top of page
Website Blog Cover Photos and Destination Graphics (1).png

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.

_DSC6431.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC5888.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

meganthetravelingwriter.com

SIEM REAP

things to do
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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.

17.png

Fun Fact:

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

Lotus Farm by Samatoa, Cambodia

meganthetravelingwriter.com

Lotus Farm by Samatoa, Cambodia

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.

_DSC6418.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC6432.jpg

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

IMG_4736_edited.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

DSC_5403.jpg

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

Tickets:

22 USD for the community entrance fee and boat ride

_DSC5527.jpg

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

Tickets:

18 USD for general seating

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

_DSC6354.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC6355.jpg

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

Tickets:

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

_DSC6392.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC6151.jpg

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

Tickets:

18 USD for a dinner show at Amazon Angkor Restaurant

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

_DSC6340.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC6327.jpg

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

Tickets:

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

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC6351.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC6319.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC6263.jpg

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.

_DSC6265.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC6266.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC5377.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC5392_edited.jpg

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

Tickets:

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

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

_DSC5393.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC6257.jpg

meganthetravelingwriter.com

_DSC6255.jpg

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.

12.png

Socially Responsible Travel:

Don't take photos of people without their permission.

_DSC6281.jpg