Thinking of booking a trip to Asia? Then make sure that you include Siem Reap on your travel itinerary. This bustling city of Cambodia has something for everyone, be it a day spent visiting the stunning temples of Angkor Wat or an afternoon wandering around the many markets sampling delicious (and unusual delicacies). Having just returned from a three day trip to Siem Reap I’ve decided to share with you what you must do and see whilst there.
Day One…Rise and shine at 4 AM for an experience of a lifetime. Witness the beautiful spectacle of sunrise at the Angkor Wat temple. Many hostels in the area will arrange groups and transport to the site, making it such an easy trip to do. After the sun has rose and you’ve filled your camera roll will a tonne of photos you should start exploring. I’d suggest heading through the South Gate to get into Angkor Thom, as you’ll hopefully spot the wild monkeys that have taken to the trees in the area. Within Angkor Thom you’ll be spoilt for choice with a number of smaller temples, but do try to visit Bayon as it was definitely one of the favourites from the day. And if you happen to be a Lara Croft fan make sure you check out Ta Prohm, as this is where scenes from the first movie were shot. Just a side note. Although it is hot, please do make sure you are appropriately dressed (knees and shoulders covered) as these sites are sacred and respect should be shown whilst visiting. Sunset tours are also available to guests, so don’t worry if you aren’t able to get yourself out of bed for sunrise.
Depending on how much you got done on your first day, you may also wish to put this day aside for visiting more temples. If not, you should take the time to explore Siem Reap and the many markets within the city. Old Market is the biggest in the area and you’ll find stalls selling souvenirs, clothes and local delicacies. The Siem Reap Art Centre Market is also worth a visit, as well as the Night Market. You’ll be overwhelmed by the sheer number of stalls to browse and if you’re worried about your budget, don’t forget to haggle!
After a spot to eat at one of the many street food vendors head to Pub Street for, you guessed it, pubs. It’s a fairly touristy area but you’re guaranteed to meet tonnes of travellers like yourself whilst enjoying a drink and a dance.
Around the city you’ll also find a number of smaller temples to visit, which are great places to stop and relax when the weather gets too much. Wat Prom Rat is definitely worth a visit. Be sure to take a walk along the river to the Royal Gardens. The gardens aren’t massively spectacular but the hundreds and hundreds of bats that have taken residence in the trees within the park truly are.
Other activities you may consider is a day trip to one of the floating villages in Siem Reap or a walk around the killing fields and museums in the area. Or if you fancy something a little more relaxing, get yourself to one of the many spas in the area for a massage or pedicure, complete with fish treatments.
The three days I spent in Siem Reap were truly memorable and I would recommend this trip to anyone. If you’ve been to Cambodia before and have some other suggestions on what to do please let us know.