Siem Reap is one of the most popular destinations in Cambodia. For us we wanted to visit see the magnificent Angkor Wat Temple complex. Siem Reap is not just a place to go to see temples. It has a lot more to offer. Here is a run down of the things we enjoyed doing in Siem Reap.
Tour Angkor Wat
This massive temple complex is the main attraction to the city of Siem Reap. You could spend weeks exploring the site as it is home to thousands temples.
Check out our video below!!
With Angkor Wat being the main driving force for tourists to the city everything is geared to making your experience easy. You can choose from a local guide via Tuk Tuk or private car. Rise early and make your way to Angkor Wat just in time for sunrise. Trust us, the views will be spectacular but be prepared for crowds.
Our full Angkor Wat guide is coming soon. Watch this space!
Psar Chas means “Old Market” in Khmer. This market is popular with locals and tourists alike. Offering souvenirs, t-shirts, silverware, silk, wood and stone carvings along with tailors, massages and haircuts. It is similar most other markets you would visit in an Asian city. Take some time to explore. The market also offers a wide range of Khmer cuisine and drinks for you to enjoy.
Get a Massage
Like all of Southeast Asian countries, affordable massages are never far away. After a long day of temple exploring there is no better way to relax that with a top notch massage.
We visited the Seeing Hands Massage by Blind. This is a school where they teach locals with impared vision to give massages. The people and the experience was fantastic and we would highly recommend it. It cost around 10 USD for a one hour massage which is great value considering some other places in Siem Reap start at 20USD. Another plus is that all the money goes straight to supporting the blind and visually impaired masseuse.
Cambodian Landmine Museum
Cambodia in recent history is wartorn country. From being bombed during the Vietnam-American war to its own period of unrest under the Khmer Rouge Regime. Millions of tons of landmine and unexploded ordnance are dotted around the countryside
The Landmine Museum was set up by an ex soldier who returned to his village after the Khmer Rouge. He had planted thousands of landmines and began to dig them up and defuse them by hand. He would charge visitors a 1 dollar to view the unexploded mines in his home.
He used the money to support children in his care. He then travelled around from village to village, defusing mines. He noticed that many children in these villages were injured by the mines themselves.
He brought them home and cared for them with his wife. The museum today operates under the Cambodian Landmine Relief Fund. Helping with the clearing of UXO around Cambodia as well as housing and educating children affected by UXO. Take a visit and support this amazing cause. It is open from 7:30 – 17:30 every day of the year
Apsara Dance Performance
A great evening activity we enjoyed was a buffet dinner and traditional dance show. The evening was good value considering it included a buffet meal, tickets to the show and transfers. It was a great performance of traditional Khmer dancing and music.
Siem Reap Art Market
Opened in 2011 this central market is home to shopping in Siem Reap. The Siem Reap Art market is in between Pub street and the Psar Chas offer a variety of the quality products and items. They are as real and trustworthy as you can find here in Siem Reap. Make sure you bargain with the vendors to get the best deal. If you’re not in the mood to buy then just have a browse and a window shop to pass the evening.
Another treat you could give yourself and your feet after trekking temples all day is to visit a fish spa. The sensation of hundreds of tiny fish nibbling at your first can be off putting at first but once you’re used to it the experience is extremely enjoyable. The fish eat the dead skin from your feet and skin leaving you feeling brand new. There are many fish spas located around Siem Reap. Dive into one and give it a go.
Dine at Wild Bar
Wild Bar was by far our favourite place to have a meal in Siem Reap. A little bit more western influenced than traditional Cambodian food vendors. Here you can enjoy some amazing and unique delicacies. Owned and run by a French couple Wild offers amazing food and unique drinks. They specialise in spring rolls with both traditional and unique offerings on the menu.
It is a bit more pricey than you might pay in other places but great for a date night or group dinner. The decor and setting is second to none. You can have a meal sitting on cushions on the grass in the front of the restaurant or high up in a tree house. Make sure to book in advance as it is extremely busy.
Check out Wild’s full menu of delicious spring rolls and cocktails on their website at www.wild-siemreap.com. There are located in the Wat Damnak Area, on the street behind the “Art Centre Night Market”. We highly recommend this restaurant.
Siem Reap is not all temples and markets. There is a serious nightlife scene here too. The heart of this being Pub Street. Large bars and restaurants with booming music, large screen tv’s and sports.
Drink and food offers are everywhere as each place wants your custom. There is even a boxing/fight gym located at one end of the street putting on shows nightly. Siem Reap is a resort and holiday center for expats and travellers as well as being home to some of the most stunning temples in the world. If partying is your thing then this central district is for you.
We spent over a week in Siem Reap exploring everything the city had to offer. Be sure to check our other Cambodia blogs and our guide to Angkor Wat will be out very soon.