Siem Reap serves as the primary gateway to the iconic temples of Angkor Wat, holding the title of the world’s largest religious monument. This expansive temple complex is an absolute must-visit for every traveler to Cambodia and ranks among Southeast Asia’s top tourist destinations. Without a doubt, Angkor Wat stands as the crown jewel, often hailed as the eighth wonder of the world and rightfully finding its place on countless bucket lists. However, Siem Reap offers much more beyond its ancient temples, with a myriad of things to do.

From bustling markets and lively streets teeming with shops to an array of restaurants serving delicious Khmer cuisine. The city center pulsates with energy and charm, offering a plethora of things to do in Siem Reap. Moreover, venture just beyond the city limits to discover the stilt-house villages on Tonle Sap Lake, embark on scenic hikes to Kulen Mountain, or experience the countryside on an ox-cart ride through verdant rice fields.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll uncover the best things to do in Siem Reap beyond Angkor Wat. Alongside insider tips on dining and accommodation, we provide essential advice to ensure you make the most of your visit to Cambodia’s cultural heartland.

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Seeing Angkor Wat at sunrise, best things to do in Siem Reap Cambodia

VISA | Cambodia requires a visa for citizens of certain countries. Make sure to check the visa requirements on ivisa.com for your nationality before you go.

TRAVEL INSURANCE | Consider getting travel insurance from Heymondo when traveling to Cambodia. It’s our top recommendation for comprehensive and trustworthy coverage. Get 5% OFF through our link.

STAY CONNECTED | Buy a SIM CARD at the airport the moment you arrive or get an E-sim with Airalo to secure reliable internet access in advance.

HOW TO GET THERE | Discover the best flight deals to Cambodia on Skyscanner

GET AROUND | Download the Pass App, a ride-hailing app, to order a tuk-tuk or taxi to get around Siem Reap.

ACCOMMODATION | Browse Booking.com to discover budget-friendly hostels and hotels.

TOURS & ATTRACTIONS | For booking the best & cheapest city tours and day trip excursions, check out GetYourGuide or Viator.

TRANSFERS | Ready to travel to your next destination in Cambodia? Book your bus or train tickets via 12go.

Travel tips for planning a travel adventure to Cambodia

Cambodia enjoys warm weather year-round, typically staying above 30°C. But if you’re planning to visit Siem Reap, the best time to go is during the dry season from November to April. During this time, rainfall is minimal, and December and January offer the coolest temperatures with lower humidity and less rain. However, keep in mind that January through March is peak season, so expect bigger crowds. On the other hand, April and May are scorching hot, sometimes reaching up to 40°C, which can make it uncomfortable for outdoor activities. We visited in early April and personally, we wouldn’t recommend visiting during April due to the intense heat, it was practically unbearable. From May to October, the rainy or monsoon season kicks in, bringing higher humidity and strong winds, making outdoor exploration a bit more challenging.

Siem Reap is renowned for its extraordinary ancient temple sites, offering a truly unique experience unlike any other in the world. In our opinion, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime journey, well deserving of at least three days or more. We suggest opting for the 3-day pass to the Angkor Archaeological Park, not only for its economical value but also for the rich experience it offers. Set aside two full days to explore the temples and another one to two days for other activities in and around Siem Reap. If you’re a temple enthusiast just like us, you could easily spend three or more days wandering around the Angkor Wat archaeological park.

How to get around in Siem Reap Cambodia

Navigating Siem Reap is a breeze, given its compact layout, perfect for strolling around on foot. Tuk-tuks act as the local taxis, offering convenient and budget-friendly rides. But for even more convenience, consider using apps like GRAB (iPhone|Android) and PassApp (iPhone|Android), which work like Uber and are popular among both tourists and locals. These apps show you the fare upfront before you confirm your ride.

Tuk-tuks are fantastic for exploring Siem Reap’s attractions, like the Tonle Sap villages and Angkor Archaeological Park. You can usually rent one for the day for around $15 to $25, and most hotels or hostels can help you arrange this.

If you want to roam around independently, you could also rent a motorbike or bicycle for the day. However, biking to the Angkor Archaeological Park might not be the best idea, as it’s quite a distance and you might end up sweaty, tired, and sunburned by the end of the journey.

Top Experiences and Tours in Siem Reap:

  1. Angkor Wat: Sunrise Tour (top pick in Siem Reap!)
  2. Tonle Sap Lake Floating Village Tour by Boat
  3. Small Group tour Kulen Mountain with picnic
  4. Private or Shared Airport Transfer Siem Reap
  5. Khmer Cooking Class at a Local’s Home

Travel Insurance
Make sure you’ve got travel insurance sorted for your Cambodia adventure! Heymondo offers coverage for medical emergencies, theft, delays, cancellations, lost luggage, and much more. With 24/7 worldwide assistance and access to medical chat, you can travel with peace of mind. Plus, as a reader of Roots Abroad, we’ve got you covered with a 5% discount!

The primary reason for your visit to Siem Reap is likely to explore the legendary Angkor Wat archaeological park. With numerous temples scattered across the grounds, you could easily spend days immersed in its wonders. However, there are plenty of other wonderful things to do in and around Siem Reap, including visiting the floating villages on Tonle Sap, exploring waterfalls, delving into Cambodia’s history, and savoring Khmer cuisine.

Explore the temples of Angkor Wat, best things to do in Siem Reap Cambodia

Exploring the Angkor Archaeological Park is a must when visiting Siem Reap, offering a glimpse into Cambodia’s rich history and ancient wonders. While some opt for a single-day excursion, we suggest allocating at least two days to fully appreciate the vast array of temples within the park. With over 50 temples scattered across the complex, including the iconic Angkor Wat, there’s much to uncover.

To gain access to the temples, visitors must purchase an Angkor Pass, available in various durations: a 1-day pass for $37, a 3-day pass for $62, and a 7-day pass for $72. During our five-day stay in Siem Reap, we chose the 3-day pass, allowing us to explore the temples every other day while enjoying leisure time in the city in between.

Two main routes, the “Small Circuit” and the “Grand Circuit,” cover the most popular temples in the archaeological park. The Small Circuit route features highlights such as Angkor Wat (highly recommended for sunrise), Bayon (known for its hundreds of faces on the towers), and Ta Phrom (famous from the Tomb Raider movie). Meanwhile, the Grand Circuit encompasses additional intriguing temples like Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, and Pre Rup.

As the complex is expansive and the weather can be scorching, we advise hiring a tuk-tuk driver to navigate the circuits for the day, rather than attempting it by bicycle. Alternatively, booking a tour through platforms like GetYourGuide offers a similar price point, providing the added benefit of a knowledgeable guide to enhance your understanding of Cambodian culture, art, and history.

Visit the Floating Villages at Tonle Sap, best things to do in Siem Reap Cambodia
Picture by Sharonang via Pixabay

Exploring the floating villages of Tonle Sap is another one of the best things to do when visiting Siem Reap. Located just a 45-minute drive south of the city, Tonle Sap Lake offers a fascinating glimpse into rural Cambodian life and is a popular day trip option. As the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and a UNESCO Nature Reserve since 1997, Tonle Sap sustains the livelihoods of over three million people who depend on fishing.

The villages surrounding the lake, with houses built on stilts to accommodate the fluctuating water levels, showcase the resilience of local communities. In addition to observing daily life in the villages, visitors have the opportunity to encounter diverse bird and wildlife species, including over 300 types of fish, as well as snakes, crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, and otters.

Visit the Floating Village of Kompong Phluk at Tonle Sap, best things to do in Siem Reap Cambodia
Picture by Sharonang via Pixabay

Among the villages, Kampong Phluk stands out as a popular destination. During the wet season, its houses appear to float on the water, while in the dry season, visitors can walk among the stilted structures towering overhead on dry land—a truly unique experience and one of the highlights of Siem Reap, alongside Angkor Wat.

While the increasing tourist presence in the floating villages may detract from the authenticity of the experience, tourism plays a crucial role in supporting these communities. Witnessing how locals adapt to the changing seasons is both fascinating and educational.

For a more relaxed exploration of the villages without feeling intrusive, consider taking a sunset cruise on Tonle Sap Lake. This allows you to enjoy stunning views of the villages in a serene environment, away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist crowds.

Visit the Waterfalls of Kulen Mountain near Siem Reap in Cambodia
Picture by Phen Phy via Unsplash

For those seeking alternative experiences beyond temple exploration in Siem Reap, a visit to Phnom Kulen National Park offers a refreshing day immersed in nature. Home to the sacred Kulen mountain and breathtaking waterfalls, the park provides an excellent opportunity for a day trip from the city. Just a two-hour drive away, it’s easily arranged through most hotels or tour companies in the area, with a USD 20 entrance fee for tourists.

Phnom Kulen National Park is a popular weekend destination for locals, who indulge in river activities and savor local street food from vendors. The park’s main attraction is its stunning waterfalls, complete with swim-friendly pools. Moreover, there are several walking trails to explore, including a trek along the sacred River of a Thousand Lingas, adorned with carvings of Hindu Gods dating back to around 800 AD.

Ascending Kulen Mountain offers panoramic vistas, while a visit to the Bat Cave adds an adventurous twist to your journey. Along the way back to the city, don’t miss the opportunity to discover Beng Mealea, an Angkor-era temple hidden deep in the jungle, enveloped by twisted vines and echoing with the calls of monkeys.

Pay a visit to The Landmine Museum when in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Even though decades have passed since the Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia is still dealing with the devastating impact of landmines. Cambodia is one of the most heavily landmined countries in the world. It’s estimated that there are between 4 to 6 million undetonated landmines scattered across the country, posing a constant threat to its people. Sadly, new casualties occur daily, resulting in a visible presence of individuals missing limbs in the population.

The Cambodia Landmine Museum serves as an eye-opening educational experience, shedding light on the urgent need to clear these deadly remnants of conflict. With approximately 63,000 people having been killed or maimed by landmines in Cambodia, the museum provides visitors with a stark reminder of the ongoing impact of these hidden dangers.

Run by dedicated locals, the museum not only educates about the devastating toll of landmines but also highlights ongoing efforts to create safer environments for all. Through compelling stories and exhibits, visitors gain insight into the profound impact on local communities and witness the tireless efforts to address these threats.

Located within the Angkor National Park, the museum was founded by a former child soldier from the Khmer Rouge era. Returning to the villages where he once fought, he began dismantling landmines he had planted himself. Since then, he has dedicated his life to demining efforts and has established a school for victims of landmine explosions. Proceeds from the museum contribute to further landmine clearance initiatives and support the operation of the school, providing assistance to amputee children in need.

OPENING HOURS | From 7.30 am to 5.30 pm every day

ENTRY FEE | $5 for adults and free for children under 12

Grab a Beer on Pub Street, best things to do in Siem Reap , Cambodia

With its bold ‘Pub Street’ signs and bright decorations, Pub Street in Siem Reap stands out as a vibrant nightlife destination that’s hard to miss. It’s a hotspot for both locals and tourists, especially backpackers, making it one of the top things to do in Siem Reap for nighttime entertainment. Stretching along a 100-meter strip officially known as “Street 8,” Pub Street is packed with an array of restaurants, bars, and music venues, creating a lively atmosphere. You’ll also find massage shops with fish tanks, colorful neon lights, street food stalls, and plenty of tourists enjoying the scene.

During the evening, you’ll likely encounter street vendors trying to lure you into their establishments, adding to the bustling vibe reminiscent of popular backpacker areas like Khao San Road in Bangkok. Among the many bars, Angkor What? Bar is a favorite, offering great tunes and outdoor seating for people-watching. 

During the daytime, Pub Street takes on a more relaxed vibe, making it a great spot to enjoy a cold beer while soaking in the atmosphere. While Pub Street may not suit everyone’s tastes, it’s worth noting the unique mobile tuk-tuk bars scattered around the area. These converted tuk-tuks offer a fun way to grab a cocktail on the move or relax at a stationary bar stool, complete with flashy lights and music.

Shop for souvenirs at the local markets in Siem Reap Cambodia

Exploring local markets is probably one of our favorite things to do when in Southeast Asia, and Siem Reap doesn’t disappoint in this regard. The city offers plenty of markets to browse through. Whenever we visit a new country, we make it a point to bring back souvenirs that capture the essence of our travels. Typically, we look for items that can adorn our home decor and serve as lasting reminders of our adventures. And, of course, no collection is complete without a refrigerator magnet!

In Cambodia, some unique souvenirs caught our eye. For instance, Kampot pepper is renowned globally for its exceptional quality. We also brought home a wooden carved statue inspired by the faces from the Bayon Temple. Additionally, we stumbled upon stunning brass jewelry crafted from bullet casings found throughout Cambodia.

One market we recommend visiting is the Old Market, also known as Psar Chas. It’s located by the river and is open from 8 am until 6 pm. This market is steeped in history and offers a wide array of stalls selling everything from souvenirs to jewelry and fresh produce. Bargaining is common practice here, so don’t hesitate to negotiate for the best deals. The market is most vibrant in the mornings when locals flock in to do their shopping.

For a more authentic shopping experience, we suggest checking out the Made In Cambodia Market. It’s open from 12 pm to 8 pm and offers a curated selection of locally crafted souvenirs and clothing. While prices may be slightly higher here, the quality and uniqueness of the items make it worthwhile. Plus, you can catch live traditional Khmer dance performances or acoustic music shows every Friday through Sunday at 6 pm, adding to the cultural experience while you shop for memorable souvenirs.

Join a street food tour & try deep-fried insects, best things to do in Siem Reap Cambodia

Food tours offer a fantastic opportunity to dive into the diverse flavors of Cambodian cuisine, and they’re definitely one of the must things to do when you’re in Siem Reap. Khmer cuisine, with its blend of Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, and French influences, is a true culinary gem that often flies under the radar. It’s a shame we can’t find these mouthwatering dishes back home in Europe!

While we’re not usually big on organized group tours, we have to admit that street food tours are something special. They’re usually small and intimate, which gives you a chance to really connect with the local food scene. The guides know all the best spots in town and are full of fascinating tidbits about the food and its origins. Plus, they’ll push you to try things you might never have considered before—like fried insects! Surprisingly, we found crispy crickets to be quite tasty, especially when paired with a cold beer. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even sample tarantulas or scorpions!

These tours can last anywhere from a couple of hours to half a day, so they’re suitable for families too. They’re a fun way to explore hidden eateries and indulge in some of Cambodia’s more daring snacks. By the end of the tour, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for Cambodian cuisine and some unforgettable food experiences to cherish.

We’ve always found that joining a cooking class is not only a delightful experience but also a great way to bring a piece of your travel home with you. Exploring Khmer cuisine through a cooking class is one of the most memorable things to do in Siem Reap, offering a lifelong souvenir that you can enjoy long after your trip. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture and hear some fascinating stories.

During these classes, you’ll get hands-on experience preparing traditional dishes like amok, lok lak, and fresh spring/summer rolls. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about the ingredients that make Cambodian cuisine so delicious. We first tried a cooking class in Sri Lanka and have been hooked ever since, making it a point to participate in one whenever we travel. In Siem Reap, there’s a variety of half-day classes available, either in the town center or in the countryside nearby.

Learn how to make Fish Amok, Learn the secrets of Khmer cuisine in a cooking class while in Siem Reap in Cambodia

Khmer Cooking Class at a local’s home | Experience authentic Khmer cuisine with a local host during this intimate cooking class, perfect for small groups. Begin your culinary adventure with a tuk-tuk pickup and a visit to the local market to select fresh ingredients for your dishes. Then, head to your host’s home for your cooking session. Learn valuable techniques and secrets of Cambodian cooking from your knowledgeable guide as you prepare four traditional Khmer dishes, including the flavorful Fish Amok and the renowned Tom Yam soup. With class sizes limited to just six participants, you’ll enjoy personalized attention and plenty of hands-on experience. Choose from three different class times to suit your schedule and preferences.

Another popular choice within the center of Siem Reap is this cooking class with Paper Tiger, they have been around since 2001!

Cambodian Cooking Class from Siem Reap | This course starts with a tuk-tuk ride to a rural village, where you’ll visit a local family to learn about herbs and vegetables used in Khmer cooking. Then, it’s off to the kitchen to create several dishes under the guidance of a chef. Each participant gets their own cooking station and equipment, and at the end of the class, you can relax by a charming pond and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Exploring the Angkor National Museum is an enriching addition to your visit to the Angkor Archaeological Park. Not only does it offer valuable insights into the history of the Angkor Kingdom, but it also serves as a sanctuary for many well-preserved statues and carvings, safeguarding them from further deterioration. This modern museum boasts an impressive array of artifacts, sculptures, and interactive displays that vividly illustrate the glory of the Khmer civilization. In addition to showcasing the wonders of the Angkor era, the museum also sheds light on the dark chapters of Cambodia’s history, including the Khmer Rouge Regime. With informative signage in English and a well-organized layout, exploring the museum will easily consume at least two hours of your time.

Best preserved temple in Angkor Wat Complex, Banteay Srei in Siem Reap Cambodia

Phare, the Cambodian Circus, offers an entertainment extravaganza reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil but with a distinct Cambodian flavor. This one-hour evening circus spectacle is a crowd favorite among tourists, featuring a blend of modern dance, acrobatics, and traditional theater. It’s unquestionably one of the top things to do in Siem Reap, particularly for families with children. Unlike conventional circuses, Phare showcases the talents of human performers without the involvement of animals.

Beyond its mesmerizing performances, Phare, The Cambodian Circus, also champions a noble cause. It was established to empower underprivileged children by providing them with opportunities to learn various performing arts disciplines, such as music and circus skills. Approximately 75 percent of the profits generated directly support the Phare Ponleu Selpak NGO, which operates the school. The circus hosts nightly performances at 8 pm, promising an unforgettable experience for all attendees.

Explore the countryside of Cambodia, Battambang is a perfect trip from Siem Reap

Exploring the countryside around Siem Reap on a bicycle tour offers a refreshing escape from the city and provides valuable insights into local life, making it one of the top things to do in Siem Reap.

In Cambodia, much of the population resides in rural areas, offering a glimpse into traditional living with wooden houses, small farms, and cherished animals. While you can rent a bicycle or motorbike for independent exploration, joining a guided tour is recommended for a more immersive experience, especially when language barriers are present.

Opting for a tour led by a local guide allows for meaningful interactions with residents, even those who may not speak English. During a five-hour bicycle excursion, you’ll pedal through rice fields, visit local villages, and stop at places like markets, farms, and temples. Along the way, you’ll learn about rice wine production, handicrafts, and other aspects of local life.

For families with children, there are kid-friendly bikes and infant seats available. Keep in mind that the tour typically covers 15-20 km, so be prepared for some cycling. Water and snacks are provided, ensuring a comfortable journey as you explore the Cambodian countryside.

Apsara Dancers Live Performance Khmer Cultural Dance, perfect ending to a 3-day Siem Reap Itinerary
Picture by WIL via Flickr

The Apsara dance is a traditional form of Cambodian artistry that dates back to the 12th century during the reign of King Suryavarman II, the ruler responsible for Angkor Wat’s construction. Carvings depicting the Apsara dance can even be found at the iconic Angkor Wat temple itself.

Originally, it was exclusively performed for royalty by women believed to possess supernatural abilities. Today, this ancient dance is accessible to all, with performances held at various hotels and restaurants in Siem Reap. These shows feature professional lighting, elaborate backdrops, and stunning costumes, providing an immersive cultural experience. Lasting around two hours, they often include other traditional Khmer dance forms and martial arts demonstrations, adding depth to the performance.

Where to stay in Siem Reap to see the Angkor Wat Temples in Cambodia

Siem Reap attracts a constant stream of visitors, leading to a wide range of hostels and hotels available to suit every budget and preference. To simplify your search, we’ve handpicked some of the best accommodation options in the area.

Given the city’s popularity, it’s wise to book in advance, especially during the peak season from November to March. Staying downtown is a good idea, as it puts you within walking distance of the river, main markets, and lively cafes.

However, keep in mind that you may still need a taxi or tuk-tuk to reach attractions like the Angkor complex and other sites located farther from the city center.

RECOMMENDED HOTEL | Khmer House Boutique

We absolutely loved our stay at Khmer House Boutique during our recent backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. In fact, it was our favorite accommodation throughout the entire journey! We spent an entire week there, which speaks volumes about how much we enjoyed it.

The staff at Khmer House Boutique were incredibly kind and helpful, making our stay even more enjoyable. The a la carte breakfast was one of the best we’ve had, and the rooms were spacious, clean, and comfortable, each with its own balcony. The rooms on the bottom floor even have poolside balconies and direct access to the pool area.

The hotel also offered the convenience of booking Angkor Wat tours on-site (at competitive prices), which made exploring the area hassle-free. Additionally, its location was ideal, situated close to many fantastic restaurants and not too far from the river. Plus, the cozy pool was the perfect spot to relax after a day of sightseeing.

Best places to stay in Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat in Cambodia

LUXURY RETREAT | Angkor Village Hotel

Angkor Village Hotel stands out with its stunning Khmer architecture, nestled in lush private gardens. It offers a refreshing swimming pool and an in-house restaurant and bar. The spacious rooms overlook a serene lotus pond and garden, each equipped with a luxurious rain shower. Guests can also enjoy foot massages by the pool. Convenient amenities include tour bookings and car or bicycle rentals. Its prime location provides easy access to city attractions, restaurants, and supermarkets within walking distance.

RESORT | Eightfold Urban Resort

Eightfold Urban Resort offers a modern escape from the city center hustle in Siem Reap. The refreshing pool, especially the patio room, provides a relaxing oasis after a day at the temples. With an outdoor swimming pool, garden, restaurant, and bar, the resort offers a serene atmosphere. Some rooms offer pool views and all feature balconies. The staff is accommodating, and the hotel provides free rides to the city center. The in-house cafe and spacious rooms add to the comfortable stay.

HIDDEN OASIS | The Nature

Located just outside the city center, this hidden oasis offers a perfect retreat surrounded by nature. Situated in the countryside on the outskirts of town, it’s less than a 10-minute ride by remorque. The property, aptly named “The Nature,” features a beautiful wooden interior in communal areas, evoking a jungle tree house vibe. The modern and spacious rooms have an industrial feel with wooden accents throughout. The property includes a lovely shaded pool, and some units offer garden views. The staff is exceptionally professional and friendly, even providing a complimentary tuk-tuk ride into town in the evenings.

MID-RANGE | Golden Temple Retreat

Within walking distance of Pub Street and Old Market, Golden Temple Retreat offers the perfect blend of convenience and luxury. Upon check-in, guests are greeted with personal touches like beautiful fresh flowers, including fresh pink petals in the sink, adding a touch of luxury to the experience. For the ultimate relaxation, opt for a ground-floor room by the pool. These rooms come with a private covered porch, a king-sized sun bed, a wooden swing, and direct access to the pool. It’s the ideal spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Guests can also indulge in delicious meals at the in-house restaurant or enjoy a drink at the bar.

BUDGET | Bokre Angkor Hostel

Located near the city center, Bokre Angkor Hostel offers an incredible price-quality ratio. The hostel features comfortable beds and a pleasant common area with a pool and terrace. With its beautiful and clean facilities, including free drinking water available on every floor, guests can enjoy a comfortable stay. The staff are friendly, professional, and always ready to offer helpful advice. The on-site restaurant serves a variety of Khmer and Western dishes, complemented by refreshing drinks. With additional services such as laundry and tour bookings available, it’s a convenient and affordable choice for budget travelers.

Best places to eat Khmer Cuisine in Siem Reap Cambodia

Tevy’s Place –  A standout favorite, visited four times for its fantastic food, especially the Beef lok lak, made with fresh produce at reasonable prices. The ambiance and staff are equally wonderful, with a heartwarming initiative to train and employ young girls from difficult backgrounds.

Sambo Khmer & Thai Restaurant – A popular spot for Thai cuisine, though expect a wait for a table.

Haven – Similar to Tevy’s Place, this restaurant follows an apprenticeship model, training students in hospitality. Great service and delicious food in a spacious open setting, ideal for groups.

Urban Tree Hut – អ៊ឺបេនទ្រី – Set in a peaceful garden oasis, offering gourmet meals at affordable prices, perfect for a romantic or special evening.

Footprint Cafes – A tranquil atmosphere with a vast selection of books and excellent service. Outstanding food and coffee, especially for plant-based options. Ideal for brunch with a cozy ambiance.

The Little Red Fox Espresso – A great spot for work or breakfast with creative coffee options, smoothie bowls, and delicious bagel sandwiches. Occasional live music and air-conditioned space on the second floor.

Brother Bong Cafe – Offering a diverse menu from muesli bowls to Khmer cuisine like fish amok. Great coffee, lovely atmosphere, and friendly staff.

The Christa Restaurant and Bar – A laidback lunch spot with reasonable prices and a wide range of Khmer and Western dishes. The rooftop bar offers a delightful ambiance, with standout dishes like Khmer sour soup, mango salad, and fish stew, served by friendly staff.

How to get to Siem Reap in Cambodia

To witness the magnificent Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the nearest city to base yourself is Siem Reap, as it only takes around 15 minutes to the archaeological park from the city. Typically, reaching Siem Reap involves a layover in other Southeast Asian cities like Bangkok, Singapore, or Ho Chi Minh. From our experience, it’s often cost-effective to book separate flights. Begin by searching for flights to these major travel hubs and then explore transport options to Siem Reap. Siem Reap has an international airport (REP), making it convenient to catch a flight from Phnom Penh or any other major city in Southeast Asia. AirAsia usually provides excellent connections at competitive prices. We rely on Skyscanner to discover the most favorable and economical flight routes.

Once you arrive in Siem Reap, you can order a tuk-tuk via the Pass App, which should only cost you $2 for the ride from the bus station or $3,5 from the airport.

Are you planning a Southeast Asia adventure? Maybe you’ve already explored Vietnam and are now headed to Cambodia. Alternatively, you might have found the ideal flight tickets to Ho Chi Minh City from home. While flying directly from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap is an option, traveling overland is also possible, though it takes longer. During our own Southeast Asia trip, we decided to break up the journey by stopping first in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, for a few days.

The bus ride from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh took about 6-7 hours, including the border crossing. The journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap took another 6 hours. We chose Giant Ibis for both bus rides, known for their safety and professionalism, especially during border crossings, although they’re a bit pricier. When booking transportation around Southeast Asia, we always use 12GO.Asia. The website gives a clear overview of the transportation options for your route, different times, and prices.

In the past decade, Siem Reap has experienced growth, thanks to enhancements in road infrastructure and flight connections. Now, reaching Siem Reap from other parts of Cambodia is quite straightforward. The most convenient and cost-effective means of travel from Phnom Penh, the capital, to Siem Reap, is by bus. Giant Ibis is known for its reliability and professionalism, and you can easily reserve a seat with them through 12GO.Asia.

Powered by 12Go system

From Bangkok, it’s also possible to book a direct flight to Siem Reap, which takes about an hour. If you prefer to take the bus, this ride takes around 7-8 hours which you can also book via 12GO.Asia with Giant Ibis, which is a reliable and comfortable bus company.

Cambodia is generally considered a safe destination for travelers. The locals, known as Khmer, are some of the friendliest and warm-hearted people we have met on our journeys. Siem Reap, being a popular tourist spot, is well-prepared to ensure visitors’ safety. While incidents like bag snatching can occur, especially in crowded areas, overall crime rates are relatively low.

Here are some safety tips we found helpful during our trip:

Travel Insurance for your Cambodia Travel Adventure

While Cambodia is generally safe for travelers, it’s wise to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances such as petty theft. In case you are thinking of renting a scooter or motorbike it’s definitely advised to look into travel insurance. Having reliable travel insurance is a smart move to ensure a smooth journey and coverage in case of accidents or injuries on the road, providing peace of mind whether you’re on a short backpacking trip or a more extended stay abroad.

Choosing travel insurance that includes medical expenses, trip cancellation or interruption, and protection against lost or stolen belongings is crucial. Review the coverage and policy details carefully to align with your specific needs.

Heymondo, a recommended provider, offers comprehensive coverage and flexible monthly plans. Their user-friendly app simplifies policy management and communication, even through WhatsApp. Coverage includes Emergency Medical Assistance, insurance for stolen or damaged luggage, Travel Disruption coverage, and Trip Cancellation Coverage. Heymondo also provides additional coverage for items like electronic equipment and adventure sports at an extra cost. 

TRAVEL INSURANCE | Make sure to check out Heymondo for your upcoming Cambodia trip and enjoy 5% OFF through our link.

Practical information and travel tips for planning your trip to Cambodia & Angkor Wat

TRANSPORTATION | For booking ferry, bus, and train rides online, we recommend using the website 12go. This platform has been our go-to across Asia, saving us from the hassle of queuing at travel agencies or bus stations.

ACCOMMODATION | Finding affordable places to stay in Cambodia is a breeze with Booking.com. It’s the ideal platform to discover budget-friendly hostels and hotels.

FLIGHTS | Discover the best flight deals to Cambodia on Skyscanner. We love that they highlight the days with the cheapest prices for a destination, and the ability to search by month or region for flexibility.

TRAVEL INSURANCE | When it comes to travel insurance, especially for backpacking in Asia, consider Heymondo. It’s our top recommendation for comprehensive and trustworthy coverage.

INTERNET | Secure reliable internet access for your Cambodia trip with Airalo. Simply install it on your eSIM-compatible smartphone before your journey.

TOURS & ATTRACTIONS | For the best and most affordable city tours, day trip excursions, food tours, and cooking classes in Cambodia, check out  GetYourGuide or Viator.

VISA ORGANIZATION | Before your trip, ensure you check the visa requirements for your passport nationality. Explore details on travel documents at iVisa.com.

We hope this Best things to do in Siem Reap travel guide helps you out when planning for your exciting upcoming trip. You can show some ❤ and support for the blog and help us share more adventures! Our travels are entirely self-funded, so any show of support is greatly appreciated. It allows us to keep writing helpful travel guides and gather information to make it easier for people to discover the world.

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