Siem Reap, a city located in northwest Cambodia, is a popular destination for tourists due to its proximity to the famous Angkor temples. However, Siem Reap is more than just a gateway to ancient ruins. The city is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, making it an exciting destination to explore. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive 7-day itinerary for a trip to Siem Reap, listing daily activities by hour, suggesting reasonably priced hotels to stay, and providing tips on the best places to see, best food to eat, and what to avoid during your stay.
Day 1 – Angkor Wat & Angkor Thom Complex
- 9am-10am: Arrive in Siem Reap and check into your hotel. We recommend staying at the Pavillon d’Orient Boutique Hotel, a charming hotel with a peaceful garden and a swimming pool.
- 10am-12pm: Visit Angkor National Museum to learn about the history and culture of the Angkor era and get an overview of the temples you’ll be visiting during your stay.
- 12pm-1pm: Lunch at Embassy Restaurant, a restaurant serving Khmer and Asian cuisine.
- 1pm-4pm: Explore Angkor Wat, the largest and most famous temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park.
- 4pm-6pm: Visit Angkor Thom, an ancient city with impressive temples, including the Bayon Temple and the Terrace of the Elephants.
- 6pm-7pm: Return to your hotel and relax.
- 7pm-10pm: Dinner at Viroth’s Restaurant, a restaurant serving contemporary Cambodian cuisine and cocktails.
Day 2 – Sunrise At Angkor Wat & Ta Prohm Temple (Featured in Tomb Raider Movie)
- 5am-9am: Sunrise viewing at Angkor Wat, a magical experience to witness the sun rising over the temple.
- 9am-10am: Breakfast at Sister Srey Cafe, a cafe with a social conscience that supports local communities and uses sustainable ingredients.
- 10am-12pm: Visit Ta Prohm, a temple engulfed by jungle, known for its stunning tree roots.
- 12pm-1pm: Lunch at Daughters of Cambodia Cafe, a restaurant that supports women who have been rescued from sex trafficking by providing job training.
- 1pm-3pm: Visit Banteay Srei, a temple with intricate carvings and a pink hue, nicknamed the “Citadel of Women”.
- 3pm-5pm: Visit the Angkor Silk Farm to learn about silk production and see how local artisans create beautiful textiles.
- 5pm-6pm: Relax at your hotel.
- 6pm-7pm: Dinner at Sugar Palm, a restaurant serving Khmer cuisine with a modern twist.
- 7pm-10pm: Visit the Phare, The Cambodian Circus, to see a unique and inspiring circus performance by Cambodian artists.
Day 3 – Preah Khan Temple & Pub Street (Siem Reap Night Life)
- 9am-10am: Breakfast at The Little Red Fox Espresso.
- 10am-12pm: Visit the Tonle Sap Lake and take a boat tour to see the floating villages and learn about the local way of life.
- 12pm-1pm: Lunch at Marum, a restaurant serving Cambodian cuisine with a social mission to support disadvantaged youth.
- 1pm-3pm: Visit the Preah Khan temple, a large complex with several smaller temples and interesting carvings.
- 3pm-5pm: Visit Artisans Angkor, a social enterprise that supports traditional Khmer arts and crafts and provides job training for young people.
- 5pm-6pm: Relax at your hotel.
- 6pm-7pm: Dinner at Malis, a restaurant serving Khmer cuisine with a focus on high-quality ingredients and creative presentation.
- 7pm-10pm: Enjoy a night out at Pub Street, Siem Reap’s vibrant nightlife area.
Here are a few items that will come in handy during your Siem Reap trip:
This travel guide provides comprehensive information on Siem Reap, as well as other popular destinations in Cambodia. It includes detailed maps, recommended itineraries, accommodation and restaurant recommendations, and practical information on transportation, visas, and safety.
This travel adapter is an essential item for anyone traveling to Siem Reap from another country. It allows you to plug your electronic devices into outlets in Cambodia, which may have different plugs and voltages.
A lightweight backpack is perfect for carrying your essentials while exploring the temples of Siem Reap. Look for a backpack that is compact, yet spacious enough to fit your camera, water bottle, and other items.
Mosquitoes are prevalent in Siem Reap, so it’s essential to protect yourself with these repellent bracelets. They are made with natural ingredients and are easy to wear on your wrist or ankle.
Day 4 – Angkor Thom Royal Palace & War Museum Cambodia
- 5am-9am: Sunrise viewing at Pre Rup temple, a temple with a stunning red hue that’s best seen at sunrise or sunset.
- 9am-10am: Breakfast at Peace Cafe, a vegan and vegetarian restaurant that uses organic ingredients.
- 10am-12pm: Visit the Angkor Thom Royal Palace and see the remains of the palace and other structures.
- 12pm-1pm: Lunch at Genevieve’s Restaurant, a French-inspired restaurant serving Cambodian and Western cuisine.
- 1pm-3pm: Explore the Roluos Group temples, a set of early Angkor temples that were built before the main Angkor temples.
- 3pm-5pm: Visit the War Museum Cambodia, a museum that showcases the history of the Cambodian civil war and the Khmer Rouge regime.
- 5pm-6pm: Relax at your hotel.
- 6pm-7pm: Dinner at Cuisine Wat Damnak, a restaurant serving creative Cambodian cuisine made with local ingredients.
- 7pm-10pm: Take a night tour of the Angkor temples, which offers a different perspective of the temples illuminated at night.
Day 5 – Landmine Museum & Apsara Dance Show
- 9am-10am: Breakfast at The Missing Socks Laundry Cafe, a cafe where you can do your laundry while enjoying a meal.
- 10am-12pm: Visit the Landmine Museum and Relief Center, a museum that tells the story of landmines in Cambodia and the efforts to remove them.
- 12pm-1pm: Lunch at Fresh Fruit Factory, a restaurant serving fresh fruit smoothies and bowls.
- 1pm-3pm: Explore the Kbal Spean waterfall and riverbed, where you can see ancient carvings and sculptures.
- 3pm-5pm: Visit the Wat Thmey Killing Fields, a memorial to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime. 5pm-6pm: Relax at your hotel.
- 6pm-7pm: Dinner at Koulen Restaurant and enjoy Khmer traditional and fusion buffet followed by the Apsara Dance Show, a traditional Cambodian dance performance accompanied by live music.
Day 6 – Cambodian Cultural Village & the Night Market
- 9am-10am: Breakfast at Sister Srey Cafe.
- 10am-12pm: Visit the Cambodian Cultural Village, a theme park that showcases traditional Cambodian architecture, arts, and culture. (You can also opt to spend the whole day here to see all the Cambodian shows and ceremonies)
- 12pm-1pm: Lunch at Cafe Central, a cafe serving Khmer and Western cuisine.
- 1pm-3pm: Visit the Chong Kneas floating village and learn about the lives of the people who live there.
- 3pm-4pm: Visit the ArtBox, an art gallery and studio that showcases the work of local artists.
- 4pm-6pm: Sunset viewing at Bakheng Hill, where you can see a panoramic view of the Angkor temples at sunrise.
- 6pm-7pm: Dinner at L’oasi Italiana, an Italian restaurant with a cozy atmosphere and delicious food.
- 7pm-10pm: Visit the Night Market, where you can shop for souvenirs, clothing, and local handicrafts.
Day 7 – Kulen Mountain National Park
- 9am-10am: Breakfast at Common Grounds, a cafe with a social mission to support local communities and sustainable agriculture.
- 10am-2pm: Visit the Kulen Mountain National Park and see the giant reclining Buddha statue and the waterfall.
- 2pm-3pm: Late lunch at Angkor Palm, a restaurant serving Cambodian and Thai cuisine.
- 4pm-5pm: Relax at your hotel.
- 5pm-6pm: Sunset viewing at Phnom Krom, a hill with a panoramic view of the Tonle Sap Lake.
- 6pm-7pm: Dinner at Le Tigre de Papier, a restaurant serving Cambodian and Western cuisine.
- 7pm-10pm: Enjoy a drink at The Living Room, a bar with a cozy atmosphere and live music.
A quick-dry towel is perfect for visiting the temples of Siem Reap and drying off after a dip in the pool. Look for a lightweight, compact towel that dries quickly and can be easily packed in your backpack.
Keep your devices charged while exploring Siem Reap with this portable charger. Look for one that has multiple ports, so you can charge multiple devices at once.
Learning some useful Khmer phrases will help you communicate with locals and enhance your overall travel experience in Siem Reap. Look for a phrasebook that includes common phrases and pronunciations.
Capture your Siem Reap adventures with this waterproof camera that takes high-quality videos and photos. It’s compact, durable, and perfect for capturing your memories while exploring the temples of Siem Reap.
More Things To Do
If you have extra time in Siem Reap or if you want to add more activities to your itinerary, here are some additional suggestions:
- Take a hot air balloon ride over Angkor Wat: For a unique perspective on the Angkor temples, you can take a hot air balloon ride over the ancient ruins. This is a great option for those who want to see the temples from a different angle and take stunning aerial photographs.
- Take a cooking class: Siem Reap is known for its delicious cuisine, and taking a cooking class is a great way to learn about the local ingredients and cooking techniques. There are several cooking schools in the city that offer classes for all skill levels.
- Explore the countryside by bike: Rent a bicycle and take a ride through the picturesque countryside surrounding Siem Reap. You can see rice paddies, small villages, and ancient temples that are off the beaten path.
- Visit the Preah Vihear Temple: While not located in Siem Reap itself, the Preah Vihear Temple is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 150 kilometers from Siem Reap. The temple is perched on a cliff overlooking the Cambodian and Thai border and is considered one of the most spectacular temple complexes in the region.
Adding these activities to your itinerary can give you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the rich culture and history of Cambodia, and make your trip to Siem Reap even more memorable.
Best food to eat:
- Fish Amok: a traditional Cambodian dish made with fish, coconut milk, and spices.
- Lok Lak: a beef stir-fry served with rice and a fried egg.
- Khmer Curry: a spicy and flavorful curry made with meat or vegetables.
- Num Pang: a Cambodian-style baguette sandwich filled with meat or vegetables.
- Bai Sach Chrouk: a breakfast dish made with grilled pork, rice, and pickled vegetables.
- Fresh fruit smoothies and bowls from Fresh Fruit Factory.
Reasonably priced hotels to stay:
What to avoid:
- Avoid buying from children selling souvenirs or begging on the street. It encourages a culture of dependency and can prevent children from attending school.
- Do not touch or climb on the temples. The temples are fragile and have been damaged by tourism in the past.
- Avoid drinking tap water. Stick to bottled water and avoid adding ice to your drinks from street vendors.
- Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings to avoid pickpocketing.
- Avoid supporting any activities that involve animal cruelty, such as elephant riding or visiting zoos that mistreat their animals.
- Be respectful of local customs and dress modestly when visiting temples and other sacred sites.
- Avoid walking alone in isolated areas, especially at night.
- Be cautious when using tuk-tuks or taxis and negotiate the fare beforehand to avoid being overcharged.
- Avoid taking drugs or participating in any illegal activities, as penalties are severe in Cambodia.
A trip to Siem Reap is an unforgettable experience, offering a mix of ancient history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural scenery. From exploring the ancient temples of Angkor to enjoying delicious local cuisine and relaxing in lush national parks, Siem Reap has something for everyone. By following our suggested itinerary and being respectful of the local customs and culture, you can make the most out of your trip to this amazing city.
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