10 Best Things To Do in Siem Reap, Cambodia

The ancient capital of Khmer Empire from 9th to 15th century is truly one of the top destinations in Southeast Asia that you couldn’t afford to miss. Siem Reap is the spiritual heartland of Cambodia that full of great things from Buddhist-Hindu temples, the magnificent architectural of Angkor Wat, the nature wonder that blended with the historical site beautifully of Ta Prohm, the artistic ancient caving of Bayon. Not only the historical site, the city also offers a great nightlife, world-class dining experience that both foodie and historical enthusiast will fall in love with 

Siem Reap Travel Guide & Things To Do

1. Temples of Angkor

Being one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia and has been listed as the UNESCO world heritage since 1992. The experience from visiting the temples of Angkor was truly mesmerizing. I highly recommend you to go with the tour guide for the first visit, in order to get a glimpse of Khmer Empire history and the story behind countless sculptural decorations


Tips:
Angkor Park opens 05.00-19.00 daily. It’s better to buy ticket online and beforehand, you can use QR code that received from email for access. Entrance Fee 37$ for 1day, 62$ for 3days (valid for 10days), and 72$ for 7days (valid for 1month)


A 3-day pass ticket valid for 10days and it’s quite the right amount to explore most of the important historical sites. The weather in Siem Reap is hot and dry. Consider to add waterfall, water village, or to visit cities nearby in-between your Angkor temple exploration, before you’re temple out and overwhelm by the temples of Angkor

Siem Reap Travel Guide

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2. Tonle Sap

There is no better place to watch a perfect sunset in Siem Reap than Tonle Sap. A seasonally inundated freshwater Chong Kneas lake of 120km long that connects to Mekong River is one of the unmissable destination in your Siem Reap travel guide list. Take a trip to the fishing village, soaking in the authentic Cambodia countryside and local communities before taking a boat trip to watch the sunset in the middle of the lake

 

Tips: A-half day trip to water village will cost around 20$ (included transportation)


3. Kulen Mountain

One of the holy mountain in Cambodia, Phnom Kulen mountain located in the Kulen National Park, 50km away from Siem Reap city center that will take around 2hrs drive. If you keen to go hiking or swimming, put the sacred mountain on top of your Siem Reap travel guide list. You can also check out the temples nearby such as Thousand Lingas at Kbal Spean, Preah Ang Thom pagoda, and Kru Khmer known as natural medicine doctors


4. Kaoh Ker

The formal capital of the Khmer empire from 928 to 944 CEs in an Angkorian era. The 10th century temple complex was abandoned and covered with forest. Kaoh Ker is one of the least-studied temple in Angkorian period and has no restoration work done so far, but most of the impressive pieces and unique carving in Phnom Penh National Museum were picked up from here


Tips: It’s better to take a one-day trip to visit Koh Ker as the temple located around 120km from Siem Reap town that will take around 2hrs drive. You need to drive pass Prasat Beng Mealea (Most of the motorcycle rental will not allow you to take the bike to Koh Ker as the place is abandoned in the forest)


5. Krong Battambang

The leading rice-producing province of Cambodia was found by Khmer Empire in the 11th century. Battambang city located on the Sangkae River in northwestern Cambodia. Explore the underrated colonial buildings and the authentic Cambodia countryside experience of Bat caves, Bamboo train, Human gallery, Romcheik 5 Artspace, Ek Phnom Pagoda, and Wat Banan


6. Angkor National Museum

Lets discover how religions and beliefs impact Khmer’s people, society, and civilization of ancient Khmer Empire over time through the exhibitions room that well portray the storyline

The exhibition rooms included Gallery of 1,000 Buddha Images, Khmer Civilization, Religion and Beliefs, The Great Khmer Kings, Story from Stones, Ancient Costume of Apsara and Art Exhibition


Tips: Open Daily 08.30-18.30, Entrance Fee 12$ for adult, 6$ for child + Audio Tour Guide 5$. To get a glimpse of how the history was shaped, it’s recommended to visit the Angkor National Museum before the temples of Angkor


7. Cambodia Landmine Museum

From the sad history about the Khmer Rouge, genocide, and civil war made Cambodia one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. The museum was found by ex-child soldier Aki Ra in the purpose to educate travelers about the continuing issues of landmines in Cambodia. He also help to clear the landmines by starting the Self-Help Deming and NGO. The money raised from the museum goes to the funding of relief center for children

 

Tips: Entrance Fee 5$ for Adult, Free for child under 12 and Khmer. The museum located 50km from the center, halfway towards Banteay Srei temple

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8. Artisans Angkor

Ancient Cambodia craftsmanship is revealed through the fine artworks of Artisans Angkor from silk-weaving, silverware, lacquer, stone and wood carving. Cambodian Arts & Crafts located in the spiritual city of Cambodia, the locals cherished and keep the authentic Khmer culture alive with the finest skilled that has been passed on from generation to generation


9. Apsara Dance

The traditional Cambodia performing arts that is rich in cultural heritage of Khmer, also known as Heavenly Dance. Apsara is one of the crucial Cambodian arts dating back to the Angkorian Era. Looking closely, you’ll see a lot of Apsara carving on the temple walls

 

Tips: Some of the venues that offers Apsara Dance show in Siem Reap, including Alliance Cafe, Apsara Terrace, Apsara Theatre, La Noria Hotel, Temple Balcony, The Divine Sala theater


10. Pub Street

The lights didn’t go out at night. Pub street located in the heart of Siem Reap, make its name not only the nightlife but the street is also filled with good restaurants that will satisfied all the foodies out there. Looking for a pub crawl experience in Siem Reap? I think you’re in the right place


How To Visit Siem Reap

Traveling To Siem Reap

Siem Reap is a heartland of Cambodia, you can take the direct flight to Siem Reap International Airport for both domestic and internal

 

Tips: The airport located around 9km from city center (15mins drive). You can take a Grab or airport shuttle bus that can be booked with most of the hotels (will cost around 34k KHR)

 

Sleeper bus is one of the good option if traveling domestic that offers many route from Phnom Penh, Koh Rong or even Vietnam and Thailand. You can check the bus schedule from here

Traveling to Siem Reap

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Traveling in Siem Reap

Grab is widely used in Siem Reap, especially E-TukTuk that most people will hire to visit temples. If you’re keen to drive, consider to rent a motorcycle or a bike to cycling around Angkor Park – the healthier choice yet became more popular these days


Where To Stay in Siem Reap

Siem Reap offers a wide range of accommodation. You can choose to stay in the city center (near Pub Street) – there is a lot of food options and pretty easy to commute, as the restaurants, cafes, and bars are all in walking-distance. The accommodation in the outer part of the city, will give you more eco-friendly type that surrounded with nature

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