19 super fun things to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia

If you’re traveling to Cambodia, you don’t want to miss this list of the top things to do in Siem Reap. Considered the gateway to Angkor Wat, it’s bound to be on your travel itinerary. In this guide, I’m sharing the best places to visit in Siem Reap. 

Plan your trip to Siem Reap

👩🏻 Best guided tours in Siem Reap

🏡 Where to stay in Siem Reap

Many travelers come to Siem Reap, Cambodia just for Angkor Wat. But there are so many things to do in Siem Reap besides temples.

From cooking classes to off-roading with dirt bikes, to horseback riding and butterfly watching, the list goes on.

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Siem Reap, you’ve landed the right place.

I’ll also cover Angkor Wat, but I suggest you jump over to my other two posts about the temples if you’re looking for a more in-depth guide.


This post contains referral links for products I love. Adventurous Miriam earns a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through my links. I appreciate your support ♡ Learn more

How many days to spend in Siem Reap

Siem Reap will keep you busy for at least 2-3 days.

You’ll spend one or two days exploring the temples, and then you should, of course, try all of the fun things to do in Siem Reap. 

Luckily, it’s a fairly small town, so you can easily save yourself the expense and do your own Siem Reap city tour. Simply walk, rent a bike, or get around by tuk-tuk.

In this post, I’ve included the best sights and activities with links to tours and great hotels. Keep reading to find out what to do in Siem Reap in 3 days.

Wonderful siem reap itinerary

Unusual things to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia

1. Feel like a tomb raider at Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the top attraction in Cambodia. And take it from someone who’s been there twice: it’s worth visiting!

Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious monument, and you can experience stone carvings and ancient structures here.

I’ve written two separate posts about the temples, including how to visit Angkor Wat from Siem Reap. Both those posts are ideal if you want to visit independently.

However, if you’re all about convenience, you can also join a guided tour that includes a photo stop at sunset or sunrise.

The tours are cheap compared to what you get, and you won’t have to lift a finger, although you will need to walk a bit to explore the ancient temples of Angkor.

Best day trips to Angkor Wat:

Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

2. Take a ride in a Batmobile

Wondering how to get around in Siem Reap?

You can rent a car or walk, but it’s much more fun in a tuk tuk. And in Siem Reap, they have batmobiles and superman tuk-tuks. How cool is that!

Miriam’s tip:

To avoid a rip-off, remember to negotiate the price before getting in.

Things to do in Siem Reap
Vroom vroom
Things to do in Siem Reap

3. Join a Khmer cooking class at a local’s home

A Khmer cooking class is an amazing way to learn about local cuisine.

You’ll be picked up in a tuk-tuk, buy ingredients at a local market, and then cook a 4-course meal with a local in their kitchen.

The class is small, just six people, so you really get to dive into dishes like tom yam soup and fish in banana leaf.

You can pick from different times to fit your schedule, and the tuk-tuk ride there and back is part of the fun.

Book here – Khmer Cooking Class at a Local’s Home (⭐ 5/5)

4. Eat a deep-fried tarantula

If you’re looking for adventurous things to do in Siem Reap, you’ll find it at the Siem Reap Night Market!

This is the place to taste or photograph fried insects like snakes, roaches, scorpions – and tarantulas.

Fried spiders are a regional delicacy in Cambodia, especially in the Cambodian town of Skuon (Cheung Prey, Kampong Cham Province). There’s even a street food tour where you can taste fried insects and spiders if you dare.

My friend Brad recommends the fried spiders, btw. He says they taste just like “soft-shelled crab… but hairy”.

Book here: Cambodian Street Food Tours with Insects (⭐ 5/5)

Things to do in Siem Reap
Omg, not in a million years!

5. Get a massage afterwards

If you just ate a tarantula, or any other bug for that matter, I’d say you deserve a nice, long massage.

And let’s face it… a visit to South East Asia isn’t complete without a massage.

Things to do in Siem Reap

6. Take a pottery class

If you feel like recreating that famous pottery scene from Ghost, here’s your chance.

In a pottery class, you’ll get to shape your own masterpiece under expert guidance and add some Khmer ornamentation to your piece.

The class takes two hours.

Book here: Cambodian Pottery Class in Siem Reap (⭐ 5/5)

Pottery class Siem Reap

7. Try ziplining

The Angkor Wat Zipline Tour is so much fun!

You’ll zip across 21 lines, walk on sky bridges, and do some abseiling, all while soaking up awesome jungle views.

It’s like an action-packed adventure right in the middle of Cambodia’s famous Angkor rainforest.

You’re in a small group, so it feels exclusive and safe.

Book here – Zip Line Adventure in Siem Reap (⭐ 5/5)

8. Drink at Angkor What? Bar

The Angkor What? Bar is famous for its buckets, great tunes, and cool atmosphere, so if you’ve walked around Angkor Wat all day and need to recharge, this is the place to go.

You’ll find Angkor What? at Pub Street.

Things to do in Siem Reap
Angkor What? was the first bar on Pub Street
Things to do in Siem Reap

9. Visit Pub Street

Whether you’re going for a drink, having lunch, or meeting new people, Pub Street is where it happens. 

Ever been to Khao San Road in Bangkok? Well, it’s similar.

During the day, it’s a good place for eating, and in the evening all the nightclubs and bars open.

Things to do in Siem Reap
Siem Reap is a must-visit in Southeast Asia

10. Phare circus show

Phare, The Cambodian Circus, was founded in 1994 by former refugees.

It isn’t just a show; it’s a lifeline for underprivileged kids, offering them training in performing arts.

75% of their profits support the school.

Book here – The Cambodian Circus Show in Siem Reap (⭐ 5/5)

11. Let fish chew on your feet

This is as weird as it sounds.

For $2 you can dip your feet in a water tank filled with toothless Doctor Fish and have them clean off the dead skin of your feet.

FYI, not all operators change the water regularly, which can cause infection so be sure to try this somewhere nice-looking.

Things to do in Siem Reap

12. Explore the bizarre Old Market

The old market “Psah Chas” is right in the center of town. This is the place to buy clothes, food and souvenirs.

Right in the middle, you’ll find the food market; a labyrinth of tables with raw meat, local sausages, and grisly pig heads. In the midst of it all is a swirl of local women selling and buying, laughing and negotiating.

Throughout Cambodia’s markets, you’ll also find tropical fruits aplenty. Most of the markets have tamarind, dragon fruit, jackfruit, mango (mmmm, mango), oranges, pineapple, watermelon, mangosteens, and star fruits, and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

Fruit tastes better in Asia, so I highly recommend you try some. It’s cheap and absolutely delicious.

Pro tip: Remember to bring coins for change.

Things to do in Siem Reap

13. Siem Reap food tour

Food tours are one of my favorite solo travel adventures and it’s a great way to get to know the local life and culture.

On this popular food tour in Siem Reap, you’ll visit a local market and learn about Cambodian cuisine.

Afterwards, you get to cook home-style traditional Khmer food at Lily & Chris’ family house in Siem Reap countryside.

Prepare to make and eat delicious food!

Book here: Old Siem Reap Sunset Food Tour by Tuk-tuk (⭐ 5/5)

Siem Reap food tour

14. Visit a floating village (Tonle Sap Lake)

A popular day trip from Siem Reap is the floating village at Tonle Sap Lake.

It’s similar to the floating market in Bangkok, although this is a complete village with a school, market, a crocodile farm, and more. It’s a great way to watch the locals go about their daily lives.

The 4-hour trip includes an English-speaking guide, a private boat, and round-trip transportation from your Siem Reap hotel.

Book here: Tonle Sap Floating Village Tour from Siem Reap (⭐ 5/5)


15. Visit Phnom Kulen National Park

Phnom Kulen National Park is a real gem, especially if you’re into nature.

It’s super close to Siem Reap, just a short 1.5 to 2-hour trip. The national park has rainforest trails that take you to old temples, peaceful monasteries, and beautiful waterfalls.

You’ll also visit the River of a Thousand Lingas – the carvings there are amazing. Oh, and there’s this huge Reclining Buddha that’s pretty awesome.

Get your tickets – Kulen Waterfall & National Park by luxury MiniVan (⭐ 5/5)

16. Visit the War Museum or Cambodia Landmine Museum

The War Museum in Siem Reap has a unique collection of landmines and tanks from The Khmer Rouge Regime in 1975 and the Vietnamese occupation in 1979.

Millions of land mines and unexploded objects were left behind by decades of conflict. A few of them are kept for display here.

If you like history, you could also visit The Cambodian Landmine Museum, 25km north of Siem Reap. This tour includes the Landmine Museum and a trip to Kullen Waterfall.

Book here – War Museum, Kulen, and Killing Fields Tour (⭐ 5/5)

Cambodian history, Siem Reap, Cambodia

17. Experience an Apsara dance

One of the most exciting things I experienced in Siem Reap was an apsara dance performance.

It’s a Khmer traditional dance drama that conveys a story – quite dramatic and really beautiful. If you like culture and dance, this is definitely worth the splurge.

The show is performed in a big theatre with lighting effects and music. The buffet dinner isn’t fantastic so you can skip that, but the show is spectacular.

Book here – Apsara Dance Performance – Incl. Buffet & Hotel Pickup (⭐ 4.5/5)

Things to do in Siem Reap

18. Battambang

Ever heard of Battambang?

On this day trip, you get to ride on a traditional bamboo train, and see old French buildings, and an ancient temple. The best part is the Bat Cave – tons of bats flying out is quite a sight.

There’s also the Killing Cave, which is a harrowing yet important reminder of Cambodia’s past. Up to 10.000 people were thrown to their deaths here by the Khmer Rouge.

Book here – Bamboo Train, Killing Cave & Sunset (⭐ 5/5)

19. Banteay Srey Butterfly Center

If you like butterflies (and who doesn’t?), you should visit the Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre.

Here, you can see lots of Cambodian butterflies just fluttering around. They’ve made the place like a mini rainforest, so the butterflies feel right at home.

Plus, you can take a tour with a guide who’ll walk you through the butterfly life cycle – it’s super interesting!


FAQ – Things to do in Siem Reap

How many days in Siem Reap is enough?

3-4 days in Siem Reap is enough to explore the main attractions, including Angkor Wat and other nearby temples.

Is there a lot to do in Siem Reap?

Yes, there’s a lot to do in Siem Reap. Besides visiting the famous Angkor Wat, you can explore other temples, enjoy local markets, try Cambodian cuisine, and experience cultural shows and museums.

What is Siem Reap known for?

Siem Reap is best known for being the gateway to the Angkor temples, including the famous Angkor Wat. It’s also known for its vibrant markets, rich history, and lively nightlife.

Should I visit Phnom Penh or Siem Reap?

I prefer Siem Reap, mainly because of Angkor Wat.

Siem Reap is famous for the Angkor Wat temple complex and a more tourist-focused vibe.

Phnom Penh offers a deeper look into Cambodia’s history and culture, including the Royal Palace and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

More posts from Cambodia you might like

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Check out this list of top things to do in Siem Reap! Explore the stunning Angkor Wat, take exciting tuk-tuk rides, try tasty street food, and find hidden temples. This guide gives you a mix of famous spots and local secrets, perfect for travelers wanting to experience the real Siem Reap. #SiemReapGuide #AngkorWat #ExploreCambodia

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  1. Great list, we didn’t do much in Siem Reap besides temple hopping because we found that so exhausting! I wish we’d gone to the Landmine Museum though, it sounds really interesting.

    1. I didn’t either during my first visit, but back then I got an overall bad impression of Siem Reap. After my second visit, I know for sure that I’ll return! The Landmine Museum was really interesting and it taught me a lot about Cambodian history. If you ever return some day, I definitely recommend it, Amy.

  2. I loved Siem Reap and this post makes me miss it! I can’t say I’d eat one of those tarantulas, but the pizza from Pizza Company looks delicious!

  3. Great list and perfect timing. I’ll be landing in Siem Riep next weekend. Now, I have plenty of fun, alternative ideas to keep me busy during my time there.

  4. Thank you for sharing… I would like to do everything but not trying snake lol.If you will ever come back here please put The Escape Hunt Experience Angkor in your list as well ^^

    1. I will definitely do that! I tried the Escape Hunt in Bangkok and had so much fun, but I didn’t know that there was one in Siem Reap, too. Thanks for letting me know!

  5. Your opening paragraph is spot on. I’ve been back home for a week and feel so homesick for Siem Reap. Going back in 11 months and will try the things on your list that I didn’t this time. Thank you for posting. 🙂

  6. Hi Miriam! What was the name of the hotel you stayed that was $53 per night? Also, are there any towns nearby that you recommend exploring?! Thanks!

    1. Hi Nichole, I stayed at Angkor Miracle Resort and Spa in Siem Reap. The highlights in Cambodia is Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Koh Rong and Kampot. I don’t know about any nearby towns though.

  7. Hi Miriam, i will travel to Siem Reap next month! thanks to your to do list i was able to build up my itinerary, can you tell me the website for that Apsara Dance performance? i was looking on the internet and couldn’t find the one that looks like yours ( it’s awesome ) haha, Thank you!


    1. Hi there, Leonard 🙂

      I went to Smile at Angkor, which to my knowledge is the priciest in town, but you do get a great show. I booked the tickets online through the website of Smile of Angkor at $30 per person. You can find it here – I see there’s a 20% discount at the moment: https://www.smileofangkor.info/

      Have fun 😀

  8. Good tips

    Sounds like a cool n different place to meh

    But i will definately go there soon

    N by the way
    You really pretty

  9. Oh, I miss siem reap.. I miss the Angkor beer !! ^_^ I’m going back next week to see my Cambodian friends there.. They’re so nice and accommodating … That’s the reason why I love that country ^_^

  10. I loved Siem Reap. Last year I spend five days in this cute town, and this year three days.
    There is so much more to see than Angkor. Sadly most people only come in SR for Angkor and leave too soon!
    I have so many favorite places in SR lol. The Landmine museum was very impressive!
    And the Cambodian War Museum was even more impressive, since i got a chance to talk with a war veteran.

  11. Great place been many times! Some good ideas here. There are also some great out of the way places like swimming at the waterfall at Kulen mountain or the thai border temple. Wasnt sure about the comment on the market that said dont forget to bring your coins? Never seen one in Cambodia! Lots of small denomination notes is handy though! One unusual tip is watch what stall holders eat in markets – sellers come to them with food! I buy from those sellers and get to choose a wide range of local treats!

  12. Miriam this is awesome i leave for Cambodia on Saturday and I am really looking forward to Siem Reap other than visiting temples. I am spending 5 nights (4 1/2) days. Do you think that is enough time? also I am spending 4 nights 3 1/2 days and Koh Rong….have you been there? since the Island is so small is that too much time to stay there? thanks I will appreciate anybody’s feedback

    1. Thanks a bunch, Liz! I think you’ll find that 4,5 days in Siem Reap is enough. I only spent 2 days exploring the temples (and I saw all the important ones, plus many many more) and then you can spend the last few days exploring Siem Reap and relaxing at your hotel 🙂 I haven’t been to Koh Rong, but would love to go though. If you do get bored, you can always visit Sihanoukville or one of the other islands. There will be plenty to do (swimming, relaxing, hiking, sightseeing, snorkeling, reading books, partying, etc.). Have a GREAT time!

  13. Thanks a lot Miriam for a great things to do in Siem Reap. Me and my wifey going there on February 2017 and we will do the list. Cheers

  14. Great suggestions Miriam, we went to Cambodia a few years ago and loved it…we are planning another trip this year but will be taking family and friends with us this time….some of whom are coming over today for a BBQ to talk about the trip, I will be showing them your blog..for some it will be their first overseas trip

    1. Thanks Helen, I’m glad you found my blog useful! Have a great trip back to Cambodia. I often think about revisiting and going to the islands.

  15. Really cool! I will be in Siem Reap this November and will definitely try at least half of the things on your list, thank you!

  16. Hello, Planning to go to Cambodia in August this year, however we still can’t decide between Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. What would you recommend?

    1. Hi Fathmath, it depends on what you want to see. I’d personally go for Siem Reap because of Angkor Wat (I’ve been there twice already). It really is a must-see!

  17. Miriam your post has helped me plan and look forward to Cambodia even more. I’m going may this year and travelling by my self. Would definitely be doing a lot of things if not all. Cheers

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! And cool that you’re traveling by yourself – good for you. I love traveling solo and Cambodia is super easy as a solo traveler. You’ll meet lots of other travelers there if you want.

      Have a great trip!

  18. Thanks for this informational post. This will really help them who wants to go to Siem Reap for the first time. Last month one of my neighbors had visited this lovely place and she told me how well they enjoyed their vacation with family. They had visited some beautiful places with the help of Siem Reap Private Tours. As I have heard from her I really wished to go to this place but now I am super excited to visit this place after seeing your post.

  19. I’m in Siem Reap at the moment….3rd time…no temples this time just chilling, drinking, eating and enjoying massages lol! Great place to just relax a little.
    Smiles at your list as went to Lake in a Bat Mobile yesterday…..must share your post with the driver!

  20. Visiting Siem Reap next year for 4 days and looking into excursions. Is one day 8 hr tour enough for Angkor Wat? Do you recommend at Quad bike adventures? Or visit to Tongle Sap lake tour? Going to check on Apsara show based on your suggestions.

    1. Hi Chia, Yes, an 8 hour tour would be enough if you make sure to include the main sights. You can see a lot in one day.

      I don’t know Quad bike adventures unfortunately.

  21. How much money in commissions or fees do you make off your “referrals”? Not that there’s anything wrong with it if you were up front about it. But I detect an agency bias in what you portray, especially in the more pricey stuff. Those “doctor fish”? No they’re not. Doctor fish are tiny, like minnows. The ones here are up to 6 inches long, and they can break the skin in fragile areas. I had a nice sore afterward that bled and took a while to heal.

    1. Hi Greg, I am upfront about affiliates. I have a clear disclaimer in the sidebar and at the top of every single blog post!

      I don’t appreciate you questioning my integrity. I’ve spent the last 5.5 years building this blog, writing content and helping fellow travelers FOR FREE, and I’ve never put revenue over my readers or my integrity. If you were a long-time reader, you would know that. And you would also know that I only recommend products I use myself and can stand by 100%.

      You’re welcome to ask questions about how affiliates work or why I recommend the ones I do. And if you’ve had a bad experience through one of the links, please do share it so I can stop promoting it. But don’t accuse me of being dishonest and biased.

    2. Miriam,
      Some people can always find something to complain about. I think that common sense is a KEY to foreign travel. I’ve never seen “dead skin fish” that were any longer than 6-7 centimeters (2.5″). I personally wouldn’t put my feet in a tank with a large fish like the ones Greg is describing. Piranha in the Amazon are @ 15-20 centimeters and they can take a large chunk out of you.

      1. Thanks, Kevin. I wouldn’t either, but lots of people apparently find it fun. I’ll stick to foot massages and scrubs 🙂
        Thanks for pitching in, I appreciate it.

  22. I have been to Siem Reap 4 times in the last three years. The subjestions made are spot on. I would add talk to your tuk tuk drive ask about his life and home, I did and have a friend for life. Listen to them and enjoy. One of my favorite things is have lunch in a cabana and nap after local BBQ chicken and fish. And then comes the peaceful nap in the supplied hammock over the water listening to the birds and lite breeze over the water. There is so much to see but you need to ask the locals! Be ready to accept what you wouldn’t normally do and enjoy another life! I am back for 12 day trip in May and so looking forward to it!

    1. Hi Laurence,
      Thanks so much for pitching in. And I agree – talking to locals is the best way to get to know a place and to make new friends.

      Have a wonderful trip back to Siem Reap in May. I hope it will be just as amazing as your other visits 🙂

  23. damn, I am so excited to visit Siem Reap next month. Is it possible to rent a bike (not motorcycle) and bike to and around Angkor Wat?

    1. Yes, absolutely! However, Angkor Wat is enormous. It’ll take you a long time to bike between the major temples, especially if you plan on visiting those in the outer rim. Plus, it gets super humid in April and May. But if you plan to just visit some of the main temples around the centre, you can take the bike. You would just have to know where to find them 🙂

      Have a great trip, Marlon.

  24. I am lucky enogh to have been to Siem Reap on many occasions, make sure you have $1 notes on arrival it is expected to tip your porter $1 at the hotel after they take your case to your room , there is no coinage in Cambodia but you local currency in change from dollars, Try the Pottery , Rehash your Trash and the circus is a must

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