Things To Do In Siem Reap Other Than Temples

The Best Things To Do In Siem Reap Other Than Temples [2024]

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Are you struggling with ideas of things to do in Siem Reap besides Angkor Wat? Whether you’re seeking further cultural experiences or you just want to get the adrenaline pumping this detailed guide will cover the BEST things to do in Siem Reap other than temples.

When you talk about Cambodia, more specifically Siem Reap, the most common question is “How was Angkor Wat?”. Now don’t get me wrong, if you haven’t been to visit this magnificent temple then what are you doing? But Siem Reap has SOOOO much to offer beyond just temples.

Once the idea of seeing more temples gives you a headache and you’re ready for something new, we’ve got the list for you. 

You can fit many of these activities into one day on the other hand, some of the activities will take up a whole day’s action by itself so you’ll need to pick and choose which activities will suit you best in the time you have in Siem Reap.

📌 Not sure what to pack for your trip to Southeast Asia? Check out our guide here!

So let’s find out what are the BEST things to do in Siem Reap other than temples.

The Best Things To Do In Siem Reap Other Than Temples

There are so many attractions to see in Siem Reap besides temples that I’ve not been able to fit all of them into this list. Instead, I have selected a variation of cultural-based activities and activities that will bring pure enjoyment

This way you can pick and choose what activities suit you best. I’m aware not every activity will be your cup of tea but, in my opinion, these are the best things to do in Siem Reap other than temples.

Cat Cafe

This was by far and away, in my opinion, the best thing to do in Siem Reap other than temples.

I am a HUGE cat man so when I found out about the cat cafe, I had to check it out.

I was not left disappointed! Coco Cat Café has several cats who are all super social. Especially if you have some treats in your hand wink wink.

Found just a 5-10 minute walk from Pub Street, Coco’s is a MUST visit for all travellers to Siem Reap, well, unless you’re allergic lol. 

On entry to the cafe, you pay $5 for unlimited time with the cats and a free drink of your choice. You can also purchase cat treats inside if you want every cat to climb all over you trying to get the delicious treats

Safe to say this is a perfect way to spend a few hours if you want to relax and spend some time with your furry friends.

Visit The Landmine Museum

Found an hour outside of Siem Reap via Tuk Tuk is the Landmine Museum. During the reign of the Khmer Rouge land mines were set up all over the country as part of the horrifying atrocities they carried out on the Cambodian people.

Established by Aki Ra, an ex-Khmer Rouge conscripted soldier, the museum showcases a collection of defused landmines and provides insights into the devastating impact of these weapons.

It also educates you about ongoing demining efforts happening to this day in Cambodia. Through its exhibits and advocacy, the Landmine Museum strives to promote peace, raise awareness, and contribute to a safer future for the Cambodian people.

The cost of entry is $5 and all donations go directly to the Landmine Relief Fund.

Visit The APOPO Visitor Centre And Discover Rats Who Can Find Landmines

As you just found out, during the Khmer Rouge landmines were set all over the country and many are still active to this day.

So who is making the effort to find and deactivate these landmines? Enter the APOPO Hero Rats.

The Siem Reap Hero Rats are a remarkable initiative employing African giant pouched rats to detect landmines in the province of Siem Reap.

Trained by APOPO, these rats use their acute sense of smell to locate landmines, helping in the safe removal and clearance of dangerous areas. This innovative approach significantly accelerates demining efforts, safeguarding local communities and supporting post-conflict reconstruction. 

If you decide to visit the APOPO visitor centre, they have a live demonstration of the rats finding a landmine that they have placed (don’t worry it’s inactive… or is it).

As you would expect this trip is VERY popular with TRAVELLERS so make sure you book ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

Visit The Elephants

Usually before Cambodia, most travellers have been to Thailand, more specifically Chiang Mai, so if you’ve already met the elephants feel free to move on.

BUT

If you haven’t, a visit to Kulen Elephant Forest Sanctuary is simply a MUST do!

Unfortunately practices of animal cruelty still exist in Cambodia. Around the Angkor Wat Temple complex people can ride elephants. This is not ethical and you should not partake in this activity.

So what can you expect from the elephant sanctuary:

  • Feed the elephants and get pictures with them.
  • Admire the elephants in the jungle.
  • Go for a walk with the elephants in the jungle.
  • Khmer lunch if you’re on the morning tour
  • Khmer snack if you’re on the afternoon tour

Spending time with elephants is a truly surreal experience and one you HAVE to do when in Southeast Asia.

Visit The Siem Reap Crocodile Farm

Not something you see every day that’s for sure.

The Crocodile Farm in Siem Reap showcases a diverse array of crocodile species. Established to promote conservation awareness, the farm offers you an educational experience of the life of crocodiles in Cambodia. 

With well-maintained facilities, it provides insight into the life cycle of these reptiles. The farm actively engages in breeding programs to support crocodile population management. 

Crocodile hatchings usually happen in the morning so if you want the chance to see baby Crocs being born you better get up early!

This attraction will cost you just $1 and is certainly one of the more interesting things to do in Siem Reap other than temples.

Party At Pub Street

Where do I even start with Siem Reap’s pub street?

Pub Street is Siem Reap’s answer to Khaosan Road in Bangkok or Bangla Road in Phuket, nowhere near as mental but you get the picture I’m trying to paint.

As the sunsets this road comes alive and your cultural experiences shift to the party lifestyle.

Some of the most popular bars here for travellers are:

  • Temple Bar – The very top floor is where all the travellers go. A free pool is also available here. This is the most popular bar in Siem Reap.
  • X Bar – Not sure why but there’s a skate ramp at the top of this one.
  • Barcode Bar.

Get A Fish Pedicure

You’ll find these fish spas dotted all around the streets of Siem Reap but there’s an awful lot around Pub Street.

These fish nibble away at dead skin cells on your feet and try to make them silky smooth. I did something similar in Siquijor (Philippines). 

Do not participate if you have any cuts on your feet, the saliva can make you very ill

These are really popular in Siem Reap as most establishments offer an hour’s worth of nibbles and a free beer for $3 to $5. It’s tremendous value if you ask me! 

Floating Village

Bringing back the cultural experiences is the floating village on the Tonle Sap Lake.

The Tonle Sap Lake offers a unique glimpse into Cambodia’s rural life. Resilient communities adapt to the lake’s fluctuating water levels, residing in stilted houses. 

So what will you see on your tour:

This trip is season dependent. The best time to do this is in the wet season (May to October). In hotter months the water level may not be high enough for a tour.

  • Tall stilted houses
  • Floating hospital
  • Fishery
  • Old lifestyle of the country and the natural landscape of the flooded Mangrove Forest.

Play A Round Of Golf

For all you golf enthusiasts you’re gonna LOVE this one. Designed by Sir Nick Faldo himself is the 18-hole Angkor Golf Resort.

This course is for golfers who have had plenty of prior experience. It’s a tough championship course with difficult undulating greens. As a result, the price of the course is a hefty $155 and that’s just the green fee.

If you’re a good golfer and you want to play a championship course while in Cambodia, I see no better place than Angkor Golf Resort.

Try Minigolf

For something a bit more attainable and skill and price level is the Angkor Wat Putt Minigolf course.

FREE BEER OR DRINK FOR A HOLE IN ONE!

For just $5 per person, you can play 14 holes with 9 holes as accurate replicas of the famous Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples, including Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Bayon, Banteay Srei and many more.

If you have a few hours to kill this can be one of the most enjoyable things to do in Siem Reap other than temples.

Ride A Quad Bike

This one is sure to get the adrenaline pumping!

Via complimentary pick-up, you’ll drive from Siem Reap to the ATV starter point.

How does the tour work:

  • Begin by driving through the villages around Siem Reap, witness the greenery of the country and interact with locals
  • Explore unique buildings off the beaten path
  • Evening tours will ride will the sunsets over the paddy fields. 

Zipline The Jungle With Angkor Zipline

Angkor Zipline in Siem Reap offers a thrilling adventure amidst the ancient wonders of Angkor National Park.

This eco-friendly attraction provides a unique perspective, allowing you to soar through lush rainforests and witness breathtaking views of historic temples. 

What does Angkor Zipline have to offer:

  • 21 Ziplines 
  • Suspended Sky Bridges, 
  • Spiderman Bridge 
  • Abseil Descent.

I know technically you’re going to visit the temples of Angkor Wat here but c’mon ziplining is such a fun activity I see it as a bonus that these temples happen to be a part of your view.

I did my ziplining in Chiang Mai, I know many people went ziplining in Koh Samui, but we for sure have a competitor when it comes to deciding where the best place to zipline is. 

Take a trip to Phnom Kulen National Park 

This day trip from Siem Reap to Phnom Kulen National Park is one of the top things to do in Siem Reap other than temples.

Well, what can you expect to do and see at Phnom Kulen National Park:

  • Drive to the foot of the Kulen Mountain – birthplace of the Khmer empire in AD 802.
  • Visit the Kulen waterfall – take a dip in the waterfall if you wish!
  • Hike up the mountain to the River of a Thousand Lingas (Kbal Spean) – a sublime river with Shiva Linga carvings dotted around it. Get a blessing in the holy water.
  • Continue the hike to the Reclining Buddha.
  • Lunch included
  • Kulen ticket pass included
  • Free transportation.

Being one of Cambodia’s most famous national parks it really is a must-visit if you’re looking for things to do other than temples.

Phare Circus

The Cambodian Phare Circus tells us a story of Cambodia’s past through comedy, theatre and gymnastic stunts. You’ll see a true spectacle!

The Phare Circus was set up by two refugees of the Khmer Rouge, they wanted to provide opportunity to people of disadvantaged backgrounds and it’s a great way to see and support their cause.

They have over 10 different performances that you get to watch so if a particular show description catches your eye, see if it will be performed during the time you spend in Siem Reap.

To see all the different performances click here!

Khmer Cooking Class

Siem Reap offers captivating Khmer cooking classes, providing an immersive culinary experience. You’ll delve into the Khmer lifestyle, mastering traditional recipes with local instructors.

These hands-on sessions often begin with market tours, where you’ll select fresh ingredients. Using these ingredients you’ll cook some traditional Khmer dishes like fish amok, Samlor machu trey, lok lak and so on. Classes generally end in a shared feast so yes, you’re going to be stuffed!

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned cook, these classes promise an enriching blend of flavours, techniques, and cultural appreciation, creating lasting memories of Cambodia’s vibrant culinary heritage.

Visit The Angkor Night Market

The Siem Reap night market can be found just a few steps from Pub Street so I’d recommend stopping by before drinking a skin full!

Stretching along Sivutha Boulevard, the night market offers an enchanting array of local handicrafts, traditional souvenirs and street food. Food stalls showcase authentic Khmer cuisine for you to try and enjoy.

The night market in Siem Reap is open from 17:00 to 00:00.

Battambang Day Trip

If you don’t plan on staying in Battambang then you NEED to do a day trip to Battambang.

Why?

You’ll get the chance to visit:

  • The Bamboo Train: Ride the bamboo train and experience how traditional Cambodian people transported goods.
  • The Killing Caves: Witness the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge at one of the main killing sites in Cambodia.
  • Bat Caves: Witness thousands upon thousands of bats litter the sky as they come out at dusk to feed on insects.
  • Battambang Market.
  • Enhance your understanding of traditional Khmer culture and Khmer cuisine.

Once you’re finished you’ll return to Siem Reap.

Shooting Range

Have you ever wanted the chance to fire an AK-47 or any form of firearm?

Well in Siem Reap you can do exactly that. Arrive at the firing range, which is on an army base, and you have the opportunity to fire a range of weapons.

The reviews are NOT GOOD. You’re better off doing this activity at the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam.

You must prioritise safety measures and adhere to guidelines to maintain a controlled and secure environment.

Attend Khmer New Year

Of course, this depends if you’re in Cambodia when this event occurs but if you’re in Siem Reap between the 13th and 16th of April then it’s a non-negotiable.

I was in Bangkok for Songkran (Thai New Year) which was utterly mental. What I have heard is Khmer New Year here in Siem Reap is equally as mental.

What you get told is the Khmer New Year showcases traditional Khmer performances, traditional cuisine and traditional music.

What you really get is people spraying you with water (constantly!) and some form of white paste wiped all over your body. It doesn’t sound as fun now I’ve typed it out but let me tell ya it’s incredible!

When Is The Best Time To Visit Siem Reap?

The best time to visit Cambodia is typically from November to February, during the dry season. During these months, the weather is relatively cool, and there is minimal rainfall, making it ideal for exploring the country’s cultural and historical sites.

March to May brings the hot season, with temperatures soaring, making outdoor activities less comfortable. The worst time to visit is during the monsoon season, from June to October, when heavy rains can lead to flooding, muddy roads, and disruptions to travel plans.

However, some of you may appreciate the lush landscapes during this time. Ultimately, the best time depends on personal preferences. The dry season is when I visited Cambodia (Mid February to be exact) and the weather was perfect, warm during the day, fairly cool in the evening and not overwhelmingly busy.

Where To Stay In Siem Reap?

Finding the perfect accommodation can make or break a trip. Trust me I know this all too well throughout my Southeast Asia trip.

When possible book for just one day and extend if you like the hotel/hostel. If you hate the accommodation you can leave with minimal money wasted

Here are my TOP 3 recommendations for travellers on a budget, looking for a luxury life or if you’re looking for something in between.

📌 Mad Monkey Hostels – For the budget traveller Mad Monkey Hostels is the place to be. I’m sure you’ve all heard of these by now but comfy living spaces, tremendous socials and an all-round good time. For as little as £6 a night, this is a bargain.

📌 Eightfold Urban Resort – For the traveller on a mid-priced budget the Eightfold Urban Resort offers the luxury lifestyle at cheap prices. For under £50 a night, you can stay in a 5* resort. Do I really need to say anymore? 

📌 Viroth’s Hotel – If you have a little bit more money to spend I’d suggest the celebrity lifestyle at Viroth’s Hotel. Without a doubt, it is one of the BEST hotels in Siem Reap. With over 500 reviews holding a 9.8/10 rating on Booking.com, it’s clear to see why this hotel is in such high demand. Don’t miss out!

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, the best things to do in Siem Reap other than temples.

The attractions in Siem Reap are endless. Truly endless. We haven’t even covered every option! But what we have done is shown you Siem Reap is well worth the visit and that there are many activities that you can combine with a visit to Angkor Wat and the other ancient temples.

Hopefully, with some of the activities we have suggested you’ll be able to create an in-depth Siem Reap itinerary which goes beyond just exploring the temples.

OR

You can see my Siem Reap Itinerary Here!