Best activities to experience in Siem Reap as a traveler or a local
Siem Reap is the apparent decision to make as the main base to explore Angkor’s world-famous temples listed by UNESCO. While Angkor Wat and a host of other ancient worship locations will always take first place, Siem Reap is a welcoming town that can stand as a destination on its own as there are so many activities you can pick as the Best things to do in Siem Reap.
Siem Reap, Cambodia cultural center
Siem Reap is a distinctive mix of splendor and culture, a town that welcomes millions of tourists every year and a portal to one of the world’s wonders – Angkor Wat.
Everyone just only notes Angkor Wat in their itinerary list.
There is something more for you to explore within this golden land. You will be amazed to see how much more you can do in Siem Reap!
The best suggestions for you are here, from locals!
I am sure many websites have written about trip activities and show you the schedule to manage your journey in Siem Reap.
However, here I will raise all the information details that will enable you to have a better awareness of significant spots for tourists besides its famous temple Angkor Wat.
Visit Angkor Wat, one of the most famous wonders in the world.
That makes sense, and we don’t believe that there is anyone who would visit Siem Reap without heading to perceive a marvelous temple, Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat, the biggest and best-preserved monument, is a masterpiece of architecture. It is one of the best landmarks in the globe due to its elegance in structure, equilibrium, proportions, relief, and sculpture.
Things you can do in Siem Reap besides visiting the temples
I can tell they have a great mix of cultures of local customs and tourist attractions of Siem Reap, traditional Cambodian life, and modernization.
The old one is giving way to the new as Western visitors keep flooding the town with cash, and citizens are not restricted from gaining opportunities and prospects for a better life.
Shopping at the local markets
Local markets are some of the most attractive spots to visit in Siem Reap town. You will have various choices for a visit, such as the Old Market and Phsar Leu Market (the biggest one in town).
Explore alluring fruits, clothing, souvenirs, artworks, and different goods on a local market tour!
Siem Reap has many to choose from and is conveniently situated. Participate with the people there, absorb the environment and benefit from sellers’ negotiation rates.
Normally, you can trade down to around half the initial cost, depending on your bargaining skill.
The Old Market
Situated between Pub Street and the waterfront, the Old Market is indeed Siem Reap’s core.
Visitors and locals frequently visit it as the most famous and central market. Many local people, expats, and companies here buy their fruits and vegetables.
English is spoken here on an average level. You can purchase items here, such as cooked food, herbs, and spices, raw meat, fruit and vegetables, souvenirs, local crafts, DVDs, clothing, shoes, jewelry, hair and makeup salons, artworks, etc.
The market opens daily from 8:00 am-6: 00 pm (some stores are also delayed to the later hour). You will need to spend around 1-3 USD for Tuk Tuk from a hotel located in town.
Phsar Leu Market
It is Siem Reap’s largest market and probably the most genuine. It is located on National Road 6, about 3 km from the center of Siem Reap city, on the way to Phnom Penh. It’s generally populated outside, mostly attracting locals in search of the cheapest rates.
There’s hardly any English spoken here. It is the right place for you to have a visit if you are looking for stuff like catering, beauty, and makeup, jewels, plastic wear, telephone and electronics, raw meat, fruit, vegetable, etc. It will be opened daily from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm.
Window shopping at Siem Reap Art Center
Siem Reap Art Center is becoming one of the shopping locations you need for shoppers at night. The place is always busy and messy with all clubs, restaurants, boutiques, galleries, souvenir shops, and lots of foreign visitors in the famous Old Market (Psar Chas) and pub streets.
Siem Reap Art Center provides high-quality and prices of products. All items sold are as genuine and reliable as you can find in Siem Reap. The market appears to complement each other well, but remember not to be fooled by first impressions and negotiate well for the best price.
Shopping at Angkor Night Market
Opening every night at sunset, the Angkor Night Market is a common location to pick up a deal. An area packed with stalls, crafts, fake watches, and souvenirs from Cambodia.
This initial night market of Siem Reap close to Sivatha road has sprung up numerous copycats, but it’s still the best and worth a browse.
It is packed with stalls that sell a range of crafts, souvenirs, and silks. In ‘Night Market A’ (to the south), you can catch live music at Island Bar, while adjacent ‘Night Market B’ has the Brick House bar.
Browsing at Made in Cambodia Market
The Made in Cambodia Market brings together Cambodia’s most interesting craft examples. Tourists who head to this market can buy fine-quality craft products and luxury goods that redefine what it means to be produced in Cambodia today.
The biggest advantage of the market is to the needy Cambodians through immediate earnings and skill growth.
The primary philosophy of the market is to assist and generate Khmer employment, from the villagers who produce the handicrafts to the vendors who interact with the tourists.
The market opens daily from 12:00 am-10:00 pm on the permanent site along road 27 at King’s Road Angkor.
Live Khmer traditional dance will be performed every Saturday from 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm, acoustic music by disabled performers will be held every Friday and Sunday from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and a special brief circus by the Phare shall be shown once or twice a month.
Eat and Drink at Siem Reap Pub Street
At night, Siem Reap is distinct from daylight. Tourists return in the early evening from the Siem Reap Temples and hop by the nightlife.
One of Siem Reap’s most important night activities is hanging around the Pub Street area.
It is one of the most popular places to visit in addition to the temples.
One of the fun stuff to do in Siem Reap is desirable its big concentration of late-night restaurants and clubs such as “Angkor What Bar” And “The Temple Bar”.
A cheap price of 0.50 USD draught beers and 1.50 USD cocktails encourage visitors to give up their early morning temple timetable. It sounds great, perhaps it’s not a good idea, right, and Angkor Wat sunrise is a must not miss!
Grab your cocktails at Miss Wong’s
Miss Wong is characteristic of the speakeasies of Melbourne, Bangkok and Hong Kong’s roaring 20’s or today’s chic hideaway bars.
Let’s step to Miss Wong’s down a tiny road when live music isn’t listed in your option. It is like you are getting into china’s work art center because this place attracts beautiful people and provides excellent cocktails, a quiet and sophisticated drinking location.
Bar43 Siem Reap
An elegant ambiance for Khmer and western mixology cocktails and relaxation with Karaoke.
Bar43 Siem Reap. Located on a tiny but very typical Siem Reap center road, this Bar is a total attraction for all guests who love to chill with amazing mixology creations and famous local bartenders.
The plus of this Bar is the atmosphere and the private karaoke rooms.
Contentedly air-conditioned with no smoking inside, this Bar also has an outside sitting area.
Try a Fishy Pedicure Massage
Maybe you have heard about this kind of massage before, but I can say most tourists do not know what it is. You can immerse your feet in a tank of dead skin-eating fish for about 2-10 USD (depending on your negotiation), resulting in lovely (or rather tidy) feet.
The massage is about 20 minutes. Most locations also throw in a can of beer as part of the agreement while the fish work. With a ravenous appetite, the doctor fish munch on your skin and ingest a salty secretion that makes your feet velvety. Do not experience this on your feet or legs with injuries.
Converse with the Locals
Overlook Siem Reap sightseeing. Let’s pay attention to the local people.
People in Cambodia are full of life … and they smile a lot.
Most western visitors like to watch the locals as they are doing about their day.
No matter their job, they were likely to flash a broad smile. People work long hours for little cash, often away from their families, yet they are still fast smiling, engaging in discussion, and laughing.
English is commonly spoken by the younger generations, who want to practice speaking it more.
Most local discussions are an effort to sell something. Then it would be appreciated if you could spend some little penny on a gift sold by walking sellers.
Ride in a Tuk Tuk in Siem Reap
Walking down the road in Siem Reap would be impossible not hearing the questions from the Tuk Tuk driver about whether you want to use their service or not.
Every place in town, including a hotel, restaurant, bar, market, or even at the temple site, has lots of motorcycles with attached carriages waiting for you.
Some drivers – those with an entrepreneurial spirit – named their tuk-tuks and offered premium facilities like personalized desktop wallpapers. But, one thing is the same, it’s just one dollar for a short ride.
You can employ a driver for Siem Reap tours by tuk-tuk for a few more bucks. Let the driver bring you to Siem Reap top attractions and enjoy the trip!
Self-guided in Siem Reap town by bicycle
Siem Reap is not a showy town. It’s even smaller than we assumed it would be and is walkable or using a bicycle.
It makes your trip one of the best free things to do in Siem Reap to explore the town on foot. You can rent a bicycle which costs around 2-5 USD for the whole day.
This way, you can better engage yourself in the local people’s lives.
I would say that one of the things to do in Siem Reap city is to determine the hidden paths, which offers some insight into local life.
You may find the roads are full of scooters, and family restaurants are located on the sidewalk. Get closer to the real environment. Then you will feel the real charm of the Cambodian people.
Soul Kitchen is the best place for a drink.
Soul Kitchen is a superb restaurant and Bar located in the Siem Reap Angkor Night Market area.
In the core of Siem Reap town, Soul Kitchen is cogitated as a wonderful cocktail bar and restaurant due to its innovatively designed bar area. The cozy leather seats enable you to have a fresh and relaxed evening in the territory of the golden land, Siem Reap Angkor Wat.
Its menu combines South American and Asian dishes, promoted for the whole week with numerous global delicacies. With its comfort and generous food, you would feel at home immediately.
I can announce that if anyone wants to find more Cambodian flavors, cocktails, and live music, greater than the creative Bar of Soul Kitchen, a wonderful escape from the noise plus a cheap price among other places in the Pub Street area.
Try Siem Reap Hot Air Balloon Flight
Perhaps one of Southeast Asia’s most mystical memories is flying over the beautiful Angkor complex at sunrise or sunset. The hot air balloon is slower, more peaceful, and quieter than the helicopter. Also, the perfect place to grab great images is over there, so don’t forget to bring your camera along!
Take a private Jeep or a dirt bike tour for an off-road excursion.
If you’d like to experience some of the lost temples and discover the landscape of Cambodia, then hire a jeep. You will have options whether to drive by yourself or get someone to drive you to the rural area of Siem Reap province. You are recommended to take a chance with your private Jeep to excurse the most beautiful sightseeing spots in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Explore the astonishing temples of Angkor or the waterfall of Phnom Kulen in an authentic American jeep. Broadening your trip by exploring Beng Mealea temple and taking a ride to the largest floating village in Cambodia, or spending your valuable time visiting the ruins of the Banteay Srei temple complex.
For the most adventurous, take a ride on the 125cc Honda Dreams and explore the countryside of Siem Reap through the backroads. You’ll be overwhelmed by the picturesque rice fields, villages, and local farms you’ll pass through.
Visit Silk Farm
Attend the Angkor Silk Farm and go on a free tour to see how all the silk scarves come to be. Then go to the workshop of Artisans d’Angkor and see them making all the beautiful products for sale.
It provides a wonderful farm that explains a silk worm’s life cycle and how it turns into a silk thread for the final product.
The tour guide within the eight-hectare farm provides a distinctive insight into the various phases of silk manufacturing from mulberry tree orchards, silkworm breeding, spinning mills, and dying and weaving procedures.
There’s also a store for tourists to go window shopping or purchase a souvenir.
Join a Workshop at Artisans d’Angkor
Artisans Angkor has evolved from the ambitious belief that ancient Cambodian arts and crafts can be revived while enhancing the lives of thousands of rural citizens.
This handmade institute is dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of Cambodia, bringing along with empowering people by assisting them in securing their future through education and welfare.
In short, Artisans d’Angkor, a social enterprise company, helps bring employment to rural communities, keeps the ancient Khmer arts alive, and promotes the fair growth of Khmer arts and crafts.
They’ve got a city showroom, and you can also shop online. They also give workshops and are accessible to tourists within an exciting silk museum.
Attend the pottery class
Unlike the Artisans d’Angkor, the Khmer Ceramic Fine Arts Center is another excellent place to visit. Find some lovely pieces of ceramic inspired by the culture of Cambodia, visit their training center or even attempt to make your own!
Cambodian pottery class in Siem Reap is a unique and genuine thing to do.
Throughout a pottery workshop in Siem Reap, you experience creating Cambodian ceramics, the perfect family activity.
A specialist artist shows how to produce parts on the pottery wheel and then helps form your bowl. The specialist potter helps you produce Khmer – Cambodian designs with the right carving instruments in the second portion of the workshop.
After firing in a kiln overnight, your masterpiece and a potter’s diploma will be prepared for pickup. It is a distinctive chance to communicate within local society, and in Siem Reap, it is a very distinctive and sincere thing to do.
Vespa Ride after Dark: Nightlife and Foodie Adventure
You invested your day in and around Angkor, but what about the true Siem Reap after Dark? This foodie adventure is an experiential roller coaster blending high-end with true local fashion through the vibrant Siem Reap dining and social scene! You then ride a pillion along the Siem Reap Riverside to a local evening market on a jazzy contemporary Vespas to learn about the Cambodian lifestyle.
You can drive across the busy streets of this ancient legacy town and discover many elements of Khmer cuisine, from street markets to food stalls, from exotic fruits to fried bugs to high-end fusion beverages and classic Khmer dishes.
Angkor Gondola Cruise
Angkor Gondola Boat Rides in Angkor is a remarkable Khmer traditional boat service. They aspire to offer natural, historical memorable experiences and relaxation to visitors at Angkor Wat.
Come and explore historic sites, hidden treasures of the world heritage spot, and cultures. Travel the waterway where history, nature, and culture come alive.
You will enjoy panoramic views like they were in the past. Take this chance to grab marvelous and unforgettable pictures along the Angkor Thom Great Wall. You will enjoy the lovely and the best sunset you have ever seen.
Take a tiny personal boat to watch the incredible sunset at Prasat Chrung Temple. The lesser-known temple is located in the Angkor complex on top of a mountain, providing great views and is an optimal place to watch the sun go down.
Places to visit if you get a ride Gondola Boat:
Takao port is located at Angkor Thom’s western entrance. All visitors can visit Angkor Thom’s wall by listening to romantic traditional music and stories from this port. You will visit the Tadev Hole stopover at Prasat Chrung and then leave for the Prasat Bey Port.
The Khmer phrase Chrung implies a corner or angle in the English language. That’s the site’s name, Angkor Thom’s four corners of city walls. Therefore, Prasat Chrung is not only one temple but four, and they are more than three kilometers away.
However, the shared name makes perfect sense because the temples are comparable in design.
All of them are normal monument towers on a cruciform floor plan and open to the east, with extra west entrances to the two Prasat Chrungs on the western city wall. For instance, the walls are adorned in Angkor Thom’s Bayon style, with women divine beings in niches called Devatas.
A visit to the temple of Prasat Chrung needs to ride on a Gondola boat at the port (Southern Angkor Thom Gate) or a 1.5 km trek or bike ride on the town’s walls, 3 km up and down, which is why Prasat Chrung is untouristed and delightful.
As I already stated, the most interesting of the four Prasat Chrung places is in Angkor Thom’s southwest corner.
Ron Tadev (Tadev Hold)
We’re far from completely understanding the city’s purely functional elements. In the southwest corner of the enclosure wall, an ancient water outlet known as Run Tadev, is still in use today.
Whether the neighboring rectangular basin, Beng Thom, or the Trapeang Daun Meas Lake in the Royal Palace’s southeastern quadrant existed in ancient times is still a mystery.
Cambodian Acrobatic Show at Phare Ponleu Selpak
Phare Ponleu Selpak’s performers use theater, music, dance, and contemporary circus arts more than just a normal circus to tell unique Cambodian tales, historical, folk, and modern. I am sure that the young circus performers will amaze you with their energy, emotion, passion, and talent.
It will not only make you laugh and smile, but the project has grown out of a Cambodian non-profit organization established by former-refugee performers.
Take a private tour at Kompong Phluk and Kompong Khleang Floating Villages
So you can get out of the Siem Reap touristy, then head to one of the neighboring floating villages and glance into the life of traditional fishermen.
Kompong Phlouk and Kompong Khleang are the two popular ones to be explored.
Encounter Cambodia’s genuine appearance and learn about life in Tonle Sap Lake, the floating villages.
To visit these areas, you’ll learn about the local people’s simple farming and fishing lifestyle. Go to a few village classrooms, see the pagoda temple, and get rowed by a tiny boat via the flooded forest.
Sunset Dinner Tour at Tonle Sap Lake Floating Village
Discovering Tonle Sap Lake’s floating villages is a common option for a day journey from Siem Reap, but the sunset is the most atmospheric time to visit.
Enjoy an amazing dinner at sunset on Tonle Sap Lake.
Visit the floating village and see the schools, stores, fishermen, and smiling kids.
Relax with a drink and enjoy the scenery!
Hear the sound of water lapping up against the side of the boat and watching in awe as the incredible floating village rises against the backdrop of the great Tonle Sap Lake is what you should expect from this trip.
Take a chance to visit the Cambodian Landmine Museum or the war museum
Here is more than just a history. The Museum and Relief Center of Cambodia Landmine serves to make the public aware of the risks of landmines and support and educate at-risk and landmine-impacted youth residing at the Relief Center.
This house has been developed to represent a healing location for bodies, hearts, and minds. This NGO thinks that love, support, and education are vital to securing a better future for their tourists and the kids who reside in the area.
Here, the story of landmines in Cambodia is told from the perspective of Aki Ra, an organization’s founder who was recruited as a child soldier to the Khmer Rouge Army and spent almost three-quarters of his youth in wars terrorizing his country.
This organization even attempts to demonstrate to the world that everyone can make a difference, regardless of who you are, regardless of your background, or educational level.
I believe your present to the Cambodian Landmine Museum is highly valued. You are part of supporting the Relief Center and the School for At-risk Village Children so they can access education, food, and shelter.
Senteurs d’Angkor (Handmade Production Center)
Admire local craftsmen’s know-how and be enriched by Cambodia’s flavors and fragrances. Cambodia’s marvelous culinary and olfactory heritage has influenced the variety of products at Senteurs d’Angkor.
This center was established in 1999 and has succeeded in focusing on local resources to fund a high-quality, initial and local craft sector, preserving working circumstances that respect people.
Through various workshops, you will discover the manufacture of handmade soaps from coconut oil, natural cosmetics, subtly scented balms, and aromatic candles. Then you’ll join the various steps in local spice therapy (Kampot pepper, lemongrass, and chili) and their unique combinations to create the traditional Curry or Amok.
You’ll also see Ratanakiri’s art of roasting coffee beans and creating their flavored teas and coffees. Good news! Tasting free of charge.
Unconstrained with Cambodian village cooking class
Enhance your itinerary in Angkor Wat Siem Reap by joining with cooking class. It is the best way to find vital Khmer ingredients in products of a local market. In a hands-on cooking class led by an English-speaking chef, learn the secrets of Cambodian cooking style.
You can bring back distinctive recipes for famous Cambodian meals after you finish your class session.
Even if you’re a professional home cook or a budding beginner, vegan, vegetarian, or eating anything under the sun, joining the cooking class is a great and tasty opportunity to get to know Cambodian culture and experience it.
Helicopter Ride at Angkor Wat Sites
Start your day by witnessing the beauty of Angkor Wat and other temples in the National Park as you cruise high above during an exciting helicopter trip across this UNESCO World Heritage site.
You will be welcomed by the pilot for your flight and pass the flight plan, then lift off over the archeological site. As you soar through the sky, the scenery will drastically change, considering the enormous scale of Angkor Wat that cannot be fully viewed from the ground.
Take your camera to capture Angkor’s unforgettable pictures as the pilot points out some of the top landmarks on the site, including moats, temples, and the Western Baray.
Siem Reap SkyVenture Microlights
Sky Venture Microlight flights range from 15 minutes to an hour, including many temple complexes and the Tonle Sap. This tiny aircraft sort only carries one pilot and one passenger and provides a distinct perspective from a helicopter.
Join with Photography Tour
Siem Reap’s landscape is distinctive, and it makes sense to get nice pictures of your experiences on your journey to Angkor Wat once in a lifetime. It’s a great idea to take a photo trip as experts understand the best temples, the best angles, and the best places to prevent crowds.
But wait! Not only temples but you will be amazed by something you have never confronted before. You can adjust the trip according to your private preferences.
The landscape, local buildings, people, and temples are all prospective topics. Then you can enter your local guide’s understanding throughout the trip.
If you get on a tour trip, with assistance from your guide, you will be directed to photo opportunities that are difficult to access while respecting the local Khmer culture.
World’s Best 3D Trick Art Museum Artbox, Siem Reap Town
Be amazed by an artistic field that draws 2D pictures stereoscopically so that it feels as if it’s alive. Experience this visual illusion and appreciate it. Witness a fun-filled day with a visit to Siem Reap, Cambodia’s ArtBox Trick Eye Museum.
It is filled with over a hundred distinct trick eye art pieces that are closely prepared 2D images to produce a unique visual effect that enables you to be part of the artwork itself!
Explore distinct parts of the globe by posing against the tricky eye paintings and taking pictures that are sure to impress just about anyone without having to cope with the scorching sun, poor weather, or even transportation hazards.
Whether you’re exploring lush rainforests packed with wild creatures, exploring Egypt’s pyramids and graves, or playing in freshly-fallen snow, the ArtBox Trick Eye Museum will provide you with everything you need.
Explore nature with Angkor Zipline
Don’t forget to bring home the memory of a lifetime with Angkor Zipline!
Let’s take your trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia, as an opportunity to witness a world-class Zipline within the Angkor Archeological Park designated by UNESCO World Heritage once in a lifetime.
Spend 2 to 2.5 hours on a safe, educational adrenaline rush for the entire family in the ancient jungle of Cambodia.
The whole adventure, depending on the group size, you will need to spend about 5-6 hours to complete your adventure.
Engage with the scenery of the farmland by horse riding
You can enjoy discovering with a countryside trail ride from a 1 to 4 hours tour. Riding on horseback from sunrise to sunset will bring you on a trip to otherwise inaccessible areas through local rural villages, picturesque rice fields, and tourist-free temple ruins, all waiting to be explored.
A genuine taste of the true horseback is regarded Khmer lifestyle as a welcome break from other visitors. Don’t drop out this great option to prevent disappointment and guarantee a personalized experience.
Free yourself from the crowd with Quad Bike Adventure to the countryside
Quad Bike is another great escapade that enables you to gain the best experience exploring the countryside in Siem Reap, Angkor. It is a fantastic activity you should never miss. It is available in various day tours, overnight tours, and multiple-day tours.
All level riders are welcome; they have plenty of paths to fit everybody, from beginners to expert riders.
Quad Bike tour in Siem Reap will bring you to Cambodia’s genuine and distinctive beauty, hidden from the globe.
Freshness and greenery of distant and undisturbed countryside and villages, friendly and smiley people with a sense of hospitality, schools, local orphanages, quiet homes, active Buddhist monasteries along with the community, unsurpassed sunsets on rice fields, and centuries of abandoned and untouched ancient Angkorian temples where few tourists and adventures dare.
Getting to Siem Reap
Having a comfortable, nice, clean airport close to the city, Siem Reap is always very easy to reach with one of the many flights available from all around ASEAN countries. Find more information at the Siem Reap airport website.
Article sponsored with ❤ by https://www.getfutura.com/