Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor Wat and is Cambodia’s number one tourist destination.
To many Siem Reap needs little if any introduction. Situated a few kilometres from the magnificent temples of Angkor, Temple Town, as it is known by many, is a vibrant town full of interesting cultural activities, great restaurants and lively bars.
Its wide range of hotels ranging from the boutique and eco to five-star ensures that you have wonderful places to relax while taking a break from visiting the temples.
After all that is why most people come to Siem Reap – to visit amazing Angor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm. Be prepared to be dazzled by their majesty.
This is our guide of things to do in Siem Reap and Angkor.
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Some of the sights you can enjoy when you explore Siem Reap and the Angkor Wat temples
Take a break from temple-trekking and enjoy what else Siem Reap has to offer.
- Visit life-saving rats who spend their time sniffing out UXO and landmines that continue to litter parts of Cambodia at APOPO Visitor Centre.
- Take a trip to the circus to see award-winning Phare: The Cambodian Circus for a jaw-stopping show that use incredible acrobatics, circus antics, dance and music to retell Khmer legends.
- Spend the afternoon exploring Kandal Village, home to a quirky collection of boutiques, coffee shops, galleries, eateries and bars.
- Feast on local flavours and head to a stretch of Road 60 on the outskirts of town that springs to life at dusk when Cambodians flock there to enjoy their evening meal at stalls selling everything from fried crickets to chicken fried rice.
- Get your culture fix at Bambu Stage, which hosts live shadow puppet shows from its tropical garden in the evenings and puppet-making classes during the day.
Where to go after enjoying Siem Reap and the Angkor temples?
While for many people visiting Siem Reap and in particular the temples of Angkor represents fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, there is so much else to do in Cambodia to make a fortnight seem hardly enough time.
For instance if you are fascinated by temples then Preah Vihear in the north of the country rivals Angkor Wat - and undeniably has a better panorama. Or you could visit the pre-Angkorean temple of Sambor Prei Kuk just outside of Kampong Thom.
The latter makes a handy break on your journey to Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, and one of the most interesting cities in Southeast Asia, with its magnificent Royal Palace and National Museum as well as S-21 museum, scene for one of the most tragic periods in the country's history.
If nature is more your thing, then take a trip up country to the Kampi Rapids near Kratie to see some of the last surviving freshwater dolphins in the world, and continue northeast to the Mondulkiri Elephant Sanctuary. Or to get really off the beaten track Go Wild in the Cardamoms, one of the few remaining relatively untouched wildernesses in Southeast Asia.
You see there is so much to do in Cambodia that a fortnight will just seem not enough time.