Once a humble village, Siem Reap has grown to become a tourist destination in its own right, and the perfect base from which to explore the historic wonders of Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm.
Here are some of the must-see sights and experiences you can enjoy as part of a visit to Siem Reap with Scenic.
Siem Reap — Cultural Highlights
After French explorers came upon Siem Reap in the 19th century, the town grew tremendously, extending from the banks of Tonlé Sap Lake to the ancient city of Angkor on the edge of one of Cambodia’s largest jungles.
With its wide boulevards and ornate architecture, the French influence on Siem Reap is evident. And yet the town has retained much of its original Khmer charm, with colourful temples, shrines and shop fronts drawing influence from the region’s rich heritage and culture.
While most visit Siem Reap to access the World Heritage Site of Angkor, the town’s other cultural attractions shouldn’t be overlooked.
The town boasts a vibrant boutique shopping culture, with everything from handcrafted ceramics to clothing, jewellery and antiques on offer. There are also two regular markets, The Old Market (Phsar Chas) and The Noon Night Market, where it’s possible to pick up anything from fresh food to household gifts amid truly authentic surroundings.
And in the evening, Siem Reap comes alive thanks to a selection of restaurants and bars, many of which are located in the town’s popular Pub Street area. After a day of cultural discovery and wonder, there’s no better place to absorb the spirit and energy of Siem Reap than with a little liquid refreshment at one of the town’s relaxed bars and eateries.
Of course, the main draw of a visit to Siem Reap is the opportunity to explore the extraordinary Angkor Wat Archaeological Park. This sprawling historic site served as the centre of the Khmer Kingdom for centuries, and features innumerable temples, reservoirs, canals and communication routes once used by the Khmer people. The site has remained disused since the 15th century, and is now largely overrun by vegetation, as if reclaimed by the jungle. A true historic spectacle, and one you’re sure to never forget.
Siem Reap — The Scenic Experience
At Scenic, we transport you to the heart of Siem Reap in absolute comfort thanks to our exclusive luxury river cruises on the Mekong River. Two of our handpicked South East Asian river cruise itineraries feature a visit to Siem Reap, including Treasures of the Mekong and Essence of Vietnam, Cambodia & Luxury Mekong, so you can explore this enchanting town whilst enjoying all the luxuries of a Scenic river cruise.
As part of our 15-night Treasures of the Mekong itinerary, you’ll spend three days exploring Siem Reap, staying in the luxurious Park Hyatt Siem Reap hotel for the duration of your stay. Voted among the top 100 hotels in the world, Park Hyatt Siem Reap is elegant and opulent, and perfectly located for exploring the town and its neighbouring heritage site.
As a Scenic guest, you’ll be given the opportunity to explore several key temples in the Angkor Wat Archaeological Park, including Bayon, Ta Prohm and the Angkor Wat temple itself. And, as an exclusive extra just for you, you’ll enjoy a tethered hot air balloon ride over the complex, so you can witness the impressive scale of these ancient structures from the air — a truly unforgettable experience.
For more information about our Siem Reap travel experiences, or to book your place on-board a luxury cruise on the Mekong, click here to visit our dedicated Mekong page or call us on 0808 252 5111.