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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 05 Must do Things when on Vacay in Siem Reap – A Breathtaking Town
Joanna James Joanna James
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05 Must do Things when on Vacay in Siem Reap – A Breathtaking Town

This beautiful town is full of things to do and see, and the ideal place for an exotic vacation. When exploring it, add a balance of history and culture into your agenda.


Visit Angkor Wat

Siem Reap is one of the most historically rich sites in all of Southeast Asia, and Angkor Wat is in turn probably the greatest historical landmark in this town. The temple was once a site for the veneration of Hindu Gods, but it gradually transformed into a Buddhist place of worship with time. It is located on the premises of the Angkor Archeological Park, and the temple complex is one of the largest in the world, covering an area of over 162 hectares. It is known as the 7th Wonder of the World, and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see unbelievably mgnificent architecture reflecting the styles of the Khmer era here. It is a site like no other, and should definitely top your list of things to do in this town.


Angkor National Museum

This is the place to go to see and understand the history of Siem Reap in context, and you may want to make this your first stop, so you have a better understanding of the historical sites you visit. This museum houses a comprehensive list of displays, which date back to various eras in time. Treasures discovered in the ancient Hindu and Buddhist sites can be admired here, along with traces of the story of the Angkor civilization. It is also the site to visit to learn all about the arts and architecture of these early times, which is indeed very impressive.


Visit the floating villages

One of the things you must do when you travel is check out the way the locals live, especially when you can see unconventional and unique lifestyles. In Siem Reap you can do this through a visit the the floating villages in parts of the town, home primarily to fisher folk. These homes are built slightly elevated above the water, on wooden stilts, which protects them from flooding. One such village is Chong Khneas, though this may cater too much to tourists for your liking. An alternative is Kompong Khleang where the way of life that you see may be slightly more authentic. Embark on a boat tour to see these sites, which may be finest during the rainy season, when the water levels are high.


Night Markets

There are four main night markets to enjoy in this town, though only two of them are open late into the night; the Angkor Night Market and Noon Night market, which as evidenced by its name, its open from noon to night. The range of souvenirs, textiles, household goods and other novelty items that you can find here will excite any shopaholic, though the amazing vibes and relaxed atmosphere are reasons to visit as well. The streets are lined with various shops and stalls, and are beautifully decorated with lights and lamps. It is a great way to spend the evening after a day of exploring the historical sites. Look for Siem Reap Hotel Deals at places close to the center of the action, such as Anantara Angkor Resort.


Cycle Tour of the Town

You can explore the cities you visit by car or taxi, but you will find a much more authentic experience when you hire a bike and just explore the streets, including hidden streets and obscure shops. Ride along the river which you find running through the town, and check out the small side streets you find along the way. As it dusk falls, head towards the Srah Srang Lake, from where you can enjoy an unforgettable sunset.