Siem Reap is full of so many amazing things to see and do, which is why we are sharing the top 10 things to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Siem Reap is a growing city in the heart of Cambodia, just a 5 hours drive away from Bangkok, Thailand and under an hour away from the capital of Phnom Penh.
Best things to do in Siem Reap
ANGKOR TEMPLE COMPLEX
One of the greatest draws to Siem Reap is the amazing UNESCO World Heritage temples that beg to be explored. The grand Angkor Wat is often peoples first stop and also the largest of temples, occupying 208 hectares (500 acres). This beautiful three-tiered building surrounded by lake and animals, along with a vast and open interior makes Angkor Wat top of many lists.
Head to Angkor Wat early (5am?) to catch sunrise over the temple. Whilst visiting the temples, you can also stop and explore Bayon; known for the carved faces in the stone architect. Angkor Thom is also a fascinating visit, with the buildings appearing almost overthrown by the ever growing trees. Seen in the Lara Croft Tomb Raider movie, this temple is a jaw-dropping and memorable sight.
Day passes are available from $20USD whilst under 12s are free as are all Cambodian nationals. The temples are open from sunrise to sunset with most hotels and guesthouses offering Tuk Tuk tours around the temples. Balloon rides are also available. We visited the Angkor complex in a day easily.
An interesting museum that dives into the Cambodians history and use of landmines. This is also a relief centre, building class rooms for the children of Siem Reap.
Open 7.30am – 5.30pm, adults entry $5, children under 10 and Cambodian nationals are free. Guided tours available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – in English and Japanese.
CAMBODIAN COOKING CLASS
To really get a taste of Cambodia, get yourself in a cooking class. We took our course with Le Tigre de Papier, who offered a great package with friendly and informative staff and a spacious clean cooking area. The food was delicious and these classes are a great way to meet new people and make friends.
1 hour exploring food market, 2 hours preparing 3 course meal, then eat. 10am and 1pm in English and 5pm in English and French – daily. $14 per person including ingredients at Le Tigre de Papier. We loved this cooking course and would highly recommend you make it part of your Siem Reap Itinerary.
TONLE SAP LAKE AND KAMPONH PHLUK FISHING VILLAGE
Discover a different way of life on the Tonle Sap Lake. Learn about the floating villages propped up across the lake or take a cruise boat through the lake and see the schools, shops, hospitals and crocodile farms floating along. Viator offer some great tours from Siem Reap. From the lake you can also visit the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, a concentration of some elegant and exotic birds, with ecotourism companies arranging trips here throughout the year.
Viator offer small group tours from £23.35, whilst journeys between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are also available.
ANGKOR NIGHT MARKET
When in Siem Reap, you must check out the Angkor Night Market. Offering over 200 shops, some great restaurants and bars as well as food stands; this is a great place to spend an hour or so in the afternoon and early evening. It is here that many tourists try a fish foot massage and grab some souvenirs, clothes and khmer inspired silks and jewellery.
Every Night from 4pm – 12pm, can be found on Night Market Street – just a short walk from Pub Street.
HAPPY RANCH HORSE FARM
For a relaxing hour or so, take a horse ride along countryside trails. Happy Ranch Horse Farm are an excellent company who are dedicated to taking care of their animals. The 3 or 4 hour rides take you through the secluded temple Wat Atvea, a peaceful visit that gets you away from the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap.
Rides available from sunrise to sunset, costing $28 for an hour ride and up to $69 for 4 hour trail ride. Cart rides are also available for families when booked in advanced. It is suggested you reserve your ride in advance.
There are some fun things to do in Siem Reap with kids and this is definitely one of them.
MILITARY SHOOTING RANGE
Open daily 9am – 5pm, duration of 1 – 2 hours, free pick up from your hotel in Cambodia.
For those looking for something different in Cambodia, check out the Cambodia shooting range – with a selection of rifles to choose from. Check prices on their website before you book as this can be pricey for budget travellers.
After hiking around temples and cycling across dirt roads, Pub Street is the place to head to for a relaxing or not so relaxing evening. Offering a variety of restaurants, bars and clubs with cheap food and drink, Pub Street is always busy once the sun goes down.
Whilst in Siem Reap, it is worth checking out the Phare Circus. As a Cambodian non-profit company, the artists of this circus group see to help vulnerable children and young adults by building careers in the arts. Inspired by the Khmer history, the circa is a great way to spend an evening.
Every night at 8pm, ticket prices range between $18 – $25 for an adult ticket, depending on whether you wish for reserved seating in the front 3 rows or unreserved, open seating.
ANGKOR NATIONAL MUSEUM
Learn about the Khmer Kingdom; one of the ancient civilisations of the world. Take this royal historic path through Cambodian history and its golden era. A great choice for history lovers, but be aware that photographs are not permitted inside the museum.
Open 8.30am – 6pm, adult tickets $12 USD and child (6-11 years) $6 USD. The museum can be found on Charles De Gaulle road in the royal residence district of Siem Reap.
Things to know before you go to Cambodia
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel Insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offers year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizer’s and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these, over backpack and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.