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What to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia



You can’t truly say you have been to Siem Reap until you’ve checked these 10 must-see attractions off your travel list. Put on your comfortable shoes and dress respectfully as this is a Buddhist country. Be polite, have fun and enjoy yourself.

1.Take a boat trip on the lake

Take a boat trip on the lake

The Tonle Sap lake is home to an enormous diversity of wildlife, as well as a number of stilt villages where you can witness traditional ways of life. Ask your hotel or guesthouse for details.

2.Visit the local markets
Visit the local markets

No trip to Siem Reap would be complete without a visit to one of the traditional markets, though they can be a little cramped and hot in the middle of the day. Don’t miss the Night Market too, which features over 100 outlets.

3.Enjoy a traditional dance performance
Enjoy a traditional dance performance

Dance is an integral part of Khmer culture, combining Apsara dances, folk dances and shadow puppetry. Several restaurants and hotels host evening performances at varying prices, usually accompanying a meal. Ask your hotel for a recommendation.

4.Visit Senteurs d’Angkor workshop
Visit Senteurs d'Angkor workshop

Come in to the newly opened doors of the “Flavours and Fragrances” workshop and see how the raw ingredients – spices, tea, coffee, palm leaves, flowers, coconut oil, rice alcohol, and more – are selected with the greatest care and handcrafted.

5.Attend Dr Beatocello’s concert
Attend Dr Beatocello's concert

Swiss doctor Beat Richner plays Bach on his cello every Friday and Saturday evening at 7:15 at Jayavarman Hospital, to provide support to the three children’s hospitals that he runs – donations of blood and money are most welcome.

6.Visit the Angkor National Museum
Visit the Angkor National Museum

Opened in 2008, the museum contains eight galleries of artifacts from the Angkorian era and more recent periods. Admission is $12 per head and there is also a “cultural mall” should you wish to buy a souvenir or two. See page 36 for contact details.

7.Play a round of golf
Play a round of golf

Siem Reap now has three international standard golf courses should you fancy a game, with green fees from about $120 for 18 holes.

8.Visit the Khmer Ceramics Center
Visit the Khmer Ceramics Center

Visit the workshop and see trainees and master potters at work. You can even make your own piece under the supervision of the craftsmen and they will deliver the piece to your hotel or guesthouse within 24 hours.

9.See the temples from the air
See the temples from the air

Don’t limit yourself to experiencing the temples from ground level, check out the view from a balloon tethered 180 metres above ground. Or, if you’re feeling flush, take a helicopter ride and be the envy of all your friends. See page 38 for contact details.

10.Visit the silk farm
Visit the silk farm

Located just 16km out of town, here you can witness the entire silk creation process from start to finish. Take a tour of the workshop and stop at the retail shop to buy some souvenirs.