a diverse range of experiences. You’ve witnessed stunning sunrises over ancient temples, tasted delectable Khmer cuisine, interacted with the friendly locals, and delved into the local culture.


Throughout your journey, you’ve navigated the practicalities of transportation, found the perfect accommodation to suit your needs, and indulged in the vibrant culinary scene. Your visits to the floating village and other attractions have provided a deeper understanding of the everyday life and traditions of the local communities.


Siem Reap has captivated you with its charm, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s the breathtaking beauty of the temples, the genuine warmth of the people, or the mouthwatering flavors of Khmer dishes, Siem Reap has created an indelible mark on your travel experiences.


Remember the tips and insights you’ve gained during your journey and carry them with you as you continue to explore the world. Keep the spirit of adventure alive and embrace every opportunity to immerse yourself in new cultures and discover the wonders of our diverse planet.


As you bid farewell to Siem Reap, take with you the vibrant energy, the deep history, and the rich tapestry of experiences that this extraordinary city has to offer. Until we meet again, may your travels be filled with wonder, inspiration, and unforgettable encounters.