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7 Places to Visit in Siem Reap (That Aren’t Angkor Wat)

Jul 24, 2020 | Asia | 0 comments

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A small city with adorable cafés, friendly locals, and the ruins of the kingdom’s past, Siem Reap lives up to its moniker, the Pearl of Cambodia. That being said, it comes as no surprise that there is a plethora of places to visit in Siem Reap–aside from Angkor Wat–that are well worth space in your itinerary!

Here are 7 places I recommend you visit whenever you make it to this Cambodian city rich with timeless history and a relaxing vibe.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase any of the products or services from the links below, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I love!

Where to Stay in Siem Reap

I am a self-aware perfectionist.

While I realize this can be to my detriment, I know for certain that my stay-up-all-night-until-the-itinerary-is-amazing perfectionism got me into the best hotel for my time in Siem Reap: Hotel Suon Angkor Boutique.

Why, you may ask? Because the staff is so amazing that I extended my stay by a week. Not just a few days; an entire WEEK. And this is coming from someone who likes to spend a couple days here, and a couple days there. Not in Siem Reap!

Since I was in Siem Reap as a solo female traveler, safety was a top priority. Staying at the Suon Angkor Boutique was a very relaxing experience that made me feel wholly comfortable the entire time. I can’t say the same for everywhere I’ve stayed!

The décor and architecture of the hotel, combined with the spacious rooms, comfortable beds (which can be hard to come by), and garden area complete with a refreshing pool all made the experience feel much more expensive than it cost.

My reservation was just $16 per night, and I was able to pay by credit card at check-out. On top of that, you can earn frequent flyer miles through your program of choice when you book with Agoda. Let’s just say the travel hacker in me was fangirling at all these points bonuses…

I can certainly say I will be back at the Suon Angkor Boutique. Check out their Agoda profile to learn more about them!

{P.s. If you feel like you’re missing out on the best places to stay, check out my post about how to book the perfect accommodations.}

1 // Siem Reap Free Walking Tour

Ever since my first free walking tour in Vienna, I’ve loved the experience of taking a free walking tour when I arrive to a new destination.

So, of all the places to visit in Siem Reap, start with Grasshopper Adventures’ free walking tour. That way, you’ll get a grasp of what’s in the city and get more recommendations from your guide about how to spend your time outside of your days in the Angkor Archeological Site.

Tours are offered starting at 4:30pm, Monday-Friday, and last about 2 hours.

You can find Grasshopper Adventures here on Google Maps.

Two elephant statues in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Two little elephant statues next to the central river of Siem Reap

2 // Angkor National Museum

Sure, this one’s about Angkor Wat, but it’s not actually Angkor Wat. Don’t @ me.

I touched on this museum in my post about visiting Angkor Wat as a solo female traveler, but I’ll share a little more info about it here, too.

Within the museum’s exhibits are artifacts from the temples, and a thorough guide to understand more of what the temples in Angkor represent to Khmer people. It’s a deep dive in history, culture, art, and architecture.

According to TripAdvisor, this can be to its detriment because it is dense. However, if you’re a museum lover like me, you’re likely to enjoy it.

Here are the fees: $12 entry; $3 to bring a camera; $3 for an audioguide.

Opening Hours:
April 1st – September 30th — 8:30am – 6:00pm
October 1st – March 31st — 8:30am – 6:30pm

Entry to Angkor Wat, Cambodia
You’ll learn more about Angkor on your visit to the museum, like the significance of the carvings on this roof.

3 // Pub Street

Even if you’re not into nightlife just like I’m not (#introvertsunite), I still recommend taking an evening stroll down Pub Street.

Why? Because some of the best people watching in the world is right in the middle of Siem Reap. Chaos. Chaos galore. (Which is probably the same reason it’s one of the most popular places to visit in Siem Reap.)

Pub Street is a pedestrian area made up of one main street, and a few smaller, more quaint side streets that branch off it. There are tons of restaurants, bars, live music, and pubs (duh).

One of my favorite places to visit in this area is Gelato Lab, a gelato parlor on a side street with a decadent dark chocolate flavor that’s dairy-free. Yum.

If you’re in the mood for a brew, try an Angkor. I got one at happy hour for a couple of bucks, if that. It’s the Cambodian national beer, and it’s quite refreshing — it pairs well with the sweltering heat there.

{P.s. Is it on anyone else’s bucket list to try a local brew in each destination? I know I can’t be the only one!}

Pub Street neon sign in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Pub Street in a nutshell: Bright lights, bright personalities, bright memories

4 // AZAHAR Foundation Center for Peace, Yoga, and Arts

Even though getting to this place is a trek, it is so, so worth it. AZAHAR is a nonprofit, yoga studio, and has a vegan restaurant. It’s wholly relaxing, empowering oasis, and well worth your time.

If you don’t feel like walking 30+ minutes (again, it’s at trek from central Siem Reap) get a tuk tuk on Grab. I walked and got to see some of the more residential areas on the way.

In addition to traditional classes, there’s aerial yoga. If you’re trying to keep up with your fitness while on the road or get in your daily flow, AZAHAR is one of the places to visit in Siem Reap.

Here’s their location on Google Maps.

Pink water lilies on a pond in Siem Reap, Cambodia
AZAHAR’s garden is a true oasis, just like this lilypad pond.

5 // Made in Cambodia Market

I stumbled upon this market on my way back to the hotel from Pub Street. The stunning art and souvenirs made me stop in my tracks, enticed into the labyrinth of vender stalls decked in warm twinkle lights.

I’m not one for souvenirs, and I didn’t exactly have suitcase space to buy any, but some of the artisan crafts I saw for sale here by local artists were second to none.

You name it — they’ve got it. Clothes, handmade mugs, wall art, tapestries, handmade jewelry, housewares. The list goes on and on.

Let’s just say that the next time I visit Siem Reap, I’ll have at least a little room to buy a gift from this marketplace.

Row of necklaces at an art market

6 // Siem Reap Night Market

If you’ve ever been to Southeast Asia or started learning about the region, you know that night markets are a rich, vibrant sub-culture amongst the wider national ones.

They’re lively, bustling, full of tables holding mounds of wares for sale, and seeing one in-person needs to be added to your bucket list ASAP.

Once you’ve spent some the day sightseeing, the Siem Reap Night Market is a great way to experience this sub-culture and learn more about daily life in this region.

Like Pub Street, it also doubles as a great place to people watch. JS.

You can find the night market on Google Maps here.

Night Market in Siem Reap

7 // Khmer Ceramics and Fine Arts Centre

It’s always been a goal of mine to take a pottery class, and this one is bookmarked for my return visit to Siem Reap.

For $25, you’ll get to learn from potters and create your very own piece. They’ll put it in the kiln for you and even deliver it to your hotel once it’s ready! They also offer hotel pick-up for the tour itself.

Not only is this an amazing value, but it’s a great way to meet other people while traveling solo and have a one-of-a-kind souvenir for home.

Check out the Khmer Ceramics and Fine Arts Centre when you’re in Siem Reap and make something amazing!

Stacked clay pots
Photo from Canva Pro

. . .

Even though these seven places to visit in Siem Reap cover wonderful areas of the city to enjoy, they only scrape the surface of all the amazing experiences you could have there.

As a writer and traveler with tons of startup plans, I have to eventually stop traveling so quickly so I can at least get a few things done. Siem Reap is also a great place to do so if you follow a similar lifestyle!

But, if you’re there on vacation and want to relax, there are endless opportunities to do that, as well.

Regardless of how it looks for you, I hope your time in the Pearl of Cambodia is as lovely as you imagined it to be–and then some.

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Image grid with Pub Street, a pink flower, white tuk tuks, and produce for sale with text overlay: 7 Places to Visit in Siem Reap that aren't Angkor Wat

Hi, I’m Sarah

Welcome to my oasis! I am a writer and budding entrepreneur with a love for caffeine, capital gains, and seeing the world. If I’m not writing, you can find me reading a good book, trying out a new vegan recipe, or adding to my coffee mug collection. My goal in life? To see every country in the world. Come along for the ride!

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