top of page
20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

SIEM REAP

Wave
Globe Icon

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

Siem Reap is known for its breathtaking temples and ancient ruins, but there's more to Siem Reap than just Angkor Wat. With serene natural beauty, vibrant culture, and rich history, it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. So, if you are planning to visit this beautiful place, here are some of the best things to do in Siem Reap.

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

SIEM REAP

things to do
20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

1. Explore Angkor Wat

No trip to Cambodia is complete without visiting Angkor Wat. Built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat is the largest religious site in the world and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. You'll need at least one full day to explore, as Angkor Archaeological Park contains over 400 acres of temples to visit, not just Angkor Wat.

 

Other popular temples include Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm Temple ("the Tomb Raider temple") on the "Small Circuit" and Preah Khan on the "Grand Circuit", so be sure to give yourself enough time to get lost in the history of this magnificent place. Renting a bicycle or scooter is a peaceful way to explore, but hiring a tuk-tuk for the day will get you there quicker.

Tickets Icon

Tickets

are $37 for 1 day, $62 for 3 days, or $72 for 7 days,

and can be bought online.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

To photograph Angkor Wat at sunrise, arrive before the gates open to ensure a front-row seat. Weekdays won't be as busy as weekends, but this is still one of the most popular things to do in Siem Reap, so don't expect to have the place to yourself.

Maps Icon

Fun Fact:

Angkor Wat's 37 USD entrance fee represents the 37 levels of heaven

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

2. Lotus Farm by Samatoa

This is a bucket list experience in Siem Reap, where you'll witness the beauty of the lotus fields up close and learn about the traditional weaving process. Samatoa, Khmer meaning “fair trade,” employs women from rural areas to weave lotus stem microfibers into beautiful, soft fabrics. In their breezy tea lounge overlooking the countryside, you can make lotus seed bracelets, roll lotus incense sticks, practice weaving, and make lotus paper decorated with fresh flowers.

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

After the crafts workshop, a bumpy tuk-tuk ride through picturesque countryside takes you to the edge of a nearby lake where you board a small boat to visit the lotus fields, past water buffaloes and purple water hyacinths. From the boat, fold your own lotus flowers and taste lotus seeds straight from the lake, while witnessing the breathtaking beauty of the lotus flowers.

Tickets Icon

Tickets:

35 USD for the tour and crafts workshop

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

3. Kampong Phluk Floating Village

Kampong Phluk is a unique community built entirely on stilts with houses appearing to float above the water during wet season. Take a boat ride through Kampong Phluk to a quiet river between mangrove trees and Tonle Sap Lake. The sunset over the lake is stunning. Compared to other activities in Siem Reap, a visit to the floating village is expensive, but our hope is the entrance fee supports this unique community.

Tickets Icon

Tickets:

22 USD for the community entrance fee and boat ride

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

4. Phare the Cambodian Circus

Phare means "the beacon," and this unique circus is like no other, featuring incredible acrobatics, fire dancing, and laugh-out-loud comedy. Phare directly supports education for young people in disadvantaged communities, and their heart-stopping shows are centered around celebrating Cambodian history and culture.

Tickets Icon

Tickets:

18 USD for general seating

Try not to book the two edge seats as it's difficult to see the stage.

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

5.  Cambodia Landmine Museum

The Cambodia Landmine Museum was founded by Aki Ra, a former child soldier of the Khmer Rouge, who defected to fight the Khmer Rouge and became an active deminer of landmines he himself helped to lay. Aki Ra is credited with defusing an estimated 50,000 landmines and unexploded ordinances (UXO's) across Cambodia. He also raised many child landmine survivors himself. This man is an absolute hero and the epitome of one man making a difference.

 

Make sure to ask for a guided tour; they are are led by landmine survivors. One guide and child landmine survivor who lived with Aki Ra, Kak Hort, leads tours to cover the school fees of 35 school children in his village. After the guided tour, connect to their free Wifi and look for the QR code to listen to the free audio guide on your phone.

Tickets Icon

Tickets:

5 USD per ticket with proceeds going to clearing UXO's, supporting programs in rural villages and relief for child survivors

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

20+ Best Things to Do in Siem Reap

meganthetravelingwriter.com

6. Aspara Dance Performance

Aspara means “celestial” or “heavenly” dancers, half-women and half-goddesses. Evidence of them can be seen all over the temple walls of Angkor Wat. Their ethereal beauty, circular movements, and hand gestures symbolize hovering between heaven and earth. Once only reserved for kings and gods, there are plenty of options to watch them perform in Siem Reap.

Tickets Icon

Tickets:

18 USD for a dinner show at Amazon Angkor Restaurant

Make sure you book ahead of time to ensure a good seat.

Butterfly Farm

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Butterfly Farm

meganthetravelingwriter.com

7. Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre

On the outskirts of Siem Reap, this butterfly sanctuary is a hidden gem. The peaceful butterfly enclosure is home to eight species of Cambodian butterflies. Immerse yourself in the quiet beauty of their sun-soaked garden and learn about the lifecycle of the butterflies. Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre is committed to creating jobs for rural Cambodians and a visit is a great way to support Siem Reap.

Tickets Icon

Tickets:

6 USD for entrance or 9 USD for entrance and a local meal, such as their delicious Chicken Lok Lak

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Butterfly Center

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Butterfly Center

meganthetravelingwriter.com

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Nightly Food Market

meganthetravelingwriter.com

8. Nightly Street Food Market

While much of Siem Reap can feel touristy, the Nightly Street Food Market is a favorite among local Cambodians. Every night, you’ll find a huge collection of vendors selling traditional Khmer food in a laidback atmosphere with plastic chairs and tables. It’s a great place to try different dishes with meals like fried rice or noodles with chicken costing just 1.50 USD. Be sure to come hungry and with a sense of adventure.

Nightly Food Market

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Nightly Food Market

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Cambodia Civil War Museum

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Cambodia Civil War Museum

meganthetravelingwriter.com

9. Cambodia Civil War Museum

This museum details the tragedies of Cambodia's Civil War and the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge. Tours are led by veterans, many of them former child soldiers of the Khmer Rouge who defected and lost their entire families to the Khmer Rouge or landmines, making a visit here difficult but important. It’s a powerful reminder of the importance and value of peace and justice.

Tickets Icon

Tickets:

5 USD for entrance with a free guided tour by a veteran

Please tip your guide! These incredible veterans have suffered unimaginably.

Cambodia Civil War Museum

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Made in Cambodia Market

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Made in Cambodia Market

meganthetravelingwriter.com

10. Made in Cambodia Market

Just across the street from the Old Market (Phsa Chas), the Made in Cambodia Market showcases Cambodian artists selling handmade items such as silk scarves, wood carvings, jewelry, and paintings. Not only is this a great place to shop for souvenirs, but it also promotes fair trade and support local artisans, many of whom are people with disabilites.

Socially Responsible Travel Icon

Socially Responsible Travel:

Don't take photos of people without their permission.

Bayon Pastry School

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Bayon Pastry School

meganthetravelingwriter.com

11. Bayon Pastry School

Hidden on a side street, Bayon Pastry School has a tucked away, cosy, sunlit courtyard where they serve incredible coffee, freshly baked pastries, and amazing smoothie bowls. The purpose of the school is to train young women to work in the hospitality industry, so it's an indulgence that's guilt-free.

Passport Icon

Tip:

You have to try their OH-SO-YUM chocolate croissants!

Apopo Visitor Center

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Apopo Visitor Center

meganthetravelingwriter.com

12.  Apopo Visitor Center - Home to "HeroRATs"

The impact of decades of war in Cambodia has been devastating and long-lasting. An estimated four to six million landmines and other munitions were left over in Cambodia from almost thirty years of conflicts. The USA alone dropped 544,000 tons of bombs on Cambodia from 1965 to 1973. From 1979 to June 2021, leftover explosives in Cambodia claimed almost 20,000 lives and injured over 45,000. Almost half of victims are children.

Apopo Visitor Center

meganthetravelingwriter.com

These rats are the unlikely heroes of Cambodia's landmine crisis. Apopo's HeroRATs can detect 1 trillionth of a gram of TNT and clear and area the size of a tennis court in 30 minutes, what would take a human four days to do with a metal detector. Thanks to their size, there's no risk to the rats in setting off any unexploded ordinances like landmines. The tour begins with explanation on the plight of Cambodia, a demonstration of the HeroRATs at work, and a chance to meet them.

Tickets Icon

Tickets:

8 USD for a guided tour

Khmer Food

meganthetravelingwriter.com

13.  Try Local Khmer food

This might be Siem Reap's best-kept secret. 333 is a hidden gem that has the most delicious Khmer food we've ever tasted. The tiny shop is so unassuming from the outside that we may never have eaten here unless for a tuk-tuk driver who introduced us. Some of the most popular Khmer dishes you have to try are fish amok, a fish dish cooked in banana leaves with spices and coconut milk, and beef loc lac, a stir-fry dish served with rice.

Passports Icon

Tip:

Tuk-tuk drivers know the best-kept secrets!

Pub Street

meganthetravelingwriter.com

14.  Pub Street and Angkor What? Bar

This lively street is Siem Reaps' answer to Bangkok's Khao San Road. It's the perfect spot for a night out, with plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from, but Angkor What? Bar is one of it's most popular. Just be sure to pace yourself – it’s easy to get caught up and forget about those early morning temple tours!

Riverside Night Market

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Riverside Night Market

meganthetravelingwriter.com

15. Siem Reap Art Center Night Market

The Siem Reap Art Center Night Market is a great place to find unique, one-of-a-kind souvenirs and support local Cambodian artists. The market is located in the heart of Siem Reap across the bridge and is open from 4 PM to 11 PM.

Tuk-tuk Bar Street

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Tuk-tuk Bar Street

meganthetravelingwriter.com

16. Tuk-tuk Bar Street

For a unique night out, head to Siem Reap's Tuk-Tuk Bar Street. This street of tuk-tuks turned into outdoor bars is quieter than Siem Reap's Pub Street but just as memorable. It's a fun way to meet new people and experience Siem Reap's nightlife. Just follow the neon glow.

Tuk-tuk Bar Street

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Old Market

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Old Market

meganthetravelingwriter.com

17. Old Market (Phsa Chas)

This traditional market is a great way to experience a more local side of Siem Reap tourists to Angkor Wat often don't see. With over 300 stalls selling everything from bright arrays of fresh fruits to clothes and souvenirs, it's a great way to get lost in a maze of color and the chatter of local life.

Hotel Icon

Sleep:

Silk Farm

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Silk Farm

meganthetravelingwriter.com

18. Silk Farm

At this hidden gem silk farm, 150 women work from the comfort of their home and 27 women work in the center, weaving silk and cotton scarves, pillowcases, bags, bookmarks, and tapestries. Training is free, women are encouraged to bring their preschool-aged children with them, and they're given a stipend each month to support their families. Not only can you learn about the entire silk-making process at the Silk Farm, but it's a great opportunity to support a local women-centric initiative through their shop.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Coconut in Siem Reap, Cambodia

meganthetravelingwriter.com

This silk farm is around a 30 minute drive from the city, but it's on a beautiful, relaxing road past vibrant green rice fields, buffalo wading in the mud, lotus fields, tall palm trees, and roadside stalls selling Khmer scarves, woven baskets, palm fruit, and coconut sugar.