Angkor Wat, The Ancient City
The most common reason to visit Siem Reap is to see Angkor Wat. Built by the Khmers 1,000 years ago, with its population of 1,000,000 it was the largest civilization at its time.
The complex deserves at least a half-day visit. It's beautiful to watch the sunrise above the grand temple, Angkor Wat. It's built so the sun rises above the central tower as it was God's creation.
If you want to know more about Angkor Wat, read my detailed post Coming Soon
The entrance fee is $37 for a day pass. I recommend hiring a tuk-tuk as a private driver from Siem Reap for about $15 for a 6-hour visit.
Phare, The Cambodian Circus
It's not like a traditional circus as you know. At Phare Circus, you won't see animals but highly talented acrobats in a modern take on what a circus can offer.
The show is bound together by a storyline, such as before, during, and after the war. The narration is expressed through drawings between the performances. The painting parts alone are eloquently exhibitions to watch.
Phare is a part of Phare Ponleu Selpak, an organization that helps poor Cambodian kids with access to school and education.
Party In Pub Street
In the biggest nightlife area in all Cambodia, Pub Street. Here you will find the old market with souvenirs and sacks, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
At night all traffic is excluded from the main street so it's easy to wander from place to place. Each adjacent road will be packed with tuk-tuk drivers waiting to help you home.
In the west end, you will find the rooftop bar, X-Bar, and in front of that, mobile bars are playing every night. The mobile bars are a great place to hang out and meet people as they are passing by.
Play Pool At Laundry Bar
Also located in Pub Street, Laundry Bar, one of the best bars in Siem Reap. Don't get mistaken, they won't wash your clothes but they can help you with a fresh cold beer.
This place has a wonderful atmosphere, laid back music, and friendly patrons. Get in and join the ongoing pool competition, where everyone may sign up to play against the next winner.
Go For A Walk
Such a simple suggestion yet a very gifted one. It's something I like to do in any new place, and Siem Reap is not an exception. Take a walk from downtown and north along the river, cross the 2 main roads and you will find yourself surrounded by the local communities and children greeting you all the way.
Stop for refreshments once in a while when you see a local vendor. It might feel like entering the family's home, which it's likely to be, but also their business. The atmosphere is usually very casual warm and welcome.
Why take the same road twice? There are several bridges, make one of them your turning point back towards your hotel or apartment.