For many people the only reason to go to Siem Reap is Angkor Wat. And while Angkor Wat is indeed an amazing attraction, there are so many more things to do in Siem Reap, from hiking to sight-seeing, eating wonderful food to exploring hidden temples.
Siem Reap is filled with a magical blend of ancient historical sites, great restaurants and cafes, and a range of outdoor activities. Angkor Wat will probably be your first stop, but don’t miss out – take a look at what else you can see and do in this fascinating Cambodian city.
1) See Siem Reap with a Hot Air Balloon Ride
This is one of the all-out best ways to see Angkor Wat and the surrounding countryside – by hot air balloon. Because you travel at such a quiet, leisurely pace you can really take in the full grandeur of the site and see the detail in the temples that you will miss from the ground. It’s not cheap, but it is an unforgettable experience.
2) Watch an Apsara Dance
The apsara dance is a traditional Khmer dance that is performed so that it tells a kind of story. It is a lovely art form and it tells you a lot about the culture of Cambodia, and the music is also fascinating. You can experience this dance performance in Siem Reap.
3) Go Shopping at the Night Market
The night market puts on its display every evening. This is a great place in Siem Reap to grab a bargain or simply browse the colorful stalls with products from all over the country. There are some food stalls selling tasty meals, too.
4) Have a Beer on Pub Street
When you want to relax and kick back with a cold beer on a hot evening, head to Pub Street. This street is for you if you like to party, and is filled with bars, nightclubs, and cafes.
5) Take a Trip in a Tuk Tuk
Siem Reap is best navigated by this traditional form of transport, the tuk tuk. It’s a quick and fun way to get around, see the sights, and even visit Angkor Wat. You’ll find plenty of choice in tuk tuks – just make sure you set a price before you get in and start your journey.
6) Take a Trip to Les Artisans d’Angkor
Les Artisans d’ Angkor is a special company in Siem Reap that is designed to help create jobs in the rural parts of the country, helping locals in Siem Reap develop their craft skills and bring their artistic talents to life. You will be able to find goods on sale in the showroom, and they also run workshops and other activities.
7) Get a Massage…
Perhaps not strictly limited to Siem Reap, this is still one of the best activities you can do wherever you go in Asia. You can find massage places everywhere in Siem Reap and you’re going to deserve one after you’ve spent all day on your feet around Angkor Wat.
8) … Or a Fish Pedicure
Alternatively, you could let a fish nibble on your feet. These toothless fish scrub off all the dead skin from your feet so it is an excellent treatment – just make sure you choose a well-presented place where they look after your hygiene.
9) Take Part in a Pottery Class
You can take a pottery class or workshop at Les Artisans d’ Angkor or you can find other pottery places scattered around town. The pottery in Cambodia is beautiful and there are interesting traditional ways to make the pottery that create wonderful pieces. You can try it out and make your own.
10) Sample Some Stunning Street Food
Siem Reap is the ideal place to try some sticky rice from a stall at the side of the road – you’ll see the sellers providing this tasty snack inside bamboo canes.
11) Visit Angkor Wat
And, of course, you couldn’t come to Siem Reap without visiting Angkor Wat. This temple complex is one of the major reasons to visit Cambodia, and it is a stunning attraction. You’ll get the most out of your visit if you plan on spending two or three days at the site. You can buy multi-day passes that will allow you to take your time exploring this massive place, and getting a little off the beaten track so you are not overwhelmed by the tourist numbers.
Find more things to do in Siem Reap and Cambodia at PhuketOn. Find more Asia travel inspiration, hints and tips at PhuketOn – your destination for great travel.