The Best Things to Do in Siem Reap, Cambodia
February 1, 2018
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If you’re planning a trip to Cambodia, you’re probably quickly finding out that there are so many amazing things to do in Siem Reap, as well as in Cambodia’s other destinations. This guide will cover Siem Reap, one of Cambodia’s most popular destinations, and all of the best things to do in Siem Reap when visiting this incredible city.
Best Things to Do in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Visit the Temples of Angkor (the most popular thing to do in Siem Reap!)
Angkor Wat is presumably the reason that you came to Siem Reap in the first place, and therefore the place where you will be spending the majority of your time. What a lot of people don’t realize is that Angkor Wat is just one of the many temples within the complex of temples, and that the temples are so spread out that they aren’t exactly walkable. This leaves you with two main options for getting around: by tuk-tuk or by bike. While the bike will give you a bit more freedom, I prefer the tuk tuk option as it can be quite a long day of exploring. A tuk-tuk for the day will typical cost around $25 USD and can hold up to 4 people.
If you are going to buy the one-day pass then make sure you get the most bang for your buck! Head to the temples at 5pm on the day before you want to visit temples.. After buying the tickets you will be allowed to enter the area to watch sunset. You can then return at 4:30am the next morning for sunrise on the same ticket.
Ticket Prices (as of Jan 2018):
One day – $37
Three day – $62
Seven day – $72
When a friend first recommended this to me I admit that I was a bit skeptical as it seemed quite touristy and expensive. Safe to say I was super impressed! The performers are extremely talented and have a cirque du soleil vibe. The show runs every evening with tickets starting at $18.
The daily night market is your go-to spot for some good shopping, cheap massages, and food stalls. While food stalls are not as abundant as some of the neighboring countries, you’ll definitely find street vendors selling nutella rotee and $1 fresh smoothies.
Wat Bo Temple
I know that most people are templed out after a long day(s) at the Angkor complex, however I absolutely loved this temple! Wat Bo Temple is easily one of my favorite things to do in Siem Reap. If you have the chance to visit between the hours of 4:30 and 6pm it is absolutely magical, at the monks will often perform a chanting routine. I was amazed by the temple’s beauty (and the utter lack of other tourists). A true hidden gem in my opinion!
So personally I didn’t LOVE the floating villages themselves, as the entire village felt a bit like a tourist scam. However, the tuk-tuk ride out to the villages was absolutely incredible, and in my opinion made the entire trip worth it. The ride to and from the villages will offer you a more authentic look into the daily life of those living in and nearby Siem Reap.
Where to Eat in Siem Reap, Cambodia
To be super transparent, I was not impressed by the food in Siem Reap, or Cambodia in general for that matter, however the spots listed below are definitely worth checking out! There are also some great options for vegans and vegetarians visiting Siem Reap. Here is a list of the best vegan restaurants in Siem Reap.
If there is one thing to know about me it is that I LOVE frozen margaritas! So of course I has to scout out the best great happy hour margarita deal. While these are admittedly not the best margaritas I’ve tried, it’s hard to beat $1.50 and strong!
My Little Cafe
This spot was recommended to me by a friend who has been living in the area for a few years and it definitely did not disappoint! In fact, I ate there 4 times on my recent trip! This is a great spot for amazing local and general Asian cuisine at super reasonable prices!
Looking for a juice fix? The Hive has got you covered! I stopped by after visiting Wat Bo for a delicious, fresh carrot ginger juice. Prices are a bit high, but the quality definitely matches the price.
Namaskar Indian Kitchen
Go for the Korma! I ate here a handful of times and the vegetable korma never disappointed! Mains are priced around $5 and definitely worth it!
Brother Bong Cafe
Looking for a cute breakfast spot with Western options? Brother Bong Cafe is a safe bet. Although not a coffee drinker myself, this cafe is rumored to serve some of the best coffee in Siem Reap!
Wandering down Pub Street you will find endless food and drink options, with plenty of Western options if that’s your thing. It’s definitely a fun street to check out for at least a night. One of my favorite bars is Angkor Wat?, a bit wild but a fun night out!
General Tips for Visiting Siem Reap, Cambodia
Currency – While Cambodia does have their own currency, the Cambodian Riel, you will find that most shops, restaurants, and attractions operate in US dollars. At this point you can use dollars for anything, in fact you are required to pay for the visa in dollars. However, as the country does not us coins, you will often receive your change in riel. The riel is currently 4,000 to the dollar.
Pharmacies –While you’ll notice that there are literally pharmacies on every corner, they are not all equal. If you need anything while in Siem Reap head to Angkor Thom Pharmacy on Sivatha Blvd. There have been questionable items sold at many of the pharmacies, however this location is the go-to of all the local expats.
If you’re traveling through Southeast Asia, here are some other articles that you should check out:
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