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What We Love About Siem Reap

Known for its ruins, temples, and quite notably as the filming location of Tomb Raider, Siem Reap is an exotic South East Asian destination that is sure to leave a mark on every traveler's heart. Although it is a major tourist attraction, the temples of Angkor are ones you cannot miss. The moment you step into the ruins, you will instantly feel as if you've traveled back in time! Siem Reap has become of the most sought-after tourist destinations in all of Asia. That said, multiple establishments, resorts, and restaurants have opened up to accommodate all these travelers! Another tourist hotspot you can't miss is Pub Street, a whole area dedicated to pubs, market, and insanely good food!

Don't miss: History and culture World Heritage Site Arts and recreation Bucket list destination

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Siem Reap travel guides & tips

A Temple Of Discovery: Things To Do In Siem Reap, Cambodia

Klook Travel Curator· 15 Nov 2019

First-Timer's Guide To Cambodia

Beatrice Lee· 12 Jul 2018

Explore all things to do in Siem Reap 2021

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Unmissable sights in Siem Reap

With an extraordinary fusion of splendor and historical elegance, Siem Reap is undeniably one of the most sought-after destinations not only in Cambodia but across Asia. Whether you are looking for things to do in Siem Reap on a budget or you want to indulge yourself and experience its thriving contemporary culture, every corner of this lovely city can satisfy the heart of every traveler. Among all the Siem Reap tourist attractions you can visit, one thing you shouldn’t forget is the breathtaking collection of UNESCO World Heritage ancient ruins and temples!

Angkor Wat

One of the most iconic figures in Cambodia and the biggest religious monument in the world, the Angkor Wat is a Siem Reap must see! The “temple city” was built by King Suryavarman II of the Khmer Empire during the 12th century as a Hindu temple and palace devoted to Vishnu. Situated six kilometers north of Siem Reap, the grand architectural gems of bas-reliefs are filled with intricately-detailed carvings stretching around the walls that express the rich cultural heritage and ancient events of the lost civilization. Angkor Wat can be visited any time, but sunrise and sunset visits are the most popular period of the day as the beautiful silhouettes from the rising/setting sun highlight the grandeur of the temple complex.

Bayon

Also known as the “face temple”, Bayon is the 12th-century monumental temple of Jayavarman VII located at the center of Angkor Thom. The Bayon temple is composed of three levels that depict its unique phases: the first and second levels contain square galleries and pavilions graced with an array of signature bas-reliefs describing the historical and legendary stories of the ancient city, while the third level contains a circular sanctuary surrounded by the iconic carvings of mystifying faces smiling down at you in every direction. Make sure to visit Bayon in the early morning or the late afternoon, when the complex is illuminated by the beautiful hues of the sunrise/sunset, perfect for taking photos!

Ta Prohm Temple

Ta Prohm epitomizes the captivating blend of architecture and nature - formerly known as Rajavihara, this UNESCO World Heritage site was made at the peak of the Khmer Empire by King Jayavarman VII. Situated east of Angkor Thom, it was renowned as the “Tomb Raider temple” after its Hollywood appearance that charmed millions of travelers. The symbolic towers and ruins are enveloped by the intertwined trunks and massive root systems of the trees, giving off an ethereal feel of the jungle displayed in the movies. The famous bas-reliefs are also shrouded in moss and crawling foliages, creating an enchanting appeal! Ta Prohm’s beauty is best enjoyed early in the day since the jungle-like paths and narrow corridors can become too dark at night.

Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom should be included in your bucket list of places to visit in Angkor Archaeological Park, regardless if it's for a short Siem Reap 3-day itinerary or a longer visit. As the name suggests, the “Great City” was the Khmer Empire’s longest-standing and last capital. Since this temple complex houses Bayon, Baphuon, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Terrace of Elephants, and other prominent temples, it’s best to visit the area early in the day to avoid the usual crowd of tourists.

Banteay Srei

Among the famous temples in Siem Reap, Banteay Srei has the most exceptional aesthetic. This Hindu temple boasts pinkish sandstone walls, adorned by some of the finest three-dimensional carvings and sculptures like traditional skirts, scenes from Ramayana, and delicate women holding lotus flowers. A trip to the temple at dawn allows you to explore the place with a cooler atmosphere since the site is exposed and there are only pockets of shade during the day.

Preah Khan

Translated as the “Sacred Sword”, Preah Khan is one of the most notable temple complexes built by the great King Jayavarman VII during the ancient Khmer Empire. Surrounded by a moat and enclosed within protective walls carved with enormous depictions of garudas, Preah Khan houses unrestored towers, courtyards, entryways, and interlinking corridors filled with overgrown trees. Visiting during sunrise or sunset offers the most stunning lighting conditions for photos, plus the temperature is not as hot as broad daylight.

Baphuon

Built by King Udayadityavarman II, Baphuon is a majestic temple-mountain situated northwest of Bayon within the Angkor Thom complex. It was a sandstone Hindu temple that was dedicated to Shiva and was later converted to a Buddhist temple. Although the elevated walkways supported by hundreds of pillars will require you to experience a steep climb to the summit, the marvelous carvings in the single sanctuary and incredible views on top will be a delight, especially if done early in the morning.

Phnom Bakheng

Just like Baphuon, Phnom Bakheng is also a temple mountain created to pay respect to the Hindu god Shiva. Located 400m south of Angkor Thom, this steep pyramid-shaped temple is built by Yasovarman I. It includes five tiers of terraces with twelve symbolic towers and guardian lions, seven levels that represent the Hindu heavens, and five shrines on top that signify the peaks of Mount Meru. It is well-known for its magical sunset views over Angkor Wat after climbing up the narrow stairs leading to the top terrace, so people usually choose to visit it at the end of the day before it closes.

Pre Rup

Another Hindu temple that depicts the sacred Mount Meru is Pre Rup, built by King Rajendravarman II. This temple complex is best known for its pyramid-shaped cluster of brick tiers and extensive libraries and galleries housed in high towers. The three uppermost sanctuaries are made of laterite, brick, and sandstone, making it perfect for sunset visits as the reddish glow of the stonework complements the view of the surrounding paddy fields.

Terrace of the Elephants

The Terrace of the Elephants, built by King Jayavarman VII, serves as a platform to view the victorious returning warriors in battle. The terrace features the elephant sculptures that protect the stairwells, as well as the Garudas, guardian lions, and seven-headed horses. Since it is located east of Angkor Thom complex, visiting the Terrace of the Elephants before noon would give you more chances to capture photos with the best lighting. There are a lot more breathtaking temples of Angkor across the city that you can visit. But if you’re looking for other things to do in Siem Reap besides temples, there are cultural shows, cooking classes, street markets, and local pubs you can try and visit. This also allows you to socialize with fellow travelers!

Travel tips

About Siem Reap

Known for its ruins, temples, and quite notably as the filming location of Tomb Raider, Siem Reap is an exotic South East Asian destination that is sure to leave a mark on every traveler's heart. Although it is a major tourist attraction, the temples of Angkor are ones you cannot miss. The moment you step into the ruins, you will instantly feel as if you've traveled back in time!


Siem Reap has become of the most sought-after tourist destinations in all of Asia. That said, multiple establishments, resorts, and restaurants have opened up to accommodate all these travelers! Another tourist hotspot you can't miss is Pub Street, a whole area dedicated to pubs, market, and insanely good food!

View popular activities on the map

Local weather

  • DEC - FEB
    32° 19°

  • MAR - MAY
    35° 24°

  • JUN - AUG
    32° 24°

  • SEP - NOV
    31° 22°

General info

  • Time Zone
    GMT +07:00

  • Currency
    Cambodian Riel

    1USD = 4,071.03KHR

  • Best time to visit
    • APR

      Khmer New Year

Find out more on Siem Reap

What is Siem Reap Best Known for?

When is the Best Time to Visit Siem Reap?

Where is the Best Location for Tourists to Stay in Siem Reap?

Why people love Siem Reap

hui tzu
Published 350 days ago
Arrived in Siem Reap at 3 pm, it seems a bit hurry to arrange the event, there is an event that only starts at 4 pm! Riding on the scarred red soil, the dust is flying, there are often big puddles, and the visibility is occasionally reduced, but it is a very special experience to roam in the fields with chickens, cattle, dogs ...
Chiu LIN
Published 338 days ago
It is also not fun to pick up tickets at the hotel and wait for the tour guide to pick up the tickets in the early morning with friends from all over the world. Remember to queue up when buying tickets, because the counter will have a cam camera 📷 and there will be a big shot on the tickets. Remember to bring some breakfast before departure, otherwise it will be hungry.
WY
Published 278 days ago
Take a good look! It's worth seeing 👍 KLook is simple and easy to use, convenient and fast. You don't need to print to the terminal gate and scan the QR code to comply with environmental protection principles. You can also consider using klook to book tickets next time. It is recommended
Ya Hui
Published 236 days ago
The driver will make a simple handwritten pick-up sign at the exit, because I take the domestic flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. In particular, this is very important, because the domestic and international are just beside, so as to prevent the driver from making a mistake. Went to the parking lot to take a car, but the driver was very enthusiastic and courteous and would help with luggage and take photos, and he could tip in time. The klook airport shuttle service is super recommended!
HSU
Published 197 days ago
According to the evaluation, many people were picked up by tuktuk, but they accidentally saw an air-conditioned private car that day. They were very punctual and very polite. Thank you. The museum is very nice, but unfortunately the cultural relics in the museum cannot be photographed. I have already surfed the Internet and read books to do a lot of Angkor historical and cultural materials, and this is my itinerary on the last day of more than a week in Angkor Wat. Is it a general review? Because I already have background knowledge, buying a digital guide to visit the museum is like supplementing knowledge and reminiscing about the scenic spots from the previous few days. I think it is very good. Because someone suggested to come to the museum first and then to the attractions, I think it might not be that interesting... At the beginning, I saw a bunch of Buddha statues, listened to a bunch of past names, and there are very strange myths. I think it will only make people feel like visiting the museum. Confused... I really recommend that you have some background knowledge before you visit the museum. It will be more rewarding. Although the museum is not very big, there are a lot of cultural relics. I really have to listen to the electronic audio and watch the live video introduction. I think it takes at least 3-4 hours.
TAN
Published 70 days ago
Nice!!! 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎🙋🏻‍♂️🙋🏻‍♂️🙋🏻‍♂️😎🙋🏻‍♂️😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

Popular activities in Siem Reap

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