Siem Reap has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, coinciding with more and more travellers booking Cambodia tour packages in which it is the gateway to Angkor, the UNESCO World Heritage site. While it is no longer a village, it still has a small-town, and fairly relaxed, feel. It is still possible to experience the way that locals have lived, before the influx of tourism. They retain their way of life, and skills, and after a Cambodia holiday, tourists will return home the richer for the experience.
There is plenty of information available in free tourist guide and it is worth also talking to your Cambodia travel agent about the best things to do in Siem Reap, given that you will certainly be using it as a base for visiting Angkor. You may like to hire a bicycle to do some exploring and go even further by getting a motor bike. It is perfectly safe and maps will help find interesting places.
There are the bars and restaurants to visit and the various landmarks but there are plenty of activities to get involved in during your time in Siem Reap:
• Liquer and rum tasting. There are places that make alcoholic drinks flavoured with some of the locally grown fruits such as coconut, pineapple and lemon as well as herbs and spices. You can taste before you buy.
• Pottery is a local artisan industry. The Angkor Pottery Center is very interesting and you can make your own souvenir in real Khmer style.
• The local cuisine is great; why not learn how to prepare some traditional dishes?
When it comes to Cambodian culture, there is much to enjoy.
• Apsara Theatre, Bamboo Stage, Cambodian Living Arts and Rosana Broadway as just a few of the places that offer music and dance, some traditional, some modern.
• Cambodian Cultural Village has miniatures of Cambodian landmarks and traditional houses as well as cultural entertainment.
• There are three notable festivals in Siem Reap each year.
1. Angkor Photography Festival at the end of November
2. The Water Festival starts on the last full moon of October and lasts 3 days. People flock to lakes and rivers to launch their boats to give thanks for the harvest and their fish.
3. The Annual Street Puppet Festival.
• A Fishing Trip on Tonle Sap between October and December is great fun. There are times of the year when you will return your catch while at other times, light the BBQ. The Lake is fairly shallow at the end of the dry season so you may actually visit and enjoy seeing the local farmers harvest their crops before the rains return and flood the land.
Indochina is not alone for being famous for massage. After a busy day, you will want to relax and a massage is a great way to do that before dinner. After all, the following day is likely to be just as busy and you want to be refreshed and ready.
Read more: Things to do in Cambodia