Siem Reap, Cambodia is most famous for being home to the incredible temples of Angkor.
It is a bustling city that has risen from Cambodia’s tragic past to be a vibrant artistic community, with friendly and welcoming locals and tasty delicacies. There is much to see and do and you could spend weeks here exploring all the city and surrounding landscape has to offer. Following is a selection of experiences and attractions to consider if you only have a few days to explore Siem Reap.
Rise early this morning to watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat. It is best to get an early start to explore before the midday heat kicks in. Continue exploring the iconic temples of Angkor with visits to Angkor Thom, entering via the South Gate, followed by the Bayon, Elephant Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King.
There are many traditional homes in Siem Reap that offer lunch. Sample traditional Khmer cuisine and enjoy the warm Cambodian hospitality.
This afternoon visit Ta Prohm, undoubtedly the most distinctive ruin in the Angkor complex. Gnarled trees with enormous roots have enveloped the moss-covered walls of this temple and it is one of the locations where the film Tomb Raider was set. Then climb to the summit of Pre Rup in time to watch the sunset over the Cambodian rice fields. The sandstone walls glow orange in the dusk light.
After a busy day of exploring Siem Reap’s iconic temples, treat yourself to a relaxing foot massage and haggle for a bargain in the vibrant night market. Nearby Pub Street is an ideal location to kick back with a few cold drinks and sample traditional Cambodian delicacies. If you are feeling brave, visit Bugs Cafe for some insect tapas.
Explore Banteay Srei, a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. It’s ornate decorations and pink colouring are distinct from many of the other temples. Explore the Grand Circuit of Temples including Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som and East Mebon.
Support a local NGO when sampling lunch at Marum restaurant. The teamwork with marginalised young people to gain employment and kitchen skills.
The Roluos group of temples are said to be some of the earliest temples built during the ancient Khmer civilisation. Visit Prasat Preah Ko, Bakong and Lolei. If time permits, you may wish to stop by Les Artisan D’Angkor, a community organisation where disadvantaged youth are taught traditional Cambodian crafts.
If you are feeling ‘templed-out’, take some time to discover the floating village settlement of Kompong Kleang. The community of over 20,000 people live in wooden structures on stilts, suspended up to 10 metres above the water. If water levels are high, you will be able to tour the village by boat. If water levels are low, explore by ox cart and on foot.
In the evening, enjoy a performance from the PHARE Cambodian Circus, an NGO which teaches street children to become internationally renowned circus artists.
Visit Siem Reap Free when you book selected Vietnam tours before 30 Nov 16 during our 17/18 launch.