The tourist hub of Cambodia, Siem Reap is the gateway to the iconic ancient temples and the largest religious site in the world—Angkor Wat. People travel to Cambodia from all over just to visit the temples and marvel at their craftsmanship. However, Siem Reap, set along the Siem Reap River, boasts much more than just the iconic Angkor Wat temple ruins. With hundreds of sightseeing opportunities such as well-preserved colonial buildings, traditional markets, waterfalls, and lush greenery you can see why Cambodia has most of us searching for our passport and spending our latest paycheck on a flight over there. I’ve rounded up a few must-do activities as well as some beautiful hotels, so all you have to do is pack and enjoy your trip!
Things to do:
The main reason people visit Siem Reap is to visit this architectural masterpiece. Built in the 12th century and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Angkor Wat is the spiritual hub of Cambodia. With its 200 metre wide moat, 1km of carvings, vast labyrinth of passages and courtyards, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. Make sure you head there at sunrise for a magical experience you’ll remember forever.
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple, most famous for featuring in the Tomb Raider film is something you have to see to believe. With gigantic roots intertwining with old man-made structures and stones starting to crumble, it’s clear that the jungle has started to reclaim Ta Prohm as its own. A place to explore and imagine the history and stories embedded in the ancient surroundings.
Tonle Sap Lake
The Tonle Sap Lake (otherwise known as the Great Lake) is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and the richest fishing lake in the World. Make sure to visit the floating villages on and around the lake too!
Phnom Kulen National Park
Phnom Kulen or Kulen Mountain as it’s also known is considered to be the most sacred mountain in Cambodia and is a must visit whilst in Siem Reap. Climb and explore the mountain and be rewarded with spectacular views of Cambodia’s lush forests and jungles. Pay a visit to the reclining buddha where locals visit to pray and make offerings, then cool off in the refreshing Phnom Kulen Waterfall.
Where to stay:
This 5-star hotel with 238 beautifully decorated rooms and suites are far enough away from the city centre to escape the bustle, but close enough to make excursions convenient. The best bit? After a hot sticky day exploring Siem Reap you can dive into the lavish swimming pool (the largest in Cambodia) surrounded by lush landscape and lake garden.
This sophisticated retreat blends simplicity and tradition with modern influences making Heritage Suites Hotel a luxury and boutique hotel. Located just minutes away from the majestic Angkor temples and away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets you’ll enjoy newly refurbished suites nestled amidst lush tropical gardens with top facilities and service.
Built in a 1930’s French colonial style but with all the modern luxuries from the 21st Century that you might need, the luxurious Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa in the heart of Siem Reap opens its doors onto the busy city marketplace. This five-star elegant and refined complex offers ten spacious suites with charm and impeccable service making the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa a haven for visitors.
The Golden Temple Residence is a boutique hotel right in the heart of the city, right next to the famous Night Market. It’s just a short 3 to 5-minute walk or a short Tuk Tuk ride to Pub Street, which is full of restaurants and bars and only a 5-minute walk to the day market, which is a bargain shopper’s paradise.
Beautiful, comfortable and an all round great place to stay, Borei Angkor Resort & Spa is a 5-star resort situated 7km from Angkor Wat and 5 minutes to Siem Reap city centre. The 169 rooms and suites are rich in Royal Angkor Empire details with temple gardens and swimming pool views, as well as having a secluded terrace where guests can enjoy a casual al fresco breakfast. Rest assured you’ve made a wise choice if you decide to stay here.
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