What to do: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Who plans to stay 22 days in Siem Reap, Cambodia? We envisioned seeing as many archaeological sites as we could take in and thought more leisure time would be a bonus – but would that fill up 22 days? We decided to find out.

Our last visit to Siem Reap was 4 years ago. The 15 days we stayed on that visit turned out not to be long enough.

As soon as we arrived with our friends, Cliff and Ruth, we scheduled a driver to take us to Beng Mealea, some distance from Siem Reap. Why not add stops to a few sites on the way back?

That’s how we discovered Preah Ko, built in the late 9th century, over 200 years before Angkor Wat.

Another logical pairing combined Banteay Srey, one of the most beautiful temples, with stops just down the road at the Butterfly Centre and the Cambodia Landmine Museum.

The excellent tour at the Banteay Srey Butterly Centre made the stop worthwhile. We thought the exotic flowers might almost have stolen the show from the leopard lacewing.

A group of folks gathered around to hear Bill Morse’s retelling the tragedy resulting from extensive bombing and land mining of Southeast Asia, which is still affecting people today.

Our friend, Anita, joined us for a week. She’s new to bird watching so we three banded together for a one-day trip with Cambodia Bird Guide Association out to Ang Trapaing Thmor, a large reservoir in a remote rural area a few hours drive away. It was built by forced labor during the 1970’s when the Khmer Rouge were in power and is now a reserve for the threatened eastern sarus crane.

What a memorable trip into the countryside! We saw 50 species of birds that day, including 4 different owl species spotted in less than an hour! It helped having a local guide join us for this part of the trip along with our CBGA guide.

That night we celebrated seeing so many amazing birds with another celebration at one of our favorite restaurants, Olive Cuisine de Saison.

Any mention of Siem Reap has to include shopping. We planned our excursions to see specific shops. We were happy to find a number of fair trade shops and others that encouraged the development of Khmer arts and crafts.   We bought a piece of silk at IKTT, a bag at SuSu, lacquer ware at Cambolac in the Made in Cambodia Market. Kandal Village was our favorite shopping area.

One object of desire was fine silk made in Cambodia.

Take it from us – there was more than enough to do in Siem Reap for the 22 days. On our last day, we discovered we had missed seeing some of the reliefs at Angkor Wat. So maybe our visit should have been longer?


March 2017


About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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11 Responses to What to do: Siem Reap, Cambodia

  1. We went to Siem Reap as a family and enjoyed it very much. Excellent resorts, the temples are amazing, the lake tour is fun and the night market is unique.

    We took amazing pictures during this holiday.

  2. Cambodia Legend Tours says:

    wish you take a long time once again to reveal all about Cambodia are, Cambodia so much appreciated for your likable and enjoyable traveled in Cambodia.

  3. Valentina says:

    Love this!I have just posted about Cambodia as well 🙂

  4. A bloggers’ meet-up. What fun. I am not at all amazed that you were able to fill-up 22 days with fun and interesting things to do :))

  5. How nice to take your time in such an interesting place.

  6. Obviously, my 10 days in Siem Reap were nowhere near enough, but what an amazing time I had, made all the more memorable by sharing it with you and Joe. The day of bird watching, seeing FOUR different owl species and a painted stork, stand out among the highlights as well as the ancient temples, each incredible and unique, the shops and markets and numerous restaurants with a variety of cuisines. I can understand why you made a second visit and I hope to return there as well to pick up the sight-seeing where we left off! Anita

  7. Hope you had a happy birthday Mr Joe

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