Siem Reap Vacations
Every year, millions of tourists flock to Siem Reap to tour its most famous attraction, the sprawling temple complex of Angkor Wat. The reputation is well deserved – it’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and most travelers find their way to Angkor Wat at some point during their vacation. Siem Reap itself, however, is a can’t miss attraction of its own. The surrounding area provides some of Cambodia’s most scenic hiking, and the markets and entertainment districts provide colorful fun day and night.
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What To Do
Party on Pub Street – While it’s officially known as Street 8, Pub Street is packed with the bars and restaurants that inspired its name. Rub elbows with backpackers and locals alike as the party goes all night long.
Explore the Old Market – Psah Chas, the oldest market in Siem Reap, is the perfect place to experience the heart of the city. Stalls sell everything from clothing and home goods to fresh produce and seafood. Grab a bite at the central food court, where you can sample a variety of local favorites.
Trek the “Mountain of Lychees” - Phnom Kulen National Park is a lush green paradise, perfect for a day of hiking and sightseeing. See the River of a Thousand Lingas, where elaborate scenes and figures are carved into the rock bed of the river. Visit the Preah Ang Thom temple, home of Cambodia’s largest reclining Buddha statue. When the day gets hot, cool off in one of the jungle’s many waterfalls.
What To See
Angkor Wat – The ruins of this 15th century city cover around 400 acres, with over 100 temples, intricate carvings and crumbling statues. With so much to discover, you could lose yourself for days, and a picture of Angkor Wat’s iconic spires is the perfect memento of your time here.
Night Market – Psah Chas is a taste of Siem Reap’s local flavor, but for truly unique souvenirs, check out the Night Market. You’ll find all the standard tourist fare, but also high-quality traditional goods like hand-carved statues and fabrics woven by local artisans.
Kompong Phlouk – As your boat approaches, it’s hard to miss the stilted houses of Kompong Phlouk rising above the Tonle Sap lake. A boat is the only way to travel around this traditional floating village, where residents live and work on the waters of the lake itself.
When to Go
Siem Reap is tropically hot year round. December and January are the busiest months, when the weather is relatively mild. May to November is monsoon season – you’ll avoid the crowds at the temples and can snag a good deal, but you may need to plan your outdoor activities around mud, flash flooding and other rainy conditions in the afternoons.