Traveling to Siem Reap, which translates to “defeat of Siam,” is for those looking for a real adventure and unrivaled beauty. Located in northwestern Cambodia, this colorful city has been a popular tourist destination for decades and is known for its many historical and religious sites, French cultural influences and rich, multi-faceted local culture. Visitors are invited to explore Siem Reap’s many temples and to take the city home in the form of handcrafted jewelry and décor or unforgettable moments. It’s only a matter of knowing exactly where and when to go. Use our Siem Reap travel guide for navigating this Southeast Asian city and making the most out of what will surely be an unforgettable trip.
Things Not to Miss in Siem Reap
• Explore Baphuon and Angkor Wat, two massive Buddhist temples built in the 11th and 12th centuries, respectively
• Visit Siem Reap and spend the day at the Cambodian Cultural Village, an EPCOT-like theme park and museum featuring miniature villages representing the many local cultures in Cambodia
• Traverse Siem Reap’s freshwater lake, Tonlé Sap, and visit the floating villages that dot this massive body of water
• Tour the ruins of Angkor Thom, the former capital of the Khmer empire, and explore the ancient city’s many structures
• Shop and eat at the Made In Cambodia Market, where vendors only sell items made in their native country
• And if you’re traveling in November, take in the competition at the Angkor Photography Festival, held annually at end of the month
When to Go to Siem Reap
Like most Southeast Asian cities, Siem Reap experiences a tropical wet and dry climate and sees a long wet season every year. To avoid the rainfall, visit the city between December and March when temperatures average in the high 80s/low 90s by day and precipitation is at its lowest. And whatever time of year you visit, bring plenty of sunscreen.