Siem Reap Tourism industry will definitely not be the same withoutAngkor Wat and its other temples. Butyoucan onlysee so many temples without getting cross eyed!
Sooner or later, you’ll be looking for other things to do around town.
Not to worry, because there are a lot of non-templeactivitiesavailable thanks to the booming Siem Reap tourism industry.So let’ssee what they provide.
They’re roughly divided into three categories:
- Non-templeactivities – Everything but temples.
- Museums– No, not as boring as you thought. Some are interesting.
- Shopping!– Places to spend your money.
These activitiesare great ways to see more of Cambodia andprevent (or cure) temple burn out. They can be easilydone between your temple visits because most of them are aroundtown.
Do crocodiles count as a Siem Reap tourist item?
Some of the activities involve’natural’ attractions, so they’re not made upby the Siem Reap tourism industry just to please visitors.
- KampungPhluk – a large village of stilted houses near theTonle Sap lake. Another of my favorite Cambodia activities. Website
- Kampung Khleang – an even larger villageoffloating and stilted houses by the great lake.
- ChongKhneas – the most visited floating village due to itsshort distance from town.
- TonleSap Lake and Cruise – see how thelargest lake in Southeast Asia controls the livelihood of manyCambodians.
- Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary – a haven forbirds, a heaven for bird enthusiasts.
- Apsara Dance and Dinner Show – see thetemple carvings of Apsara dancers come tolife. There are lotsof places to choose from, but AngkorVillage is one.
- Spenda Day in a Cambodian Village – an unusuallook into Cambodian village life. Be a Cambodian for one day!
- Visit Social Foundations and Non-governmental Organizations(NGOs) – see what kind of projects they arecurrently working on. Here is thewebsite for Trailblazer whose project is a water filtering system.
- Dirt Bike Motor Tour – roam around thecountryside with your own bike. It provides a different view ofCambodia. Website
- Bicycle Around Siem Reap – A great way togetto know the town, and one that is pretty easy due to the flatterrain. Mostbicycles are available for rent though the hotel or hostels. There’sthe WhiteBicycle for easy rides, and BikingCambodiafor a more involved approach. Also, click on this bicycle adventurewebsiteto read more about cycling in Cambodia.
- TheSilk Farm – visit the farm to see how thoselovely Cambodian scarves are made. A comprehensive tour from start tofinish. Website
- The Stone Quarry for Angkor temples -seethe river where stones were carved and imagine how they weretransported downstream to the temple construction site.
- Visit the Buddhist Wats Monastery – youwillprobably stumble into one because there are several of themaround town. Also, 95% ofCambodians are Buddhist.
- IncenseFactory – see how incense sticks are madeby visiting this small family operation.
- Crocodile Farm – Cambodians sure do havelots of crocodiles. They’re fun to watch, but they smell bad!
- Horseback Riding – ride to the lesserknowntemples around town. You can choose between a one hour trip to a halfday or even anall day trip. Website
- Free Cello Recital at the Children’s Hospital– performed by Dr. Beat Richner, a Swiss pediatrician working at thehospital. Donations accepted. Website
- Visita Mosque in Siem Reap – get a glimpse of the smallMuslim community in Siem Reap and visit the mosque schoolthere.
It looks like Cambodia is getting so popular that the SiemReap tourism board decided to make an upscale Angkor museum. TheLandmine museum is also great, though small and a little bit out of theway.
Defused land mines
- Landmine Museum – a small museum by AkiRa, a former Khmer Rouge soldier.He defused landmines and put themall in the museum. Website
- Angkor National Museum– just openedin late 2007 so it’s all posh and fancy. You’ll see many artifactshere.
- Cambodian Cultural Village – a waxmuseum and a mock up of a Cambodian village. Website
- Civil War Museum – you can see weaponry that was usedduring the last Civil War.
Who doesn’t like this particular Siem Reap tourist attraction?Haggling is alive and well at traditional markets. You maywant to shop around and compare prices because they all carry similarstuff. The Siem Reap tourism business seems to be growing because theyrecently opened up a new night market.
- Central Market – the market forsouvenirsandCambodian trinkets. Best prices.
- One of Siem Reap tourism leading industries: Artisans d’Angkor silk
- OldMarket – medium sized market sellingclothes and souvenirs. Okay prices.
- NightMarket – geared towards tourists.Stays open until midnight. Highest prices. Website
- Artisans d’Angkor – the leadingCambodiansilk company. Unbelievably gorgeous stuff, but expect Western ‘prices,’and no haggling. Website
- Boutique shoppes around the Old Market area-fromarts and crafts, to silk clothes and trinkets. These small shops arefun to visit and have unique items.
So In Short…
There you have it, a list of Siem Reap attractions andactivities to get you started. There are so many things to do thatyou won’t want to leave!Who knew that there are so many Cambodia attractions in andnear Siem Reap?And I use the term attractions loosely, becuase sometimes youwill be the onlytourist! Considering that Cambodia isvisited by millions and millions of people, getting a temple toyourself is an unbelievable treat.
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SiemReap: A Lovely Small Town Siem Reap town. What is it like? It’s a small and lovely tourist town.Shopping areas? Check. Dining areas? Check. Easy transportation? Check.A long list of attractions other than temples? Check!