Siem Reap in Cambodia: What to Do & How to Get There

Visitors come to Siem Reap to see the temples, of course, but there is much more to do in and around the city once you've had your fill of temples. Siem Reap has reinvented itself as the epicenter of chic Cambodia, with everything from tourist party pads to hip hotels, world-class dining and drinking across a variety of cuisines, sumptuous spas, fantastic shopping, local tours for foodies and adventure seekers, and an imaginatively vibrant culture that includes Cambodia's leading contemporary circus.

Let's look at what to do in Siem Reap and other intriguing things you shouldn't miss in this article.

Why do travelers love to visit Siem Reap?

Where is Siem Reap?

The province of Siem Reap is located in northwest Cambodia. Siem Reap is the most important tourist destination in Cambodia since it is the nearest city to the world-famous Angkor temples (the Angkor temple complex is north of the city). The provincial capital, also known as Siem Reap, is located in the province's south on the banks of Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia's largest sweet water reservoir.

What is the best time to visit Siem Reap?

The peak season lasts from December through February. It is the coldest and driest season, as well as the most popular time to visit. While the weather is beautiful, the city and temples are crowded, so you'll need to get up early to see the temples before the tour groups come.

March and April are the warmest months and should be avoided if you are sensitive to heat. When the early rains arrive in May, the days chill slightly.

The monsoon season begins in June, but the terrain immediately greens and remains lush until November. Many believe the best time to visit Siem Reap is during the wet or green season.

The best time to vist Siem Riep

The best time to vist Siem Riep

Where to stay in Siem Reap?

Where is the best place to stay in Siem Reap? is the most frequently asked question for tourists when they first set foot in another place. Don't think more about its quality (luxury or not); just think about the purpose and hopefulness you wish to obtain from your Siem Reap accommodations. You will find the place that best suits your needs, not the most luxurious.

Siem Reap, one of Asia's most popular attractions, has hundreds of excellent lodging alternatives. Staying in the area surrounding the waterfront and Old Market or along the edges of Pub Street will allow visitors to enjoy the local culture easily. The Old French Quarter is simple to explore on foot, with many restaurants, shops, and tuk-tuk drivers who can organize temple visits.

This area includes a wide range of hotel options to meet the demands of travelers, from backpacker hostels and private rooms to multi-level luxury hotels with on-site restaurants, social atmospheres, and various swimming pools.

Where to eat in Siem Reap?

When visiting an Asian nation such as Cambodia, especially Siem Reap, visitors will have a wide range of gastronomic options. Here are several examples:

  • Cambodian cuisine is one of the most misunderstood in Asia. The more well-known Royal Thai Cuisine of neighboring Thailand evolved from Royal Khmer Cuisine.
  • Sugar Palm and Chanrey Tree present sophisticated versions of home-style Cambodian cuisine, whilst Cuisine Wat Damnak, recently selected Best Restaurant in Cambodia among Asia's 50 Best Restaurants, is recognized for its inventive modern Cambodian cuisine.
  • Soups, BBQ skewered meats, noodle meals, pork, and rice may be found in markets, roadside kiosks, mobile carts, and roaming vendors, while many foreign restaurants cater everything from authentic Korean and Indian to Italian and French cuisine.

What to do in Siem Reap? - Top 5 things must try

1. Get that Sunrise Shot

The Angkor temples are impressive at any time of day, but they are especially beautiful at sunrise and sunset. Any visitor to Cambodia must come here to get that iconic sunrise shot.

2. Dine and Party at Pub Street - Enjoy Cambodian popular food

Pub Street is a touristy area in the heart of Siem Reap's wild nightlife. During the day, it is relatively quiet, but at night, it becomes quite loud and boisterous. Partygoers will spend every night in Siem Reap at Pub Street.

If you're looking for something to do in Siem Reap at night, Dine and Party at Pub Street is a great option.

3. Take a bike or scooter tour

People who prefer bicycling may rent a bicycle or embark on a bike trip to explore the Angkor Circuit. It's a fantastic method to get from one temple to the next. Just remember to wear a hat and sunscreen since Siem Reap may get really hot.

4. Purchase Spices and Souvenirs from a Market

Almost travelers like visiting markets while on vacation. It's a part of the Southeast Asian experience, and it's frequently the greatest location to buy spices, food, and other mementos from ancient marketplaces.

5. Watch the Cambodian traditional dance - Apsara performance

If you are in Siem Reap, surely you cannot miss the opportunity to see firsthand the traditional Cambodian Apsara dance performed by professional dancers. Shows will be held at restaurants, and you can make reservations and have dinner there to watch the show. With colorful and distinctive performance costumes, detailed depictions of cultural symbols are intricately carved on the walls of Angkor Wat.

Visit Angkor Wat temple

Visit Angkor Wat temple

How to get to Siem Riep?

How to get to Siem Reap by plane?

Siem Reap has a modest but modern airport serving domestic and international aircraft. This is how to get to Siem Reap if you travel from outside Cambodia. Similarly, if you are traveling from Sihanoukville, flying is the most effective method to reach Siem Reap because you would otherwise have to pass through Phnom Penh or Battambang.

The airport is a 20-minute drive from the city center and is served by taxis, tuk-tuks, and motorbike taxis, as well as our car pickup service. Check out our car pickup service on the Cambodia Immigration Service website to get good rides.

How to get to Siem Reap by bus?

While Siem Reap is linked by bus to all destinations in Cambodia, Phnom Penh and Battambang are the most convenient.

From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

How to get to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh: In addition to day buses, overnight buses run from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, which is ideal for individuals with limited time.

Take time: 5+ hours

From Battambang to Siem Reap

Take time: 4 hours

From Bangkok, Thai Lan to Siem Reap

It is also feasible to ride the bus to answer the question: How to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap across the border. This is the cheapest way to get from Thailand to Siem Reap, but it will take you a whole day.

Take time: 10+ hours

Read more: Travel Cambodia from Thailand

From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Siem Reap

Take time:

  • The flight: Duration 1.5 hours
  • The bus: Duration 13.5 hours
  • The bus and boat: It is possible to take a bus to Phnom Penh and then a boat to Siem Reap, albeit this is a less popular alternative and only appropriate from August to March when there are floods. 

Read more: Travel Cambodia from Vietnam

How do travelers get around Siem Reap?

Taxis or tuk-tuks pre-arranged with your hotel are the major modes of transportation from the airport to your accommodation, but once in town, it's all tuk-tuk. Short excursions around town will cost you $1-$2, whereas day trips to the temples will cost you $10-$20 depending on the time and distance. If you don't mind chaotic traffic and irresponsible unlicensed local drivers, you can hire a bicycle for as little as $1-$2 per day for a basic bike and up to $5 per day for a high-quality mountain bike. For safety concerns, foreign tourists are not permitted to ride motorcycles.

Getting around Siem Riep

Getting around Siem Riep

Extra activities when you are around Siem Reap?

Tips on your trip to Siem Reap

Before heading to Siem Reap, it is usually beneficial to learn more about some essential travel recommendations:

  • Wear suitable walking shoes and bring an umbrella with you.
  • Siem Reap's weather is hot and humid. Always stay hydrated and bring water with you.
  • Always keep an eye on your belongings, especially when walking down Pub Street.

How long should I stay in Siem Reap?

At least three days! Three days is plenty to view all of Siem Reap's key attractions. However, if you want to locate other secret temple remains, you should plan on spending at least 5 to 7 days.

Is it worthwhile visiting Siem Reap?

Without a doubt, yes. The Angkor temples are breathtaking and well worth the trip to Siem Reap. We strongly advise visiting Siem Reap at least once in your lifetime.

What to buy in Siem Reap?

Shopping in Siem Reap is second only to shopping in the capital in terms of variety and quality, and in some ways, it's easier to shop here because the outlets are closer together. The city is teeming with cheap souvenir stalls selling everything from T-shirts to silk tops and trousers to traditional Khmer sampots in Western sizes (although note that many of the textiles here, such as the fabric used to make the cotton sarongs with elephant motifs, are imported from Indonesia).

Overall, Siem Reap is an incredible destination to experience the beauty of the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Temples of Angkor Wat. It is a genuinely amazing, awe-inspiring, and mind-expanding site. The majority of the temples are between 900 and 1100 years old. Cambodia Immigration Services hope that this article would help you figure out what to do in this beautiful Siem Reap and get more useful information before your trip.

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