For many visitors, Siem Reap is the gateway lớn the largest group of religious buildings ever built – The Angkor complex.

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No trip here is complete without taking a few days to explore all the temples, but they’re not the only reason that Siem Reap is Cambodia’s premier tourist destination.

When you’ve had enough of temples, discover Cambodia’s natural beauty in the national parks and the surrounding lakes và mountains. Immerse yourself in the traditional culture of floating và stilt villages while getting to lớn meet friendly locals.

Don’t want lớn venture so far out of the city? Here, you’ll find some of the country’s best local and international cuisine, superb shopping, & even Cambodia’s most famous circus.

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes khổng lồ accommodation, too – from cheap và cheerful hostels lớn luxurious spas, this place really does have it all.

This handy guide will help you khổng lồ pick the đứng top things to do on your trip to lớn Siem Reap.

1. Angkor Wat

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Angkor Wat

Not only Cambodia’s đứng top tourist attraction but in recent years voted as #1 in the world by Lonely Planet & Trip Advisor, to lớn name just a few; there aren’t enough superlatives khổng lồ describe Angkor Wat. The fantastically preserved temple is visited by millions every year, thanks to its unparalleled beauty.

Most travelers have seeing a sunrise or a sunset over Angkor Wat on their bucket list, & with good reason — it’s an incredible sight. Just remember, it’s going to be really crowded and you might have lớn fight for space khổng lồ get that perfect snap.

There are several ways khổng lồ see Angkor Wat: you can hire a tuk-tuk, or if you feel you can cope with the heat, why not try renting a bicycle?

Recommended tour: Angkor Wat Full-Day Small-Group Sunrise Tour


2. See the other Angkor temples

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Ta Prohm

Yes, Angkor Wat is the most recognizable emblem of the ancient city, but it would be a crime not to visit the other temples và monasteries in the area. The most popular are Bayon, Banteay Srei, & a particular highlight is Ta Prohm.

You may recognize Ta Prohm if you’ve seen Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Originally built in 1186 as a monastery/learning center, it’s smaller than several of the buildings in the Angkor complex, but one of the most visited as it has almost been completely consumed by the surrounding jungle.

Look out for the hand-sized stegosaurus carving in the temple. No one is sure whether it’s a recent addition — & therefore a hoax — or if the ancient Khmers had discovered dinosaur fossils.

You can see these temples alone as a day trip, or if you don’t want to rush, visit them over 3-4 days.

3. Banteay Srei & the Cambodian landmine museum

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Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei — also known as the Citadel of Women, the tiny temple, and the pink temple — is another of the main temples of the Angkor complex, which many people regard as the most beautiful. However, there are some other compelling reasons to visit.

Banteay Srei offers tourists the opportunity to lớn immerse themselves in Cambodian culture, with village walks, ox-cart rides, và farm visits. If you have more time on your hands, you can even stay in one of 13 homestays & learn about local life.

Banteay Srei is also home to the Cambodian landmine museum. The museum works with NGOs to raise awareness & educate visitors about the dangers and prevalence of landmines in the country.

Available tour: Full-Day Banteay Srei & Angkor Grand Tour


4. Tonle Sap Lake

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Tonle Sap Lake

Spend the day seeing one of Cambodia’s natural wonders half an hour south of Siem Reap. Tonle Sap is Asia’s largest freshwater lake, where you can take a cruise or visit the villages on the shore.

Over 3 million people around the whole lake gọi these villages home. The villages often boast floating markets or stilted houses.

Tonle Sap is a great place for animal lovers. Not only are there over 100 species of water birds, but you can see geckos, snakes, crocodiles, turtles, and tortoises here too.

It’s important to lớn remember that during the dry season, the lake flows out into the Mekong River. You’re better off doing a cruise during the rainy season, as your boat is much less likely lớn get stuck in the mud.

Suggested tour: Sunset Dinner Tour: Tonle Sap Lake Floating Village

5. Kampong Khleang

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Kampong Khleang

The remote floating village of Kampong Khleang, located on the north-east shores of Tonle Sap, is the largest on the lake.

Here, you can see houses suspended on stilts, buy local handicrafts & food at the day & night markets, và even visit a local floating school.

One of the most alluring ways khổng lồ reach the village is by taking a boat through the flooded forest, where you’ll be sailing among the treetops. Keep your eyes peeled to lớn see snakes, frogs, and huge spiders.

Available tour: Kompong Khleang Floating Village: Full-Day from Siem Reap

6. Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary and Biosphere reserve

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Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary

There are three biosphere reserves on Tonle Sap Lake. Prek Toal, in the North-West corner, is popular with bird-enthusiasts và regular tourists alike, thanks khổng lồ the sheer variety of birdlife that you can see here. It’s actually one of the largest và most important breeding grounds for water birds in South East Asia.

Across the lake, there are several observation towers & viewing platforms. If you want to get up close và personal with the birds, you can take a rowing boat out onto the lake lớn get a closer look at their breeding grounds.

Xem thêm: Bãi Biển Bình Châu View Biển Đẹp Có Suối Nước Nóng, Bãi Biển Bình Châu

When you’ve exhausted your camera and your binoculars, head to one of the floating restaurants on Tonle Sap lake & enjoy the delicious local cuisine.

Available tour: Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary và Great Lake Tour in Cambodia

7. Phnom Kulen national park

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Phnom Kulen National Park

Phnom Kulen — or lychee mountain — is considered by the Khmer people as the most sacred mountain in Cambodia.

At the đứng đầu of the mountain, you will find a beautifully carved reclining Buddha and a pagoda.

Surrounding the mountain is a national park, which boasts a mighty waterfall. The waterfall runs into the valley of 1,000 lingas. What are lingas? They are a phallic fertility symbol, which can be found in the Kbal Spean river. The riverbed is decorated with hundreds of the symbols, both above and below the water.

Suggested tour: Full-Day Kulen Waterfall và 1000 Lingas Tour

8. Kompong Phluk

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Kompong Phluk

Much like Kampong Khleang, Kompong Phluk is a group of three floating villages on the shores of Tonle Sap. However, for a more authentic experience, this is an excellent place to lớn go; it receives much fewer foreign tourists than Kampong Khleang.

You can only get here by boat, which means a trip on the calm waters of Tonle Sap. There are definitely worse ways to pass a morning or afternoon.

Don’t forget your camera, as you can get some jaw-dropping shots of the sunset over the vast lake.

Recommended tour: Kompong Phluk Floating Village Tour from Siem Reap

9. Battambang

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Battambang

The province of Battambang can be found lớn the west of Siem Reap, with a provincial capital of the same name.

There are more temples, colonial French architecture, & a memorial khổng lồ the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime called the Well of Shadows.

Out of the city, see countryside vistas from bamboo trains. Then, take a trip lớn the killing caves khổng lồ learn more about Cambodia’s all too recent history. These are a reminder of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and a worthwhile but sobering experience.

On a lighter note, there’s another cave nearby where you can witness one of nature’s wonders. Every sunset, people gather khổng lồ watch a huge exodus of bats flying out of the cave. Because there are so many, it can take as long as trăng tròn minutes.

10. West Baray lake

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West Baray Lake

A favorite day out for local families is West Baray lake. Located close lớn the walled đô thị of Angkor Thom, it is an ancient, man-made lake where you can spend the day sleeping off your temple exhaustion in a hammock. It’s also a great place to lớn try local Cambodian cuisine.

The water isn’t completely hygienic, but you’ll see many Cambodian families having a swim here & enjoying the sun. Unlike Tonle Sap, there aren’t any crocodiles or snakes in the reservoir, so you’re at least safe on that front.

If you’re feeling withdrawal symptoms, don’t worry about it. After all, there are — yep, you guessed it — more temples.


11. Phnom Bok

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Phnom Bok Temple

Moving from West Baray to East Baray now, where you can visit the stunning Phnom Bok. For any hikers who haven’t yet had their fill of temples, this is the one for you.

Constructed up 640 stones steps, Phnom Bok is perched atop a hill và offers spectacular panoramas of the Kulen mountains. You can even see Angkor Wat from here.

One thing to look out for is the two frangipani trees which loom over the ruined towers. Some people think that this gives the ruin the appearance of having a crazy haircut.

12. Koh Ker

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Koh Ker

You can find Koh Ker in a sparsely-populated area deep in the jungle. Once the capital of the Khmer empire, the almost forgotten seven-story pyramid is now enveloped by ever-encroaching trees và plants.

Koh Ker is great if you want a break from the hordes of tourists at the main Angkor temples. If you’re lucky, you might even have the 30 or so buildings to yourself.

The best news? You can climb the pyramid. Spend some time at the top of this mysterious archaeological marvel lớn take in the fabulous views.


13. Peung Tanorn

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Peung Tanon

There is a relatively unknown natural wonder located 60km north of Siem Reap called Peung Tanorn. Scattered across a hillside are rocks of many shapes & sizes, providing a beautiful view of the picturesque Cambodian countryside.

There’s a local community near the site, where the chief will happily welcome you. The rocks are located at the đứng top of a hill, about 100m up. It’s a short hike up lớn the top, but the views are worth getting out of breath for.

Although the rock formations are undoubtedly beautiful, the journey is a big part of the adventure on this trip. You’ll see a side to lớn Cambodia that is absent in Siem Reap – endless paddy fields, children by ponds hunting the catch of the day, and noisy bovine traffic jams.