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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.

Lotus Flower

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Angkor Wat

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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SIEM REAP

things to do
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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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.

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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.

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Fun Fact:

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

Lotus Farm by Samatoa, Cambodia

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Lotus Farm by Samatoa, Cambodia

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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.

Lotus Farm by Samatoa

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Lotus Farm by Samatoa

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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.

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Tickets:

35 USD for the tour and crafts workshop

Floating Village

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Floating Village

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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.

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Tickets:

22 USD for the community entrance fee and boat ride

Phare the Cambodian Circus

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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.

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Tickets:

18 USD for general seating

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

Cambodian Landmine Museum

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Cambodian Landmine Museum

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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.

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Tickets:

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

Aspara

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