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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

    Like any Khmer town, Siem Reap has its fair share of pagodas and shrines, and while they're not nearly as spectacular as the grandiose monuments a few kilometres out of town, you may find some of them interesting. The two that you're most likely to see sit between the Royal Gardens and the Royal ... read more

  • Siem Reap Old Market
    3.5 stars

    Known as Psah Chah in Khmer, Siem Reap's old market is a labyrinthine web of stalls in the heart of Siem Reap where you can find everything from clothing to jewellery to rat traps to DVDs and a seemingly endless spread of food. The market's greatest attraction is the wet foods section right in the ... read more

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

    Situated in the peaceful and fragrant grounds of Wat Damnak, the Centre for Khmer Studies is a research and education centre and library dedicated to Cambodia studies. The centre hosts regular talks by a diverse range of artists, chefs, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, political ... read more

  • Wat Damnak & the Centre for Khmer Studies
    3.5 stars

    A short stroll from Siem Reap's Old Market, Wat Damnak was once a palace of King Sisowath that now houses a Buddhist monastery, a children's school, a sewing school for young women and two charities, including the Centre for Khmer Studies (CKS). Committed to strengthening education for Cambodia's ... read more

  • Made in Cambodia street market
    4.5 stars

    Since its launch in 2013 this colourful street market has become an outstanding expression of the area's arts, charities, food and people. 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 ... 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 a ... read more

  • Wat Bo Pagoda
    3 stars

    Wat Bo Pagoda is one of the oldest in Siem Reap and is noteworthy for its finely painted murals. 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 ... read more

  • Wat Thmei
    3 stars

    Wat Thmei is an active pagoda built on a site that was once a killing field, a grim and sobering reminder of Cambodia's past. 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 ... read more

  • Lotus Farm
    3.5 stars

    To see how lotus flowers are used to make garments, stop by this farm for an educational hour or two. 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 ... read more

  • Flight of the Gibbon
    4 stars

    A highly memorable and fun way to experience an otherwise unseen aspect of Angkor. Acrophobics may not appreciate the liberating adventure of hurling themselves from the treetops along zip lines and canopy walkways – but everyone else will. Following in the successful footsteps of Flight of the ... read more

  • Artisan workshops
    4 stars

    A round up of where to find meaningful artisan mementos at workshops, ateliers and artisan showrooms, which are all free to visit. 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 ... read more

  • Conservation D'Angkor
    3.5 stars

    Conservation D’Angkor functions as a giant warehouse for a vast collection of valuable crumbling relics in varying states of disrepair and is visitable by appointment only. Conservation D’Angkor was originally set up by the French Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient to help protect precious Khmer ... 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. King’s Road Angkor may be a world away from London’s upscale shopping mecca, but it pleasantly surprises with a host of ... read more

  • Tara Riverboat
    3.5 stars

    Heavily advertised throughout Siem Reap, the Tara Riverboat is a floating bar and restaurant anchored in the waters of Tonle Sap. 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 ... read more

  • Landmine Museum
    3.5 stars

    In 2010, Aki Ra was a top-10 runner up in the nominations for CNN's Heroes. 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 ... read more

  • Tonle Sap Lake
    4 stars

    If you came to Siem Reap on the boat -- either from Phnom Penh or Battambang -- the great body of water you travelled across is the Tonle Sap lake, the largest body of fresh water in Southeast Asia and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The name means "large freshwater river" and it's actually a combined ... read more

  • Chong Khneas
    2 stars

    If you arrive at Siem Reap by boat then you've seen Chong Khneas -- it's the mostly Vietnamese-inhabited, floating village that surrounds from the Siem Reap dock. It's the closest village to Siem Reap, home to the Gecko Environmental Centre and is the launching pad for Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary -- ... read more

  • Angkor National Museum
    4 stars

    Visiting the Angkor National Museum was an eerie, surreal experience. 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 ... read more

  • Kompong Phluk
    4 stars

    Heading east along the bank of Tonle Sap will take you to Kompong Phluk -- and a world away from the tourist trap of Chong Khneas. 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 ... read more

  • Kompong Khleang
    4.5 stars

    Like Kompong Phluk, Kompong Khleang is a stilted rather than floating village. 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. ... read more

  • Motorcycle tours
    4 stars

    There's something for experienced and inexperienced riders alike now in Siem Reap. 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 ... read more

  • Angkor Silk Farm
    3.5 stars

    Part of Artisans D’Angkor, Angkor Silk Farm is a social business best known for its artisan workshop and high-end shop in central Siem Reap. 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 ... read more

  • Apsara dancing
    3 stars

    Just about every guesthouse, restaurant, shop and tuk tuk driver will happily set you up with an evening of Apsara dancing. 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 ... read more

  • Shopping
    4 stars

    If you like to shop, you'll be totally in your element in Siem Reap. Be it a scarf for a dollar or a replica statue of Jayavarman VII for a couple of grand, you'll be able to find what you're after. For down and dirty souvenirs, the Old Market in the heart of the tourist area is a good place to ... read more

  • Get pampered
    4 stars

    There's all manner of massage available in Siem Reap, from basic foot reflexology at streetside shops through to all-day indulgence experiences at some of the town's most renowned hotels. At the top end of the scale, Frangipani and Visaya, within the grounds of the FCC Angkor, are a real treat. ... read more

  • Wildlife watching
    4 stars

    Located about one-hour north of Siem Reap near Banteay Srey, you'll find the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) . 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 ... read more

  • Horseback rides
    3 stars

    The opportunity to ride through paddy and past hidden little temples is a genuinely wonderful experience, especially at dawn, which can be a magnificent experience. Run by a Cambodian-American, most of the horses at the ranch are actually Cambodian ponies retired from racing in Vietnam and ... read more

  • Cooking classes
    3.5 stars

    Siem Reap has no shortage of cooking classes, but many of them offer the same boring hour spent preparing fish amok and other typical Khmer dishes. Here are four schools we recommend both for their quality and willingness to try something different. Tigre de Papier is one of the longest running ... read more

  • Angkor from the air
    3.5 stars

    It's possible to see Angkor Wat from a tethered balloon or a helicopter. 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 ... read more

  • Beatocello and Jayavarman VII Children's Hospital
    3 stars

    One of Siem Reap's most active self-promoters, Dr. Beat Richner performs once weekly on the cello. 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 ... read more

  • Yoga
    3.5 stars

    Siem Reap has quietly become Cambodia's holistic centre in recent years. Here's a rundown of some of the more interesting yoga schools around town. Peace Cafe is a long-running and straightforward choice for hatha yoga. This community centre/fair-trade shop/restaurant offers $6 classes every ... read more

  • Angkor Hospital for Children
    3.5 stars

    While not as highly promoted as Jayavarman VII, Angkor Hospital for Children also actively solicits blood and financial donations -- and there's no need to sit through a cello performance. Volunteering opportunities are also available here. The hospital is partially funded by the Friends Centre at ... read more

  • Butterfly Garden
    2 stars

    This tourist trap boasts supposed lush gardens and 1,500 butterflies. 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 ... read more

  • Cambodian Cultural Village
    2.5 stars

    Cambodia's very own Disneyland -- or something thereabouts -- the Cambodian Cultural Village attempts to wrap up the entire country within a single theme park. Attractions include scale models of the Royal Palace and National Museum along with full-size models of different types of Khmer, Cham and ... read more

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