Siem Reap, the gate to the Angkor temples, is one of the best places to visit in South East Asia. Millions of visitors travel to Siem Reap yearly with the hope to explore the magnificent ruins of the Khmer Empire and enjoy the beauty of the riverside town.
What to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia?
This article is a comprehensive Siem Reap travel guide, including the list of best things to do in Siem Reap and tips that you should know to enjoy the best of your time here.
1. Watch the sunrise on Angkor Wat
As a symbol of the country of the pagodas, Angkor Wat is the best-preserved temple in the region and retains its religious center.
I would recommend starting in the early morning and catching the sunrise at Angkor Wat with a local guide.
Watching the sky gradually change its color with the sun rising from the temple will be one of the most beautiful moments of your trip to Cambodia.
Angkor Sunrise Tour
You can book your Angkor Sunrise Tour with options for a join-in or private tour.
- Pickup service at 4:15 am
- Watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat
- Enjoy local breakfast at own your expense
- Explore Bayon Temple
- Visit Ta Prohm Temple
- Drop off at your hotel at 1 pm
Please note that the tour package does not include the Pass. The driver will stop at the ticket office on the way to Angkor Park so you can purchase Angkor Archaeological Park Pass.
One day in Angkor temples will give you a glimpse of the architectural highlights, so it’s highly recommended to purchase 3-day Pass to explore these ruins at your own pace.
Angkor Archaeological Park’s opening hours: 8:30 am to 6:30 pm daily.
What to wear to Angkor Temples
As you will need to cover up to enter the temples, long pants and shirts with long sleeves will be a good option.
2. Learn the history at Angkor National Museum
Located on Charles de Gaulle, Angkor National Museum is divided into eight exhibitions with specific themes of periods, religions, and royalty.
I would suggest visiting the Angkor National Museum before exploring the Angkor complex. It’s because you’ll learn lots of information, the stories, and the origins of the famous ancient ruins of Angkor from the videos and exhibitions at this museum.
You can book your Angkor Museum ticket online in advance and get a FREE pickup service + entrance ticket to a museum. Please note that it will not include a dropoff service and audio guide.
- Opening hours: 8:30 am to 6:30 pm daily
- Address: 968 Charles de Gaulle Blvd, Siem Reap
- Phone number: +855 63 63 966 601
- Price: 12 USD
3. Visit Kompong Phluk Floating Village
Siem Reap has more than just temples.
Kompong Phluk Floating Village is an exciting place to visit during your trip to Siem Reap besides the Angkor.
This rural floating village is home to approximately 3000 fishing people during the rainy season. During the dry season, when the lake’s water level decreases., many villagers relocate at smaller huts on stilts farther into the lake.
Visiting Kompong Phluk Floating Village with a local guide, you will not only enjoy the stunning serene boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake, but you also learn about the daily routine of the inhabitants.
4. Trek Phnom Kulen
Located North East of Angkor Complex, about 50 Km, Kulen Mountain, or Phnom Kulen National Park, offers a scenic day trip from Siem Reap.
Many people visit Phnom Kulen for its gorgeous waterfall, which is the best seen in the rainy season.
To get to the waterfall area, you can walk a short distance of about 300 meters on a small incline down to the river.
There, you can find some spots to take pictures or take a fresh dip in the cold and clear waters of the falls.
Please note that this natural beauty spot can get very crowded on the weekends with picnickers, and you may find quite a lot of garbage lying around.
A River of Thousand Linga
On the other hand, the River of Thousand Linga is beautiful during the dry season when the stone carvings are visible.
As this river is a sacred river filled with holy water, the local believes it will bring luck and health if you splash your hands and face with water.
Book Phnom Kulen Day Tour
With Phnom Kulen Day Tour, you will get a great chance to explore all the attractions in one day, including Phnom Kulen Waterfall, River of a Thousand Lingas, and the Reclining Buddha.
The local tour guide will take you on the trek through the jungle trails of Phnom Kulen and provide useful facts about the area.
5. Enjoy the show at Phare
Every evening, Phare – The Cambodian Circus – offers excellent traditional Cambodian performance with a combination of music, dance, and acrobats.
You will be left in awe with the enthusiasm and energy of talented artists, who will tell stories of Cambodian lives and society through the show.
Although the performance is in Khmer, there are English subtitles on the screen, so you will be able to catch up with the performances.
Tips: There are popcorn and drinks on sale, but you can also bring your food to enjoy the show. Insect repellent is highly recommended.
6. Join Cambodian cooking class
Taking a cooking class in Siem Reap will be a fun experience for those who love exploring Cambodian cuisine.
You can take a stroll around a local village to learn about the herb and vegetables before starting your cooking class.
The tour includes a pickup and drop-off service by tuk-tuk at your hotel, with complimentary water, soft drinks, and beer.
7. Visit Kompheim Village
If you’re interested in learning about Cambodian local life, Kompheim Village is a must-visit on your trip.
With a 2-hour walk, you will get a chance to meet and talk with local people while observing daily activities. A visit to the pagoda and school will give you valuable and insightful experience about the Khmer people.
8. Spend a day at Cambodian Cultural Village
The Cambodian Cultural Village is a great place to learn about the traditional lifestyle, beliefs, and customs of the country and the daily life of different ethnic groups in the country.
Also, you can enjoy live performances such as acrobatics, traditional Khmer weddings, Aspara dances, and fishing shows.
- Opening hours: 9 am to 9 pm daily
- Address: National Road # 6, Krours Village, Siem Reap
- Phone number: +855 63 963 836
- Price: $13 (original price is 15 USD, but you’ll get a discount if you book online).
9. Enjoy the night at Pub street
Located in the heart of Siem Reap Town, Pub Street offers a vibrant nightlife with appealing venues and activities.
There are several restaurants, bars, and clubs in the small narrow street with street vendors selling exciting dishes.
Most of the bars open from 5 pm to 12 midnight or later at night, except Temple Club Bar already welcomes guests from 7 am.
The price at these bars is quite affordable. You can get a beer for 1 dollar, and a cocktail is around $3 to $5 in most bars during happy hour.
Also, you should try the foot massage service with small fish, which costs about 5 – 10 USD.
10. Go shopping at the Old Market
Nearby, you can find the night market selling souvenirs with various items ranging from clothes to jewelry.
This place is an ideal shopping destination for travelers, but you should also bargain in advance.