Located in northwestern Cambodia, Siem Reap is a vibrant city and a popular tourist destination because of its wide-ranging attractions, such as the multi-faceted local culture, French cultural influences, and many religious and historical sites. While the famous Angkor temples are an unforgettable sight and the major reason to visit this part of Southeast Asia, there are plenty of other attractions that shouldn’t be neglected in other parts of the town, which help to add allure and charm to this historic region.
Use our Siem Reap travel guide to help navigate the unrivaled beauty of this city and the truly memorable experiences.
When to go and weather
Similar to most the Southeast Asian countries, the Cambodia tour packages that take in the beauty of Siem Reap can experience tropical dry and wet climate which can last for several months each year. To experience the Cambodia travel in the dry weather, try to arrange the visit between November and March when the temperature range is in the region of the high 80s and low 90s during the course of the day, and rainfall during this period is quite low. While the peak season (Nov-Mar) is the best time to go it is quite crowded. April to May has the highest temperature and can be extremely hot which makes it difficult to be comfortable outside exploring the country. June to October is the wet season with less crowds, but there is the risk of local flooring which makes traveling more difficult.
Travelling with children
Siem Reap is a child-friendly city, mostly thanks to the many different activities that do beyond the sheer scale and size of Angkor Wat. However, the temples can still appeal to slightly older children, especially if able to explore the Beng Mealea and Prohm that have a very Indiana Jones atmosphere.
Other great activities for children to experience on Cambodia travel packages include exploring the Banteay Srei Butterfly Centre, playing mini-golf at the Angkor Wat Putt, touring the Cambodian Cultural Village, exploring the countryside on quad bikes or horseback, zip-lining in the jungle, swimming at a resort or hotel, or boat trips on the Tonlé Sap.
Getting around Siem Reap
The most popular forms of road transport in and around Siem Reap city includes the remork-motos (tuk tuks) and motos (motorcycle taxis). For the traveler that wishes to travel by themselves you can hire a bicycle, while car hire is easily organized through your hotel or guesthouse. Even though the bicycle hire is relatively cheap there is a need to take extra caution in wet conditions because the roads in the towns can turn to large muddy puddles and swamps. The most convenient method to travel is to hire a tuk-tuk driver for multiple days, this means you always have a ride waiting for you when you want to travel.
Money and costs
The cost of traveling on the Cambodia tour packages can vary with the type of accommodation, transport and food choices. For instance, it is easily possible to travel around for up to $50 per day by staying in a cheap guesthouse and using the motorcycle taxi for transport. Plus, the food is very cost-effective at the street stalls or cafes. However, by upgrading the accommodation to a smart hotel room with restaurant-quality food, the daily cost can range from $50 to $200.
Top Things to See and Do in Siem Reap
A visit to the famous temples of Angkor Wat is certain to be at the top of the list of places to explore on any Siem Reap travel tour. By using the charming city of Siem Reap as a base it is easily possible to travel to the temples for a magnificent experience. The Angkor tour packages offer a perfect opportunity to see this archaeological phenomenon that is a true wonder and takes a long time to fully explore. Try to start the tour from dawn to get a full appreciation of what is offered. Any extended trip to the area makes it possible to explore more of the major temples that are less visited and significantly less crowded.
Tonle Sap Lake
The Tonle Sap Lake is the largest in Southeast Asia and regularly changes in size and dimension with every monsoon and dry season. A boat trip is great for the entire family and lets you explore the local scenery and watch as the fisherman go about the daily life. A two hour tour of this beautiful lake can cost in the region of $20.
The Landmine Museum has been built to house a dormitory residence for up to 25 amputee children and a related in-depth exhibit of the issues related to landmines in the country. The leftover landmines are remnants of past wars and still to this day cause harm and destruction to the local population.
Our Siem Reap travel guide also lists the Apsara Dancing as popular tourist attraction and performed by the talented and authentic dancers, and a really great way to appreciate a part of the modern Khmer culture.
Happy Ranch Horse Farm
A visit to the Happy Ranch Horse Farm is certain to appeal to those that love horse riding adventures. This tour takes a leisurely ride along the countryside trails which can take 1 to 4 hours depending on the route taken. The trail offers great scenery including Buddhist pagodas, rice fields and authentic villages.
A unique tourist attraction that is popular in many of the Asian countries is the ability to sign-up for a cooking class. This gives the perfect opportunity to learn the art of Cambodian cuisine, and get to know the precise steps to cook 3 or 4 meals. Additionally, the classes are relatively small (5-6 other cooks) which makes the experience more enjoyable.
Made In Cambodia Market
The Made In Cambodia Market is one of the best places for shipping in the entire city, and gives plenty of choice to shop and eat while there. The vendors are there to only sell the goods that have been made in their country.