The list of the best things to do in Siem Reap Cambodia not only includes the temple visit of the Angkor, but it also covers more local highlights beyond the ancient religious heritage. If you travel to the kingdom solely because of the Angkor Wat, now get out of the box and think further of more things in the gateway destination. The top experiences below can change your mind about the charm of this destination that goes far beyond the antique ruins.
#1: Visit Angkor Temples – Best Highlight that Siem Reap Leads To
Regardless of some other exciting things to do in Siem Reap, the Angkor Wat – the UNESCO World Heritage Site is still the major magnet attracting the tourists. Erected in the 12th century by the Khmer people under the reign of Jayavarman II, the religious ruins of the Angkor have been winning the international visitors’ and experts’ recognition. The temple complex covers various points of interest for one-day, three-day, or even seven-day pass in which you discover the temples in a microscopic way. In general, the most outstanding sites to see in the Angkor Archaeological Park are the well-known Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Beng Mealea, and Banteay Srei. Each of the ancient ruins fulfills your interest in the Khmer architecture, Hindu cosmology, Khmer Empire history, and Buddhist monastery. Certainly, Angkor is a must to see in both Siem Reap and Cambodia.
#2: Discover what is inside Angkor National Museum – Top Activity to Learn Angkor History
Inaugurated in 2007, the Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap displays various artifacts of the Angkor Wat as well as the other ruins. It is the attractive building which covers the valuable humankind knowledge inside, namely the Angkor Empire’s relics such as more than 6.000 lintels, Hindu God statues, Buddha images, sandstone reliefs, etc. It’s recommended to spend time wandering around this museum before you actually see the temple ruins so that you come with the proper insights into the existing relics. The octagonal and pagoda-style building looks impressive even from afar. Then, when you get into the tower, look for the exhibits and galleries on each floor. What’s more, take advantage of the duty-free shops to buy the silk, lotus fiber clothing, or lacquerware if wanted. The museum visit is best combined with the market shopping – only 20-minutes walking to the Old Market area.
#3: Get Authentic Khmer Souvenirs at Psah Chas (Old Market) – Enjoyable Shopping in Siem Reap
The locals and tourists who want the authentic Khmer souvenirs should always stop at the Old Market. Not only does the riverside market offer various booths of the beautiful and engaging souvenir items, but it also owns the scenic scenery to please the eyes. What sorts of souvenirs that you prefer? Psah Chas has the silverworks, T-shirts, jewelry, scarves, paintings, handbags, handicrafts, brass sculptures, etc. Without a doubt, this busy address owns some street eateries and food stalls for you to taste the Khmer dishes. And if you are fond of the Khmer daily life activities, get there to see how the Khmer women bargain and buy things.
#4: Watch Local Lifestyle at Kampong Phluk Village – Experience to Feel Peace in Siem Reap
The simple and happy village life can calm your mind right at Kampong Phluk, around 13 miles from the Siem Reap city. This is a fishing site made on stilts around the famous Tonle Sap Lake – the largest freshwater lake in the country. The Khmer daily life in the non-tourism village can attract many backpackers who might come there by either bus or boat. The rustic fishing village is where to watch the peaceful rural landscapes and mingle with the authentic and friendly Khmer residents.
#5: Do shopping and eating at Oum Khun Street – Fun Things to Do in Siem Reap
When it comes to 16:00 PM, it’s time for you to gather at the Oum Khun Street where is full of the markets and sales booths. Walking in this busy street enables you to buy various good items, eat the delicious Khmer street food and drink the local beverages. The stores of groceries, naturally dyed objects, souvenirs, silk handkerchiefs, handicrafts, etc., urge you to hope for the bigger luggage with more spaces to purchase more. Especially, make sure you catch the opportunities to eat the fried insect snacks, namely the crunchy chrysalis. Each second of buying food and souvenirs in this street will turn to be the incredibly rewarding experiences.
#6: Relax with the Circus Show at Phare – Cool Thing for Siem Reap Nightlife
The local nightlife cannot be complete without a circus show at Phare. The Phare Circus is very popular amongst the Cambodians, and all overseas guests are encouraged to give it a try. Together with the circus performances, the ticket also covers the local music, dancing, and martial art. In particular, Phare offers the Khmer tradition of acrobatics and the language used is the Khmer language. There are the subtitles in English shown on the big screen for the foreigners to understand what is going on the stage.
#7: Enjoy Bird Watching at Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary – Nature-Friendly Activity to Book in Siem Reap
In an area of 31.000 hectares, the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary is the significant place that protects the endangered water birds in not only Cambodia but also Southeast Asia. Belonging to the marsh of Tonle Sap Lake, this place of interest is ideal for boating and bird watching of the storks, pelicans, ibis, and many more. It is feasible to book the boat trip through the guesthouse or rent a boat from Phnom Krom/Chong Khneas Dock by yourself. Furthermore, you can experience the nightlife there via booking the overnight stay at the Prek Toal Environmental Research Station. The wild taste trip after dark sounds exciting, indeed.
As the Angkor Temples are just the beginning of the Siem Reap tour packages, make your trip more complete and distinctive by carrying out the top things to do in Siem Reap above.