Top 10 Things to Do in Siem Reap

Southeast Asia is a favorite destination of many tourists due to its diverse culture, beautiful beaches, and friendly people. You may know the title “The Land of a Million Elephants” belongs to Laos or “the land of Golden pagoda” is of Myanmar. But how about the well-known brand “The land of temples”? The answer is Cambodia, which is celebrated for many mysterious temples such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom or Ta Keo.

Visiting this country, you should not miss Siem Reap which has taken the pride as the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor for years. This charming town, which is located in the northwest of Cambodia, offers you a variety of activities which will absolutely bring you joys and unforgettable experiences during your tour. If you still have no must-do list in Siem Reap, you can consult 10 top-rated things to do below.

1. Fly on a Hot Air Balloon

You are very into adventurous feeling, right? This activity is definitely for you. Enjoying the sunset or sunrise with the spectacular view of temples and mountains below might be the most interesting experience in your life. During the ride, you will be overwhelmed at how beautiful this town is. But don’t forget to make use of this chance to take unique photos which will remind you of this adventure in Siem Reap.

There are two types of ride. The first only helps you get the view of Angkor Wat. In contrast, the second starts at a cow field, then flies over areas outside Siem Reap and can stop at any place. Despite the price of $125 per person, the later will be real adventure of exploring the beauty of Siem Reap. To secure a spot, you can book via one of the agents in the town.

Every day, the take-off time of the hot balloons is from 06:00 to 06:40 AM and from 05:00 to 05:30 PM but it is changeable depending on the time of sunrise and sunset. You should not be too worried since the tour guide will help you with the ins and outs of the balloon and a pilot will accompany with you during the flight. So be prepared to enjoy this fascinating adventure!

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2. Wander around Angkor Wat

Your trip can not be complete without a trip to Angkor Wat, the largest monument in the world. Its impressive architecture will absolutely make you amazed. Visiting this UNESCO World Heritage site, you will find over 3,000 unique beguiling apsaras carved into the walls. Moreover, the 800-meter bas relief outside the central temple complex which tells about historical events and stories from mythology will satisfy anyone who is interested in this field.

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It is also highly recommended that you should witness the sunrise at Angkor Wat. Though it will be very crowded with thousands of tourists, it is still worth waiting for the sun to rise from the spires while the sky may be colored red, orange and yellow.

Tips for visiting Angkor Wat:

  • Buy tickets and hire guides at the official ticket booth near the site
  • Always keep your ticket with you
  • Bring your mosquito repellent, sunscreen, hat and bottles of water
  • Dress modestly (shoulders, chest and legs are covered)
  • Don’t feed the monkeys
  • Don’t go inside the barays

» Read more: Angkor Wat - The Majestic Hindu Monument from Khmer Empire

3. Horse riding through the countryside

For those who want to do something unusual in Siem Reap, horse riding in the countryside is the number one choice. You will pass green paddy fields, villages, temples, or make conversations with the locals during the ride, which will bring you the sense of relaxing and loving the nature more. This activity is suitable for individuals and families, as well as adults and children at all experience levels. If you have not ridden a horse before, don’t worry since the ranch will try their best to give you a proper horse and the guide will accompany with you.

Tips for horse riding in Siem Reap’s countryside:

  • Take the ride in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the hot weather
  • Wear long pants
  • Book rides in advance

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4. Make your own ceramic artifact at Khmer Ceramics Fine Art Centre

  • Address: Vithey Charles de Gaulle (Temple Road), Khun Slorkram, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Opening hours: 08:00 AM - 08:00 PM
  • Tel: 063 210 004

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If you are interested in pottery, skipping the Khmer Ceramics Fine Arts Centre, which aims at reviving the lost Cambodian art, pottery, ceramics and tableware, will make you regretful a lot. During the guided tour by the trainees of the center, you will know more about the processes of making a ceramic product, from raw clay to the final one. Especially, in addition to buying some products as souvenirs for your friends and family, you can take part in the pottery class where you can make a ceramic artifact with the assistance of the trainees. This class will bring your crew a lot of fun and relaxing moments. Another choice for you is the painting class where your creativity can be boosted by drawing or painting mugs, plates, etc.

>> Suggested Read: Top 10 Things to See and Do in Cambodia

5. Discover the Angkor National Museum

  • Address: 968 Charles de Gaulle Blvd, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Opening hours: 08:30 AM - 06:00 PM (May to September), to 06:30 PM (October to April)
  • Tel: 063-966601

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The ideal place for discovering Cambodian culture is visiting the Angkor National Museum, which is home to thousands of recovered artifacts of the Khmer civilization. There are a range of exhibits such as the great Khmer kings or Angkor Wat, which will satisfy your curiosity about the Khmer Empire. Thus, you should visit this museum before exploring Angkor Wat to get a deeper insight into the culture.

Top Mekong Cruises suggests that you should bring a portable media player (you can rent at the entrance) to get the audio explanation of some exhibited items. Also, to escape from the heat at the Angkor Temple, you ought to visit the museum in the middle of the day since it is wholly air-conditioned.

6. Zip Line

This activity should be put high on your list if you are fond of outdoor activities. The Angkor Zip line is the only one inside the Angkor Archaeological Park so it will bring you an remarkable experience of soaring like an eagle through the park’s rainforest. After the registration at the Operation Orchid House, you will be equipped with safety gears. Only when you understand the rules and the procedure does the real adventure begin.

You may be scary at first but there will be two professionals accompanying with you to ensure your safety. After being taken down from the zip line at the last platform, you will come back to the House to return safety equipment. There are two packages for you to choose: package A (Full course) with 21 platforms and package B (Custom Cost) with 9 platforms, both of which include the services like hotel pickup, insurance and Khmer lunch/ snack. The price is at least $60 but the experience this activity brings about is totally worth your money.

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7. Relax with a fish spa

After a day of wandering around Siem Reap, your weary climbs will be soothed with a fish spa. This treatment may sound strange but why don’t you try it to know how it is? With the cost of $2, a 20-minute fish massage is ready to serve as its best. Interestingly, your duty is extremely simple! Just immerse your feet into the water tank full of tiny fishes and those “doctor fish” will eat the dead skin at your heels. Additionally, you also are able to sip a glass of beers or wine which is included in the cost during the spa. However, if you have wounds on your feet or legs, don’t try this fish pedicure.

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8. Enjoy a romantic dinner at Villa Chandara

  • Address: No. 1 Kok Tnout Village, Angkor Thom Commune, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Tel: 00 855 63 760 190

Your day will become more meaningful if it is ended with a romantic dinner in the light of hundreds of candles and lanterns amidst rice paddies or gorgeous garden at Villa Chandara. On the way to the villa, you may see ox-carts returning from the fields, farmers riding their bikes to home after a hard-working day, or children laughing when jumping into the stream. All combine to make a peaceful picture of Cambodian countryside. The delicacies are various, from the best Cambodia foods such as Amok curry, salads with fresh herbs to spicy soups, all made from the best ingredients of the season. Free-flow drinks such as red-white wines, local beers, cocktails, soft drinks are also provided with you. For those who are honeymooners, this place should be put high on the list.

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9. Attend the Phare Circus Show

  • Address: Intersection of Ring Road and Sok San Road, Siem Reap
  • Tel: 00 855 15 499 480

After dinner, let’s go out for the most exceptional entertainment in Siem Reap – the Phare Circus Show. Each show is a perfect combination of music, dance and circus art, telling the audience about Cambodian folk tales and modern stories. You will be amazed at the talent and the energy of the young artists who overcame their challenging economic and social backgrounds to follow their dream of becoming circus artists.

The Phare Circus aims at reviving Cambodian art scenes, introducing Cambodian art with worldwide audience and helping vulnerable children and young adults who don’t have opportunity to access to the training. Therefore, when visiting the circus, besides paying for entertainment, you are helping those would-be artists to realize their dream.

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10. Go Shopping at the Angkor Night Market

Address: Angkor Night Market Street, Siem Reap 17259, Cambodia

The town becomes livelier at night with a lot of activities including night markets, where you can explore the local life and buy unique souvenirs made by local communities. Among night markets in Siem Reap, you must visit Angkor Night Market near Sivatha Street, which is the most famous shopping avenue in the town.

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Opened from 4 pm to midnight, Angkor Night Market with more than 200 stalls mainly sell clothing items, handicrafts and silk paintings. Just wandering through all the huts and seeing various items is very interesting whether you buy anything or not. Furthermore, there are a wide range of dining venues in the market where you can enjoy local dishes with some beers or cocktails at appropriate prices and dive yourself into live music. After visiting numerous shops, your fatigue muscles will be soothed with body massage at Baray Spa inside the market.

To sum up, above are only some of top things to do in Siem Reap that you can consult before travelling to the town. If you find them interesting and suitable with your pocket, note them in the list and get prepared for discovering Cambodian history, its nature and food. Besides, don’t forget the tips to have the best tour to some places in Siem Reap mentioned above. Siem Reap is a worth-visiting destination when you travel to Cambodia so make the most of your time and energy to discover this colorful town. To deeply explore Cambodia and beautiful attractions, you can consider our Indochina luxury travel now!

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