Siem Reap has grown rapidly in recent years as the gateway to the magnificent Angkor temples. Angkor Wat is just the most famous of the Angkor temples, that are spread out over a wide area and deserve at least two full days for exploration. There is now a good choice of luxury boutique hotels in Siem Reap. Boutique hotels in Siem Reap we recommend include Heritage Suites and the luxury La Residence Angkor. Direct flights now link Siem Reap to Sihanoukville making a Cambodia beach holiday an easy add on to tour of Cambodia.
- Cardamom Mountains
- Phnom Penh
- Siem Reap
Discover Siem Reap
Journey an hour or so east of Siem Reap to Beng Mealea, a mysterious temple in the middle of the Cambodian jungle. Moss and root covered, Beng Mealea is very atmospheric.
Surrounded by a vast moat, this 12th century temple follows a complex floorplan similar to Angkor Wat, but with a haunting jungle atmosphere similar to Ta Phrom.
The ruined stone blocks and wandering tree routes of Beng Mealea are great for exploring and also feature some beautiful classical bas-reliefs.
Full Day Angkor Tour
This Full Day Tour covers the highlights of Angkor, from Angkor Wat itself to the royal city of Angkor Thom, the Terrace of the Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper King and the Bayon.
Visit Angkor Wat, the crowning jewel of Khmer architecture. Angkor Wat is the national symbol and the highlight of any tour of Cambodia. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings.
Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones.
Visit Sras Srang, a basin opposite Banteay Kdei measuring 800 by 400 metres with a tiny island in the middle where only the stone base remains of what was once a wooden temple.
The fortified city of Angkor Thom covers an area of 10 sq. km. Enclosed by a wall and wide moats, Angkor Thom includes many of Angkor's most popular sights. Enter by the monumental South Gate over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant Naga.
Continue to the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper Kings, former spaces for public ceremonies, both adorned with dramatic bas-reliefs.
Visit the ruined Baphuon, Royal Enclosure and Phimeanakas before continuing to the mysterious Bayon Temple, one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor. Explore the galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where you will find giant stone faces smiling enigmatically down at you from every angle.
Banteay Kdei Temple is a massive Buddhist temple dating from the second half of the 12th century, surrounded by four concentric walls.
Finally, visit Ta Prohm, one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them.
Watch the sun set over the Cambodian countryside from the upper terraces of an ancient Angkorian Temple.
Life on Tonle Sap
This Full Day Tour offers an authentic look at the lifestyles of the residents of Tonle Sap, Cambodia’s largest freshwater lake, just a short distance from Siem Reap and one of Cambodia's most beautiful sights.
Visit a remote village where few tourists venture and embark on a boat ride through the village of Kampong Phluck where the fisherman and their families live in stilted houses among the petrified mangrove forests and waterways.
Enjoy a lunch of local dishes in a family’s house and enjoy the fascinating scenery of Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake.
Return to Siem Reap by boat and private vehicle in the afternoon.
NOTE: Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is only possible from June to March. However a visit to an alternative floating village at Chong Kneas can be arranged instead.
Discover the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine in a half-day cooking class. Begin with a guided trip to the local market to learn about Cambodian vegetables, herbs, and other ingredients before returning to the classroom for a hands-on culinary experience in Khmer cuisine.
After dining on your creations, travel through the Siem Reap countryside to see some of the local handicrafts and cottage industries.
The Cooking Class is held at Cassia Restaurant under the guidance of the French Restaurant owner Laurent.
Bantaey Srei & Kbal Spien
This Full Day Tour from Siem Reap visits two of the most interesting sights in the outlying areas of Angkor, the Hindu Temple of Bantaey Srei and the riverbed carvings of Kbal Spien.
Banteay Srei is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. Of main interest are the three central towers, which are decorated with male and female divinities and beautiful filigree relief work.
Continue to Kbal Spien, also known as the River of 1000 Lingas, where there are fabulous carvings in the riverbed.
Near Kbal Spien is a waterfall that can be reached by a 2km walk uphill.
This excursions isn’t recommended between March and May as there is no water at Kbal Spien at this time of year.