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Siem Reap

Things to see and do

Temples

  • 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

  • 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 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

Museums

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Public Parks and Zoos

  • Kyung Yu Fun Fair
    3.5 stars

    One of the town’s best kept secrets, and yet to be overrun by tourists, the funfair is where you’ll find primarily local residents flocking for some revelry Siem Reap-style. ... read more

  • Siem Reap's Royal Gardens
    3.5 stars

    The peaceful Royal Gardens consists of The River Garden and the rather grandiose-sounding Royal Crusade for Independence Gardens. ... read more

Interesting buildings

  • 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

Historic Attractions

    Markets

    • 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

    • 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 ... read more

    • Siem Reap's Psar Leu Market
      3.5 stars

      There is nothing like a visit to thriving city centre market to make you feel really connected with the local culture. ... read more

    General Activites

    • 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

    • Photography tours and courses in Siem Reap
      3.5 stars

      For amateur photographers too, Cambodia provides rich opportunities for capturing images that have a certain magical something. ... read more

    • Siem Reap's tuk tuk photographer
      3.5 stars

      Somehow, we all want to make a difference, whether quietly or to great acclaim, for one individual or for thousands. ... read more

    • Co-working spaces
      3 stars

      If you need a quiet place in Siem Reap with decent, reliable internet for a Skype interview, to catch up on study or to carry on with a freelancing projects, here are co-working spaces. Work may be the last thing you have on your mind if you've hit the road for a while, but we know people in ... 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    Cooking classes

    • 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

    • Khmer cocktail class at Asana
      4 stars

      Asana offers Siem Reap’s first mixology masterclass: settle in and learn how to make delicious cocktails using plenty of local ingredients. 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 ... read more

    • Cooking class with Beyond Unique Escapes
      3.5 stars

      Classes are available on mornings, afternoons or for full days. ... read more

    Yoga

    • 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

    Massage

    Hiking, walking tours and itineraries

    Shopping

    • 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

    • Senteurs d'Angkor Workshop
      4 stars

      Senteurs d'Angkor makes for an affordable gift and workshop tour and is a great place to pick up authentic, locally made items. 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 ... 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

    • Theam's House
      3.5 stars

      It’s an unlikely location for a showroom of design-savvy sculptures, lacquerwork and paintings. ... read more

    • Khmer kramas in Siem Reap
      3.5 stars

      It is the single item of apparel that allows one to distinguish Cambodians from their neighbours, or anyone else. ... read more

    • Clothes shopping in Siem Reap
      3.5 stars

      And don’t even get me started on the knickers thing, or we’ll be here all day. ... read more

    • Handicrafts from Siem Reap: Are they really?
      3.5 stars

      The word ‘souvenir’ is derived from the French for to remember, and far more than their beauty or intrinsic value that of course is the ultimate purpose of those odd trinkets we buy when we travel. ... read more

    • Jewellery in Siem Reap
      3.5 stars

      As the name suggests, Garden of Desire is a place in which to set your heart free. ... 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

    Day trips

    • 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

    • 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

    • Prek Toal bird reserve
      4 stars

      Prek Toal bird reserve is a nature lover’s delight, especially when it comes to bird watching. 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 ... 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

    • Mechrey Village, Siem Reap
      3.5 stars

      If you thought Siem Reap and its environs were all about the temples, think again. ... 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

    • 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, with both tours for skilled and adventurous off road riders along with those looking for something a little more sedate, Hidden Cambodia Adventure Tours get rave reviews for their motorcycle trips into the ... read more

    Performing Arts

    • 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

    • Cambodian Living Arts
      4 stars

      Getting a private view of anything in “Angkor” is usually a luxury few travellers can afford. 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 ... 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

    • Phare, the Cambodian Circus
      3.5 stars

      The overall impression is definitely more Cirque de Soleil than Barnum and Bailey. ... read more

    Cinema

    • Movie nights in Siem Reap
      3.5 stars

      With Siem Reap’s first International Film Festival underway this weekend, it’s high time we looked at what other options film fans have when the festival has passed. ... read more

    Cultural areas

      Festivals and events

      • 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


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