10 Unique Travel Experiences in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Southeast Asia is an adventure paradise that attracts travelers from all over the world. Known for its beautiful sandy beaches, hiking, delicious variety of Asian food and incredibly cheap prices, Southeast Asia has it all.

After a beautiful trip through Vietnam, I made an overland trip from Ho Chi Minh to Cambodia’s capital, Phenom Penh, before making my way to Siem Reap.

This is a city known internationally for its ancient temples and is home to the largest religious monument on Earth, Angkor Wat.

Given all of the amazing words I have heard about this place, I knew that I wanted more than just a couple of days to explore the area, so I opted for 6 nights in order to give me the chance to explore as much as I could.

It’s easy to think about traveling to Siem Reap and only think about visiting the temples, but this area is known for so much more.

In this article I will share with you 10 of my favorite experiences that I had in Siem Reap in order to help you organize your future trip there!

1. Angkor Complex

This is the most popular attraction and UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts people from all over the world

It was built in the 12th century as a Hindu temple, dedicated to the God Vishnu, but over time converted to buddhism.

Walking with any sort of rush through the temples ruins can be a magical experience. Carvings are found throughout the walls and floors of the temples, each one with their own story and detailed art.

It was a surreal experience to walk through such an ancient place that holds such an important significance in the world until this day.

Price:

One Day: $37

Three Day:  $62

Seven Day: $72

Your ticket will have your photo on it, so you will not be able to share with others. This allows you access to 72 temples and the best part is that a small part of that money goes to a Cambodian children’s hospital.

2. Floating Villages

There are a few different floating villages that you can visit along Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia’s Largest freshwater lake.

This is a good way to see the local life and see how many Cambodians live until this day. It was an eye opening experience to see the local people, their homes and the floating schools and churches.

3. Spa Day with Traditional Treatment

This was hands-down my most relaxing experience that I had while visiting Siem Reap. It was so nice that I returned a second time to get another treatment.

Mudita Spa is by far the best spa in the area, with a variety of spa packages designed exactly for your needs.

For my first treatment I did their signature treatment, which consisted of a 90 minute massage done by two therapists, with hot cloths massaged throughout the body in rolling movements.

This was a first time for me and the experience was outstanding.

The second time I returned to get a traditional Khmer treatment called J’Pong Herbal Steam Treatment, followed by a 60 minute massage.

This is a traditional treatment in Cambodia, used to help promote circulation, give you more energy and help control stress. They use many different herbs, including lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and many more.

In this treatment you will sit in a curtained off steamed area for about 20 to 30 in order to sweat as much as you possible can.

After the stream bath you take a cool shower and then massage. I left feeling completely rejuvenated and full of energy after my treatment.

4. Old Market

Old market in the city offers everything you can possibly think of from clothes, house ware, souvenirs, food and so much more.

This is a great place to go and experience more of the local life and culture, while finding a nice Souvenir along the way.

They have a day and night market, so I suggest visiting them both to get a feel for both of them.

5. Khmer Cooking Class

This was a perfect experience to learn about the Khmer cuisine.  We started our day off at the local market, picking out our food and then directly to the kitchen for a fun afternoon of cooking.

We made a three course meal, uniquely selected by the chef himself. We learn how to make the most traditional dish of Cambodia, fish amok in banana leaves and a delicious chicken sour soup with salad.

During our cooking class we learned so many new tips and tricks by the chef who was by our side during the whole experience.

6. Pub Street

Pub Street is the street where all of the action happens at night. It is lined with my clubs, bars, restaurants and street stands, with a variety of things to eat and drink.

Many travelers are happy visiting there because during happy hour you can buy beer for less than one dollar. If you are a non drinker, you can still enjoy the lively environment and indulge in some delicious fried ice cream, which is found all throughout the street. Delicious!

7. Cambodian Performance & Show

Cambodia has their own unique dance and music, with fancy traditional outfits and dresses.  One of the best ways to see it all is by having a nice dinner and watching a live show.

I attended a cultural night at Borei Angkor Resort and Spa, which was a very luxurious outdoor experience where we enjoyed a delicious dinner, while watching a stunning dance and musical performance.

8. Landmine Museum

This is a museum that was created in the early 1990s by by an ex-child soldier. He learned the ends and outs of planting landmines when he was a child and now he uses his knowledge by visiting villages and disfusing the landmines that are present by hand.

Over half of the land of Cambodia is still unprotected from landmines and this museum sheds light on this issue, offering a ton of information that you can learn, as well as personal testimonies and photography.

This was one of my favorite museums that I visited in Cambodia. It was only $5 and all the money goes to raising money for landmine clearing, help fund schools and assist with children that have amputees as a result of landmines.

9. Relax the Pool

With all of the walking and activities that you can do in Siem Reap, its important as well to take a break and let it all sink in. The temperatures can be extremely high in the middle of the day and relaxing by the pool is a great option for a couple of hours of rest or for the entire day.

Many hotels have a swimming pool and relaxing by the pool with a nice book or music is a great way to pass the day.

10. Get Adventurous and Eat Bugs at the Old Market

If you’re wanting to get very adventurous and have a strange experience, head to the Old Market where you can choose form a variety of bugs to eat.

While many westerners might think that this is a crazy type of experience, this is very common and normal for most South East Asian countries. I must admit, I’m not a big fan of bugs, but I decided to give one a try.

I guess they say, “When in Cambodia!”

 

 

Don’t forget to also check out: 

GROUP TOUR VS SOLO TRAVEL: PROS & CONS

ETHICAL ELEPHANT PARK VISIT IN CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

A MINI PARADISE: MYKONOS ISLAND, GREECE

 

 

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