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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 15 attractions in Siem Reap

#1
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
#2
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
#3
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
#4
Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea

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Said to date back to the 12th century, Beng Mealea is a sandstone temple that replicates the design of the iconic Angkor Wat. The temple grounds are surrounded by a gigantic moat that was once entirely consumed by jungle; if you enter from the south side, you’ll find yourself amid haphazard sandstone blocks and creeping vines.More
#5
Kbal Spean

Kbal Spean

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Nature meets ancient architecture at Kbal Spean, whose phallic symbols and religious imagery are etched straight into a stone riverbank. The site is in Phnom Kulen National Park, where visitors can spot carvings while hiking a riverside trail. With fewer crowds than the main Angkor Temples, here’s the chance to channel your inner explorer.More
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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
#9
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
#10
Pub Street

Pub Street

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Lined with bars, clubs, and restaurants, Pub Street is Siem Reap’s after-dark hotspot. Here, tourists and locals sip Angkor beer, purchase Cambodian treats from street vendors, get their feet rubbed at roadside parlors, and dance the night away. It can be crowded, loud, and a little wild, but for many visitors that’s precisely the draw.More
#11
Cambodia Landmine Museum

Cambodia Landmine Museum

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Landmines left over from Cambodia’s many conflicts still kill dozens of locals a year. The Cambodia Landmine Museum, founded by former child soldier Aki Ra, shows the horrors of this national curse. The small, largely open-air museum reopened in January 2019 after a fire led to its closure.More
#12
Angkor Night Market

Angkor Night Market

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Since it opened in 2007, Angkor Night Market has become one of Siem Reap’s most popular attractions. Cambodia’s first night market, the gigantic open-air venue has more than 240 shops, stalls, street food vendors, bars, and restaurants.More
#13
Angkor Village Apsara Theatre

Angkor Village Apsara Theatre

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A large, air-conditioned wooden pavilion on the grounds of Siem Reap’s Angkor Village Resort, the Angkor Village Apsara Theatre hosts classical Khmer dance performances with a live orchestra. Shows typically include the graceful apsara (nymph) dance and scenes from the Hindu epic known as the Ramayana, with a Cambodian-themed dinner.More
#14
Wat Athvea

Wat Athvea

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Believed to have been built during King Suryavarman II’s reign in the first half of the 12th century, Wat Athvea is one of several Hindu temples around Siem Reap that remain shrouded in mystery. Less visited than the nearby temples of Angkor, it’s a worthwhile detour for those looking to escape the crowds.More
#15
Siem Reap Art Center

Siem Reap Art Center

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The Siem Reap Art Center Night Market is open from morning until late in the evening, but it is more of a night market than an art center. Close to the Old Market (Phsar Chaa or Phsar Chas), the site boasts a wealth of stalls selling crafts, souvenirs, the obligatory elephant pants, and snacks.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

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Siem Reap

star-5
A must do experience
Alan_S, Jul 2022
Siem Reap Countryside Tour by Vespa
Getting on the back of a Vespa was a truly fun way to see the beautiful countryside of Siem Reap.
star-5
Fun couple activity
Momo_U, Jul 2022
Khmer Cooking Class at a Local's Home in Krong Siem Reap
Learning how to make local dishes and getting to see how locals do their grocery shopping was definitely an eye opening experience.
star-5
Best experience!
monica_m, Mar 2022
Bike the Siem Reap Countryside with Local Expert
I highly recommend this tour to see the country side of Siem Reap.
star-5
Very productive tour!
Andrei_S, Jul 2022
Full-Day Tour: Kulen Mountain, Beng Mealea & Tonle Sap
This tour is quite unique because I was looking for a day tour to see as many as possible places outside Angkor and Siem Reap within a day, but companies offer only either Tonle Sap Lake or Phnom Kulen or Beng Mealea trips separately.
star-5
Ending our vacation on a high note!
Nusrat_J, Jul 2022
Full-Day Tour: Kulen Mountain, Beng Mealea & Tonle Sap
A good tour makes you fall in love with the places that you visit and that's exactly what this tour did for us.
star-5
Incredible experience, a must see!
Robert_L, Apr 2022
Phare: The Cambodian Circus Show in Siem Reap
Definitely one of the must see activities in Siem Reap, right up there with the temples.
star-5
Well worth doing.
Maxine_P, Mar 2020
Bike the Siem Reap Countryside with Local Expert
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
Wonderful Angkor Wat experience
marvin_s, Nov 2019
Small-Group Angkor Wat Tour from Siem Reap
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
CYRIL_Z, 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 (by luxury MiniVan)
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
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
Amazing tour. Bun did a great job...
JeanPhilippe_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.
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
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
Small-Group Angkor Wat Tour from Siem Reap
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
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.
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All about Siem Reap

Currency
Cambodian Riel (KHR)
Time Zone
ICT (UTC +7)
Country Code
+855
Language(s)
kh

People Also Ask

Why is Siem Reap famous?

Siem Reap is Cambodia’s second largest city. It’s the base for exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor, a vast expanse that was the capital of the Khmer kingdom from the ninth century to the 15th century. The most famous structure is the 401-acre (163-hectare) temple, Angkor Wat.

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How do I get to Siem Reap?

Siem Reap is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northwest of Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. Siem Reap International Airport has flights from regional hubs and other Cambodian airports. But it’s cleaner, greener, and more scenic to take a boat from Phnom Penh, while buses and minivans are cheaper and more sustainable than flying.

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What should you not miss in Angkor Wat?

Angkor Wat is the greatest of the temples that adorn the city of Angkor: highlights include the Churning of the Sea of Milk carving. As well as Angkor Wat, travelers flock to Ta Prohm, with its strangling tree roots, and Angkor Thom, a walled city that houses the Bayon temple, decked in giant faces.

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What is there to do in Siem Reap besides Angkor Wat?

Siem Reap is a lively city with street food, restaurants, nightlife, and shopping. It’s a center for artisan crafts and blind massage, with temples, gardens, a silk farm, a war museum, and a landmine museum. The Tonlé Sap floating villages and the waterfalls in Phnom Kulen National Park are popular trips.

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Is 3 days enough in Siem Reap?

No. It takes two days to cover the most famous Angkor monuments, but temples like Beng Mealea are a long way out of town. It’s worth taking the time to discover Cambodian food, crafts, culture, and rural life, learn about the war, and visit the national park and the lake.

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Is Siem Reap worth visiting?

Yes. Travelers come to Siem Reap for the UNESCO-listed ruins of Angkor, particularly the majestic spires of Angkor Wat, the largest religious structure in the world. You could spend weeks exploring ancient Khmer monuments, but it’s also a good base to discover Cambodian crafts, culture, heritage, and rural lives.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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