12 Must-Do Experiences in Siem Reap
Collected by Lara Dunston , AFAR Contributor
From sunrise over Angkor Wat and scrambling the Khmer Empire temples of Bayon and Ta Prohm to cruising the floating villages and learning to cook Cambodian cuisine, Siem Reap offers some must-do experiences that are essential no matter how touristy they may be. The star archaeological attractions shouldn't only occupy you. Also allow some time to eat and drink—in Cuisine Wat Damnak and Miss Wong respectively—and kick back in atmospheric spots like Cafe Central.
Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
Angkor Archeological Park, Angkor Thom, Krong Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia
Giant stone faces greet visitors as they enter the Bayon complex. This ancient Khmer center houses over 200 of these serene faces, with theories they were modeled after the bodhisattva (enlightened being) or the Bhuddist king, Jayavarman VII, who...
Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Better known as the Tomb Raider Temple since its starring role in the Hollywood movie of the same name, Ta Prohm has at least as much star quality as Angelina Jolie. Cloaked in dappled shadow and locked in the embrace of the vast root systems that...
Pub Street Area , Mondol 1 Village 284, 2 Thnou St, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
While cute souvenir shops and even haute couture boutiques exemplify the changing face of the retail scene in Siem Reap, the city’s famous Old Market remains a heady hub of traditional trade and commerce. Located right in the heart of town, Psar...
Street 11, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Set in an atmospheric colonial building with mismatched furniture, whirring ceiling fans, and rotating art on the walls, retro-chic Cafe Central is one of my favorite spots to kick back with a coffee or drink and watch the world go by. The...
812, Kampong Phluk, Cambodia
Kompong Phluk is a floating village located in the middle of Cambodia's largest lake, Tonle Sap. The term “floating” is a bit misleading: the houses are actually built on very tall stilts around 8 meters high. During the rainy season, the lake...
River Road West, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
The excellent Cambodian chefs from River Garden hotel, who offer the Cooks in Tuk Tuks cooking class, also run a fun street food tour that gives you a great insight into Cambodia's culinary culture. Partly on foot and partly on tuk tuk, the tour...
1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle Khum, Krong Siem Reap 17251, Cambodia
Opened in 1932 in the historic Royal Khmer compound, this landmark hotel was the first luxury lodging in the area, catering to well-heeled adventurers intent on visiting the storied ruins of the temples at Angkor. Everyone from Charlie Chaplin and...
Wat Damnak Market Street, POBox 93108, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
To many gastronomes, the subtle flavors and spicing of Khmer cuisine makes it one of Southeast Asia’s great food secrets. That’s certainly the view of French chef Joannes Riviera, who has taken inspiration from Cambodia’s unsung...
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