About Siem Reap Tourism:
Discover the famous culture and natural beauty in Siem Reap - a city in Cambodia’s northwest region. It offers a unique and authentic experience for travelers. It is home to the world-famous Angkor Wat temple complex, which draws millions of visitors annually. However, there's more to Siem Reap than just temples that will blow your mind.
The apparent fact about Siem Reap is that it is renowned for its beautiful temples. Apart from the iconic Angkor Wat, the Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm, and Banteay Srei are also worth visiting. These temples showcase intricate carvings, and beautiful architecture allowing travelers to learn about the city's cultural heritage.
Aside from the temples, Siem Reap has many other attractions, including the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Tourists can explore the lake and its floating village, or opt for a boat tour and experience the local way of living here. This city also has several national parks and nature reserves, including the Kulen Mountain National Park and the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, where you can indulge in hiking, bird-watching, and wildlife spotting activities.
A hub for Cambodian arts and crafts, people visiting can fully experience the heart and soul of the city by checking out the local markets, museums, and galleries. The Angkor National Museum is a must-visit for history buffs, while the Artisans Angkor showcases the city's traditional arts and crafts.
Now, to make the most of your trip, make sure to do some research beforehand to find activities and attractions that align with your interests. Alternatively, you can also take tour packages from Holidify to get a well-rounded experience of Siem Reap. Whatever you choose, Siem Reap will be a memorable trip that will last for years and years.
Places to visit in Siem Reap
1. Angkor Wat:
If you're visiting Siem Reap and don’t visit Angkor Wat, your trip will be incomplete. This ancient temple complex is not only the largest religious monument in the world, but also an architectural masterpiece that will take your breath away. Wander through the complex and admire the intricate carvings and towering galleries, and don't forget to catch the sunrise or sunset for a truly mind-blowing experience.2. Phare, The Cambodian Circus:
For a night of entertainment and awe, check out Phare, The Cambodian Circus. This unique circus troupe comprises talented Cambodian performers who tell stories through acrobatics, dance, and music. Not only is it an amazing show, but the proceeds from ticket sales support the performers and their families.3. Tonle Sap Lake:
Take a break from the temples and head to Tonle Sap Lake, the largest lake in Southeast Asia. You can book a boat tour of the lake and its floating villages, and learn about the daily lives of the local people. It's a great opportunity to see a different side of Cambodia and appreciate its natural beauty.4. Artisans Angkor:
If you're looking for unique souvenirs to take home, Artisans Angkor is the place to be. This artisanal workshop creates beautiful handcrafted products using traditional Cambodian techniques. You can take a guided tour of the workshop and watch the artisans at work creating magic, and browse the shop for beautiful pieces to bring back with you.5. Banteay Srei:
Another stunning temple to visit is Banteay Srei, known for its detailed pink sandstone carvings. This smaller temple complex is located about 30 minutes outside of Siem Reap, but it's worth the trip to see the incredible intricacy and beauty of the carvings up close.
Things to do in Siem Reap
1. Learn Cambodian cooking:
The cuisine of Cambodia is full of bold flavors and fresh ingredients, and taking a cooking class in Siem Reap is a great way to learn how to make traditional dishes like amok and lok lak. You can choose from various cooking classes, some of which include a trip to the local market to buy ingredients and others that are held at a farm or restaurant.2. Explore the countryside by bike:
Siem Reap is encompassed by dense rice fields and small villages, and one of the best ways to see the countryside is by bike. You can rent a bike and explore independently, or join a guided bike tour that takes you off the beaten path to see hidden temples and local communities.3. Get a traditional Khmer massage:
Treat yourself to a traditional Khmer massage, after a long day of temple-hopping. This ancient healing practice involves pressure points and stretches and is said to help with everything from stress and anxiety to muscle pain and fatigue. You can find massage spas all over Siem Reap, ranging from luxury resorts to small, family-owned businesses.4. Take a sunset boat ride:
Watching the sunset over the Tonle Sap Lake is a magical experience, and plenty of boat tours take you out onto the water for a front-row seat. Some tours even include dinner or drinks on board, so you can relax and enjoy the view.5. Check out the local market:
Home to several bustling markets, Siem Reap is a city where you can find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. The most popular markets include Psar Chaa (Old Market), Angkor Night Market, and Made in Cambodia Market. Take your time to explore the different stalls, practice your bargaining skills, and feel like a local.
Best time to visit Siem Reap
From November to April, the dry season is the most popular time to visit for temple-hopping and outdoor activities. May to October is the rainy season, offering fewer crowds, verdant greenery, and tremendous rice paddies.
But remember, the Angkor temples can be crowded, so plan and arrive early. Also, be prepared for intense heat and humidity no matter when you visit.
Ideal duration for Siem Reap
When planning your visit to Siem Reap, it's essential to consider how long you want to stay. While some travelers are content with a quick visit to see the temples, others prefer a more profound experience, allowing them to explore everything Siem Reap offers.
If you're on a jam-packed schedule, you can see the highlights of Siem Reap in two to three days, but remember that this will be a busy and intense itinerary. That said, if you have four to five days, you can visit the temples more leisurely pace and still have time to enjoy the local cuisine, markets, and nightlife.
For those who want to discover the richness of the culture and history of the region, a week or more in Siem Reap is ideal. This will give you enough time to visit the famous Angkor temples, and venture further afield to see other lesser-known temples and attractions, take a trip to the villages, and witness traditional Khmer dance performances.
How to reach Siem Reap
Siem Reap is easily accessible by air, with direct flights from major cities in Asia, including Bangkok, Singapore, and Ho Chi Minh City. If you're coming from other parts of the world, you'll likely have to connect through one of these cities.
Once you arrive at Siem Reap International Airport, you can take a taxi or tuk-tuk to your hotel or other destinations in the city. Taxis and tuk-tuks are readily available at the airport and throughout the city.
If you're already in Cambodia, you can also reach this city by bus from other major cities like Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville.