Things to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia

One may visit Siem Reap for Angkor Wat alone but with the Cambodian government having a rule that one needs to spend at least a night before exiting the country, some travelers may wonder what can Siem Reap offer beyond Angkor Wat. While Angkor Wat alone can take more than a day if you want to dive deep, there are other things to do in Siem Reap beyond Angkor Wat too. In this post, I will list down the other things I did including Angkor Wat.

Visit Angkor Wat and the other temples in the complex

If you are in Siem Reap, it is very likely you are there for visiting Angkor Wat. The temple complex is colossal; much beyond what it looks in pictures. While Angkor Wat may be one of the temples, there are many others in the complex such as Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Phnom Bakheng, and others. You have to be really adventurous to visit a few temples, especially if you go during a time when there is scorching heat; I went in January. Additionally, be prepared to walk a lot and climb some steep steps. If you are unfit or have any other problems, proceed with caution in case you plan to climb up and down.

My friend and I woke up early in the morning to beat the heat. We reached the temple at 6 in the morning to catch the sunrise and completed Angkor Wat alone by 8 AM; and later went on to complete another five temples the same day. We had a Tuktuk driver who chose to drive us all around and drop us back at our hotel for 20 USD; was a good deal in my opinion because the distance between different temples can be daunting to cover with the heat pelting all over Siem Reap. There was no way we were up for walking or cycling. By afternoon, we gave up, we could not do more. We had the one day pass which was around 37 USD; we got this from the ticket office a day before; spot checks are done at multiple places and hence I would not advise you to cheat as the penalty can be hefty. Please also remember to dress appropriately or you may be denied entry. There are 3 day and 7 day passes that cost 62 USD and 72 USD respectively. Guides are available at the entrance of temple complexes if you wish to have one but you can also book some guided tours from the links below.

  1. Angkor Wat Full-Day Sunrise Tour
  2. Siem Reap: Full-Day Small Group Temples Tour
  3. Angkor: Sunrise Bike Tour with Jungle Breakfast & Lunch
  4. Angkor Wat Temple Hopping Tour with Sunset

Angkor Wat

Visit Angkor National Museum

This museum is a decent visit to get to know a little bit about Angkor and its history. They also have interesting stones here of different deities. Entrance to the museum costs 12 USD though, which I found to be a tad bit expensive for what it had to offer. The souvenir shop is worth checking out.

Visit Angkor National Museum

Wat Preah Prom Rath

Wat Preah Prom Rath is a Buddhist temple located along the same road as Angkor National Museum at a walkable distance. The temple itself is clean and colorful, and worth spending a few minutes here.

Wat Preah Prom Rath

Old market

Located right next to the pub street, this place is bustling. You can see localites trying to sell all kinds of things to other locals and foreigners. Be prepared to bargain here if you want to buy something as it is very likely you will be quoted a price higher than what it should be. Have a walk around the pub street next to it; especially in the night time as it comes to life.

Old Market

Made in Cambodia Market

This market is a sophisticated version of the old market. Advertised as a market strictly selling things that are made in Cambodia, this market has better things to offer compared to the old market in my opinion. Certain things are a bit expensive but you get options here that you may not find in the other market. A friend of mine loves trying new things and I bought some alcohol and pepper infused jam, Cambodian spices and Amok curry powder and postcards here. I got some Angkor souvenirs for my family.

Made in Cambodia Market

Try local Cambodian food

Cambodia itself does not have way too much to offer in terms of cuisine compared to their counterparts like Vietnam or Thailand. However, they have good dishes in their limited cuisine, in my opinion. One such dish I fell in love with was Fish Amok I had at Tevy’s Place. If you like fish, I recommend you to check this place out. For vegetarians, I found another gem of a place near Tevy’s Place called Banlle. This is definitely one of the best vegetarian places I have been to outside India. You can try the vegetarian version of Amok here. I also loved the Mushroom Lok Lak at Banlle. Both the places had lovely food and the prices were really cheap. My friend and I did not spend more than 10 USD together including beers at these two places.

Fish Amok

I had only two days in Cambodia as my main intention was to visit Angkor Wat and anything extra was just a bonus. Here are a few other things I could have experienced had my trip been a bit more long.

  1. Try differents kinds of insects at Bugs Cafe.
  2. Cambodia War Remnant Museum
  3. Cambodia Landmine Museum
  4. Lily’s secret garden cooking class
  5. Phare, the Cambodian circus
  6. Cambodian spa
Author

Ankur Sinha

Playing with data constantly, traveling when I have money and time, cooking to relieve from stress, blogging when I have something to write about.