If you are having Siem Reap tours, Cambodia, Angkor temples is definitely a must. Still, spending everyday to discover temples may be a bit boring. Personally, my top temples are Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm where Angelia Jolie filmed the movie Tomb Raider and Banteay Srei – the Citadel of Women. These attractions can be covered within two full days. For those who have more than three days in Siem Reap tours, you may consider 5 extra activities below:
A boat trip on Tonle Sap lake
There are two main Tonle Sap floating villages, one named Chong Khneas and the other one called Kampong Phluk. For a trip on Tonle Sap Lake, you should have a half of Siem Reap day tours there. The floating village of Chong Khneas is located approximately 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap. You will have a chance to enjoy an exciting boat trip on a traditional wooden boat. Along the way, opportunities for photos are endless. Also, you will encounter fishermen, children going back from floating “schools”, women picking wood on the lake, etc.
For nature lovers and those who prefer a less crowded place, Kompong Phluk is an ideal place. To see this floating village, you will be taken into the heart of the mangrove forests on margins of the lake. Kampong Phluk is a group of three villages where stilt houses are built within the floodplain of the Tonle Sap, situated around 16 kilometers southeast of Siem Reap. These villages are mostly Khmer people and there are around 3000 villagers.
Phnom Kulen National Park – Cool off at Kulen Mountain
Siem Reap is hot all year round and Siem Reap temple tour with thousands of tourists may be tiring. Why don’t you take a morning to drive to the countryside to Phnom Kulen Mountain? It takes around two hours drive from the central town of Siem Reap to this place. This activity fits active people as it contains climbing up to the waterfalls on the top. Therefore, swimwear and sunglasses will be needed for swimming and relaxing by the falls.
Furthermore, a bonus point of this attraction is the fact that you will not find many tourists here, mostly local people going there for a picnic with friends or family. For local people, the place is opened for free, yet entrance fee for foreign travelers costs US$20 per adult and can be paid on the spot.
Enjoy a dinner with traditional Apsara Dance
Apsara dancers are sculpted on the walls of Angkor temples. There is no better way to see them in persons than having dinner with Apsara Dance Show. In order to have a nice view, a pre-reserved table is highly recommended. Crystal Angkor Restaurant is one place that arranges this kind of dinner. Hence, you can take a cab to address Roud 30, Krong Siem Reap. They serve both Khmer and Western dishes at around US$15 per adult, price updated in December 2019. A small note, please make sure that your cameras are fully charged as taking a photo with Apsara dancers is a lovely way to keep your memory long.
Buy a ticket and join the Phare circus in the evening
For family vacations, this a is very fun activity to add on your schedule. The kids certainly love the show. This activity is voted as the top shows and outdoor attraction by thousands of users on Tripadvisor. There are different types of tickets and the main difference is the view. A or B tickets work very well for me, personally. You can book tickets online via Phare circus website or get this arranged by your travel agent. This show is not only entertaining but also inspiring.
By the way, a part of the profit goes to help poor teenage Cambodia to study to have a better future. Consequently, the show is performed outdoors and quite crowded. Hand fans will be provided upon your arrival but you should prepare for an hour living with high temperature.
Pub street in Siem Reap – best place for a night out
Pub street in Siem Reap is the only place in Siem Reap that opens until early morning. For major hotels in the central, a tuk-tuk at about US$1 – 2 will bring you to the most crowded place around Siem Reap. Also, there are nice music from local/western-style pubs, night market with Siem Reap street food such as fried insects or nice and cheap Khmer T-shirts, local beer, etc.
In short, with 5 suggestions above, I trust that your Siem Reap tours will be full of experiences and joys. Let’s have a look at this Classic Glimpse Of Siem Reap 4 Days, temples are still the key but other activities will complete your time in Siem Reap Cambodia.
Huyen Nguyen – Travel Specialist