I really enjoyed exploring Siem Reap, even a whole week there wasn't enough for me and I can't wait to go back again one day in the future.
As it is for most people, seeing Angkor Wat and the incredible surrounding temples was the main reason I wanted to go there but there is so much more to see and do as well.
Here are my top five favourite things to do:
1. Marvel at the temples on a day tour
Beginning with the obvious and one of the top things on most people's bucket lists.
Siem Reap is most well known for being the gateway to Angkor Wat and the rest of the Angkor Ruins - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Site covers almost 400 square kilometres, making it arguably one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia.
I did a sunrise Angkor Wat and full day temple tour with Happy Angkor and it was such an incredible day and a major highlight of my time there.
2. Floating village and local school visit
Another awesome thing to do is head out of the city centre to visit the nearby floating villages. I went with Kompong Khleang and it was an amazing day witnessing such a different way of life.
We spent heaps of time on the Tonle Sap River in the midst of village life and got to visit a local school where our guide was originally from. We met some very happy and friendly children and I highly recommend the tour. All of the proceeds made go straight back to the school.
3. Check out Pub Street
Pub Street is the town centre where most tourists tend to gravitate towards. The area is nicely decorated, the restaurants and bars are cheap and plentiful and there are many market-style shopping areas nearby.
Come at night time for a totally different experience. You can try a scorpion or tarantula or sit at one of the many fun pop-up cocktail carts. I can recommend getting a banana and nutella pancake from a street food cart made fresh in front of you for only $1 - so good!
4. Phare the Cambodian Circus
My favourite evening spent in Siem Reap was at the popular show Phare the Cambodian Circus. It's modern circus-style entertainment featuring very talented high-flying acrobats.
I was completely astonished by their amazing skills and drawn in by the compelling story they told. It was fun, high-energy and even emotional.
It is again a wonderful cause and all of the proceeds go straight back into the community and help to transform the lives of Cambodian youth.
5. Indulge in the great food
I enjoyed the food in Siem Reap so much that I already have a whole blog post on it! Five Places to Eat in Siem Reap.
As well as eating your way around some of the best-rated restaurants, you could do a food tour or even take a local cooking class. There is an abundance of great cafes and restaurants to choose from specialing in local Khmer dishes, healthy vegan and vegetarian and various nationalities. Best of all - the price is unbeatable!
Those are five of my top recommended things to do in Siem Reap. Leave me a comment if you have any other suggestions to add!
If you would like to read about what I got up to in Cambodia in more detail check out my travel diary post.
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