Things to do in Siem reapEdit This
The fascinating ancient ruins of Angkor, located near Siem Reap, will amaze you as to how the complex still remains standing having been built between the 9th and 13th centuries. The most magnificent being the Angkor Wat, the world's largest ceremonial structure. You need a one-day or three-day pass to see visit the area, and for that you also need a couple of passport-sized photos, so don't forget to bring some with you to Cambodia. Angkor can be viewed from balloon (a wonderful way to get a sunset photo) and it can be viewed at dawn - which means getting up at 5:00am. The early start is worth it. If you ignore the other tourists doing the same thing, you still get an awesome sense of history: there is a palapable sense of spirituality here. To visit Angkor having a local guide is recommended. They know their history and will add a lot more understanding to your visit. Travel-wise, Angkor Wat is around 10 kms out of Siem Reap so you need transport - and other temples in the group are further afield. Hiring a bicycle sounds romantic, but in these temperatures (34 degrees is standard) it is hot work. Far better to get a tuk tuk or "moto" and to travel with the breeze in your face. And don't forget to take bottles of water. You'll need them.
Apart from your main Angkor explorations, Siem Reap has a diverse range of things to do - from shopping and seeing other sights such as the Floating Village and Silk Farm, through to an excellent range of cafes and resutaurants. Be adventurous. In Siem Reap you can also experience ethical activities such as Seeing Hands Massage and volunteer teaching at a local school. After days of hiding behind your camera, these are two good ways to connect with locals who are incredibly welcoming.
Speaking of ethics. One thing you may be bothered by in your travels is the number of vendors and beggars. Many visitors find this tough: saying no to kids. One thing that locals do however, is to give to blind musicians whom you may see in your travels. These players produce lilting, traditional music (an art almost wiped out under Pol Pot) and the musicians rely on the goodwill of others for their welfare. I notice that locals readily give to these people, and in doing so set an example for visitors.
Niki and the students. A recent visitor.
photo by: Svay Savong
Savong's School is a volunteer three-classroom school located 30 minutes East of Siem Reap. Established by a local Cambodian in 2005 with Japanese, Kiwi and American support, Savong's School provides free language education to rural school children - and thus a headstart for finding employment in a region where, outside of subsistence farms and family businesses, tourism is about the only employer in town.
Savong's School teaches Japanese and English to the students who also a attend a local state school. These students are keen! Visitors can more..
If you've spent a few days clambering the Angkor temples and travelling over the Pol Pot...er Pot Hole roads in the region, your back may be crying out for deep massage. The 5 star hotels make a big play of their day spa treatments, but for a genuine Khmer style massage, which is Shiatsu in style, and related to the almost chiropractic style of Thai Massage, then a visit to Seeing Hands is well recommended. Seeing Hands is operated by locals who are blind - and their business provides an income stream for them (no welfare here) but also great more..
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|tel:||855 12 786 894|
|address:||Central Siem Reap|
photo by: Neil Chantler
Angkor Wat Putt is a fantastic and fun, 14 hole Miniature Golf Course in Siem Reap.Come and knock a ball under, over and around 9 accurate replicas of the world famous Angkor Temples. Including Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Bayon, Banteay Srei, Preah Vihear and the Terrace of the Elephants.Perfect for all the family, young and old. If you need a break from the actual temples to have a bit of fun then do it guilt free. The course is set in a large, well maintained garden with a bar and seating more..
Visitors to Siem Reap fall into three main groups - tour parties, older wealthier tourists and then younger free independent travellers. For this group Siem Reap is starting to develop a very lively night scene - not only with fairly global styled bars of that funky backpacker style - the Angkor What? or Dead Fish Tower and Red Piano come to mind - but also the cool neoon-lit cocktail bars. A good example is the (inevitably named) Buddha Bar in Siem's Reap "bar street." Huge cocktails and more..
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|address:||Central Siem Reap.|