What else can you see in Siem Reap other than visiting Angkor Wat? It turns out there are a lot of interesting things! We have selected 15 important things that you should not miss if you decide to stay in this wonderful place.
1. Take a bike to explore the surrounding temples
Angkor Wat is one of the amazing temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park. Usually sightseeing is carried out by tuk-tuk, but you can make your own tourist route by bike. The temples will have to get through the jungle. Is this the kind of adventure you dreamed of?
2. Hike Mount Kulen
Mount Kulen is about 50 km (30 miles) from the city of Siem Reap, located about two hours away. The best way to enjoy the surrounding views is to climb the mountain with trees and greenery growing on both sides. It is good if there is a local guide nearby who will tell you about the history and religious significance of the mountain. At the very top, you will cool down by a beautiful waterfall and have a hearty lunch.
3. Live with a local family
Those who wish to get acquainted with the local way of life can live in a family for some time. In your free time, you can ride a bike around the village, see what farmers are doing, and watch how craftsmen weave traditional baskets. Go to the bustling market, plunge into this bright holiday atmosphere. If you have very little time, you can stay in the village for half a day.
4. Cook delicious Khmer food at the farm
Another great way to learn about the local culture is to cook national dishes. At the master class, you will be able to learn recipes for Cambodian specialties made from fresh products directly from an organic farm supported by Agrisud International. Under the supervision of the best local chefs in Siem Reap, you will create your culinary masterpiece, and then enjoy a home-cooked lunch. These skills will come in handy in the future when you want to taste Khmer food.
See also: The famous street of bars "Pub Street" in Cambodia
5. Get the priceless experience of living in a floating village
One of the most interesting things to do in Siem Reap is visiting the floating village. It is interesting to watch how the houses on stilts rise from the water. This is a completely different, unusual world for us. Imagine that you are going to a school or district office by boat. This is how the locals live. The floating villages are on the Tonle Sap River, the most important river in Cambodia along with the Mekong River. Go to Kompong Khleang, where you can see the real life of the village, and not to Chong Kneas, designed more for tourists.
6. Discover Beng Meea Jungle Temple
If you want to explore the area outside of the main temple complex, be sure to visit Beng Miilea Temple. Overgrown with trees and bushes, he was lost in the jungle. Much of the history of the stone structure is unknown. However, the architectural style is reminiscent of Angkor Wat and historians believe that the temple was built around the beginning of the 12th century.
7. Get to know Banteay Srei
Built in the 10th century, Banteay Srei (Women's Citadel) stands out for its pinkish-red sandstone and incredibly intricate carvings. In addition, this large temple was not built by kings, but by brahmins. If you have time, it's definitely worth coming here to explore this treasure. And at the same time, visit the Banteay Srei Butterfly Center.
8. Get your adrenaline pumping at Ta Prohm Temple
Angkor Zipline is one of the best things to do in Siem Reap for adrenaline junkies. This is an incredible ride as you race through the jungle at full speed. Come here with your families and friends for a fun day out and see the wildlife in all its glory. Special discounted tickets can be booked through TakeMeTour.
9. Visit the Angkor National Museum
For history buffs, the museum is the best place to get a complete picture of the Angkor empire. There are many interesting exhibits here. The Angkor National Museum is open from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm.
10. See how artisans work
If you are interested in traditional Cambodian arts and crafts, you can visit Artisans Angkor. The company provides free tours of the workshops, which are available in seven languages. The main feature of Artisans Angkor is the social mission to support young Cambodians. They are taught here absolutely free of charge. Having received a qualification, specialists can find a job in enterprises.
11. Walk the streets slowly and taste the local food
Ask a local what you can try in Siem Reap, and he will most likely say: "grilled chicken." This is the most popular dish that you will be offered almost anywhere. Another delicious street food that you must try is fried snails. You can leisurely wander the streets with the locals and taste everything you see on the shelves. Only go out in search of provisions with an empty stomach!
12. Enjoy Phare's exciting performance
The performance of the artists of the Phare Cambodian Circus is a real magic. With creativity and care, they create amazing traditional performances that combine theatre, music and acrobatics. The Phare team is made up of students and alumni
Phare Ponleu Selpak. Low-income young people study at the institution. For them, this is a chance to become artists and performers.
13. Taste new flavors of rice wine at Sombai
Rice wine is a traditional drink of the locals, but in Sombai it is beyond praise. Rice wine is blended with rum and local ingredients ranging from coffee to green chili to create 8 unique flavors. Unusual combinations are sure to excite your taste buds. You can also take a tour of the production to see for yourself the process of creating a unique wine with different tastes.
14. Audit Night Markets
Night markets are very popular in Siem Reap, and the great thing is that they are located almost back to back. Angkor and Siem Reap markets are within walking distance of each other. You'll find plenty of souvenir and clothing stores, food stalls, and massage parlors (you can even get fish foot massages). A lot of interesting things can be found in Made in Cambodia Market and Siem Reap Art Center night market.
15. Get a firework of emotions on Pub Street
Nightlife is rarely complete without a visit to Pub Street. It is the center of restaurants, bars and clubs. Here you will feel the atmosphere of the holiday, just walking through the streets. If you get tired of the crowds, you can pop into one of the stylish bars for some of the best cocktails in town.
You can stay in Siem Reap for one or more days. In any case, you will find something to do in this wonderful city.