Other Experiences to Enjoy In and Around Siem Reap
1. Water Blessing
Water Blessing is a traditional Cambodian practice that date back to ancient times. It is said to bring peace and happiness. Be prepared to get wet, you will need to change intoa Sarong so your clothing remains dry.
2. Tonle Sap Lake
Exploring Angkor never comes to the end, there are lots of thing to see and always a new adventure. However, your experiences will not be considered to be complete without spending sometime at the greatest fresh water lake in Asia. Tonle Sap Lake is the most prominent feature on the map of Cambodia. Tonle Sap is unusual for two reasons; its flow changes direction twice a year and the portion that forms the lake expands (12,000 square kilometer) and shrinks dramatically (2500 square kilometer) with the seasons. Explore the lake visiting the floating and stilted villages of Chong Kneas and Kompong Phluk and discover the varied plant, fish and bird life that make this huge inland lake such a valuable ecosystem to Cambodia and Southeast Asia.
Siem Reap is genuinely twice blessed. First all the major sights are within easy access to the main town using pedal power alone. Secondly, the terrain is pretty much flat as a pancake, making cycling a year round possibility.
4. Angkor National Museum
The museum opened in November 2007 and its shopping mall-like feel contrasts with the thousand-year old artifacts that are contained within it. Entrance fee is USD 12 to enter the museum plus another USD 3 if you want to bring your camera. An additional USD 3 for an educational headset.
5. Silk Farm
Angkor Silk Farm is just one of the antidotes available to help balance out the historical sites of Angkor. The location is just about 10 minutes away by “reumork” or car. The Silk Farm is fun and a relatively short distant diversion from Siem Reap’s absolute must-see sights.
Angkor Golf Resort is very close to PhumBaitang. This Faldo designed championship golf course is very impressive.
7. Old Market
Psah Chas (literally “Old Market”) is a market in the city of Siem Reap. The market is popular with tourists, sells souvenirs and is also known for its variety of tasty Cambodian cuisines, vegetables and fruits.
8. Pub Street
After the sun goes down, the focus shifts to Pub Street and the small alleys off Pub Street. It all began in 1998 when Angkor What? Bar opened its doors – this lone pub in an otherwise lonely street. These days Pub Street is packed end to end with restaurants, pubs and shops, making the area a tourist mecca in town.
9. The Angkor Wat International Half Marathon
This internationally recognized half marathon raises relief for the victims of antipersonnel mines in Cambodia. With the support of many Japanese running enthusiasts, the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon NGO started the race in 1996, with participants from all over the world. Attended by many landmine victims, this great international race takes place inside the ruins of Angkor Wat World Heritage Site, and has been held in August annually to give the victims courage and hope, as well as to appeal to the world to support the “ban on the use of antipersonnel mines.”
10. Monk Blessing
Gain a first-hand insight into Buddhist culture in Siem Reap by receiving a local monk’s blessing upon arrival at Phum Baitang or during your stay. This unique experience includes chanting, prayers, incense and flower offerings. This ritual is meant to bring luck and prosperity and can be arranged through your Guest Assistant.
11. Helicopter Ride
Local company Helistar Cambodia provide thrilling scenic flights to see the amazing temples of Angkor from the sky. Certainly an exhilarating way to take-in all the sights that the Angkor Heritage Park has to offer.
12. Hot Air Balloon Experience
Take a tethered helium balloon ride 200 metres straight up for an amazing aerial view of Angkor Wat (1 km away) and the surrounding countryside. The big yellow balloon is based about 1 km east of Angkor Wat on the road from the airport. This experience is best done on days that are not too windy.
13. All Terrain Vehicle Tours
One hour, multi-hour, half day, full day and extreme overnight quad bike tours can be organized in Siem Reap by Angkor Quad Bike Countryside Tours . Tours are for the adventurous and visit countryside, rice paddies, pagodas and remote villages around the Siem Reap area.
14. Vespa Motor Scooter Adventures
Riding on the back of a Vespa motor scooter with a wide comfortable seat and solid backrest throughout the amazing UNESCO Angkor World Heritage Site is certainly a one of a kind experience.
Cambodia Vespa Adventures in Siem Reap provide three tours: Our Angkor, where they share their life growing up in the shadows of temples; A Taste of Cambodia, an after dark foodie tour to discover Khmer cuisine; and The Countryside Life Tour to experience the true essence of daily life , culture and the spiritual side of the people of Siem Reap.
Tours operate daily subject to weather conditions.ark Foodie
15. Vintage Jeep Experience
Tours by Vietnam war-era vintage jeeps can be organized to the Angkor heritage site, Kbal Spean and Banteay Srey, Beng Mealea and Kampong Kleang as well as Phnom Koulen and Puok. The advantage of your own jeep is that if you would like to spend more time at a certain temple it is possible and of course some of the more remote sites are easily accessible. You can also rent a jeep, including driver, for a day tour to explore Siem Reap at your leisure. Please note that these jeep tours are not self drive.
16. Elephant Rides
The Bayon is one of the most impressive temples in Angkor Thom city and is really one of the most spectacular ruins of Angkor with its gigantic smiling faces looking at different directions. What better way to see it than on an elephant ride around the Bayon. As you take your journey, you will understand how the elephant has been so important in the creation of the fabulous Kingdom of Cambodia. The elephant has seen and served many kings and queens as they have travelled to and from the temples and has even helped to construct those same temples. An Elephant ride in Siem Reap is a great way to soak up the atmosphere and offers a different view on the temples.
The first elephant ride starts in the morning at 08:00 am from the South Gate of Angkor Thom to the Bayon Temple. The elephants then are stationed next to the Bayon Temple for rides around Bayon temple. The last elephant ride is at 10:30 from Bayon back to the South Gate.
17. Horse Riding
The Happy Ranch Horse Farm offers countryside trail rides from one to four hours duration. From sunrise to sunset, their horses will take you on a journey to places that are otherwise unreachable, through local countryside villages, scenic rice fields and tourist-free temple ruins, all waiting to be explored. An authentic taste of the real Khmer lifestyle viewed from horseback, and a welcome break from other tourists.
18. Buffalo Cart Rides
Experience trekking with an ox or buffalo cart ride to visit the beauty of the surrounding landscape of Siem Reap. Along the way discover seasonal farming methods and other daily activities of the local people. The cart is custom designed for your comfort with mat, pillows and roof made from palm leaves.
Walk through rural communities, meet local families, learn mat weaving and the making of traditional palm-leaf cakes boxes. During your trip you will receive information concerning flora, including useful wild and home-grown plants. Morning and afternoon tours end at the local market to see the diversity of fresh countryside products.
Leisurely kayaking is available on Tonle Sap Lake and can be organized with a professionally trained guide. Your Guest Assistant will be happy to arrange this activity for you.
20. A Night at the Circus
Phare Cambodian Circus is a wonderful evening entertainment experience. More than just a circus, Phare performers use theatre, music, dance and modern circus arts such as acrobatics, juggling and contortion to tell uniquely Cambodian stories; historical, folk and modern. The young circus artists will astonish you with their energy, emotion, enthusiasm and talent. Phare artists receive free artistic and academic education at the NGO school Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang. Performances are held nightly.
21. Butterfly Gardens
Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre is an interactive butterfly exhibit 25 km north of town, on the road to Banteay
Srey. The exhibit consists of a netted tropical garden with thousands of free-flying butterflies, all native species to Cambodia.
22. Bird Watching
Siem Reap offers some unique bird watching opportunities. The Prek Toal bird sanctuary on the Tonle Sap Lake, Ang Trapeng Thmor reservoir northeast of Siem Reap, Chong Khneas floating village, Kampong Phluk, a cluster of three villages of stilted houses built within the floodplain about 16 km southeast of Siem Reap and Kampong Kheang located on the northern lake-edge about 35 km east of Siem Reap are all home to many rare and threatened species.
The Sam Vesna Centre (SCV) organizes half or full day trips focusing on birds with a trained bird guide. SVC was set up to promote wildlife conservation in Cambodia. It works with the Wildlife Conservation Society and local village communities to develop remote sites close to the habitat of some spectacular bird life. The local communities benefit from the infrastructure set up for the visitors. Trips to see Sarus Crane at Ang Trapaeng Thmor, Giant and White Shouldered Ibis at Tamtboey, a restaurant at Chhep, plus some beautiful and unspoiled countryside.