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Things to do in Siem Reap

Things to do in  Siem Reap

Welcome to Siem Reap

With more than 2 million visitors descending on UNESCO World Heritage–listed Angkor Archaeological Park each year, the small, nearby city of Siem Reap has become Cambodia's epicenter for tourism. Once a sleepy, rural town, Siem Reap now bursts with life (although you wouldn't necessarily know it during the day). There are a few sights in Siem Reap itself—notably Cambodian Landmine Museum and School and Angkor National Museum—but the magnificent Angkor temples are the obvious draw, and that's where most visitors spend their days. From watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat to wandering through the ancient Khmer palaces of Angkor Thom and dozens of other atmospheric ruins, you could easily spend three days exploring the vast archaeological site. If you ""temple out"" quickly, or just need to escape the heat for a few hours, book a massage at any number of Siem Reap's relaxing day spas. Or, sign up for a cooking class and learn to make a few Cambodian dishes. In the evenings, head to the vibrant Angkor Night Market for souvenir shopping and a tasting tour of Khmer street food. You might also catch a cultural performance of traditional music or dance. Night owls will find a few more entertainment options on the aptly renamed Pub Street. After the temples, the most popular day trips head south to Tonlé Sap, where lakeboat cruises set sail for the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, and glide past the floating villages of Kompong Phluk and Chong Khneas.

Top 10 attractions in Siem Reap

#1
War Museum Cambodia

War Museum Cambodia

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Refurbished in 2018, the 5-acre (2-hectare) War Museum Cambodia is devoted to the weapons of Cambodia’s many conflicts. The collection, which you’re allowed to handle, runs from tanks and fighter planes to small arms and rocket launchers. One room focuses on the landmines that have caused such suffering in Cambodia.More
#2
Wat Preah Prom Rath

Wat Preah Prom Rath

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Set back from the west bank of the Siem Reap River, Wat Preah Prom Rath temple boasts a history that may date back to the 13th century. However, everything to be seen here was built after World War II. Colorful statues and lush gardens in the heart of downtown offer the chance to see how Cambodian Buddhism is practiced today.More
#3
Kbal Spean

Kbal Spean

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While the decaying structures and overgrown temples of Angkor Wat remain among the most popular destinations in Siem Reap, the rare collection of stone carvings along the Stung Kbal Spean River, typically known as simply Kbal Spean, continues to bring art and archaeology lovers outside the city and beyond Angkor.The impressive carvings that line the riverbed, also known as the "River of a Thousand Lingas", pay homage to the Hindu god Shiva. During the 11th and 12th centuries, artisans chipped away at delicate sandstone leaving intricate phallic symbols, mythological creatures and religious images along the shores. Visitors must trek two kilometers up rocky, uneven terrain to spy the hand-carved statues. Some argue the hike is more trouble than it’s worth, but most agree that travelers seeking to connect with nature and explore Cambodia’s rich and colorful history will appreciate a trip to Kbal Spean.More
#4
Tonlé Sap

Tonlé Sap

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This great lake covering 1,000 square miles (2,600 square kilometers) is not only the largest body of fresh water in Southeast Asia, it’s also a UNESCO-designated biosphere due to its remarkable natural features. The flow of water in Tonlé Sap changes direction twice during the course of the year, expanding and contracting with the seasons.More
#5
Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea

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Beng Mealea is located 40 kilometers east of the main Angkor Wat complex. The temple was mainly constructed from sandstone, with its architectural style identical to that of Angkor Wat. Because of this, it is thought that Beng Mealea was built in the 12th century under the reign of Suryavarman II.The temple grounds are surrounded by a gigantic moat and was once entirely consumed by jungle. This atmospheric temple is oriented toward the east, with entranceways from the other three cardinal directions also. If entering from the south, visitors will find themselves amid piles of chiselled sandstone blocks, sweeping vines, and mysterious dark chambers.The layout of the temple consists of three enclosed galleries situated around a central tower, which has now completely collapsed. There’s a well-preserved library in the northeastern quadrant, plus extensive carvings of scenes from Hindu mythology and long balustrades formed by bodies of the seven-headed Naga serpent.More
#6
Kampong Phluk

Kampong Phluk

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Perched on the floodplain of Tonle Sap Lake—the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia— Kampong Phluk is a floating community of around 3,000 villagers. Visit to see how the residents live—in stilted homes and depending on fishing as a livelihood.More
#7
Angkor National Museum

Angkor National Museum

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Opened in 2007, this modern, interactive museum showcases Khmer civilization and the Angkor era. Eight different galleries put the period in context with artifacts gathered from sites including Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Topics covered include religion and belief, the great Khmer kings, the pre-Angkor period, and ancient costume.More
#8
Phnom Kulen National Park

Phnom Kulen National Park

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Phnom Kulen National Park, which sits north of the famous temples of Angkor Archeological Park, features Khmer landmarks in a gorgeous natural setting. Visit to see waterfalls streaming from a holy mountain, natural pools, the phallic carvings at Kbal Spean (the River of a Thousand Lingas), and a popular Buddhist shrine.More
#9
Wat Bo

Wat Bo

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One of Siem Reap’s oldest temples, Wat Bo is known for its collection of well-preserved wall paintings from the late 19th century. Though Wat Bo is a Buddhist temple, these paintings depict the Reamker, which is Cambodia’s interpretation of the Ramayana—an epic Hindu story about the love between Rama and Shita, the strongest man and the most beautiful women of all time. There is also an impressive collection of Buddha statues.It won’t take long to explore Wat Bo as it’s not that big of a temple. However, the paintings are well preserved and, in addition to illustrating the Reamker, the paintings also give insight into daily life in this area. A sharp eye might catch foreigners painted into the scenes, get an idea of what fashion looked like in those days and perhaps spot the likeness of French soldiers. It’s a quiet respite from the liveliness of Siem Reap and a nice break from the expansive temples of nearby Angkor Wat.More
#10
Cambodia Landmine Museum

Cambodia Landmine Museum

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When Aki Ra, founder of the Cambodia Landmine Museum, was a child, he was recruited as a child soldier in the army of the Khmer Rouge and spent much of his formative years fighting. After the war he returned to try and remove and defuse by hand many of the thousands of mines he planted during his time with the army. In 1997 he founded the Cambodian Landmine Museum and School to care for kids wounded by landmines.Today, the facility houses more than three dozen kids from throughout Cambodia who've endured various forms of physical, emotional and familial hardships. They're all given an education, including English language classes, and eventually a university or trade school scholarship.While visitors aren't allowed into the children's home, they are encouraged to visit the museum, where proceeds go toward supporting the kids' relief center. Museum exhibits include mines, guns, mortars and other weaponry from Cambodia's 35 years of war, as well as a mock minefield where guests learn the difficulties of locating and deactivating mines.More

Trip ideas

Ways to Experience Khmer Culture in Siem Reap

Ways to Experience Khmer Culture in Siem Reap

How to Spend 2 Days in Siem Reap

How to Spend 2 Days in Siem Reap

Siem Reap Floating Villages

Siem Reap Floating Villages

Recent reviews from experiences in Siem Reap

star-5
Well worth doing.
Maxine_P, Mar 2020
Bike the Siem Reap Countryside
A excellent way to see the real Siem Reap.
star-5
Amazing trip
dhanishta_0000, Dec 2019
Full-Day Temples of Angkor Small Group Tour
You need to visit the temples with an amazing guide named Mr Sok Chea !
star-5
Great and unique experience!
pearsejr4567, Dec 2019
ATV Quad Adventure – Trip To Kulen Mountain Waterfall
Friend and I booked this up for something a bit different to visiting the temples while in SIem Reap as we weren't disappointed.
star-5
Wonderful Angkor Wat experience
marvin_s, Nov 2019
Full-day Small-Group Angkor Wat Tour from Siem Reap with English Speaking Guide
I would recommend the tour agency and Phuy Phy to all my friends who would like to visit Siem Reap.
star-5
Sunset tour
Michael_V, Oct 2019
Countryside Sunset Jeep Tour
Even though it was extremely cloudy and didn't get to see any sunset we still had a lot of fun with Mork, it is a great way to see a different part of Siem Reap and the jeep was amazing
star-5
Worth the Tour
cczausa, Sep 2019
Sunrise Small-Group Tour of Angkor Wat from Siem Reap
Phal, our tour guide was knowledgeable in his job, and can speak English well.
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Kulen Waterfall & 1000 Lingas Join-in Tour
Yocky0714, Dec 2018
Kulen Waterfall & 1000 Lingas Join-in Tour
The secenery is just soso, the waterfall is small, the level is not high, the space around the waterfall is limited and crowded.
star-5
Awesome beautiful waterfall up in...
Christopher D, Mar 2018
Day Trip to Phnom Kulen Mountain from Siem Reap
Awesome beautiful waterfall up in the mountains!
star-5
Amazing tour. Bun did a great job...
Jean Philippe J, Oct 2017
Full-Day Temples of Angkor Small Group Tour
I highly recommend the tour to anyone who want to visit and learn about the famous Siem Reap temples.
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One of my favorite things that we...
Rachael N, Oct 2017
Phare: The Cambodian Circus Show in Siem Reap
It was great to see them in action and they were so excited to have people enjoy their show.
star-5
This tour was amazing : The pick-up...
HYAEWHAN K, Oct 2016
Angkor Temples Small-Group Tour
Especially if you have a short time in Siem Reap and want to see the major sites, this tour is the one you should join!
star-5
I LOVED it! Everyone who is in Siem...
Elisa B, Apr 2017
Phare: The Cambodian Circus Show in Siem Reap
Everyone who is in Siem Reap should have this experience to see a very nice show and also is a way help them...
star-5
Interesting and Beautiful and is a...
Chantel L, Jun 2015
Angkor Temples Small-Group Tour
Don't wear shorts if you want to see all the inner temples.
star-5
Absolutely amazing tour in Siem Reap
DANCES_F, May 2020
Full-day Small-Group Angkor Wat Tour from Siem Reap with English Speaking Guide
Our tour guide spoke excellence English, and provided us with a lot of good information about the sites and Siem Reap in general throughout the tour.
star-5
Great staff and experience
josephduff0, Jan 2020
Angkor’s Finest Examples in Brief
A good chance to see all the main temples on the area in one day.
star-5
Friendly and very informative tour guide
Pigalle_T, Dec 2019
Siem Reap City Walking Tour
I really enjoyed the tour which took us to places where the locals go and showed us a hidden and different side to Siem Reap, rather than the main tourist attractions.
star-5
Great day out
Lorraine_C, Nov 2019
Private Tour to Beng Mealea Jungle Temple and Koh Ker
No renovation has taken place so interesting to see how the jungle has taken over with trees acting like scaffolding to hold the buildings up.
star-5
Sensational Siem Reap
Joan S, Nov 2019
6-Day Private Cambodia Tour to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh
His knowledge of the area, how best to get around to avoid traffic and crowds, best sights to see, history of the sights, and his English was excellent.
star-5
Cambodia trip by Bravo Indochina
juleslewishk, Oct 2019
4-Day Tour from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
Not only did they show us the sites but they were helpful in recommending places to visit as well.
star-5
A MUST!!!!!
LDP-Vienna, Aug 2019
Private Angkor Wat Guided Sunset Tour
This is my 2nd time to visit Angkor Wat and still it never fails to turn me speechless due to her mystical beauty and charms.
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