The 10 Best Cultural Activities in Siem Reap, Cambodia
As home to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap is considered Cambodia’s cultural hub, with plenty for visitors to do. Try some of the 10 best cultural activities in Temple Town.
1. Angkor Wat Archaeological Park
As Cambodia’s top destination, the iconic Angkor Wat Archeological Park attracts millions of visitors annually. The UNESCO heritage site stretches across more than 400 km possesses a huge selection of temples and structures online dating back again to the Khmer Empire period. The most famous are Angkor Wat, Bayon, and its own multiple faces and root-riddled Ta Prohm, which was the area for elements of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie.
2. Angkor National Museum
Situated on the path to Angkor Wat, Angkor Nationwide Museum houses a swathe of artifacts that spend testament to Khmer civilization and the Angkor Empire. Exhibits are the Funan and Chenla eras – which pre-dated Angkor – Angkor Wat, Khmer kings, and Angkor Thom. Shows are also categorized by period, religion and royalty.
3. Angkor Center for Conservation of Biodiversity
Angkor Center for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) offers a place for rescued wildlife to rehabilitate before released back into their organic habitat. Their spacious outdoor center in Banteay Srei provides daily tours to guests, who can find out about their function and the species they possess rescued, frequently from the clutches of the unlawful wildlife trade. Pets include pleated gibbons, slower loris, silvered langur, and pangolins.
Related: 7 Best Places To Visit In Phnom Penh
4. Artisans Angkor
Artisans Angkor is a Siem Reap-based organization that has spent the previous few decades teaching the country’s artisans in producing high-quality Cambodian crafts using traditional strategies. These range between ceramics, silk and wooden and rock carvings, to jewelry, silver plating, and lacquerware. Site visitors can take a free of charge tour of the workshops in Siem Reap to start to see the skill that switches into each craft. Two totally free daily buses consider people to silk farms on the outskirts of Siem Reap.
5. Kulen Mountain
Phnom Kulen, or Kulen Mountain, offers an excellent day trip from Angkor. The sacred site doubles up as a nationwide park and is particularly favored by Khmers during religious vacations when offerings are left at the hilltop temple. The area is also home to two waterfalls for swimming, picnic areas, and Kbal Spean, an archaeological spot where The River of a Thousand Lingas is located.
6. Phare, the Cambodian Circus
Dubbed Cambodia’s alternative to Cirque du Soleil, jaw-dropping performances blend theatrics, music, dance, acrobatics, and modern circus art to retell Khmer folktales with a modern take. With each of the performers trained by Phare Ponleu Selapak, which offers free arts training to underprivileged youth, Phare’s daily performances take place in the award-winning troupe’s big top tent in Siem Reap.
7. Cambodia Landmine Museum
Cambodia Landmine Museum is the result of tireless work from landmine victim Aki Ra, who has contributed towards the huge operations to rid the country of explosives left over from the war. The museum houses a collection of mines, mortars, and other weapons, as well as telling the stories of some of the country’s countless victims.
8. Kampong Phluk Floating Village
The expansive Tonle Sap Lake is home to a series of floating villages that can be visited by tourists. Kampong Phluk is one of the more popular and is even home to a handful of homestays. Various tour companies organize day trips to the site from Siem Reap centre, where visitors can explore the flooded forests, sail past floating shops (depending on the time of the year), community halls and houses and meet the people who call Kampong Phluk home.
9. Wat Damnak
Situated close to Siem Reap’s Old Market, or Phsar Chas, Wat Damnak is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city. The colourful manicured gardens boast a bounty of shrines, statues and carvings, with the collection of intricate buildings that sit inside the pagoda all well maintained. The temple itself can be visited and the site is also home to a library crammed full of more books than any of the country’s public libraries.
10. Apsara Theatre Restaurant
Enjoy dinner while watching a traditional show that takes in the graceful classical Cambodian dance of apsara at Apsara Theatre Restaurant. Set in a grand wooden pavilion styled to resemble a temple, dancers, singers, and musicians bring to life ancient Cambodian tales while guests feast on a Khmer banquet. This tends to be a popular option with larger tour groups and can get full.