The Magic of Siem Reap, Cambodia
The Magic of Siem Reap, Cambodia
We don’t think you will find anyone who went to Cambodia without visiting Siem Reap. This is the gateway to one of the phenomenal tourist attractions in the world – Angkor Wat. However, as the temples grew in popularity, so did the city’s appeal. There’s plenty to spend many days here, and it’s one of Southeast Asia’s tourist attractions. Whether you’re backpacking, backpacking, traveling with the family or hoping for a luxury vacation, you’ll find something for you. Great restaurants, nightlife and outdoor beauty nearby; Siem Reap really has everything!
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the best places to visit in Siem Reap. Yes, Angkor Wat will obviously already be number one on your Siem Reap itinerary, but there is so much more waiting to be discovered when you travel to this friendly and fascinating country!
The Old French Quarter is the best place to stay in Siem Reap if you are visiting for the first time. Located in the city center, the old French Quarter is close to major thoroughfares and well connected to the area’s top attraction, Angkor Wat.
Places to visit:
Try contemporary Asian cuisine
See the home of Cambodian royalty by passing by the Royal House
Enjoy delicious and authentic Cambodian food
Angkor Wat – one of the amazing places in Siem Reap
Trip Advisor’s #1 destination in the world for two consecutive years is the largest Buddhist temple on Earth. Start your Angkor Temples tour early in the morning and catch the sunrise over Angkor Wat
Why it’s amazing: It’s unlikely that a tourist would go to Siem Reap and not visit Angkor Wat, but we couldn’t leave it off our list! This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not only one of the most famous places in Siem Reap, but all of Cambodia and Southeast Asia. The Angkor complex was built in the 12th century, it is the largest complex of Buddhist temples in the world. In fact, it is the largest religious monument in the world. , which covers 400 acres. Since it’s so huge, you’ll probably need more than a day to really experience this amazing place!
What to do there: If you want to see the entire Angkor complex but don’t know where to start, it is recommended to get a travel guide. You can do tours for 1 day, 3, or even a whole week! Although it will undoubtedly be an interesting week, you may end up tired at the end! If you want to do this, stay in a hostel in a nearby area to make it easier to recoup transportation costs.
There are also several ways you can explore the temples. If walking sounds like too much work, why not rent a bike? Whichever way you choose to visit Angkor Wat, they are a Siem Reap must-see and you won’t regret any time you spend here!
The Mines Museum of Cambodia – one of the most appreciated places to see in Siem Reap
See a collection of defused mines from the Khmer Rouge regime
Learn about Cambodia’s bloody and brutal recent history
One of the most exciting and sobering attractions in Siem Reap
Why it’s amazing: The museum has a complex history. It was opened by a former Khmer Rouge fighter who worked with the United Nations to disarm and remove the mines he had planted. What began as a collection grew into a museum as interest from foreign tourists increased. As the museum’s curator expanded his collection by visiting local villages, he began to receive Also orphans affected by the mines. Today there are a number of children cared for by the museum. This is one of the best places in Siem Reap to get an insight into local life and history!
What to do there: Learn about the history of the Khmer Rouge and its effects on rural Cambodia and how mines are dealt with in the area. Incredibly, more than 6 million landmines have been planted in Cambodia. Depending on when you visit, you may also be able to see some active mine explosions. And most importantly, you will learn how to clean this part of the country and maybe even meet some of the children who enjoyed the museum and the center. It really is a must do in Siem Reap!
The Cambodian Circus
Not your typical circus, this is a combination of an association and a performing arts school
One of the more unusual things to do in Siem Reap
Why is it amazing? Circuses don’t have a large representation to be honest. Nowadays, many are identified with animal cruelty and are usually given a lift. But no glory! It’s a circus with a difference. An NGO and a performing arts school take children from poverty and train them to work in this Cirque du Soleil-style show. The performers use music, dance and theater to tell traditional Cambodian folktales. This is one of the top hotspots in Siem Reap at night!
What to do there: every evening at 8:00 PM there is a show, so buy tickets in advance and enjoy one of the most glittering and glamorous attractions in Siem Reap. It is quite expensive when you compare it to other attractions in Siem Reap, but you can rest assured that your money is going to a very good cause!
Ta Prohm – a beautiful and scenic place to visit in Siem Reap. You might recognize this place from its appearance in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
One of the best places in Siem Reap that combines nature and history
Why is this amazing? Part of the Angkor Wat complex, we probably wouldn’t have included it if it was as well maintained as the other temples here. However, the fact that it wasn’t is what makes it so special. If you’ve seen the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, you might have thought it was mostly CGI, but no. It was a real place – Ta Prohm was pretty much swallowed up by the surrounding jungle. It’s a haunting place you won’t want to miss on your itinerary in Siem Reap!
What to do there: Although you wouldn’t realize it, since Ta Prohm was rediscovered in the 20th century, it has been preserved in such a way that the neglect seems authentic, but it does not affect the integrity of the structure. While it may seem fun to pretend to be your Indiana Jones, be careful when you visit! Also, look for Ta Prohm’s controversial dinosaur. No one knows if it’s real or a hoax!
Wander in an enclosed garden full of butterflies What to do in Siem Reap if you like animals and nature
Learn about conservation at this cool butterfly sanctuary. Why it’s awesome: If you’re interested in butterflies, this should be number one in Your paved in Siem Reap. Yes, maybe even above Angkor Wat! A cool butterfly sanctuary and conservation center it is
Home to thousands of butterflies from the local area, it is built like a rainforest. This is to imitate the natural habitat of the butterflies and make them as comfortable and natural as possible!
What to do there: Get up close with Bantay Seri butterflies. If you’re lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it), the butterflies might just land on you! If you are traveling with children, you should definitely not miss this place. Not only will you be able to get up close with the butterflies, but also take an interactive tour to show you the life cycle of these wonderful insects. This is one of the most relaxing and peaceful points of interest in Siem Reap!
Tonlé Sap Lake – a nice quiet place to see in Siem Reap
Take a cruise on Asia’s largest fresh water lake Don’t forget to bring your camera as this is a great place for animal lovers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap
Why is this amazing? If you want to get a glimpse of a traditional Cambodian village, head to Tonlé Sap. Unbelievably, more than 3 million people visit the shores of this lake, but it is still an incredibly quiet and peaceful area in Cambodia. Kampong Khleang is the largest village on the lake, and is located on the northern shore. Here, you can view floating stilt houses and traditional handicrafts. The locals are really friendly too!
In addition to the villages scattered on the shore of the lake, there are also some great natural attractions in Tonle Sap. One of the coolest places, and also one of the top attractions in Siem Reap, is the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary. This sanctuary is home to over 100 species of waterfowl. There are plenty of observation towers, but if you want to get up close and personal with the birds, you can paddle down to the lake! Also look out for other wildlife such as crocodiles, snakes and turtles!
Angkor Center for the Conservation of Biological Diversity
One of the most important wildlife centers in Cambodia
Meet Cambodian wildlife such as porcupines, otters and birds. Take a guided tour to learn how the animals are rehabilitated.