best places to see in siem reap

When mentioning Siem Reap, people usually think of Angkor Wat temple, one of the largest religious monuments in the world, this unique ancient city actually has more than that. As a tourist capital of Cambodia, Siem Reap proudly boasts hundreds of stunning natural and artificial attractions. From the striking temples, unique museums, cultural parks, large lakes to grass-covered mountains. Here is the list of top things to do in Siem Reap: Siem Reap tourist attractions — Top 10 best places to visit in Siem Reap, Cambodia that you can’t miss in your trip to Siem Reap. Let’s take a look and choose your own favorite! And now let’s explore Siem Reap region – the “capital” of tourism in Cambodia.

ta prohm temple siem reap cambodia
Young monks at Ta Prohm temple

Angkor Wat -siem reap-combodia1

Angkor Thom -siem reap-combodia3

Elephant riding in Siem Reap
Elephant riding in Siem Reap

1. Angkor Wat Temple

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The moment the first rays shining down at Angkor Wat is the most splendid scene here. Picture: siem reap attractions blog.

Angkor Wat is the main attraction to almost all visitors when they come to Siem Reap. The temple consists of 5 lotus flowers shaped towers with 65m high combined with Khmer architecture date back 12th century. In addition, there are about 2000 pictures carved on the stone of Apsaras (also called as the dancers in heaven).

best places to see in siem reap siem reap tourist attractions best places to visit in siem reap siem reap tourist places

Angkor Wat - Once you get in the main entrance this is the long path to the temple
Angkor Wat – Once you get in the main entrance this is the long path to the temple
1-angkor-wat-temple-4 Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.
Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.

Being recognized as UNESCO’s world cultural heritage, Angkor Wat was built to worship the god Vishnu (a Hindu deity), and as the savant assumed, this temple is devoted to King Suryavarman II as the mourning place.

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Located inside Angkor Archaeological Park, visitors are required to have Angkor Pass card, you can purchase this card with the price of $ 20 for one day, $ 40 for 3 days and $ 60 for 7 days.

Remember to carry your ticket as it will be checked each park entry at major temples.

Further information:

  • Location: Angkor Archaeological Park
  • Opening hours: 5 am – 6 pm
  • Price: 20 USD (1 day), 40 USD (3 days) and 60 USD (7 days)
Monks at Angkor Wat temple
Monks at Angkor Wat temple

2. Ta Prohm Temple

What makes Ta Phrom Temple attractive to many people is the root that nobody knows when it was, woven in the temple’s brick.

Ta Prohm Temple cambodian travel destinations siem reap tourist attractions best places to visit in siem reap siem reap tourist places
Picture: siem reap attractions blog.

Ta Prohm Temple is a quiet monastery which was built in the mid 12th century by the King Jayavarman VII as a way to memorize his mother. It is believed that the 600 rooms monastery and its campus have used to home to more than 70,000 people, most of them are priests, clerics, dancers and workers.

Ta Prohm Temple cambodian travel destinations

This temple remains many courtyards and galleries, the walls, doorways and aisles here with ancient architecture and surrounded by many trees and vines, all of these factors make you feel as if you are exploring a ancient temple in the forest.

Ta Prohm Temple cambodian travel destinations siem reap tourist attractions best places to visit in siem reap siem reap tourist places
Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.

Thanks to the exotic look of it, the film and the game Tomb Raider (gold digger) was shot in this temple. Ta Prohm is at its most stunning early in the day. Don’t forget to capture the iconic tree roots here.

Further information:

  • How to get: 1km to the east of Angkor Thom
  • Location: Temples of Angkor, Cambodian. Price: 20 USD (1 day), 40 USD (3 days) and 60 USD (7 days)
  • Opening hours: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm.

3. Bayon Temple

As renowned as the heads on Easter Island, the statues at Bayon with four sides and seemed stationary are still one of the mysteries of the world.

Bayon Temple cambodia destinations
Picture: siem reap attractions blog.

Bayon temple complex includes approximately 50 towers with four giant stone statues of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. It was built in the late 12th century to serve as the temple of Mahayana Buddhists, the King Jayavarman VII.

Bayon Temple cambodia destinations Image: siem reap tourist attractions blog.
Image: siem reap tourist attractions blog.

Placed in the center of Angkor Thom, you can easily recognize the features of architectural sculpture of the ancient Khmer kingdom. Along with serene expressions, the 4 statues represent 4 directions of the compass and with the height of 4m.

Bayon Temple cambodia destinations

Besides the four face Buddha statues, Bayon Temple is also strengthened in two sides by two long walls with elaborate carvings of what takes place in daily life, along with the carvings of battles and rites.

Bayon Temple cambodia destinations

If looking for a place that helps you go “back in time” in Siem Reap, Bayon Temple then is the ideal choice for you to explore the brilliant history of Angkorian period.

Further information:

  • How to get: The best way is via the Charles de Gaulle Road, turning left at the Angkor Wat ditch pass, pass the Angkor Wat temple, go to the south gate of Angkor Thom, then getting through the 1.5 km paved road to get to Bayon.
  • Location: center ruins of Angkor Thom
  • Opening hours: 5 am – 6 pm
  • Phone number: +855 12 229 884
  • Price: 20 USD (1 day), 40 USD (3 days) and 60 USD (7 days)

4. Angkor Archaeological Park

Including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and more than 50 other temples, this park is one of the largest metropolitan in the old times.

angkor archaeological park cambodia Image: siem reap tourist attractions blog.
Image: siem reap tourist attractions blog.

Angkor Archaeological Park is maybe the best choice for you to explore Siem Reap. As you can find the symbol of Siem Reap – Angkor Wat Temple and more than 50 Hindu temples and other Buddhist ones built around the middle of the 9th century to the 12th century.

angkor archaeological park cambodia

Representing the pinnacle of architecture, art and lifestyle of the ancient Khmer, this park includes Angkor Thom – used to be one of the largest cities in the world in ancient times. The whole park has also been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

angkor archaeological park cambodia Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.
Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.

A notable place here is the Terrace of the Elephants, a 300m long painting decorated with carvings of elephants, garuda, 5 heads horses, the Khmer dancers and warriors. If you want to spend time exploring the whole area, you should buy tickets that can be used several times as there is plenty of places to visit.

angkor archaeological park cambodia

Further information:

  • How to get: It takes about 20 minutes by car or motorbike to get there from the center of Siem Reap.
  • Opening hours: 5 am to 6 pm daily
  • Price: 20 USD (1 day), 40 USD (3 days) and 60 USD (7 days)

5. Tonlé Sap Lake

Not only is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, but also is Tonle Sap Lake one of the most interesting attractions of Siem Reap.

tonle sap lake siem reap cambodia Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.
Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.

Tonle Sap Lake is home to over 300 types of freshwater fishes, snakes, crocodiles, turtles and otters along with 100 other species of birds such as storks and pelicans.

tonle sap lake siem reap cambodia

The best time to visit this place is the rainy season (between June and November). At that time, you can witness and take wonderful photos of floating villages around this immense lake.

tonle sap lake siem reap cambodia

A place where you can not ignore when coming to Tonle Sap Lake is Prek Toal Biosphere Reserve where you can enjoy a boat trip with a guide with the price of US $ 129.

tonle sap lake siem reap cambodia
Photo by: siem reap tourist places blog.

Further information:

  • How to get: From Siem Reap, get to Phnom Penh by boat and dock at the village of Chong Khneas. It takes around 6 hours.
  • Location: 15km south of Siem Reap town

6. Phnom Kulen National Park

Not only is a natural landscape, Kulen is also an important historical monument of the Khmer Empire.

phnom kulen national park cambodia

Phnom Kulen National Park (Kulen Mountain) is located 45km north of Siem Reap. It is believed to be the most sacred mountains in Cambodia. Kulen mountain peak is also the shelter of more than 55 ancient temple ruins and a Buddhist temple from the 16th century, along with a sandstone statue of a Buddha.

phnom kulen national park cambodia

The entrance price for this Siem Reap’s attractions is $ 20 US. Although the price may seem expensive to you when compared to the one of Angkor Archaeological Park, you can visit two impressive waterfalls and also the highlight of Phnom Kulen. With many rocks and waterfalls, waterfalls are great for swimming, picnicking and save your memorable pictures.

phnom kulen national park cambodia Photo by: siem reap tourist places blog.
Photo by: siem reap tourist places blog.

Further information:

  • How to get: It takes about 2 hours to drive to the 487 m hill and 30 km long plateau. You only can go up before 11 am and come down after midday to avoid the vehicles.
  • Location: 47km north of Siem Reap
  • Price: 20 USD

7. Wat Damnak Pagoda

Wat Damnak – a place where keeps the ancient sources and the history of the Angkorian period.

Wat Damnak Pagoda siem reap Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.
Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.

Located on Wat Bo Street, Wat Damnak Pagoda used to be the royal palace under the reign of King Sisowath. Today, it is a charity school where sewing is teached for indigenous girls. It is the most famous as being the center of the Khmer Studies.

Wat Damnak Pagoda siem reap

It also owns an extensive library filled with more than 11,000 books, newspapers, books, encyclopedias, guidebooks, maps, and daily newspapers in English, French and Khmer.

Wat Damnak Pagoda siem reap

Enjoying peaceful atmosphere and get out of the bustle of the city center or other crowded attractions in Siem Reap. You can spend your time reading, or walking in the campus of Wat Damnak to rewind your mind for a while.

Wat Damnak Pagoda siem reap

Further information:

  • How to get: Walking around the Old Market, you will see the stone bridge on the southeast corner, across the bridge, you then will see the root of Wat Damnak.
  • Location: Wat Damnak is located near Phsar Chas aka Old Market, on the opposite side of the Siem Reap River.
  • Opening hours: 8 am to 5: 30 pm daily

Phone number: +855063964385

8. Prasat Banteay Srei

Time may fade sandstone slabs, but these sculptures, carvings of Banteay Srei remain over the years.

Prasat Banteay Srei cambodia

Prasat Banteay Srei standouts from the huge number of temples in Siem Reap thanks to the work made by the large pink stone and the 3-dimensional sculptures of Hindu deities. About 1 hour drive from the center of Siem Reap, this Hindu temple was built in the 10th century to donate to Lord Shiva.

Prasat Banteay Srei cambodia
Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.

Unlike most other attractions in Siem Reap, Prasat Banteay Srei is not crowded because it is located far away from the center.

Prasat Banteay Srei cambodia

However, detailed sculptures depicts the history of Ramayana, as well as the lords who carries lotus in hands. All of these factors make this place become a can’t miss destinations in Siem Reap.

Prasat Banteay Srei cambodia Image: siem reap tourist attractions blog.
Image: siem reap tourist attractions blog.

Further information:

  • How to get: It takes about 30 minutes from Siem Reap. First, you follow the main road north out of Siem Reap, turn right at Angkor Wat, then follow the road to Srah Srang. Turn right before get to the East Mebon, pass Phoum Pradak village, then you meet a junction, keep going straight about 5 minutes to get to Banteay Samre. At this point, you come to a fork, choose the road on the left side, and Batneay Srei is here after crossing two rivers.
  • Location: 32km northeast of Siem Reap
  • Opening hours: 5 am to 5 pm every day
  • Phone number: +855 87 396 801
  • Price: 20 USD (1 day), 40 USD (3 days) and 60 USD (7 days)

9. Angkor National Museum

An ancient bas has been kept in the museum, along with thousands of other historical artifacts.

Angkor National Museum cambodia

Angkor National Museum was opened in 2007 with 1000 images of the Buddha dating back from the ancient Khmer kingdom. Located in Charles de Gaulle Avenue, this large museum is divided into 8 exhibit spaces with particular types of the era, religion and royalty.

Angkor National Museum cambodia
Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.

The museum displays artifacts from the pre-Angkor period of the great Khmer kings. Moreover, there are also artifacts from the kingdom of Phu Nam (Funan) and Chenla (Chenla), Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, the table made of stone with many engraved Sanskrit and old Khmer words. Besides, all the traditional costumes of kings, queens, warriors and Apsara dancers are on the showroom for you to watch and feel the charming of the brilliant period.

Angkor National Museum cambodia

You should go to the Angkor National Museum before visiting other temples in Siem Reap. You can get a deeper knowledge as there are many videos shown here that will give you the information, stories and origins of the Angkor ruins.

Further information:

  • Opening hours: 8:30 am to 6:30 pm daily
  • Address: 968 Charles de Gaulle Blvd, Siem Reap
  • Phone number: +855 63 63 966 601
  • Price: 12 USD

10. Cambodian Cultural Village

If you want to find out the quintessence of civilization of Angkorian period, Cambodian Cultural Village is here for you to explore.

Cambodian Cultural Village Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.
Image by: best places to visit in siem reap blog.

Cambodian Cultural Village is a featured place to visit in Siem Reap. You can get to know the traditional way of life, beliefs and customs of the Cambodian as well as the daily life of the various ethnic groups.

Cambodian Cultural Village

Spreading across 210,000 square meters, Cambodian Cultural Village includes a historical museum with wax statues of kings, queens, ambassadors, priests, ethnic minorities, movie stars and the Apsara dancers.

Cambodian Cultural Village Photo by: siem reap tourist places blog.
Photo by: siem reap tourist places blog.

Apart from that, there are 13 villages that were built based on the cultural life and personality of 19 ethnic groups in Cambodia. You can also enjoy many live performances such as acrobatics, the traditional wedding ceremony of the Khmer, the Aspara dance and fishing demonstration.

Further information

  • How to get: Located on the road to the airport, 6km from the town.
  • Opening hours: 9 am to 9 pm daily
  • Address: National Road # 6, Krours Village, Siem Reap
  • Phone number: +855 63963836
  • Price: 15 USD

Siem Reap promises to give you a deeper look at the glorious period of Cambodia by many carved stones that carefully preserved in Buddhist temples and Hindu religion. Those who love nature, you can participate in many activities such as hiking, bird watching, hiking and swimming. Or if you want to experience local life, there are many traditional performances and cultural dances in the center of Siem Reap. Do not hesitate to pack your back and head over Siem Reap right away!

best places to see in siem reap

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and from Siem Reap you can refer to

Banteay Srei Temple, Siem Reap with its spectacular architecture
Banteay Srei Temple, Siem Reap with its spectacular architecture

Are you looking for more Siem Reap travel guide and top things to do in Siem Reap: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Siem Reap travel blog — The fullest Siem Reap travel guide for a budget trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia.