Siem Reap or Cambodia is an extremely famous place to visit in the hearts of tourists with simple tuk-tuks. This means of transport will take you to explore every corner of the city. If you are planning to come to Siem Reap, find out the interesting activities and things to do that we recommend below. Surely, your journey will be extremely memorable! So, what to do in Siem Reap? Let’s check out our suggested 16+ top things to do in Siem Reap, must do in Siem Reap and best things to do in Siem Reap including cool, fun, unique things to do in Siem Reap as follows!
- Where to visit in Siem Reap? — 9+ best, must & top places to visit in siem reap
- Siem Reap travel blog — The fullest Siem Reap travel guide for first-timers
- Shopping in Siem Reap — Top 10 best shops, markets & shopping malls in Siem Reap
- Siem Reap itinerary 4 days — How to spend & what to do in Siem Reap in 4 days?
- Top hotels in Phnom Penh — 21+ best places to stay & best hotels in Phnom Penh
Watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat (#best things to do in siem reap)
Address: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Are you wondering what is the most interesting thing to do when starting a new day in Siem Reap? That is catching the first sunrise rays at the ancient temple of Angkor Wat. This may sound a bit difficult to do when sleep is in the middle. However, it will be an experience well worth the effort. Sunrise at Angkor Wat offers an impressive scene like nowhere else. Therefore, try to go to bed a little early the night before and prepare mentally to wake up early the next morning.
Angkor Wat temple is located in an area about 5 km from the city center. Its name means “Temple City”. This ancient building is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Here, there are many impressive relics of the ancient capitals of the Khmer Empire. The overall architecture of the Angkor temple really spans an impressive large area. To discover all the unique features of this place, visitors will have to go all the way to 100 square kilometers of land.
When coming to Angkor Wat temple when the sun is not clear, you will not be surprised because many other guests also come here to welcome an important event of the day. Sitting in a dim space at dawn, the scene seems to be still in a deep sleep. When the first rays of dawn dawned, it seemed to spread life into space immediately.
The sunrise scene is different from season to season. If you are lucky, you will be immersed in extremely majestic pink, purple, fiery yellow or crimson colors. The landscape of the sky and clouds blends with the ancient and majestic space of the temple to create a space as beautiful as a fairy scene. We recommend taking your time to explore Angkor Wat right after the sun clears. At this time, the number of visitors to this place is still small, so you can freely explore. This is also a great time to take impressive souvenir photos at the famous temple.
Visit the ancient temple Ta Prohm
Address: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Hours: 7:30 AM–5:30 PM
One of the famous places to visit in Siem Reap that you should visit is Ta Prohm temple. This is an ancient architecture surrounded by ancient tree trunks. This temple was built in 1186 in Buddhist style to worship the King Jayavarman VII. The branches/roots embrace the temple, creating a somewhat mysterious and majestic space. After the end of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century, this temple was once forbidden to visit and was covered by the trees of the old forest.
We recommend taking some extra time to visit Preah Khan – another temple nearby. Although this place is not a famous sightseeing place in Siem Reap, it certainly brings many interesting experiences. The lines of time imprinted on the ancient temple of Preah Khan make it seem to blend in with nature. That creates a beautiful natural scene and is somewhat wild and mysterious.
Enjoy exploring Angkor Thom (#best things to do in siem reap)
Address: CVQ6+5P, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Cambodia is known worldwide as the land of temples and pagodas because of the large number of temples in this country. Therefore, when set foot in Siem Reap, you cannot miss the opportunity to discover this feature at Angkor Thom. The name of the temple means the “Great City”. Compared to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom is the second most famous temple in Siem Reap. This place promises to bring a lot of interesting things that you can spend a whole day here. In the journey to discover Angkor Thom, we will find countless gates, temples, palaces, ruins to reliefs. It can be said that this site has been preserved intact from the fierceness of the invasion war.
Bayon is one of the main temples that you must visit. This temple is located in the center of Angkor Thom with an area of up to 9 km2. This is where many impressive stone statues carved with human heads are kept.
Leading to the shrines are ancient roads such as: Bapuon road, Elephant road or King Leper road. You will be extremely impressed by the majestic natural scenery here. The antiquity covers the whole scene from the grass underfoot to the rows of ancient trees. Their age is so long that there are countless towering tree trunks that seem to reach the blue clouds.
Visit Banteay Srei Temple (#must do in siem reap)
Address: Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia
Hours: 7:30 AM–5:30 PM
For many tourists, the land of Banteay Srei stands out for the temple of the same name. It is an important part of the Angkor Archaeological Park. Banteay is known as the “city of women” – the smallest landmark of Angkor. This structure is the only Khmer temple not built by the king. Its creator is Brahmin – a spiritual advisor of the Khmer king that aims to honor the Hindu God of Shiva. This temple is built of fine pastel pink sandstone with elaborate floral motifs and epic Ramayana dance scenes. Every detail carved on the wall is clearly shown by the deep and complex engraving. All these unique features create an impressive overall architecture that anyone who visits must be surprised.
Experience Muay Thai
In Siem Reap, we cannot miss the opportunity to experience Muay Thai boxing. This is a great opportunity for everyone to learn some self-defense tips. One of the famous place that we would like to introduce to you is the Angkor Fight Club (Address: 9R7W+M33, Bakheng Rd, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia/Phone: +855 95 839 725) in the west of the city. At this center, students will participate in classes that teach Muay Thai, mixed martial arts and Crossfit. This is an interesting experience for your body to be released and exercised. Come to Angkor Fight Club and you will have more fascinating discoveries about the traditional martial art of this country.
Banteay Srei Butterfly Centre (BBC) (#top things to do in siem reap)
Address: GW5R+FCP, Banteay Srei, Cambodia
Hours: 9 AM–5 PM
In the experience of living like a local at Banteay Srei, don’t forget to visit Banteay Srei Butterfly Centre (BBC) too! To get to this place, you will have to go through a long way of 30 km. In this park, visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a fairy scene made from colorful butterflies. The butterflies here are diverse and have different lives. Therefore, even if you come to Butterfly Park at any time of the year, you will have the opportunity to see firsthand the beauty of this creature.
Enjoy food around the city (#what to do in siem reap)
Similar to other regions in the world, Cambodian people also have their own way of preparing food. From the source of local ingredients to traditional spices to the way of cooking has created an impressive taste. Therefore, culinary discovery is one of the things not to be missed when coming to this city.
Skip the luxurious restaurants, we want you to find the simple street food stalls. At that places, you will experience the cuisine in the same way that the locals usually do. Along the streets, there are countless delectable stalls waiting for diners to explore.
According to Steve and Lina – chefs and food writers, the culinary discovery journey in Siem Reap promises to bring many impressions. Because, visitors will have the opportunity to explore a strange but wonderful world from savory and rich noodles, fresh seafood to sweet desserts.
Come to the bustling life at Road 60 (#unique things to do in siem reap)
Every evening, starting at about 5pm, a lively space appears on the one-kilometer stretch of road 60. This place is located on the outskirts of the city but is a worth visit destination that you should not miss.
Locals flock to the busy Road 60 as a rendezvous every day. Along the two sides of the road is a series of rich stalls. You can find all kinds of products here from fried spider trays, fried crickets, frog legs to colorful fruits. This place will be a local culinary paradise for gourmets. To enjoy the authentic local style, try to buy some drunk foods at the stalls with a glass of Angkor beer and enjoy on the mats spread on the ground. This image is quite similar to the drinking culture of Vietnamese people, right?
Riding a horse around the outskirts of the city
If tuk-tuks take you go around, the horseback riding experience will provide an equally special experience. You can try this activity while exploring the outskirts of the city.
Siem Reap is surrounded by peaceful countryside. In that place, the people’s life still retains the simplicity and sincerity. Stepping here, you will have the opportunity to temporarily leave the noise of the city and immerse yourself in the rhythm of rural life. In particular, the horseback riding experience will be the most impressive highlight of your journey.
One of the outstanding establishments that we would like to recommend is Happy Ranch Horse Farm (Address: Group #4, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia/Hours: 5 AM–6 PM). Choosing this service, visitors have the opportunity to come to Wat Atvea temple – a peaceful land to help you relax. This tour is suitable for everyone from professionals to amateurs. On the way, you will be satisfied with typical scenes such as immense rice fields, palm trees, towering palm trees or simple houses.
Watch the sunset at Pre Rup
If you are a nature lover and like a peaceful setting, perhaps Pre Rup is a great choice to watch the sunset rather than the bustle of busy stalls. In the city of Siem Reap, there are countless places with spectacular sunsets but we want you to return to a small temple called Pre Rup.
Pre Rup Temple is also known as Sunset Temple in the local language. You can bask in the soothing scenery of the afternoon sunlight shining on the Vimanas towers. Besides, we also have a lake right near this address. This is the place where the landscape blends between heaven and earth and calm water. For those who love simplicity and depth, the experience at Pre Rup will be one of the best in Siem Reap.
Immerse yourself in nature in Mount Phnom Kulen
Mount Phnom Kulen is known as the most sacred mountain in Cambodia. Therefore, it is a busy destination for pilgrimages on weekends and during the festive season. This place also attracts visitors by the national park with an impressive ecosystem. The nature in Phnom Kulen mountain is characterized by tropical rainforest with countless rushing waterfalls. This area promises to be an ideal “hideout” for the sweltering heat of the city center of Siem Reap. In the journey to discover this place, visitors also learn more interesting things about spiritual areas. To be able to set foot on Mount Kulen, you have to go through a long distance of 50 km from the city. So this is a tourist destination that you will need a day to explore.
The floating village on Tonle Sap Lake
Tonle Sap Lake is one of the largest lakes in Southeast Asia. This is a famous tourist destination in the world. Temporarily away from the ancient temples, enjoy the peaceful and simple life on the floating water. The life of the people on Tonle Sap includes living and sleeping on boats. Groups of people gather together to form four floating villages: Chong Kneas – the village most popular with tourists, Prek Toal – a village with a bird sanctuary, Kampong Phluk and Kampong Kleang. Depending on the time period, you can choose to visit the villages accordingly. This area is suitable for traveling in the early morning or late afternoon because it has many impressive features.
Experience the thrill of Zip-lining
In Siem Reap, the most famous company for zip-lining is Flight of the Gibbon. The zipline coming from this operator is considered to be highly safe, innovative and suitable for all ages. One of the place to experience this fascinating activity is Angkor Archaeological Park. In this area, visitors have the opportunity to experience up to 10 zip-lines that cross 21 treetop types, four sky bridges and stop at a point with a rich ecosystem. This will be one of the most memorable memories you will ever experience in Siem Reap city.
Explore Cambodian Cultural Village
Address: National Road #6, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Phone: +855 63 963 836
Are you curious about the traditional art of the land of temples? In the city of Siem Reap, there is a place that has everything you are looking for, which is the Cambodian Culture Village. This area was built thanks to the efforts of local people to honor and preserve traditional arts.
Here, visitors not only have the opportunity to explore many unique cultural features from the exhibits. Besides, people also regularly organize events and performances such as traditional wedding ceremony and umbrella dance. At the end of the day, we have an attractive show waiting for all visitors.
Experience life like a local
Not only standing next to and watching the daily life of the local people, visitors to Siem Reap can also immerse themselves in that life experience. All of these opportunities come from the Visit Banteay Srei project held in the Banteay Srei area of the city. With the goal of preserving and popularizing the people’s traditional customs to everyone, this project has chosen an area just a few kilometers from the city center.
Therefore, visitors to this temple will have an interesting experience with an appealing ecotourism program. In traditional houses, hospitable people always open the door to welcome every guest. This is a great opportunity for tourists to have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the idyllic rural life. The friendly farmers also enthusiastically welcome you to explore their fruit and vegetable garden. It’s really fascinating, isn’t it!
Kyung Yu Fun Fair
Continuing to the end of the Road 60, you will reach the Kyung Yu Fun Fair – one of the equally wonderful place. In the bustling space, most customers are Khmer families who come to shop and entertain. At Kyung Yu Market, visitors will be satisfied their tastebuds at food stalls, night markets and impressive cultural shows. This place is a great suggestion for you to explore Siem Reap at night. Therefore, after you have freely explored everywhere on the Road 60, take some time to immerse yourself in the bustling life in Kyung Yu!
The journey to Siem Reap, Cambodia promises to bring countless unforgettable memories for every tourist. From the landscape, cuisine, traditions to culture, this place has its own unique features that cannot be found anywhere else. Please make an itinerary according to the interesting suggestions of Living Nomads to have the most memorial experiences!
Where to stay in Siem Reap?
You do not need to worry about the shortage of quality hotels in Siem Reap because the system of hotels, motels and homestays is almost everywhere. But you have to worry about running out of cheap rooms, so finding and booking a hotel as early as possible is still the best.
Below are some best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and from Siem Reap you can refer to
- Private Siem Reap International Airport Transfers (REP) for Siem Reap
- Private City Transfers between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh
- Shared Bus Transfer between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh by Giant Ibis
- Shared Bus Transfer between Siem Reap and Bangkok by Giant Ibis
- Private Siem Reap International Airport Tuk-tuk Transfers (REP) for Siem Reap
- Siem Reap Private Car Charter
- Angkor Temples Tour
- Angkor Temples Sunrise Tour
- Angkor Custom Tour in Siem Reap with Optional Guide
- Kompong Phluk Floating Village Half-Day Tour
- Classic Angkor Wat Full Day with Sunset Tour
- Angkor Wat Sunrise Tour with Monk Blessing
- Siem Reap Half Day City Tour
- Angkor Wat Private Tour by Tuk-Tuk
- Kulen Mountain National Park and Waterfall Day Tour
- Angkor Wat Sunset Tour
- Angkor Wat and nearby temples day tour
- Phare, The Cambodian Circus in Siem Reap
- Kampong Phluk Floating Village Tour
- 4G SIM Card (HK/MO/TW/CN Delivery) for Cambodia
- 2 Day Angkor Exploration Private Tour by Tuk-Tuk
- Angkor Temples Small Circuit Private Tour by Tuk-Tuk
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 itinerary 4 days — What to do in Siem Reap in 4 days? And Siem Reap travel guide here.