Last updated: Sep 22, 2019

Contents

How to get there | Things to do

 

How To Get To Siem Reap?

Leaving fromDurationPrices fromSee details
Siem Reap International Airport20min$9 - $10Siem Reap Airport to Siem Reap
Sihanoukville1-10 hrs$25 - $120Sihanoukville to Siem Reap
Kep4-10 hrs$18 - $75Kep to Siem Reap
Battambang2,5-8,5 hrs$6 - $40Battambang to Siem Reap
Phnom Penh45min-8,5 hrs$8 - $75Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
Kampot3-10 hrs$20 - $125Kampot to Siem Reap
Don Det4,5-10,5 hrs$25 - $133Don Det to Siem Reap
Bangkok1-9,5 hrs€16 - €33Bangkok to Siem Reap

Siem Reap city on map

7 things to do in Siem Reap


#1 Angkor Wat

Your Cambodian adventure isn’t complete without a visit to the Angkor Wat. This grand and mighty temple complex is the largest religious monument in the world. Built in the 12th century, it is a prime example of Khmer architecture.

A visit to the Angkor Wat is the best way to immerse yourself in the Angkor history. Gaze at the lotus-shaped towers, explore the galleries and study the fascinating sculptures that are part of Hindu and Buddhist cultures. At first you’ll only see moss-covered stones and massive tree roots, but as you move closer you’ll discover intricate carvings, each with their own meaning.

A day pass costs $37, but if you can’t get enough of Angkor Wat’s beauty, you can purchase a three-day pass for $62. Tours start as early as 5:00, and tickets are available at the entrance gates. Come early to witness the famous Angkor Wat sunrise, between 5:30-6:00.

Fun-fact: Did you know the lake in front of the famous Angkor Wat temple was build to give the reflection of the towers during sunrise another dimension?

Angkor Wat is a religious site, so guests must dress appropriately. Wear long pants and sleeved shirts to ensure your legs and elbows are covered. You can also wear a sarong.

Also, keep in mind that it will get intensely hot in the afternoon, so be sure to start your tour early.

Extra tips

The best ways to explore Angkor Wat is by booking a tuk-tuk with a guide who can tell you about the history, or join a small group tour. One highlight is watching the sunrise from behind the enormous temples, but don’t expect to witness this sunrise alone. Tourists will gather at 5:00 in the morning to catch a glimpse of this beautiful moment. It’s early, but it’s definitely worth it.

Another option is to rent an electric bike and discover the sights on your own. However, we recommend first reading about the history of the temples and planning your route in advance. Cruising around without any idea of where you are or what the names and purposes of the temples are won’t be as interesting.

 

#2 Lake Tonlé Sap

Experience local life at Lake Tonlé Sap, on the outskirts of Siem Reap. Floating vendors will approach you selling handmade souvenirs, dried fruit and bottled water. The Kompong Phluk village is a cluster of houses on stilts, floating markets and fish nets.

Good news for bird fans: on the lake’s western edge is the largest water-bird colony in southeast Asia. Visit between December and April to witness the colony at its peak.

From Siem Reap, you can take a motor-taxi ($3) or a 4-seater taxi ($15+) to Chong Khneas, located about 10km to the south. You can take a boat tour there for $20 per person.

While you can go there on your own, it is more convenient to book a tour. Tours start from $30 and include transport to the lake, a stop at a fish and bird exhibition, lunch, and a guide who knows the lake and local residents well.

#3 Phare, The Cambodian Circus

Phare, the Cambodian Circus, is an experience unlike any other. Students and graduates from Phare Ponleu Selpak’s training center in Battambang put on the show, telling stories through dance, music, theater and circus arts. A French volunteer started the center to help children overcome trauma, abuse and poverty. Now trained as professional acrobats, they perform incredible stunts in international shows around the world.

The performance begins at 20:00, and the gates open 30 minutes before. Tickets start at $18 for an adult and $10 for children aged 5-11.

 

Warning! There have been reports of fake tickets sold on the streets in Siem Reap. We recommend booking through Phare’s official website or at your accommodation to make sure you’re buying authentic tickets.

#4 Old Market

Wander around the local market and get a feel for the real Siem Reap. Discover the most popular goods, view local artists’ work and let your eyes wander over the products laid out on the floor. To get the full experience of the market, make sure you try some exotic fruit. Good luck with picking out the right one!

Trading starts at 7:00, and you can find the market in the center of Siem Reap.

 

#5 Night Market

If you spent the day exploring the Angkor Wat temples, you can still visit an outdoor market in the evening. The Angkor Night Market comes alive at sunset, when colorful lights create the market’s dazzling atmosphere.

A flashy, lit-up bridge leads the way across the river to the Night Market. Over 200 bamboo huts offer a wide range of items, and there’s also a shop selling products made from recycled materials. Unlike the Old Market, the stalls at the Night Market only offer products, and they don’t sell fresh food like vegetables and fruits.

After bargain hunting for traditional Khmer Kroma scarves and wooden carvings, you can relax with a cold beer on Pub Street.

 

#6 Pub Street

The name says it all. With live performances, bright lights and ice-cold drinks, Pub Street will help you forget the heat and sweat from your Angkor Wat visit.

As the sun goes down, the street is closed to traffic and turns into a real party zone, with happy hour everywhere. Dare a friend to try a fried scorpion or other insects on display—but be prepared to try one yourself. Your hesitation will probably lessen as the night passes into the late hours and the alcohol starts to increase your courage to take on the challenge.

 

#7 Massage

Want to treat yourself after a long day of exploring? Why not try a massage? Saloons all over the city offer a wide variety of massages. You can find relaxing oil massages, sport massages, traditional Khmer massages, or full spa treatments.

The Traditional Khmer technique lowers blood pressure, lessens pain, eases muscle and joint tension, and increases alertness. The Khmer massage is similar to a Thai massage, but there are a few differences. “Same, same but different,” as the Thai people would say.

Feet aching from exploring the enormous temple complex? You can get 30-minute foot massages in this town for as low as $2. Still, we encourage to pay a little more if you’re happy with the service.

   

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