There are so many things to do in Siem Reap now that many visitors are spoilt for choice in what to do during their visit to Siem Reap. We have listed some of the most popular tour activities for you below and we have also added a few activities you will not see offered anywhere else. You can add any of these activities to your Angkor tours or Day Trips. For more information please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Floating Villages and Tonle Sap
Chong Khneas Village
Chong Khneas is the village which attracts the most visitors from Siem Reap, probably because it is the closest. Chong Khneas is a nice floating village to see and most people enjoy the trip. During your tour of Chong Khneas you will see what life is like on a busy floating village. Chong Khneas is quite touristy so tourism plays a big part of most people’s daily lives on this floating village. The boat trip takes about 2 hours.
Kompong Phluk Village and Flooded Forest
Kampong Phluk village is a nicer village than Chong Khneas and it also does not get as many visitors as Chong Khneas. Kampong Phluk is further away then Chong Khneas. The trip takes around 2.5 hours. Kompong Phluk also has a flooded forest nearby which is very interesting to see especially during the rainy season. Due to low water in the dry season it is sometimes not possible to take the day trip to Kompong Phluk.
Kompong Khleang Village
Kampong Khleang village is around 35km from Siem Reap, but it is probably the nicest of the 3 villages and as expected it has the least visitors. If you have time we recommend Kompong Khleang as the best floating village to visit as it is less touristy and more interesting. While visiting Kompong Khleang you will see the locals fishing, everyday items sold by sellers from small boats, children rowing small boats on the way to school plus lots more.
Apsara Dancing with buffet meal
Cambodian Cultural Village (Siem Reap Cultural Village)
There are 11 unique villages, which represent different cultural heritages and characteristics of 19 multi-races. At each village, you can enjoy the excellent wood houses, carving, soft skill in stone, traditional performances in the different style such as: Apsara dancing, traditional wedding ceremony, traditional ethnic dances, circus, peacock dancing, elephant shows, boxing and more. You can also see Apsara Dancing at the Cambodia Cultural Village with a buffet meal.
Spending time with a Cambodian family is an exciting opportunity to get to know the real Cambodia. This homestay travel experience will give you a real look into the everyday lives of local Cambodians which include preparing a traditional Khmer dish together with your hosts. Our family homestays are only available as part of a pre-arranged Angkor tour.
Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary
If you are a keen bird watcher, then Prek Toal bird sanctuary is well worth a visit which has birds such as cormorants, pelicans, kingfishers, storks and many others. Serious watchers will know that best time to see the birds is early mornings or late afternoons, so you may like to know that it is possible to stay at the environment office. When visiting Prek Toal, sun lotion and a hat are essential. During December to May many birds gather here as the water starts to dry up during this time of year, but unfortunately it also makes it harder to get right into the reserve and small paddle boats maybe needed. You can also visit Prek toal bird sanctuary in a half day, but you will not have time to see much.
Traditional Khmer Massage
There are many places in Siem Reap where you can go to relax and have a soothing body, face or foot massage. A relaxing massage is well recommended after a day the Angkor temples.
The Old Market is in the centre of Siem Reap town opposite the Siem Reap river. Most visitors have heard of the Old Market and they have it on their list of attractions to see in Siem Reap. You will see many visitors looking for souvenirs or just browsing. Other things to buy in Siem Reap at the Old Market are gold jewellery, silver jewellery and gems. There is also a food section where you can buy fruit, vegetables, meats, fish and groceries.
The Central Market is located on Sivatha Road and here you will see mostly souvenirs for sale. It is not as busy as the Old Market and you can walk around the Central Market with more ease without getting pestered so much from the sellers. The Central Market is geared more towards tourists and it is on a lot of visitor’s lists of things to do in Siem Reap.
The New Market is located about 3km from Siem Reap town centre on the way to Phnom Penh on National Road No.6. It sells everything from food items, house wares, gold jewellery, fruit and vegetables, clothes etc. If you would like some clothes made by a tailor, then this is also the market to go too. The New Market is mostly visited by the locals and you will see fewer tourists here, so you will not get as pestered and you will also find items cheaper than any of the other markets.
There is a night market called Angkor Night Market which is open from 4:00pm to midnight and is just at the back of Sivatha Street. This market sells many items such as handicrafts, souvenirs, clothes, jewelry and it also has an Asian food court, foot & head massage, live painting and a entertainment area.
WARNING: Be aware of pick pockets in the markets and make sure you carry your bags and money close to your body.
The Landmine Museum is one of the biggest attractions in Siem Reap and because of this it has changed location to a bigger site about 6km south of Banteay Srey. Most visitors visit the museum on the way back from Banteay Srey Temple. There is also now a small admission fee of US$2 per person. It is very popular with tourists and is run by a guy called Aki Ra, who was formerly a member of the Khmer Rouge, Red Army and Vietnamese Army. You can visit the museum on the way back from Banteay Srey or Kbal Spean. The Landmine Museum is probably on most visitors lists of things to see in Siem Reap.
The War museum has tanks and other war artifacts from previous wars and it is located just off National Road No.6 to Siem Reap airport on the right hand side, where you will see a big sign when to turn off. The war museum is US$3 to enter and opens from 8:00am to 5:30pm daily. The war museum is not as popular as the Land Mine Museum, but may be more interesting to some people.
Angkor National Museum
Angkor National Museum will take its visitors through the journey back in time from the creation to the highest point of civilization. Through the use of interactive exhibits, visitors will develop a deeper understanding of custom, tradition and different beliefs of the ancient empire. A tour of the museum will be joyful for both visitors who have a good understanding of ancient Khmer civilization and visitors who do not have any previous knowledge of the ancient Khmer empire.
The Silk Farm definitely needs to be on your list of things to see in Siem Reap, because you are sure to find it very interesting to see how silk is made. It is located 16km from Siem Reap. At the silk farm you can take a guided tour around the farm, where you will be shown how silk is made.
Artisans D’Angkor was created to help young people find work in their home villages by teaching them different types of crafts. If you would like to visit Artisans D’Angkor, then you can visit their shop near the Old Market. The shop has many types of carved handicrafts made from different materials such as stone and wood. You can also take a guided tour to discover the traditional Khmer techniques used for stone and wood carving, lacquering and gilding, as explained by experienced guides. A complete tour of the workshops will take you from raw materials to splendid craft-wares.
The Cambodian Killing Fields – Wat Thmei
If you want to go visit a small killing field in Siem Reap, as they are generally known as, then you can do so at Wat Thmei which is located on the left fork road on the road to Angkor. Wat Thmei has a small memorial stupa containing skulls and bones of some of the Khmer Rouge’s victims.
On April 17th, 1975 the Khmer Rouge, a communist guerrilla group led by Pol Pot, took power in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. They forced all the people living in the city to the countryside to work in labour camps. During Khmer Rouge rule under Pol Pot, it is estimated that around 2 million Cambodians died by starvation, torture or execution and this was around 30% of Cambodia’s population at the time.
The Khmer Rouge banned all businesses and services in Cambodia, including shops, banks, clinics, hospitals, schools and religious or family gatherings. Everyone was forced to work 12-14 hours a day, every day in the labour camps. The people were fed once a day normally a bowl of watery soup with very little rice inside. People were killed everywhere whether they were children, elderly or fit adults who could work in the labour camps. The Khmer Rouge killed people if they didn’t like them, if they didn’t work hard enough, if they were educated, if they came from different ethnic groups, or if they showed a little disobedience but most were killed without reason.
There are over 18000 killing fields within Cambodia and not just the killing field of Choeung Ek near Phnom Penh that most people know of. You can visit a killing field in Siem Reap at Wat Thmei, on the left fork of the road to Angkor Wat, it has a small memorial stupa containing the skulls and bones of victims of the Khmer Rouge.
Cookery Classes in Siem Reap
There are a few restaurants in Siem Reap now where you can learn how to cook Khmer food. You will normally visit the market to buy your produce then go back to the restaurant to prepare and cook the food before sitting down to enjoy your meal.
You can take an elephant ride while you are at Bakheng mountain from around 4pm to 6pm. The cost for a ride up the Bakheng mountain on an elephant is US$20 and to come back down the cost is US$10. You can also take an elephant ride from the south gate of Bayon to the Bayon temple in the early mornings and the cost is US$15 per person.
Siem Reap now has three 18 hole international championship golf courses. If you fancy a round of golf whilst in Siem Reap, then why not ask us to arrange a package tour for you including a round of golf.
Horse riding is now available in Siem Reap. You can also take a ride in a horse drawn cart around the Angkor temples. Beginners and experienced riders are welcome. The maximum weight limit is 90kg.
Hot Air Balloon
If you want to see more of the Angkor Temples, then why not try a hot air balloon over Siem Reap where you can take some photos from up above. The cost is US$15 for about 15 minutes. The balloon is anchored at all times.