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How to Spend 1 Day in Siem Reap

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How to Spend 1 Day in Siem Reap
Siem Reap is your gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, the 12th-century temple complex that’s southeast Asia’s No. 1 historic sight. But there’s more to this vibrant, cosmopolitan city than ruins. With one day in Siem Reap, you can see Angkor Wat, cruise a lake, watch a circus, and savor a street-food feast. Here’s how.

Morning: Temple Touring
Start the day bright and early with Siem Reap’s signature experience: sunrise over Angkor Wat. Watch as a golden glow illuminates this ancient temple’s soaring turrets and reflects them in the moat. After a quick breakfast, beat the crowds to Ta Prohm, often called the Tomb Raider temple. A medieval monastery, it’s known for the giant trees and roots that entangle its crumbling remains. Once you’ve Instagrammed to your heart’s content, return to Angkor Wat for a closer look at the structures and carvings that make the complex so unique. Explore with a guide who can explain the Hindu beliefs it represents.

Afternoon: Country Cruising
Spend the afternoon getting a taste of traditional Cambodian village life. A boat ride on scenic Tonlé Sap lake is a great way to while away the hours. Some tours visit stilt villages, such as Kompong Phluk; some stop at floating villages, built on rafts atop the lake, complete with floating gardens. During the rainy season, many tours include a canoe ride through flooded mangrove forests. Lake cruises are still possible during the dry season, but you might prefer to learn a new skill, such as Khmer cookery or pottery, or try your hand at planting rice.

Night: Street-Food Safari
Start your evening in downtown Siem Reap with a street-food feast. Brave the bizarre, such as stinky durian fruit and crispy fried cricket, and discover the delicious, such as duck eggs, green mango, and Cambodian barbecue skewers. Next, thrill to the nation’s answer to Cirque du Soleil: Phare, the Cambodian Circus Show. Marvel at acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, and more in a fresh, contemporary setting. Wrap up the night, if energy levels permit, with a trawl through the chaos of Pub Street or a pedicure from the notorious “doctor fish” that nibble away dry skin—a classic Siem Reap experience.
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Siem Reap Tours & Activities (13)
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Phare: The Cambodian Circus Show in Siem ReapComedy Shows

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Phare: The Cambodian Circus Show in Siem Reap

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Be mesmerized by the captivating choreography and hypnotic color of a Phare performance in Siem Reap. Feast your senses on a spectacle that blends riveting theater with folk music and distinctly Cambodian stories. Commend the determination of the young circus artists, many of who are from challenging social and economic backgrounds, as they hypnotize the audience with their energy and emotion. Gain insight into the charity Phare Ponleu Selpak and discover the work the organization does to help vulnerable children and adults in Cambodian society.
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  • 1 hour
From  
$18.00 
From  
$18.00 
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  • 1 hour

Half-Day Kompong Phluk, Tonle Sap Lake from Siem ReapNature & Wildlife

Half-Day Kompong Phluk, Tonle Sap Lake from Siem Reap

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Cruise Tonle Sap Lake to Kompong Phluk on a half-day tour from Siem Reap, and explore the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. See communities that thrive at the edge of the water, pass floating schools and markets, and visit a local home to get a glimpse of daily life and culture. This half-day Kompong Phluk tour includes all activities, as well as pickup and drop-off at Siem Reap hotels, and both morning and afternoon departures are available.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$37.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$37.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Siem Reap Street Food Evening TourHalf-day Tours

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Siem Reap Street Food Evening Tour

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Feast your senses on the enticing smells and explosive flavors of Cambodian cuisine on a evening tour of Siem Reap’s street food district. Climb aboard a motorized rickshaw and delve into the cultural melting pot of street food with an expert gastronomic guide. Pleasure you palate with local delicacies and sweet desserts, savoring the flavor of skewered meat, fried crickets and soft-boiled duck eggs. Numbers are limited to only 12 food-lovers per tour to ensure you enjoy an intimate experience on this small-group excursion.
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Small group
  • 3 hours
From  
$48.00 
From  
$48.00 
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  • 3 hours

4-Hour Tonle Sap Sunset Dinner Cruise from Siem ReapDay Cruises

4-Hour Tonle Sap Sunset Dinner Cruise from Siem Reap

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Exploring the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake is a popular choice for a day trip from Siem Reap, but the most atmospheric time to visit is at sunset. On this evening tour, cruise to the floating village of Chong Khneas, glide past lotus fields and stilted houses, visit a crocodile farm, and enjoy a typical Cambodian lunch at a floating restaurant with an open bar.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$36.93 
From  
$36.93 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Angkor Wat Admission TicketSightseeing Passes

Angkor Wat Admission Ticket

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Save the hassle of visiting the ticket office by buying your 1-, 3-, or 7-day Angkor Archaeological Park pass in advance. Rather than waiting in line to purchase your pass on the day—particularly inconvenient if you’re heading to Angkor Wat for sunrise—your pass is delivered to your hotel the night before your visit, meaning you can go directly to temples such as Ta Prohm and Banteay Samre without wasting time.
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  • 1 to 7 days
From  
$59.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$59.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 1 to 7 days

Full day Angkor Sunrise Bike Tour Inclusive of Jungle Breakfast & LunchBike & Mountain Bike Tours

Full day Angkor Sunrise Bike Tour Inclusive of Jungle Breakfast & Lunch

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Get an early start to watch the morning light splash over Angkor Wat’s triple towers, a fantastic beginning to your full-day bicycling tour among the ruins of the Angkor Kingdom. Your local guide leads you through the Angkor Archaeological Park, showing you several iconic temples in the sprawling complex. Stop to stroll around different sites and examine intricate stone carvings and statues. Your small-group tour is limited to six participants, and includes a Western breakfast and Khmer lunch, and round-trip transport by minivan from Siem Reap.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$87.18 
From  
$87.18 
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Full-Day Angkor Temple and Sunset ViewingFull-day Tours

Private Full-Day Angkor Temple and Sunset Viewing

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Ride in a private vehicle from Siem Reap to the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park on this full-day tour. Wander the temple complex with your own personal guide who shares scholarly insight on the awe-inspiring site dating back to the Khmer Empire. View Angkor Thom, the Bayon, Ta Prohm and Angkor Wat, finishing with a sunset viewing at Pre Rup Temple.
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Private experience
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$37.00 
From  
$37.00 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cambodian Pottery Class in Siem ReapPottery Classes

Cambodian Pottery Class in Siem Reap

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Discover the time-honored tradition of making Cambodian ceramics during a pottery workshop in Siem Reap — a perfect family activity. An expert artist demonstrates methods of molding pieces on a pottery wheel, then helps you shape your own bowl and create Khmer designs with the proper carving tools. Your masterpiece will be ready for pickup the next day, along with a potter's diploma, after firing in a kiln overnight. This 1.45-hour experience includes hotel transport by tuk-tuk.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$25.65 
From  
$25.65 
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Cambodian Village Cooking ClassCooking Classes

Cambodian Village Cooking Class

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Gain hands on experience in the art of Cambodian cuisine during a 3-hour cooking lesson with a local chef. In the morning or afternoon, travel round-trip by tuk-tuk from your hotel to a rural village outside Siem Reap. You’ll take part in an interactive workshop with a small group of food lovers and enjoy your 3-course meal afterward.
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Small group
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$30.77 
From  
$30.77 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Siem Reap Quad Bike AdventureHalf-day Tours

Private Siem Reap Quad Bike Adventure

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Venture off-road for a thrilling quad bike adventure on this 4-hour tour from Siem Reap. Head out of the city and discover the beauty of the Cambodian countryside on-board an easy-to-drive quad. Zip along country roads, past lush rice paddies and sleepy villages; hop off to admire the historic Prei Monti temple and watch the sunset over the distant city. Best of all: full instruction is provided, so there’s no previous experience necessary!
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Private experience
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$121.80 
per group
From  
$121.80 
per group
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Tonle Sap Cruise Small-Group TourHalf-day Tours

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Tonle Sap Cruise Small-Group Tour

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Discover Siem Reap's secrets by remork (Cambodian tuk tuk) on a half-day, small-group tour. Take a boat trip on the Tonle Sap lake through floating and stilted villages. See seasonal agricultural activities of rice planting and harvesting, making fish paste, duck farming and cricket catching! Explore a local village, where you will sample Cambodian snacks and visit a Buddist monastery
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Small group
  • 4 hours
From  
$45.00 
From  
$45.00 
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  • 4 hours

Apsara Dance Performance Including Buffet Dinner and Hotel PickupTheater, Shows & Musicals

Apsara Dance Performance Including Buffet Dinner and Hotel Pickup

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Feast on a buffet dinner of classic Khmer cuisine and take in an Apsara dance performance featuring the traditional culture of Cambodia. Watch several dances including classical and folk styles on stage. Enjoy a variety of dishes while you are served by an attentive staff and entertained with a breathtaking evening. This 90-minute experience includes hotel transport from Siem Reap by tuk-tuk.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$28.00 
From  
$28.00 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Half-Day Angkor Tuk-Tuk Explorer Tour from Siem ReapFull-day Tours

Half-Day Angkor Tuk-Tuk Explorer Tour from Siem Reap

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Marvel over the mighty monuments of UNESCO-listed Angkor on this half-day tour from Siem Reap. Travel like a local as you hop aboard a traditional tuk-tuk and zip around the vast temple complex. Jump off along the way to snap photos of the world-famous Angkor Wat, roam the evocative ruins of Angkor Thom and marvel at the sacred sculptures of the Terrace of the Elephants. This private tour includes hotel pick-up.
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Small group
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$41.00 
From  
$41.00 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation