Beyond Angkor Wat, What Else Siem Reap Has to Offer?
Angkor Wat has become the most symbolic pride to be mentioned whenever someone talks about Cambodia. However, you not only fancy an Angkor Archaeological Park tour but also desire to discover other amazing things in Siem Reap, do you?
For first-time travelers to Cambodia, Angkor Wat and other Angkor temples are absolutely the first destinations to contemplate the out-of-the-world religious monuments. Normally, three days are enough to explore the highlighted temples; then you must be wondering what else can do in Siem Reap. Don’t worry! Siem Reap welcomes tourists to plenty of unspoiled attractions beyond Angkor Wat.
1. Apsara Theatre & Restaurant
Your visit to Cambodia is incomplete without a glimpse of the Apsara dance performance, a traditional Khmer dance inspiring sculptured art in many Angkor temples. Apsara Theatre & Restaurant is one of favorite places where you can marvel at the perfectly elegant movements of maiden girls in glittering silk tunics and sequined tops.
Apsara Theatre & Restaurant, which belongs to Angkor Village, offers both art theatre and Cambodian restaurants. The local dancers, singers, and musicians give audiences the very best of ancient Khmer culture and a meaningful story behind every delicate hand gesture and foot dancing.
Performance stage at Apsara Theatre & Restaurant
The dinner time of Apsara Theatre & Restaurant starts at 7:30 pm. You should enjoy the Cambodian cuisine and wait for the performance to occur from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. One recommendation is to book in advance for a special discount or combo. The price range is around $25 per adult and $13 per kid under 12.
How to get to the restaurant with Apsara Show?
Apsara Theatre & Restaurant set location at Wat Bo Road, opposite Angkor Village Hotel. Depending on the distance, you can catch every means of transport or even go on foot to get there.
2. Artisan D’angkor
Artisan D’angkor is a souvenir paradise of beautiful selections inspired by Cambodia’s arts and crafts. However, it’s little known that the Artisans D'angkor project has been established for 20 years in an attempt to preserve traditional arts and give jobs to many Cambodians.
Until now, there’re 13 workshops that have created over 1,000 jobs for both artisans and non-craftsmen in the craftwork of ornamental sculpture, silk weaving, wood carving, silver plating, lacquerware, and silk painting. For non-profit purposes, all benefits from sold products will be refunded to the training program.
Cambodian crafts at Artisan D’angkor
Visiting Artisan D’angkor, you’ll get a peek into the exquisite craftsmanship of traditional handicrafts, and see how the workers still make their products with passion and a bright smile despite their incomplete life and hardworking days. Come visit the shop, you’ll find plenty of meticulous souvenirs ranging from jewelry, silk scarves, art sculptures, ceramic lamps, and more. If you’re confused about what to bring home, choose your favorite out of the Top 6 Things To Buy In Cambodia.
How to book the transfer to visit Artisan D'angkor?
Artisan D’angkor is situated Chantiers-Ecoles Stung Thmey Street and is easily reached by cab, tuk-tuk, walking, or cycling. You can visit the shop anytime from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm with a free entrance charge.
3. Tonle Sap Lake
Tonle Sap Lake is the one of best places to visit in Siem Reap, besides Angkor Wat. The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia is home to floating villages, diverse ecosystems, and scenic rural life. Despite being isolated from the outside land, there are still schools, medical stations, markets, temples, etc. in Tonle Sap.
A one-day exploration by boat will give you an interesting experience and deep insights into local life here. Cruising along the peaceful lake, you’d better put your feet up and enjoy two-sided landscapes in a breezy atmosphere.
Explore Tonle Sap Lake by boat
There’re several fishing villages that visitors usually call on, including Chong Khneas and Kampong Phluk. Most of the local households earn a living for generations by fishing and cultivating right in their stilted villages. You can stop at a local family and learn about their daily life as well as their traditional customs.
How to book the trip to visit Tonle Sap Lake?
Tonle Sap Lake is about 20km south of Siem Reap town. So you can easily take a Tonle Sap Lake half-day tour to visit this area with BestPrice Travel, price from 65 USD/person.
It’s recommended to get there in the monsoon season since the stuck mud and low water level in the dry season don’t facilitate the boat journey.
4. Phnom Kulen National Park
Phnom Kulen is known as the mountain of lychees and an important pilgrimage site for Cambodian people. The national park has drawn domestic visitors attraction to many sacred temples on the hilltop, an impressive waterfall, and the famous Preah Ang Thom Pagoda with a large reclining Buddha.
Aside from Buddhist temples, the top attraction must be Kbal Spean, the river of a thousand lingas. This site is home to a series of stone carvings in the riverbed which depict Hindu mythological motifs and symbols. For a getaway from the city, you can join a picnic trip at the river and a small waterfall in the refreshing air. Luckily, it’s kid-friendly and great for timid swimmers.
Tropical waterfall in Phnom Kulen
The entrance fee to Phnom Kulen National Park costs $20 per foreigner. You can book in advance for a preferable price or buy the ticket directly at the box office downhill.
How to get to Phnom Kulen National Park?
Located 50km to the northeast of Angkor Complex, Phnom Kulen is preferably reached by car or van while tuk-tuk isn’t recommended due to the steep terrain.
It’s only allowed to go there before 11 am and then go down after midday to avoid the crowded vehicles on the narrow route.
5. Cambodia Landmine Museum
Remaining one of the most heavily mined countries, Cambodia is still conflicting with unexploded landmines and dozens of civilians are injured or killed every year as a result of historic wars. That’s the main reason why the Cambodia Landmine Museum was founded to educate visitors about Cambodian history and the importance of clearing landmines.
Cambodia Landmine display at the museum
The museum offers a chance to see safe landmines up close, to understand how they work, and what they can do to help rid Cambodia of their continuing threat. Also, there is home to many at-risk Khmer children who were wounded, handicapped, orphaned, and nearly never have a bright future.
The museum is open every day from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. Adults will be charged the cost of US $5 while children under 10 and Cambodian citizens are free to enter.
How to get there
Located 25km north of the city center and 7km south of Banteay Srey temple, Cambodia Landmine Museum can be got by a 30-minute tuk-tuk drive. Enjoy the picturesque countryside landscapes on your way to the museum.
6. Cambodian Markets
Siem Reap is always hustle and bustle with busy markets opening from early morning to late night. During the daytime, you can get a feel for a real Cambodian market at Psar Chas, the Old Market offering food, fresh produce, and household items geared toward the locals. Coming to Old Market at any time from 7 am to 8 pm, you’d better take a food tour around to savor authentic Cambodia. One little creepy but must-try experience is eating insects, the special taste of Cambodian cuisine. Such a captivating feel for the set in baskets of spices, multicolored arrays of fresh bugs, and crispy fried tarantulas!
Insect stalls at the Cambodian market
In case you’re too busy for sightseeing during the day, take a visit to the Angkor Night Market instead. The market is considered the main shopping destination favored by lots of foreign tourists. The area is filled with stalls, handicrafts, clothing, silver jewelry, and thousands of Cambodian mementos. Angkor Night Market welcomes consumers from 4 pm to midnight every day.
Various items are sold at Angkor Night Market
How to get there
Located in downtown Siem Reap, Old Market and Angkor Night Market lie at Psar Chas Road and Off Sivatha Boulevard respectively. By the distance of a few avenues, it takes 10 minutes to walk between these two markets.
Overall, numerous interesting attractions in Siem Reap await you with inspiring experiences more than Angkor temples. Let’s discover the hidden charm of Siem Reap tours with BestPrice Travel.
(Images source: Internet)