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Top Things to Do in Siem Reap Besides Seeing the Angkor Wat Temples

Updated on April 28, 2013
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat | Source

Siem Reap city is the gateway to the famous Cambodian Angkor Wat temple. It's from this city that tourists set out to see the enchanting UNESCO site, located about 4 miles away. But are you wondering what else is there to do in Siem Reap besides exploring the Angkor temples? I was wondering the same thing when my boyfriend and I visited Siem Reap in June 2010. It turns out that there are some pretty neat things to do. I'm happy to share with you what I think are the best things to do in Siem Reap.

Below is a list of things you can do to make the most of your stay in Siem Reap.

What To Do in Siem Reap

  • Watch the sunrise or sunset at Angkor Wat
  • Learn about the Khmer Kingdom at the Angkor National Museum
  • Relax with a Khmer Massage
  • Shop at the Angkor Night Market
  • Go out on Pub Street
  • Get around town by bike
  • Try Cambodian cuisine

A rotunda in Siem Reap
A rotunda in Siem Reap | Source

Watch the Sunrise At Angkor Wat

Angor Wat is one of the wonders of the world and one that is extra spectacular at sunrise. Get out of bed at 6am for one of your trips to the Angkor Wat temple and watch the sunrise. It's really worth getting up early for.

Angkor Wat is the largest religious ruins in the world, built back during the 12th Century by the Khmer (Cambodian) Empire. It is an enchanting UNESCO World Heritage site and the huge complex is full of temples, lotus-blossom towers, Buddha images and dancing girls (apsaras). You will have the option of buying a one day pass, a three day pass or a seven-day pass. My boyfriend and I chose to get a three-day pass and we found it to be the perfect amount of time for us to see the humongous complex. A 3 day pass costs $40.

Learn About the Khmer Kingdom

Stop by the Angkor National Museum to learn about the Khmer Kingdom. The museum is very well organized and explains Khmer history and cultural heritage. There's even a room with the traditional costumes. We stopped by here on the way back to Siem Reap from the Angkor temples on our last day.

You need a traditional Cambodian massage when in Siem Reap
You need a traditional Cambodian massage when in Siem Reap | Source

Relax With a Khmer Massage

Who can resist a massage when they cost just about $8 for an entire hour, in your hotel room? We couldn't! A traditional Khmer massage differs from a Thai massage in that there is less pushing and twisting. Highly recommended!

Shop at the Angkor Night Market

The Angkor Night Market opens when the other markets (Old Market and Central Market) close. All the tourists seem to gravitate here nightly and there's a fun atmosphere. There are a bunch of stalls selling handicrafts, souvenirs and cheap street-food.

A street in Siem Reap
A street in Siem Reap | Source

Go Out on Pub Street

"Pub Street" as is called Street 8 is a fun street to go out for dinner and drinking. The most popular bars there are Angkor What?, The Red Piano, Temple club and Le Tigre du Papier. You can also try the area call The Alley for dinner. Enjoy Siem Reap's nightlife.

Biking is a great way to get around Siem Reap
Biking is a great way to get around Siem Reap | Source

Get Around Town By Bike

My boyfriend and I found biking to be the best way to get around Siem Reap. Bike rentals at our hotel were just $1 a day and prices in other hotels range from being free for guests to up to $3. Another way to get around town is by tuk tuk but we preferred tuk tuks only for getting to Angkor Wat, which is too far to bike to early in the morning.

Fish amok
Fish amok | Source
An instant millionaire in Cambodia!
An instant millionaire in Cambodia! | Source

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Eat Some Fish Amok

Fish amok, or amok trey, is steamed curried fish in a banana leaf. It's a traditional dish of Cambodian cuisine.

Live it up, after all, $250 makes you a millionaire!

250 USD = 1000000 KHR

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    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Travelespresso - Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, Siem Reap is lovely and it's so nice that you got to spend a little extra time there!

    • travelespresso profile image

      travelespresso 5 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Siem Reap is such a great place to spend some time. I went there for 3 nights and dragged myself away (to visit some more countries) 14 nights later. I'd add a foot massage after a day trekking around the amazing temples in the area. Great hub GC. I must go back there soon.

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks so much, quickbooker! I'm happy to hear that my hub introduced you to a city you haven't heard of before. And yes, $8 massages are really cheap and actually, they're even cheaper if you're not getting them at your hotel/hostel room - just about $4 at a massage parlor at the market! So worth taking advantage of, I'd say, daily!

    • quickbooker profile image

      quickbooker 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Today I came to know about a new place. I never heard about Siem Reap. Message rate of $8 for an hour is really on the cheaper side. By the way you compiled a great hub with good use of pictures.