Watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat

Things To Do In Siem Reap

Angkor Wat sunrise moment

There is a reason why watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat is on every traveler's bucket list of top things to do in Siem Reap. The ancient temple, bathed in the soft hues of dawn, offers a spectacle that is nothing short of magical. 

This is also a golden opportunity for photography. The tranquil ambiance and ethereal beauty of Angkor Wat during sunrise create a surreal experience. Almost every day of the year, locals and tourists gather to pay homage and witness the temple's spiritual awakening.

To gain entry, a single-day pass to the Angkor Archaeological Park is priced at $37/person. Sunrise time in Siem Reap is normally at 5:30 AM. Angkor opens at 5 AM daily, we recommend you arrive at least half an hour before the sun graces the sky to watch this enchanting spectacle.

Explore Temples of Angkor Archaeological Park

Things To Do In Siem Reap

Bayon Temple Angkor Thom

Why should everybody traveling to Siem Reap join a temple-hopping adventure? The answer lies in the captivating blend of history, spirituality, and architectural marvels that await in the Angkor Archaeological Park. Angkor temples date back to the Khmer Empire. They are magnificent testaments to Cambodia's rich history. There are some temples that stand out in the park. From my experience, I recommend you visit:

  • Angkor Wat: The temple image featured in Cambodia's national flag. This is a UNESCO heritage site and is also known as the largest religious monument in Cambodia.

  • Bayon: Located in the Angkor Thom complex, Bayon temple is famous for its giant stone faces carved in stone columns.

  • Ta Prohm: This temple is overgrown by old trees that provide a captivating glimpse of the jungle reclaiming ancient ruins. 

Tuk-tuks, bicycles, and guided tours are common ways for you to reach the temples in Angkor. The park is about 6km from Siem Reap town so it might take you 15 - 20 mins to reach the heritage site.

Visit Kompong Phluk Floating Village

Things To Do In Siem Reap

Floating village in Tonle Sap Lake 

Kompong Phluk is one of Cambodia's famed floating villages in Tonle Sap Lake - the biggest lake in Southeast Asia. It is easy to access from Siem Reap town (30km). During my visit to this quaint village, I had a chance to witness the distinct lifestyle of Cambodians living in stilted houses above the water. 

As you navigate through serene waters and lush mangrove forests, you will also experience local customs, traditions, and a unique way of life. The cost for a guided tour to Kompong Phluk Floating Village typically ranges from $20 to $40 per person.

Enjoy the Cambodian Circus shows - Phare

Things To Do In Siem Reap

Phare Circus show is a vibrant fusion of artistry, culture, and social impact

Phare showcases inspiring performances that blend traditional Cambodian arts, theater, and circus skills. This Circus stage is located at Ring Road, south of the Intersection, Sok San Rd, Krong Siem Reap. At 7:30 PM, guests will line up at the stage, and the performance will take place from 8 PM to 9 PM. 

I consider this performance to be an engaging and suitable entertainment option for all ages. Another piece of information for you is that the area outside also boasts numerous restaurants offering delectable cuisine!

To secure your spot, you can book tickets in advance via Phare's official website, box office, or reputable tour operators in Siem Reap. Ticket prices for the Phare Circus show typically range from $18 to $35 per person, depending on the seating category and the type of performance.

Watch Apsara Dance

Things To Do In Siem Reap

Watch Apsara Dance is one of the top things to do in Siem Reap

Apsara - the dance rooted in ancient Cambodian mythology, offers a glimpse into the country's royal history and spiritual beliefs. The performance is a window to Cambodia's soul. Each movement and gesture is steeped in centuries-old traditions. The dance is often accompanied by traditional music, creating a magical ambiance that transports you to a bygone era.

To watch the dance, you can book a show with dinner in many restaurants, buy tickets at cultural centers and theaters, or join festivals and cultural events. On average, a dinner show package ranges from $15 to $30 per person. Tickets for standalone dance performances in cultural centers typically start from $10.

Trek to Phnom Kulen National Park

Things To Do In Siem Reap

The trek leads you to the mesmerizing Kulen waterfalls in Siem Reap

If you are a nature lover that looking for a rewarding outdoor adventure, we recommend you join a guided trekking tour to explore Phnom Kulen. Phnom Kulen is a sanctuary of lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and diverse wildlife.  It is also home to some ancient Khmer temples. 

A knowledgeable tour guide accompanies you through this trek not only leads you safely through the trails but also shares fascinating insights about the national park's history, flora, and fauna. In my assessment, the hike to Kulen was a bit challenging but manageable. Particularly, the vistas from the mountain's summit were absolutely breathtaking.

Spend a day at the Cambodian Cultural Village

Things To Do In Siem Reap

Visit Cambodian culture village - top things to do in Siem Reap

If you want to gain a deeper understanding of Cambodia and its people, there's no better way than visiting the Cambodian Cultural Village in Siem Reap. Here, you can witness authentic village setups, traditional crafts, and vibrant performances, showcasing the country's diverse ethnic groups, traditions, and customs.

Furthermore, the village offers interactive activities, allowing you to engage in hands-on demonstrations to learn traditional crafts, dance steps, and culinary skills. The area is also very scenic. It was a pleasure time for me to walk around and explore. To visit this cultural village in Siem Reap, you need to purchase tickets, which can be bought online for around $12 to $20 per person.

Enjoy the night at Pub Street

Things To Do In Siem Reap

What to do in Siem Reap at night

One of the notable top things to do in Siem Reap we recommend in this list is spending time on Pub Street - located at Krong Siem Reap, near Siem Reap River. Pub Street pulses energy as locals and travelers gather to enjoy live music, dance to international beats, and revel in the vibrant ambiance. It is the epicenter of Siem Reap's social scene. Whether you are into live bands, DJ sets, or traditional Apsara dance performances, Pub Street caters to all tastes. 

The street also offers a culinary adventure from street food stalls to high-end restaurants. Here you can find Cambodia’s best restaurants and bars. It is easy to access the pub street as many hotels for visitors are also located nearby. Generally, a night out on Pub Street can range from $10 to $50 per person.

Go shopping at the Markets

Things To Do In Siem Reap

Shopping in Siem Reap

Located near Pub Street, both the Old Market and Night Market in Siem Reap are treasure troves of Cambodian craftsmanship. From intricately woven textiles to hand-carved souvenirs, these markets showcase the talents of local artisans, and then you can take home truly unique Cambodian mementos.

Some Cambodian signature souvenirs to bring back home you can consider such as Krana (Cambodian traditional scarf), silver jewelry, lacquerware, silk, Kampot pepper, palm sugar…

At these markets, small souvenirs and trinkets can cost as little as a few dollars, while handmade crafts and textiles can range from $10 to $50 or more, depending on the intricacy and quality. For payment, cash is widely accepted, so you should carry Cambodian Riel and US Dollars. Some shops might accept credit cards, but it is always best to confirm in advance. 

Try out Cambodian cuisine

Things To Do In Siem Reap

What to do in Siem Reap for first-come travelers

How could we forget to treat our taste buds on this list of top things to do in Siem Reap? Cambodian cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors, spices, and fresh ingredients. In my opinion, Cambodian cuisine, while not as internationally renowned as Thai or Vietnamese cuisines, is also a treasure trove of distinct local flavors. 

The unique Khmer way of combining local ingredients and spices is sure to unexpectedly tantalize your senses. If you have previously indulged in Vietnamese and Thai cuisine, you might notice some familiar and comparable elements in Cambodian dishes. This phenomenon is a result of the cross-cultural influences and culinary interactions among countries in the region.

The two most common ways to try Cambodian food are dining at local restaurants or experiencing street food as you wander through local markets and streets. Here is a list of dishes you should try in Siem Reap: 

  • Fish Amok (fish curry)

  • Nom Banh Chok (Khmer noodles)

  • Bai Sach Chrouk (Grilled pork with rice)

  • Beef Lok Lak (Stir-fried beef)

  • Kuy Teav (Cambodian noodle soup)

  • And if you want something more adventurous, you can easily find fried tarantulas and other grilled insects on the Siem Reap streets!

Some renowned restaurants in Siem Reap include Khmer Kitchen, Malis Restaurant, Cuisine Wat Damnak, Mahob Cuisine, Chanrey Tree, Angkor Fruit Shake, etc.

Join a Cambodian cooking class

Things To Do In Siem Reap

The last in this list we suggest - Siem Reap cooking class

Participating in a cooking class leads you to explore the intricacies of Khmer dishes, from traditional curries to refreshing salads, under the guidance of expert local chefs. On average, a half-day group class can range from $20 to $50 per person. The high-rated cooking classes in Siem Reap are:

  • Khmer Gourmet Cooking class

  • Evening Cooking Class

  • Cambodian Village Cooking Class

  • Cooking Class By Reveal Angkor Hotel Siem Reap

Cooking classes typically start with a market visit and hands-on cooking sessions. “Students” will follow the chefs' instructions to prepare, process ingredients, cook, and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Good way to remember the Cambodian ways of cuisine, isn’t it?

How long do you need to explore Siem Reap?

Things To Do In Siem Reap

How long to spend in Siem Reap

Above are the top 11 things to do in Siem Reap that we want to unfold before your visit to this city. We are confident that Siem Reap is the most worthwhile to visit in Cambodia due to its traditional culture, heritage sites, infrastructure, and the local way of life. So, how long is enough to explore Siem Reap?

The minimum time a traveler should spend in Cambodia is 2 days. Two to 3 days is the typical duration that a traveler usually spends in Siem Reap to experience and discover the most unique aspects of Khmer culture. Of course, you can stay longer if you fall in love with the culture and people here.

When is the best time to visit Siem Reap? Here are some suggested time frames for you:

  • Nov - Feb (Dry Season): This period is dry season with cool weather. Thus, it is the best time to visit and also marks the peak tourist season in Siem Reap.

  • Mar - May: These months are hot in Cambodia, so be prepared for high temperatures.

  • June - Oct: This is the green season when the landscape is lush due to occasional rains. It is a great time for budget travelers due to fewer crowds and more affordable accommodations.

  • Festivals and Events: April (Khmer New Year) and November (Bon Om Touk - the Water Festival) are significant cultural events in Siem Reap.


The above information about the top things to do in Siem Reap sounds captivating and wonderful, isn't it? These are the experiences we recommend for you to explore and appreciate the Southeast Asia country. Feel free to contact us - New Asia Tours - if you need advice and assistance for a flawless and memorable tour in Cambodia!