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The Heart of Cambodia

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Found this guide helpful

Siem Reap may be daunting at first, especially if it's your first experience to Southeast Asian areas, but you find the groove and pattern of the small city within the day. It's a very safe and easy-to-get around town, and very economical for every sort of traveller! Not to mention it's a short 20 minutes from Angkor Wat - the famous temples in Cambodia! This guide will tell you suggestions of what to do, what to see, where to go and what / where to eat in and around Siem Reap. Definitely doable in 3 days, even with down time!

Good for
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

15 Places

6 City Tips

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Map

15 Places

Day 1

Angkor Thom

Historic Sites, Ancient Ruins

Ta Prohm

Ancient Ruins, Sacred & Religious Sites

Angkor Wat

Ancient Ruins

Bayon Temple

Ancient Ruins

Central Hostel

Hotels

The Square 24

Restaurants

Day 2

Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity

Nature & Wildlife Areas

Banteay Srei

Ancient Ruins, Sacred & Religious Sites

Kbal Spean

Waterfalls, Bodies of Water

Psar Chaa - Old Market

Flea & Street Markets

Khmer Kitchen Restaurant

Restaurants

Pub Street

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Day 3

Tonle Sap Lake

Bodies of Water

Artisans Angkor

Gift & Speciality Shops, Factory Tours

Haven

Restaurants

mpavan's City Tips

  • Haggle!! Though most things are very inexpensive.
  • Cambodia starts early (around 7 am latest) and dinner is not late - most restaurants close by 10 pm.
  • Sunrise at Angkor Wat is a must! Take a tuk tuk.
  • Tips are not necessary, you can just round up.
  • US Dollars are king. Pay with that. Change will be given in Cambodian Riels if you don't have exact money.
  • Tuk tuks are the taxis and ways to get around - hiring one for the day shouldn't cost you more than $10-12. If you keep the same driver for a few days, you can work out deals.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Angkor Thom
    Historic Sites, Ancient Ruins
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    A complex of temples, you just have to see some of them.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Be sure to keep your site pass safe and intact!! This is your passport for all your visits to the archaelogical sites - they will be checked by guards.
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 181 things to do in Siem Reap
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing Temple 27/03/2017
    • Unbelievable City 27/03/2017
    • Angkor Thom
    Address:
    Angkor Wat
    Siem Reap 17259
    Cambodia
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    00:00 - 23:59
  • Save
    Ta Prohm
    Ancient Ruins, Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    The site of the Tomb Raider films! Get as many pictures as you can, and don't be afraid to ask for the sights to be cleared :) People are friendly. It's so incredible to see a temple overtaken and reclaimed by nature. You will want to take lots of pictures, even beyond the Tomb Raider ones.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It's still under reconstruction, so you won't be able to see everything yet
    • Find the temple area where you beat your superstitions out of yourself! It's an echo chamber.
    • Find the stegosaurus carving ...
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 181 things to do in Siem Reap
    • Lovely temple with giant trees 27/03/2017
    • amazing 27/03/2017
    • Ta Prohm
  • Save
    Angkor Wat
    Ancient Ruins
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    The face of the temples, this is the main one you will visit. Be prepared to climb short vertical stairs to get to the holy place. If not, you can skip it and wander around the rest of the complex. Start at the back, and go to the front. You will have less people (or no people!) in your pictures.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Go see the sunrise. It is worth it.
    • LOTS OF WATER.
    • You MUST cover up. Shoulders covered, knees covered, no hats for the holy places. Long sarongs or scarves won't cut it.
    • Either wear long capris and a t-shirt girls, or bring something with you.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 181 things to do in Siem Reap
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • An amazing and memorable visit 27/03/2017
    • Amazing 27/03/2017
    • Angkor Wat
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    00:00 - 23:59
  • Save
    Bayon Temple
    Ancient Ruins
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    One of my favourite temples, it is wonderful to wander through the pillars of Buddha faces. Check out the long wall of stories! One of the best on the site.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Get someone to take a kissing Buddha picture!
    • Not as hard to get around as Angkor Wat if you have mobility issues.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 181 things to do in Siem Reap
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Most beautiful temple in Angkor 27/03/2017
    • Great Temple on Earth 27/03/2017
    • Bayon Temple
    Address:
    Angkor Thom
    Siem Reap
    Cambodia
  • Save
    Central Hostel
    Hotels
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    A good place to sleep and make your base, it's 5 minutes walking distance from the heart of Siem Reap. Breakfast is included, and free water every day in the rooms. There is a safe, air conditioning, fan, running water and the rooms are spacious and immaculate. Wifi is free in every room and in the lobby, as well as a free business centre for real computers. The bathrooms are a little tired and could use work, but functional and it got the job done.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • 30 minutes by taxi / car from the airport.
    • 20 minutes by tuk tuk to Angkor Wat
    • Hotel staff have limited English but they are very helpful!
    From the community
    Ranked #50 of 249 Accommodation in Siem Reap
    • Clean, modern and well located 12/03/2017
    • Siem Reap's Hostel not so central 10/03/2017
    • Central Hostel
    Address:
    7 Makara Street
    Siem Reap 17259
    Cambodia
  • Save
    The Square 24
    Restaurants (Asian, Cambodian)
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    High class eating in Siem Reap, it's likely the most expensive place you'll find. Also a great place to ease yourself into Cambodian food. It won't break the bank, a full evening's meal will cost $25 USD, but the fusion flavours are worth it. And the service is just top notch.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • You'll appreciate the cold washcloth they bring you at the start of the meal!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 685 restaurants in Siem Reap
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful high end Cambodian restaurant 27/03/2017
    • Great ambiance 24/03/2017
    • The Square 24
    Address:
    Street 24
    Wat Bo Area
    Siem Reap 93107
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 12 614 695
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$15
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 - 21:00
    Mon - Sat
    11:00 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity
    Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    A great place and a great initiative - they rescue and rehabilitate animals and also provide education to youth to try to steer them away from the traditional medicine or village practices that are endangering local and native species.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #41 of 181 things to do in Siem Reap
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wonderful visit 25/02/2017
    • Not that interesting . It is more like a zoo with a tour guide. 21/01/2017
    Address:
    Kbal Spean
    Phnom Kulen National Park
    Siem Reap
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 99 604 017
    Other:
  • Save
    Banteay Srei
    Ancient Ruins, Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    Totally different than any other temple, and off the beaten track, Banteay Srei is a female temple in a totally different style. For something different than the temples of Angkor Wat, go check this out. It's not big but on hot days there is no shade, so bring water!

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 181 things to do in Siem Reap
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Remote Temple 27/03/2017
    • Worth the drive to visit 26/03/2017
    • Banteay Srei
    Address:
    National Road No. 6a
    Siem Reap
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    09089256816
    Other:
  • Save
    Kbal Spean
    Waterfalls, Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    Like the Petroglyphs from back home, carvings in the middle of the jungle show the dedication to religion seen all over Cambodia. These are still sites used today.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The hike to the top will take 30-45 minutes. It is rough uphill terrain with tree roots. Go slowly. Take breaks if needed.
    • Bring lots of water.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #29 of 181 things to do in Siem Reap
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best 1000 Linga 24/03/2017
    • Nice walk 24/03/2017
    • Kbal Spean
    Address:
    Angkor
    Kulen Hills
    Siem Reap
    Cambodia
    Other:
  • Save
    Psar Chaa - Old Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    It's very overwhelming stepping into the old market - noise, smells, crowded stalls, offers flying at every opportunity and the heat makes it disorienting. But it's an experience you need to do. And a good place for souvenirs! Also - see if you can try some local fried crickets or tarantula!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • HAGGLE. Just remember everything is cheap as is, so it's a balance between a fair haggling and trying to take away income.
    • For best silk scarves that are Cambodian made, Mme Pisey in Stall 14 I think it was.
    • Check labels for 100% Cambodian silk before buying.
    • Handmade silk scarves should cost you $8-12 USD. Machine-made no more than $4 USD.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #43 of 181 things to do in Siem Reap
    • Shop 'Til You Drop, but Bargain First! 23/03/2017
    • Wow, what a vibe! 22/03/2017
    • Psar Chaa - Old Market
    Address:
    Psar Chaa Road
    Siem Reap 17259
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 96 536 2222
    Other:
  • Save
    Khmer Kitchen Restaurant
    Restaurants (Asian, Cambodian)
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    I was told of this place by a friend and I sought it out. Be sure to go to this place and not any place that just calls themselves Khmer Kitchen! No reservations, first come first served, so you may have to try more than once. Very local dishes, and lots of locals eat here.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #86 of 685 restaurants in Siem Reap
    • Great Food! The Prahok is Excellent! 26/03/2017
    • Very Good Food for Very Little Money 25/03/2017
    • Khmer Kitchen Restaurant
    Address:
    Down an alley just north of the old market, Around Town
    opposite North facade of the Old Market
    Siem Reap
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 12 763 468
    Price range:
    US$4 - US$6
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Pub Street
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    Only one street, lit by lights and a massive neon sign, this is where you go for drinks after dinner. There is also the local haunt of Angelina Jolie from Tomb Raider (The Red Piano) here.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #32 of 181 things to do in Siem Reap
    • Chaos in a nice way. 27/03/2017
    • Cozy place 27/03/2017
    • Pub Street
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Tonle Sap Lake
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    I've never seen a floating village and this really highlights a different way and standard of living. Be prepared for a bit of a culture shock but also to have your horizons broadened at how different Westernized life is to many places in the world.

    Good for
    • Must See
    Tips
    • I would go through a travel company for this - private smaller boat is great for the low season. Big boats can't fit through. Plus you avoid the madness at the ticket place.
    • Bring your own toilet paper.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #62 of 181 things to do in Siem Reap
    • Do not go 25/03/2017
    • SCAM! Do not go! 25/03/2017
    • Tonle Sap Lake
    Phone:
    0962233559
    Other:
  • Save
    Artisans Angkor
    Gift & Speciality Shops, Factory Tours
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    A very worthy cause, you're supporting local artisans. The silk tour is only about half an hour and very interesting. And free! Be prepared to spend time and money in the shop. Amazing quality stuff.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • Check opening times.
    • Tuk tuk from Siem Reap should cost $12 USD round trip.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 102 Shopping in Siem Reap
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Artisans village 22/03/2017
    • Definitely worth a visit 21/03/2017
    • Artisans Angkor
    Address:
    Stung Thmey Street
    Siem Reap 85550
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 63 963 330
    Price range:
    US$75 - US$75
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    07:30 - 18:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Haven
    Restaurants (Swiss, European, Asian, Cambodian, International, Fusion)
    See more photos
    mpavan Says:

    Another amazing initiative supporting locals and the community. The food and flavours are incredible. This is an absolute must for dining, and it is again quite cheap! The ingredients are fresh and day of so things on the menu can run out (it's a good thing though!)

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • Book weeks in advance. Even solo people like myself have troubles getting in within a week!
    • Turnover for dinner is 8-8:30 pm so chance it then if you can't get a reservation.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A friendly and nice restaurant. 26/03/2017
    • Yum 26/03/2017
    • Haven
    Address:
    Sok San Street
    West of Angkor High School, Wat Damnak area
    Siem Reap
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 78 342 404
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$13
    Hours:
    Mon - Tue
    11:30 - 14:30
    Mon - Sat
    17:30 - 21:30
    Thu - Sat
    11:30 - 14:30
    Other:
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