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Siem Reap

Things to see and do

  • Angkor Wat
    5 stars

    Please see our dedicated Angkor Wat section for our comprehensive coverage of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and surrounds.

  • Elephant Rides
    3 stars

    The two main spots for riding elephants are both out near Angkor, one running in the morning and the other in the late afternoon. Morning sessions are held near the South Gate of Angkor Thom, afternoon sessions run up to near the summit of Bakheng. Elephant riding gets uncomfortable quickly, so ... read more

  • Cambodian Living Arts
    4 stars

    Founded in 1998 by Khmer artist Arn Chorn-Pond, Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) is an acclaimed non-profit that employs master Khmer artists who teach a number of media to impoverished young people from around the country. The focus is on preserving traditional Khmer art and culture while sharing ... read more

  • Pagodas and shrines
    2.5 stars

    The two that you're most likely to see sit between the Royal Gardens and the Royal Residence on National Route 6. The first, at the centre of a roundabout, and beneath a large tree is the shrine to Ya Tep. The shrine is believed to offer protection and good fortune in return for the chicken skins ... read more

  • Siem Reap Old Market
    3.5 stars

    The market's greatest attraction is the wet foods section right in the belly of the beast where you can see (and smell) what an authentic Cambodian fresh foods market is like. On the weathered tables of mostly female vendors you'll find fish still flapping, colourful assortments of fresh ... read more

  • Public Lecture Series at the Centre for Khmer Studies
    4 stars

    The centre hosts regular talks by a diverse range of artists, chefs, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, political scientists, linguists and more. Although there are no limits on the topics addressed, the common thread is a devotion to, a passion for, and a deep knowledge of some ... read more

  • Wat Damnak & the Centre for Khmer Studies
    3.5 stars

    Committed to strengthening education for Cambodia's youth, CKS operates a reading room and library (occupying the pinkish-burgundy building), opened in 2010. With more than 11,000 titles mainly in Khmer, French and English, it's the country's largest collection of books outside of Phnom Penh. The ... read more

  • Made in Cambodia street market
    4.5 stars

    The organisers have a strict policy that every item for sale must be made in Cambodia. Most are also crafted by hand, with nothing mass produced, ensuring that your gifts and souvenirs will be both genuine and one-of-a-kind. The market has the feel of an eclectic and lighthearted urban farmer's ... read more

  • The Angkor Handicraft Association Market
    4 stars

    Many of the "Cambodian" souvenirs sold in the Old Market and elsewhere are made in China. If you want to be sure you're buying something genuine and directly support the local economy, make your way to the 'Made-in-Siem Reap' craft market. Opened in 2012, the space is a crafts studio as well as ... read more

  • Wat Bo Pagoda
    3 stars

    Wat Bo Pagoda, close to the Siem Reap River on the east side, is one of the oldest in Siem Reap and a peaceful place to escape and take a break from touring the major temple sites of nearby Angkor. Wat Bo, which gives the area of town its name where a hub of backpacker accommodation can also be ... read more

  • Wat Thmei
    3 stars

    Wat Thmei, located on one of the roads leading to Angkor Wat, is worth pausing at if you won’t be visiting Phnom Penh. Here at this active monastery you can understand more about Cambodia’s tragic history since this now relatively built up area of town was formerly a site of killing fields in ... read more

  • Lotus Farm
    3.5 stars

    The lotus is a powerful spiritual symbol in Asia, one of purity and divinity. It’s also pretty -- and a pretty versatile flower at that. Not only might you stumble across it in traditional Khmer cooking, it also has properties that produce a delicate fibre which can be woven to produce organic ... read more

  • Artisan workshops
    4 stars

    With a flourishing crafts scene, a variety of workshops, ateliers and artisan showrooms are home in Siem Reap to impressive wares where you can find unique gifts while also learning how they are made -- in Cambodia -- by observing first-hand the efforts of skilled handicraft workers. Here’s our ... read more

  • Conservation D'Angkor
    3.5 stars

    Conservation D’Angkor was originally set up by the French Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient to help protect precious Khmer carvings, artefacts, stone statues and the Angkor temples. It functions as a giant warehouse for a vast collection of valuable crumbling relics in varying states of disrepair. ... read more

  • Prek Toal bird reserve
    4 stars

    Whether you’re a serious, seasoned birder, a casual birdwatcher or complete twitching novice who only just knows the difference between a toucan and a turkey, Prek Toal bird reserve is a nature lover’s delight, especially when it comes to bird watching. Located on the great Tonle Sap Lake in ... read more

  • Quad biking
    3.5 stars

    Quad biking – or delving into the countryside via motorbike, tuk tuk, bike or foot – is an opportunity to see incredibly photogenic scenery and experience contemporary rural culture that will complement, and break up, visits to the historic sites of Angkor. With two quad bike operators in town ... read more

  • Khmer cocktail class at Asana
    4 stars

    Ingredients for a good cocktail class are not just fresh and exciting produce, but ample tasting opportunities. Cycling home in a not-too-straight-line after the 90-minute class at Asana bar is a testament to the fact the lesson here didn't fall short. Following in the well-established footsteps of ... read more

  • Rosana Broadway
    3.5 stars

    Bright lights, glitz and glamour. Rosana Broadway certainly doesn't come close to under-delivering if you measured its success and entertainment value by the number of sequins on show. A high-octane cabaret spectacle, this well-rehearsed performance is a deluge of colour and theatrics, with a ... read more

  • Senteurs d'Angkor Workshop
    4 stars

    Senteurs D’Angkor is a gift shop in the centre of Siem Reap, located directly opposite the Old Market. However, this treasure trove of scented natural products made from local raw materials – including soap, lotions, incense, spices, tea, coffee and candles – also has a larger workshop and ... read more

  • Charming City Market
    3 stars

    A mighty title given to a development complex that largely sat eerily empty for several years, Charming City Market, or Borei Pram Prai in Khmer, has finally started to come to life thanks to a handful of restaurants and businesses that have set up shop here. It still certainly doesn’t exude the ... read more

  • King's Road Angkor
    3.5 stars

    King’s Road Angkor may be a world away from London’s upscale shopping mecca, but it pleasantly surprises with a host of international-standard restaurants and shops that help to collectively raise the quality of offerings in temple town at the higher end of the scale. Having opened in late ... read more

  • Tara Riverboat
    3.5 stars

    Tara offers a series of packages, which can take you to Chong Kneas, Kampong Phluk or Kampong Kleang. The Tara Riverboat itself is at Chong Kneas and you are brought there by a small, guided engine boat up a channel and out on to the lake. The Chong Kneas sunset tour includes a trip to the ... read more

  • Landmine Museum
    3.5 stars

    This success was in recognition of his tireless work clearing landmines across Cambodia, helping children and families who have been affected by landmines, and the extraordinary story that brought him to where he is today. The Landmine Museum is an extension of that story and the successes he's ... read more

  • Tonle Sap Lake
    4 stars

    The name means "large freshwater river" and it's actually a combined lake and river system of vital importance to Cambodia's agriculture and biodiversity. For much of the year the lake is quite small, but during the monsoon, the Tonle Sap River (connecting the lake to the far larger and more ... read more

  • Chong Khneas
    2 stars

    It's the closest village to Siem Reap, home to the Gecko Environmental Centre and is the launching pad for Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary -- that's all to say Chong Khneas sees more than its fair share of camera-toting tourists. It's become a tourist trap, with a lot of pressure on people to buy ... read more

  • Angkor National Museum
    4 stars

    For the first 45 minutes of our trip through the mammoth, 20,000-square-metre building, we didn't spot another visitor. The museum opened in November 2007, and its shopping mall-like feel contrasts with the thousands-year-old artefacts contained within it. A visit is a comfortable, air-con ... read more

  • Kompong Phluk
    4 stars

    Unlike its well-touristed sister, this is a stilted rather than floating village (you may see some floating rafthouses about the place). It's a very different place between the wet and dry season. The houses are on six-metre-high stilts, so in the height of the wet the water is close to the ... read more

  • Kompong Khleang
    4.5 stars

    It's massive -- the largest on the lake -- and around 10 times the size of Kompong Phluk. As with Kompong Phluk, the main livelihood here is fishing, but in a number of ways it is a more interesting village to visit. There's a large village temple and a good stretch of village can be wandered ... read more

  • Motorcycle tours
    4 stars

    Hidden Cambodia Adventure Tours (http://www.hiddencambodia.com/)get rave reviews for their motorcycle trips into the surrounds and Siem Reap Dirt Bikes offer a varied range of trips from single day excursions through to multi-day trips to Anlong Veng and beyond. Hidden Cambodia also have 4WD, ... read more

  • Angkor Silk Farm
    3.5 stars

    The silk farm shows you the processes that produce the fine looking silk wares on offer. You can take a free shuttle from Artisans D’Angkor departing at 09:30 or 13:00 or hop in a tuk tuk for the 20-minute ride out of town to the working silk farm near Puok district. At the farm you can see the ... read more

  • Apsara dancing
    3 stars

    Though seemingly ubiquitous, the dancers are often talented and the apsara dance is still very much a part of modern Khmer culture -- it's not just a tourism invention. Most shows include a few sets of dancing, including Apsara, classical and folk dancing, and many of the shows include a buffet ... read more

  • Shopping
    4 stars

    For down and dirty souvenirs, the Old Market in the heart of the tourist area is a good place to start. Surrounding it is a good selection of boutique and handicraft stores. Prices vary tremendously and while many places boast of all profits going to the artisans that manufacture the goods, ... read more

  • Get pampered
    4 stars

    At the top end of the scale, Frangipani and Visaya, within the grounds of the FCC Angkor, are a real treat. Bodia Spa and Body Tune, both in the centre of town, offer indulgent massage and treatment sessions as well. If you're looking for a facial with a little more treatment and less simply ... read more

  • Wildlife watching
    4 stars

    It is a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, conservation, research and education centre that takes in injured and endangered animals, and trains locals to take care of them. It might cost you a bit to get up there, but once you arrive, there's a free guided tour every day at 13:00. The refuge ... read more

  • Horseback rides
    3 stars

    Run by a Cambodian-American, most of the horses at the ranch are actually Cambodian ponies retired from racing in Vietnam and Thailand. Because of their small size, there's a weight limit of 90 kilograms for riders. The ranch itself is an eight-hectare plot about 1.5 kilometres south of the ... read more

  • Cooking classes
    3.5 stars

    Tigre de Papier is one of the longest running restaurants on Pub Street and its cooking school also has one of the best reputations in town thanks to its reliability and value. For just $12 per person, you can choose yourself which dishes you want to prepare or ask the staff to suggest something ... read more

  • Angkor from the air
    3.5 stars

    The balloon is set to the west of Angkor Wat on the road to the airport. The balloon rises about 200 metres into the air and offers good views of both Angkor, Phnom Bakheng and other nearby monuments. There are at least two operations offering helicopter tours, though we're not sure how popular ... read more

  • Beatocello and Jayavarman VII Children's Hospital
    3 stars

    Performances are accompanied by a talk/lecture on the activities of the hospitals and a solicitation for donations of both blood and money.

    Performances are every Saturday at 19:15 at the Jayavarman VII Hospital.

    While the doctor is somewhat controversial, the cause is a good one.

  • Yoga
    3.5 stars

    Peace Cafe is a long-running and straightforward choice for hatha yoga. This community centre/fair-trade shop/restaurant offers $6 classes every Monday to Thursday morning from 08:30 to 09:45 in a traditional Khmer wooden building. Just two years after opening, Hariharalaya Retreat has become ... read more

  • Angkor Hospital for Children
    3.5 stars

    Volunteering opportunities are also available here. The hospital is partially funded by the Friends Centre at Angkor Hospital, which holds a photography gallery with reasonably regularly changing exhibits.

    Worth a trip in its own right and will only take about an hour.

  • Butterfly Garden
    2 stars

    When we visited, we spotted one butterfly the entire time we were there. The gardens and the koi pond were so moldy and overgrown that they stank.

    The staff were inattentive and the Khmer and international cuisine served bland and overpriced.

    Tourist trap for sure.

  • Cambodian Cultural Village
    2.5 stars

    Attractions include scale models of the Royal Palace and National Museum along with full-size models of different types of Khmer, Cham and Chinese housing and a wax museum with various historical figures and celebrities striking a pose. It's very specifically angled towards domestic tourists, ... read more

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