From magnificent, gigantic Angkor Complex to effervescent streets, exciting markets and inspiring art & craft centers, this northwestern province is the most must-see attraction in Cambodia. Come for adorable monuments, stay for impressive culture, and experience for the unconventional local life.
Explore Angkor Wat
As Cambodia’s most iconic temple, Angkor Wat worship Vishnu, a supreme God within three primary deities in Hinduism. It is the most well-preserved temple in the area and still hold the role of the religious hub until now. The construction appears on Cambodian national flag, and is also the symbol and pride of Cambodia. Exploring this majestic, grandiose temple is commonly put on bucket list of many travelers, and the first thing you can consider to do on your travel to Siem Reap.
Spend a couple of days walking around Angkor Complex
Besides Angkor Wat, Angkor Complex includes more than 1,000 temples, tombs and other monuments with original Khmer architecture, rated as the largest religious complex in the world. There are three different kinds of entrance fee to visit Angkor Complex: $20 for one day, $40 for three days and $60 for seven days.
Take a hot air balloon ride to watch dawn or twilight over Angkor
An extraordinary way to reveal Angkor is beholding aerial view of Angkor Complex from hot air balloon, especially at sunrise or sundown. The higher the balloon flies, the more imposing the aerial view is. Remember to take some stunning photos of this magnificent sight to keep memories.
Tour around by tuk tuk
As tuk tuk is a common mode of transport in Siem Reap, travelers can use it to tour around the area, and to experience an unusual vehicle not available in your country as the locals. Noticeably, the native riders can be helpful tour guides.
Visit the art & craft center of Artisan D’Angkor
Artisan D’Angkor is a social business created to assist the rural youth in finding work near their home village, also to maintain and develop Khmer art through manufacturing handicraft products, in which comprise silk fabrics and garments, stone and wood carving, lacquer ware, polychrome products, silver plating and silk painting. As a real showcase for Khmer workmanship, this center actually revives traditional Khmer Arts and Crafts.
There is a diverse collection of unique hand-made, high-quality clothing and home furnishings in Artisan D’Angkor that travelers buy as presents for family and friends.
Learn to make pottery
This experience can be carried out at Khmer Ceramics & Fine Arts Center. A majority of the products in this center is made completely by hand by artisans and skilled craftsmen.
Take a walk around Old Market
So-called Phsar Chas, this market area is sited in the heart of Siem Reap and has over 100 stalls with a wide range of reasonably priced products is displayed. Silk scarves and wood carvings are the two most popular lines in here.
Shopping at Angkor night market
Angkor night market is a must-see place for ones who truly want to find out about Cambodian culture. It usually opens from 4p.m until midnight. It features numerous various lines, in which the most outstanding ones are scarves, silver items and jewellery.
Photo: My Shutter Speed
Massaging your foot by feeding your deed skin to hungry fish, this weird experience is called fish pedicure. Countless massage stores are in close proximity to each other on two sides of streets with the prices of $2-10.
Photo: The Roaming Family
Shopping at “Made in Cambodia” market
Organized on Saturday of the first and the third week of each month, “Made in Cambodia” market is an ideal address for travelers to shop typical handicraft products of Cambodia and immerse in effervescent live music performances.
Drink beer at Pub Street
Pub Street is a very cool place attracting a lot Western travelers. It includes two rows of adjoining restaurants, shops, pubs and bars, which are absolutely vibrant and animated at night. Almost of the pubs here open all day, but they are just actually active from 5p.m onward until midnight and even till morning of the next day.
Enjoy cocktail at Miss Wong restaurant
If you don’t like noisy, energetic music at pubs or bars, but still want to enjoy a luscious cocktail, let come to Miss Wong restaurant.
Take a culinary Vespa tour
Joining in this trip, traveler will have a superb chance to discover exotic Khmer cuisine and enjoy popular dishes of the country under lead of local guides. Combining with classic Vespa scooters threading through busting streets, the tour is expected to bring a lot of interesting experiences.
Taste bamboo cooked rice
This dish is an amazing speciality of Cambodia, cooked by the way that aromatic glutinous rice is put into fresh bamboo tubes, which is then slowly roasted over a glowing charcoal fire. With natural, mild flavor, bamboo cooked rice is deserved to put into list of awesome dishes should be tried.
Savor scorpion papaya salad at Bugs Café
To Cambodian people, food made of insects has highly nutritional value. Therefore, it’s very easy to enjoy strange insect dishes everywhere in Siem Reap, especially crunchy, delicious scorpion papaya salad at Bugs Café.
Watch circus at Phare
In evenings in Siem Reap, if you don’t know what to do to relax and entertain, this can be a great recommendation for you: coming to Phare – a famed circus, purchasing a ticket, and enjoying absorbing circus performances. Phare’s circus shows conspicuously have a blend of traditional and modern cultures, which is suitable for both children and adults.
Visit a floating village
To understand and feel the floating life on river of Cambodian residents, travelers can reach a floating village and explore around it on a small sampan boat. The two most well-known floating villages in Siem Reap are Kompong Phluk and Kompong Khleang.
Take a trip to Cambodian Landmine Museum
As one of must-see attractions in Sieam Reap, Cambodian Landmine Museum is very informative, effective, interesting and touching, with real individual stories, personal testimonials and pictures included that offer details about weapons and landmines used during the wars and its aftermaths. It not only gives travelers partly the sight of landmines in Cambodia and over Khmer Rouge, but also in the Vietnam war.
Stop by Senteurs D’Angkor
This brand supplies authentic fragrances and flavors of Cambodia. Indeed, Senteurs D’Angkor is a company producing and selling handmade, natural scented products such as natural body care cosmetics, traditional balms, candles, incenses and pure oils, along with native flavors like honey, jams, teas, coffees, rice liquors and a range of Cambodian spices. The ingredients are sourced from around the country and mixed in traditional ratios. Aromatic heritage of Cambodia maintained here consists of lotus, jasmine, frangipani and many others.
Stopping by Senterurs D’Angkor and you can pick up some unique products only in the country: body scrubs, massage oils, soaps, lip balms, etc.
Take a cooking class
A great way to search out Siem Reap cuisine is joining a cooking class, having fun culinary experiences and knowledge, and learning some special dishes to cook for your family and friends.
Add a photography tour
To ones who are professional photographers or just photography lovers, this tour will be a fabulous opportunity to capture spectacular photos, as it will take travelers to marvelous, honestly local but less-touristy locations.
An adventurous activity for adventure travelers in Siem Reap is the zip line tour. Some zip line spots even offer view of Angkor from afar.
Riding horse is a delightful activity and a special way to reveal countryside in Siem Reap. An excellent choice for this experience is The Happy Ranch Horse Farm.
Photo: Never Ending Voyage
Talk with the locals
Cambodian inhabitants are exceedingly friendly to foreign travelers from hotel staff to drivers. Even in many circumstances they may be great travel guides.
Take a dip in a pool
Because the climate in Siem Reap is dry and hot, taking a dip in a pool is an awesome thing travelers can do after an exhausting day trip. Almost all the 4 and 5 star hotels have pools. Even though you don’t stay at such hotels, you can use other available pools with relatively low cost.