Siem Reap
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Siem Reap Culture & History

Angkor Wat: Highlights and Sunrise Guided Tour

1. Angkor Wat: Highlights and Sunrise Guided Tour

Start with a sunrise at Angkor Wat and spend a full day temple hopping with a local guide. See some of the most impressive monuments built by mankind. Explore the interior of the great temple at Angkor, from its corridors and central chambers to the upper terraces. Your expert guide will tell you stories behind the bas-relief carvings, and provide insight into life during the height of the Khmer Empire. Continue to Angkor Thom City and the Bayon Temple. At the end of the afternoon, visit the jungle-enveloped Ta Prohm, one of the most atmospheric of all the temples in Angkor.

Angkor Wat: Small-Group Sunrise Tour without Crowds

2. Angkor Wat: Small-Group Sunrise Tour without Crowds

Begin with an early pickup from your hotel at 4.30 AM in an air-conditioned vehicle, and travel to the main entrance of the Angkor Wat to admire the stunning sunrise over this ancient and mysterious complex. Next, visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom to marvel at the Bayon and Baphoun temples with their 54 towers and 216 faces of Buddhisatva Avalokesvara. Listen as your guide explains historical facts about the Temples and the Khmer empire. After lunch, see the Terrace of the Elephant and the Terrace of the Leper King known as the royal viewing platform and the stage of the king’s great audience hall. Enter Ta Prohm Temple and view the lush trees surrounding the temple’s stones. Finally, go to Banteay Kdei temple which was built by the King Jayavarman VII in the late of 12th century before returning to your hotel in Siem Reap.

Sunset Dinner Tour: Tonle Sap Lake Floating Village

3. Sunset Dinner Tour: Tonle Sap Lake Floating Village

Hear the sounds of water lapping up against the side of the boat and watch in awe as the incredible floating village rises against the backdrop of the great Tonle Sap Lake. In this idyllic village less than 10miles (15km) from Siem Reap, explore the village on this fantastic Sunset Tour. Departing from your hotel or guesthouse around 15.30, take a comfortable air-conditioned car or minibus drive with your knowledgeable guide, who will be able to help point out the culture and life all around you in English (and Khmer, of course!). See this incredible village in a very special way. Pass by rice paddies and lotus fields for the opportunity to stop and take photographs of the lotus flower, highly important in Buddhist culture (please note that depending on the time of year, the views of the lotus and rice fields will vary). Upon arrival at the port, transfer to a mini Tara boat driven by an experienced driver. Once on the water, stop at the Crocodile and Fish Farm (depending on current water levels) and learn about some of the trades practiced by those living on the lake. Visit the souvenir shop to purchase gifts or snap some photos from the viewing deck. After this visit, return to the boat and head through the floating village for a glimpse of the local Cambodians going about their daily life. After a tranquil glide through the town, arrive at the Queen Tara, the biggest boat on the lake, in the heart of the floating village. Here, enjoy a well deserved full buffet meal and all inclusive drinks. Finally, the reason you've come: the sunset. Relax with a drink in your hand and soak in the beauty around you. After the last bit of light fades, head back to your guest house or hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle.

Angkor Wat: 2-Day Temples Tour with Sunset & Sunrise

4. Angkor Wat: 2-Day Temples Tour with Sunset & Sunrise

Day 1: Angkor Thom, Bayon, Neak Pean, Bantreay Srei, Banteay Samre, and Pre Rup Temple Visit the Southern Gate of Angkor Thom, flanked by a row of 54 stone figures on each side - gods to the left and demons to the right – and the fortified city of Angkor Thom. At ‘The Bayon’, you will see its beautifully crafted central towers, covered in more than 200 enormous faces, then explore the famous Terrace of the Leper King and the Terrace of Elephants. Move to Neak Pean, an artificial island with a Buddhist temple. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the intricately carved and well-preserved Banteay Srei. The detailed reliefs on this smaller sandstone structure are regarded as the finest, most skillfully crafted in Cambodia.  One the way back, enjoy a brief stop at the well-preserved Banteay Samre, a laterite structure that once featured internal moats. End your discoveries with an ascent for sunset at Pre Rub temple. Day 2: Angkor Wat at sunrise, Preah Khan, Ta Nei, and Ta Prohm Temple  Begin with a pre-dawn departure for sunrise outside of Angkor Wat. Enter the great temple in darkness (please bring a torch) from the little-visited eastern side, and creep along hoary cloistered corridors past the longest stretch of bas-relief carvings in the world.  End your touring at Angkor with breakfast outside the temple. Continue by moving on to Preah Khan temple, a ruined but highly atmospheric mélange of tree roots and crumbling stone structures. At the end of the morning, return to your hotel for lunch, and in the afternoon drive to Ta Nei, a late 12th Century stone temple located in Angkor. Move on to the jungle-enveloped Ta Prohm – one of the most atmospheric temples in Angkor, once home to 2,740 monks.

Siem Reap: Floating Village Exploration Tour

5. Siem Reap: Floating Village Exploration Tour

Go aboard our minivan to the great Tonle Sap Lake (the biggest fresh water lake in South-east Asia) and gain fascinating insight into true Cambodian life. Be picked up from a Siem Reap hotel and be brought to the pier. Take a private boat to the floating village, located outside Siem Reap. Discover the tall, stilted houses, floating hospital, fishery, old lifestyle of the country and the natural landscape of the flooded Mangrove Forest. Enjoy an optional tour going through the flooded Mangroves forest on a small boat, a great break on the way to Tonle Sap to experience local fauna and flora. End the day by admiring the sunset over the lake.

Angkor Wat: Vintage Jeep with Driver Rental

6. Angkor Wat: Vintage Jeep with Driver Rental

Your tour will begin with your being picked up from your accommodation by an English-speaking driver in a vintage American war Jeep. This jeep (official name M151 "MUTT") was developed with guidance from the US Army's Ordnance Truck Automotive Command. Design started in 1951, with testing and prototyping lasting through most of the fifties. Although the M151 was developed and initially produced by Ford, production contracts for the M151A2 were later also awarded to Kaiser Jeep and AM General Corp. First put into service in Vietnam, the MUTT played an active part in American military operations well into the 1980s, when it was phased out in favor of the Humvee. The jeep was a historical witnesses of the Vietnam War, and will bring you to the world heritage temple Angkor Wat, Bayon (Angkor Thom) and one of the most popular temples, Ta Prom, which has trees growing out of its ruins. On this day you will visit the famous ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in style, and you will experience the charm of this temple in an authentic jungle manner, by jeep. You can even discus together with your driver which temples from the Angkor Small circuit you would like to visit. On this small circuit you will find plenty of temples, with the most famous being Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and Bayon Temple. You can also visit other temples such as Baphuon, Ta Keo, the Terrace of Elephants, Ta Nei and Prei Rup which are also located on this small circuit. Travel back in time and enjoy this day complete with history, adventure and mystery.

From Siem Reap: 2-Day Small Group Temples Sunrise Tour

7. From Siem Reap: 2-Day Small Group Temples Sunrise Tour

Day 1 – Full Day Temples of Angkor with Sunrise   Spend your day temple-hopping with your local guide to make the most of your visit to the world-famous Angkor complex, a site full of temples built between the 19th and 13th century. Begin with pre-dawn departure (between 4:20 and 5:00 AM) from your hotel to catch the sunrise outside of Angkor Wat. Then, explore the interior of the great temple, spending a thorough 2 hours discovering its corridors, central chambers and upper terraces. Your expert guide will decipher the myriad of stories behind the bas-relief carvings and give you insight into life during the height of the Khmer Empire. End your visit to Angkor with breakfast just outside the temple.   Continue the morning with a visit to the Southern Gate of Angkor Thom, flanked by a row of 54 stone figures on each side – gods to the left and demons to the right – and the fortified city of Angkor Thom. See its beautifully crafted central towers, covered in more than 200 enormous faces, before exploring the famous central terrace of the Leper King and the Terrace of Elephants. Finish your day with a visit to the temple Ta Prohm, once home to almost 3,000 monks. Return to your hotel at approximately 1:00 PM after lunch at a local restaurant.   Day 2 – Full Day Banteay Srei Temples   After pick-up from your hotel around 8:00 AM, you’ll head off to visit the most interesting temples outside Angkor Thom city. Your first stop is Pre Rup Hindu Temple, built in 961 or 962, that combines laterite and sandstone construction. Then, drive to the intricately carved and well-preserved Banteay Srei – the detailed reliefs on this smaller sandstone structure are regarded as the finest and most skilfully crafted in Cambodia.   On the return journey, visit Neak Pean, a Buddhist temple on a circular artificial island with in Jayatataka Baray, then continue to Preah Khan temple, a ruined but highly atmospheric mélange of tree roots and crumbling stone structures. Construction was commissioned by the prolific temple builder Jayavarman VII in honor of his father and a visit to this smaller site makes for an interesting contrast with the more imposing Angkor Wat. Preah Khan is currently being restored by the World Monument Fund and in places is in remarkably good condition.   In the late afternoon you’ll return to Siem Reap after a memorable day of exploration.

Kompong Phluk Floating Village Tour from Siem Reap

8. Kompong Phluk Floating Village Tour from Siem Reap

Depart Siem Reap and travel south-east through rural villages and rice fields to reach Tonlé Sap Lake. Go as far as you can by road to board a boat, and then sail down the Kompong Phluk River. Arrive at a Khmer village of about 3,000 inhabitants who mainly make a living from fishing and farming. Depending on the weather and tidal conditions, sail along the main street or explore on foot and experience up close what life is like in rural Cambodia. Visit a few schools and see the large pagoda temple, along with many stilted homes, some up to 10 meters tall. Connect with a less hectic lifestyle and soak up the peace and quiet. Relax as you are rowed by small boat through the flooded forest to Tonlé Sap Lake, where the level can vary by up to 10 meters depending on the season. Make your way back down river to the minivan that will take you back to your hotel in Siem Reap.

From Siem Reap: Small-Group Phnom Kulen Waterfall Day Tour

9. From Siem Reap: Small-Group Phnom Kulen Waterfall Day Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Siem Reap in the morning, and journey towards Kulen Mountain. Get amazing views of the surroundings on the 2-hour drive, including the River of a Thousand Lingas and the statue of the Grand Reclining Buddha. Learn more about the historical and cultural significance of each landmark from your expert guide. Arrive at the vast plateau of Phnom Kulen, overlooking the plain of Angkor, and discover the 28 ancient temples and rivers that crisscross the beautiful landscape. Get your first sight of the Phnom Kulen waterfall as it tumbles down the rocks. Plunge into the pools and cool off from the midday sun before the return trip to Siem Reap. 

Siem Reap: Cambodian Pottery Class

10. Siem Reap: Cambodian Pottery Class

Your 2-hour activity begins with a tuk tuk ride to the center of Siem Reap town. Siem Reap has been an important center of traditional Cambodian ceramics for centuries. An expert will explain the process of creating ceramics and demonstrate the necessary skills. Get behind the pottery wheel to shape your own masterpiece under expert guidance. Spin the wheel to create a bowl from local Cambodian clay and add some Khmer ornamentation to your piece. Use the various tools and equipment in the workshop to create your own masterpiece that you will take home with you. After firing in the kiln, your bowl will be ready for you the next day and can be picked-up after 4:00 PM.

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What people are saying about Siem Reap

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,471 reviews

We opted for the sunrise tour as we felt we would benefit from the knowledge of a guide, and we certainly did! Sokpee is a great guide, very knowledgeable and friendly. He was able to answer all our questions and made for an interesting trip. The tour was well-organised. We were the first pick up and they actually arrived earlier than they said they would. We were 7 in total: us (a couple), three friends and another couple. We reached Angkor Wat in good time but unfortunately didn’t see much of a sunrise as it was raining (bear in mind that sunrise view isn’t guaranteed). We then spent a reasonable amount of time at Angkor Wat before taking a break for breakfast. The place they took us to was more reasonably priced than we’d feared. After breakfast was “Tomb Raider” temple and Bayon. The tour included a good amount, I’m not sure we would have wanted to see much more after getting up so early. Sokpee never made us feel rushed and we did things mostly at our own pace. Would recommend!

Was exciting to see the floating village, and the guide from Adventure Travel was informative, turns out to be a great learning experience as well. Before arriving to the ferry port, there was a time for a brief stroll in the country side village along the way to the Tonle Sap Lake, and was interesting to get a glimpse of how people live in Cambodia. Although the day was too cloudy to see the sunset, the views of the skies were still nice. Thank you so much for the great tour!

The 2 day tour was fantastic ! Great itinerary led by Sokpee, our tour guide, who has extensive knowledge of each temple we visited. His friendly personality and professionalism made the trip very pleasurable. Our driver was so helpful, especially with the chilled waters and cool towels. He was always and smiling which made the tour even more enjoyable. The temples were outstanding and easy to explore. I thoroughly enjoyed both days and I highly recommend this tour to you.

Great way to see the incredibly beautiful countryside, and also an easy way to learn how to ride a motorcycle for the first time!

A lot of fun and informative. If you have a GoPro would take it with.