sunset from the rice fields, Siem Reap

10 Best Things To Do In Siem Reap (Beyond Angkor Wat & Temples)

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One of the world’s well-known gems, an architectural marvel that has captivated generations, is the Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Whilst Angkor Wat is perhaps the most well-known spot in Siem Reap, the place has so much more to offer. In this blog, we have covered everything that you need to visit and do while in Siem Reap. Be warned that we have concocted a list that will keep you occupied for three to four days.

10 Places to Visit in Siem Reap, Beyond Angkor Wat

1. Kulen Waterfall

Kulen Waterfalls

The Kulen Waterfall is a half-day escape from Siem Reap City, a delightful change of pace from the usual historical sites. With two levels to explore, the trek to the lower Queen section might get a bit slippery, but the reward of reaching the larger King waterfall, just a short 15-minute hike away, is worth it. Even in the summer heat, you’ll find plenty of water to cool off. Plus, handy amenities like lockers and swimwear rentals are available for your comfort.

A half-day excursion to the Kulen Waterfall from Siam Reap City is a nice change from visiting the historical sites to nature. It is a two-level waterfall. The path to the waterfall’s lower section, called Queen, is steep and slippery. A 15-minute hike up will lead to the bigger waterfall called King. A good amount of water exists even during the summer. There are facilities like lockers, swimming jackets, swimming dress rentals, restrooms, dressing rooms, photography services, to name a few. The other nearby attractions include a reclining Buddha and 1000 Shiv Lingas. The road to the waterfall isn’t great, so if you’re driving yourself, take it slow and steady.

  • Entry Fee: 20 USD for foreigners to see Kulen waterfalls, reclining Buddha, and 1000 Lingas.

2. The Sunset Viewpoint

Phnom Kraom, just 10 km from Siam Reap, is the perfect spot to catch a stunning sunset from higher ground. From there, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of nearby villages, rivers, dams, and rice fields, especially when the sun casts its orange glow over the fields. Remember, you’ll need an Angkor Pass to access the viewpoint near the temple. Another favorite spot, Phnom Bakhenk, also requires an Angkor Pass and offers views of Angkor Wat.

3. The Angkor National Museum

Angkor Wat national museum

Before exploring the Angkor Wat temples, a visit to the Angkor National Museum is essential. Divided into 6 galleries, it’s brimming with insights about the monuments’ history, art, architecture, and the rulers’ legacies, religions, and more. It’s your go-to for learning all the key details about the temples.

Audio guides are available in various languages for an extra fee (5 USD). On your way out, remember to check out the souvenir shop.

  • Timings – 8:30 AM – 6:30 PM from October 1st to March 31st, closes at 6 PM from April 1st to September 30th.
  • Entry Fee – 12 USD per adult and 6 USD for children between 6 and 11 years
  • Duration – A complete tour takes at least 2-3 hours.

4. Eating Street Food & Shopping

In the heart of the city, the Riverside Night Market boasts a variety of shops and street food stalls near the Siam Reap River. From refreshing juices and soft drinks to Khmer cuisine and classic dishes like noodles and fried rice, there’s something for everyone.

For tourists, the Riverside Art Center night market showcases live art performances and offers clothing, artwork, and souvenirs. Just a stroll down a narrow alley will lead you to the Made In Cambodia Market, another haven for shoppers.

5. Entertainment Shows at Siem Reap

Apsara dance at Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siam Reap has plenty of entertainment choices to keep visitors entertained. These shows, performed by skilled artists, combine music, dance, and history to create a captivating experience. Prepare to be enchanted by the enchanting world of live entertainment, where each performance is a work of art in itself.

Here are some recommended performances. If you’ve seen any other great shows in Siam Reap, please share in the comments!

  • Shadow puppet show at Bambu Stage – 8:30 PM, 12 USD
  • The Cambodian circus show at Phare – 7:30 PM, Free. Go early at 6 PM
  • Apsara dance show at Apsara Theatre & Restaurant – dinner at 7:30 PM and show at 8:30 PM, USD 38, including dinner
  • Apsara dance show at Rosana Broadway – 5:45 PM and 7:30 PM, USD 13 (recommended)

6. Electric Air Balloon

The view of huge causeway of Angkor Wat

Take a 10-minute ride on an electric air balloon to admire the panoramic view of Angkor Wat, surrounding temples, and the Cambodian countryside. Experience the gentle breeze as you ascend to 120 meters. After enjoying the scenery from the hilltop, you’ll return to the ground. This memorable experience is available at a reasonable price of 20 USD per person in Siem Reap. Consider visiting Angkor Zipline for another adventure, especially if you’re traveling with kids.

7. Kbal Spean

Rock carvings at Kbal Spean Kulen mountains

Situated 48 kilometers from Siam Reap’s city center, Kbal Spean is an archaeological site dating back to the 11th century. Along the river, numerous rock sculptures depict Hindu deities such as Brahma, Vishnu, Lakshmi, and Sahasra Lingas (1000 Lingas). While the waterfall may be small, it’s stunning during the monsoon season, although expect less water flow in the dry season. Accessible via a 1.6-kilometer easy jungle trail, an Angkor Pass is required for entry, which is unavailable at the park entrance.

8. Pub Crawling

pub crawling

The city center’s pub street boasts a variety of bars with bright lights and lively music, perfect for party enthusiasts. Join the crowd as you move from one energetic pub to another, enjoying a range of drinks and an exciting atmosphere. Cambodian craft beer is a favorite among foreigners. Take advantage of happy hour deals in the evening and enjoy yourself.

9. Angkor Eye

Angkor eye, Siem Reap cambodia

Hop on the Angkor Eye for an exhilarating 18-minute ride 60 meters above the city for a 360° view! From Angkor Wat to downtown, Cambodia’s largest Ferris wheel offers a panoramic view from a unique vantage point. With comfortable and secure air-conditioned cabins, it’s an unforgettable experience suitable for all ages, whether it’s a romantic evening or a fun outing with friends. Don’t miss the Angkor Eye when in Siam Reap.

  • Timings: Open daily from 2 PM to 8 PM, last admission at 7:40 PM
  • Cost: 12 USD for adults and 5 USD for children. Half the price for Cambodian residents.

10. Floating Village

Siem Reap floating village

The floating villages are located near Siam Reap on the Tonle Sap Lake. You can find them at Kompong Khleang and here. Although Kompong Khleang is far from the city, the boat rides through the villages are much more regulated compared to the latter. You can expect the charges to be anywhere between 10 USD and 20 USD for a person touring the village. 

Observing children playing in the water, navigating boats, numerous stilt houses, and locals going about their daily routines provides insight into daily life in the region. It’s a distinctive experience in Cambodia’s remote areas.

Be cautious, as there have been recent scams. Purchase tickets only from counters that provide receipts. Ensure you inquire about the included activities. For example, if visiting this floating village, confirm if the boats will take you to the sunset view deck and mangrove forest. The rough dirt roads to the floating villages are in poor condition. If riding a two-wheeler, be prepared to get dusty from passing vehicles.

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