best things to do in Siem Reap Cambodia

10 Best Things To Do In Siem Reap Cambodia

Siem Reap Travel Guide

Siem Reap, the gate to the temples of Angkor, is one of the best places to visit in South East Asia. Millions of visitors traveling 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.

best things to do in Siem Reap Cambodia

 

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 changing its color with the sun rising from the temple will be one of the most beautiful moments of your trip to Cambodia.

Angkor Wat sunrise tour Siem Reap Cambodia

Angkor Sunrise Tour

You can book your Angkor Sunrise Tour with options for a join-in or private tour.

Itinerary:

  • 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

Angkor Pass

Please note that the tour package does not include the Pass. The driver will stop at the ticket office on the way from Siem Reap 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 with your own pace.

Angkor Archaeological Park’s opening hours: 8:30 am to 6:30 pm daily

best things to do in Siem Reap cambodia

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 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.

Kompong Phluk floating village in Siem Reap Cambodia

 

4. Trek Phnom Kulen

Located North East of Angkor Complex about 50 Km, Kulen Mountain, or known as Phnom Kulen National Park, offers a scenic day trip from Siem Reap.

Kulen waterfalls

Many people visiting 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 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 cool 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.

trek Kulen waterfalls Siem Reap

A River of Thousand Linga

On the other hand, a 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 that 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 the 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.

best things to do in Siem Reap circus Phare

Although the performance is in Khmer, there are English subtitles on a 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 own 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.

things to do in Siem Reap cooking class

 

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 pagoda and school will give you valuable and insightful experience about 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 as well as 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.

Pub Street Siem Reap nightlife

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 a diversity of items ranging from clothes to jewelry.

This place is an ideal shopping destination for travelers, but you should also bargain in advance.

 

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Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links. We receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using some of the links. 

  1. I have visited Siam Reap previously and wish I had seen this article earlier! While we visited Angkor Wat, we did not do a sunrise tour. Additionally, I would have liked to do the Phnom Kulen Day Tour as we are a bit outdoorsy, but didn’t visit any of those places.

  2. Wow, you sure covered some very interesting activities here. Most people go for the sunset tour and visit a few of the most famous temples. However, Siem Reap has so much more to offer. I’m glad you mentioned the Cambodian Cultural Village too.

  3. This post came at the right time for me. I am in midst of planning a trip to Cambodia and now I know what activities to plan. I only had the Angkor Way in mind. Didn’t know about the other attractions. Checking out the temple at sunrise is a great idea. Less crowded with amazing photo opportunities.

  4. Angkor Wat is high up on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing this list of amazing things to do in Siam Reap. I didn’t know you can buy a 3-day pass to explore the temple ruins. Also, visiting the Angkor National Museum before exploring the ruins sounds like a great idea. The floating village looks so quaint and the waterfall is simply stunning. The show at the Phare is something I would not want to miss. Such a great way to get an insight into the authentic Cambodia.

  5. I would LOVE to visit Siem Reap. The Cultural Village sounds really cool to go to to learn about culture. I like doing things like that. I was disappointed to read about the garbage at the waterfalls. I will never understand why people don’t treat these beautiful places with more care.

  6. We plan on visiting Siem Reap next spring and this article certainly helped with the planning. We will be traveling slowly and after ready this I think we will need more time to take in the amazing history and culture. I am anxious to see the sunrise I’m not sure our 7 month old will agree but I’ll drag him alomg anyway lol. Great article especially as someone who is planning on spending time in Cambodia. You just save me a lot of research time.

  7. I have never heard of Komphong Phluk Floating Village and also the Kulen waterfalls – these two have actually drawn my attention to your blogpost. Usually, Siem Reap is about Angkor Wat and Pub Street, of course. But, adding the offbeat places to the itinerary has made it different than the rest.

    1. I think most people don’t know about other sites besides Angkor Temples when visiting Siem Reap. That’s why I wrote this article to introduce more places :)

  8. I love being totally immersed in local culture when I travel. The Cambodian Cultural Village, Kompong Phluk Floating Village, and Kompheim Village would be right up my alley. I would also really enjoy the circus and the cooking class.

  9. I love the idea of immersive-type of travel and Cambodia is one of the best places to have this experience. The food and its unique culture make me so interested to visit them one day. No more boring reasons, just do these 10 activities, then repeat :D

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