No longer is a visit to Siem Reap limited to simply a place to stay while visiting nearby Angkor—the small town has come unto its own and is now one of the most delightful destinations in Asia with chic boutiques, world-class dining, performance arts, and yet a local vibe that is upbeat and friendly.
With a delightful collection of the country's best cafes and restaurants, the busy and restless nature of its inhabitants, or the abundance of great shopping, Siem Reap is an invigorating and intoxicating place. It’s no surprise that Siem Reap, exudes a youthful, inventive energy — after all, most of its dwellers are younger than 35.
A dynamic spirit shines through in quirky cafes, innovative and rising cuisine, and boutiques selling homegrown fashion. And when you need a breather from all that’s new and fabulous, it’s easy to steal quiet moments in rustic colonial hotels, contemplative art spaces, and pleasant cafes.
Indochina Travel's Siem Reap Favorites
- Vocational learning organizations. At almost every larger hotel and restaurant organizes vocational training for youth, a wonderful model for the rest of Asia. Please volunteer to enjoy teaching English in a rural village for a couple hours or longer (see below).
- One of the most thriving food scenes in the region with a handful of finer restaurants that are the on par with the best in Asia (see below).
- Volunteering. Spend an hour or half-day teaching English in a rural school. Your efforts as a native speaker are not only very valuable to children seeking work in Siem Reap's vital hospitality industry but will be a rewarding time for you spent meeting locals.
- Salay lunch or cooking class: a private lunch or cooking class inside the temple complex. Delicious favorites in a very remarkable setting.
- Weather: one of the only places in Indochina aside from Phu Quoc you will be guaranteed swimming pool weather any time of year.
- Zip lining - Kids along? Safe flying thrills within the temple complex.
- Phare Circus: one of the most delightful performances you will witness anywhere in the world.
- Fish foot cleaning. Unforgettable ticklishness... not to miss.
- Cambodian Hacky Sack (Saiee). Amazing skills by young and old. Ask your driver and guide to teach you. (Video)
Strangely, this massive $24 million dollar, 19,700 square-foot museum opened in December, 2015 is a gift from North Korean government. Featuring work of the Mansudae Art Studio, North Korea's nationally-run art factory (which is largely known for producing massive Soviet style monuments for African countries), exhibits include hundreds of paintings of an idyllic Cambodia, scale copy of the massive Buddha heads from the Bayon temple, and the museum's highlight — and reason to visit — a nearly four hundred foot long panoramic mural depicting life in the Angkorian period, an ideal introduction to Khmer history and the temples.
Enjoy a stunning often sold-out acrobatics performance, circus acts, and drama show are featured by a talented troupe, the best from Cambodia's large school of arts.
Enjoy a private cooking class in a traditional home, or sala, located within a sublime jungle setting.
We head to the traditional Khmer home near the Sra Srang Lake, in the heart of Angkor, where our cookery classes will take place. The first part of the class will be a visit to the local market to select fresh vegetables learning about Khmer cooking ingredients with your experienced chef. Afterwards, in the sala kitchen spend time learning the secrets of the Cambodian cuisine, laced with subtle spices and tempting aromas. Choose from a selection of favorites, including meat, fish and vegetarian options. Once we finish the class, we enjoy the fruits of our labor, eating our very own creations. Take these recipes home and impress your friends back home with a Cambodian dinner.
Enjoy a sunrise or sunset private yoga and meditation session in the temple complex with a professional wellness yoga instructor will guide you through the meditation
Start your day in serenity and wonder at Phnom Krom, a 9th-Century Angkorian temple located upon a hill, overlooking vast Tonle Sap Lake. With the first rays of sunrise on Tonle Sap and the mystical ruins of Phnom Krom as backdrop, be guided through a series breathing techniques essential for deep meditation and samadhi— the path to enlightenment. The practice of pranayama meditation brings about harmony among the body, mind and spirit, leaving you feeling energetic, enthusiastic, and positive. . Session includes use of the temple grounds, yoga mats, bottled water and cold towels.
Our special private cycling tour begins at dawn, exploring on two wheels, away from the crowds spying seldom seen areas of the temple complex.E-bikes are also available and tours are suitable for abilities and ages.
This is only a short list of private activities we can arrange during your time at Angkor and Siem Reap. See others on our Cambodia Page or contact us for complete details.
Ready to plan your trip to Cambodia? Submit a contact form below, or call us:
San Francisco at (415) 680-3788, or in Hanoi contact us at (84-4) 3562-6665