Things to do in Siem Reap Cambodia

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Walk with ChaMike in Siem Reap Cambodia.

My trip to Siem Reap is five years in the making. Yup! After so many failed attempts, it finally came true and it came at the right time - my last foreign trip before I become Mrs Magsaysay. I'm glad Mike accompanied me even if he had zero plans of visiting this country and he didn't regret it afterwards! Both of us were mesmerized by the charm of Siem Reap. 

Siem Reap is the most famous town in the Kingdom of Cambodia as it is the gateway to the Angkor Archeological Park. This then-quiet-town-turned-major-tourist-attraction is being flocked by a lot of visitors from around the world for the mythical temples it offers. If you are into Indochina's rich history, religious temples, laid back community and pleasant locals you will surely enjoy discovering this quaint town.

Here are the things that you should not miss when visiting Siem Reap.

Witness the Sunrise in Angkor Wat
The largest religious monument in the world is at its best during sunrise so do not ever miss this chance of staring at it during dawn even if it means waking up as early as 4:00 am.

Read: Angkor Wat Siem Reap Cambodia
Angkor Wat

Explore Angkor Thom's Bayon Temple
This Khmer temple's most distinctive feature is the huge smiling stone faces on the many towers of the temple.

Read: Bayon Temple Angkor Thom Siem Reap Cambodia
Bayon Temple

Discover the wonders of Ta Prohm
Become like Lara Croft while you explore the wonders of this atmospheric temple. (Scenes of the "Tomb Raider" film were shot here). The ruins have been swallowed by the jungle which will leave you in awe. This has got to be my favorite among all the other temples. 

Read: Ta Prohm Siem Reap Cambodia
Ta Prohm
Ride an Elephant going to Phnom Bakheng and Witness the Sunset 
There are two ways when going up Phnom Bakheng to witness the sunset - by walking or by riding on an elephant. We chose the latter then waited for the sun to set on top of the temple.

Read: Sunset at Phnom Bakheng Siem Reap Cambodia
Elephant ride going to Phnom Bakheng
Relax at a boutique hotel and swim at the pool
There are indeed ample of hotels in Siem Reap. You will notice how cheap the rates are as well. You just have to find your ideal bet and look for a pool where you can relax after a tiring day exploring the temples.

Read: La Rose Blanche Boutique Hotel Siem Reap Cambodia
La Rose Blanche Boutique Hotel

Ride a Tuktuk around town
There is no better way to go around town than by riding a tuk-tuk or an auto rickshaw. It is a motorcycle with a back carriage used as transportation service for several countries like Cambodia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. 

Tuk-tuk ride
Bike around Siem Reap
Aside from riding a tuk-tuk, you will also enjoy biking around Siem Reap and since it is a safe town you will not feel paranoid peddling your way and enjoying the peaceful sceneries. We availed ours at our hotel, they offer free use of bicycles.

Read: La Rose Blanche Boutique Hotel Siem Reap Cambodia
Bike around town
Try Khmer Cuisine
Explore not just the temples but also their food. Try the famous Fish Amok and Spring Rolls Khmer style. We tried in in several traditional restaurants around town like Sugar Palm and Viroth's.

Read: What to Eat in Siem Reap Cambodia
Traditional Set Lunch at Sugar Palm

Do not miss reserving a slot at one of the 50 best restaurants in Asia. We reserved ours a few weeks before our actual visit to secure seats. Cuisine Wat Damnak is a fine dining restaurant that changes their menu every two weeks. Enjoy Chef Joannes 5-course meal while you sip on your wine as you enjoy the company of your loved ones or friends.

Read: Cuisine Wat Damnak Siem Reap Cambodia

Cuisine Wat Damnak

Satisfy your sweet cravings at Blue Pumpkin and Blossom Cafe
Everyone deserves a dessert after that tiring walk. Blue Pumpkin offers the creamiest ice creams and Blossom Cafe serves the yummiest cupcakes.

Read: What to Eat in Siem Reap Cambodia
Ice Cream at Blue Pumpkin
Cupcakes at Blossom Cafe
Unwind at Pub Street
At night, tourists flock this busy area while enjoying the night away with booze and food. Try their local beer at Angkor What? to feel like one of the locals. 

Read: Pub Street Siem Reap Cambodia

Pub Street

Shop for Souvenirs at Old Market and Night Market
For retail therapy head over to Old Market (during day time) and Night Market (during night), they sell all sorts of souvenirs - keychain, shirts, ref magnets and buddhist decors, lots of it. I recommend buying some comfy pants to take home. 

Souvenir shopping
Looking for comfy pants
Mike asking for discounts on shirts
We were absolutely enchanted by the fascinating new discoveries we encountered! We spent 2 full days in Siem Reap then we traveled to Bangkok the next day. Two full days is actually enough but you could spend more days here if you want to explore the other temples. 

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