Siem Reap Travel Guide

Activities & Events

Adventure
KKO Off Track Mountain Bike ToursSt 20, Wat Bo RdPhone: +855 93 903 024Price: USD25-40 for a full-day tourKKO is a local charitable non-profit NGO. They offer unique Angkor park and countryside off-track tours. Profits generated from the bike tours flows back to the local KKO School. Booking is required.
Sabai Jeep AdventuresExplore the Cambodian countryside in a vintage military Jeep. Ride in this iconic and historical vehicle. On tour your jeep driver will take you off the beaten path to discover the authentic, rugged, and fascinating Cambodia. Sabai Jeep Adventures tours start from Siem Reap.
Shooting RangePrice: USD50 per AK-47 or M-16 clip, M-60 belt (50 rounds) USD80 (Nov 2011). Grenade throwing: USD30Armament and explosives availability apparently is only limited by how much you are willing to spend. Listening to the soldiers-turned-used car salesmen put the hard sell on a new machine gun is almost worth the trip. This is a true game of Russian roulette. Fancy pulling the pin of a 30+ year old grenade and possibly getting the faulty one? Make sure that whoever is supervising you is also willing to stand next to you. It can be a little bit difficult to find, and a tuk-tuk driver may know where it is.
Cooking classes
Beyond Unique Cooking ClassPhone: +855 77 562 565Price: USD22Cambodian cooking classes in a village 10 min from town. Classes include a visit to a local family and information on Cambodian cooking customs and beliefs. Hands on classes for a maximum of six people unless you book a private group.
Cultural performances
Apsara TheatrePhone: +855 63 963 561Hours: 20:00-21:30A flashy performance of traditional, popular and classical dances.
Cambodian Cultural VillageAirport Road # 6, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Krus VillagePhone: +855 63 963098Hours: Daily, 10:00-18:30Price: USD25Cambodian culture in a nutshell, miniature of Cambodian landmarks, Cambodian traditional house replicas, and cultural performances.
Smile of AngkorSmile of Angkor Grand Theatre (Angkor COEX)Phone: +855 63 6550168Hours: Nightly, 19:15-20:30Price: USD38-48A lavish production of Cambodian traditional dances equipped with a large screen featuring Angkor civilization. Smile of Angkor is the grand epic show that revives the Angkor dynasty in all aspects; from foundation to prosperity, tale of folk customs, past to present. The performance expresses traditional Cambodian culture with the latest technology.
We Are The Champions Performances by the Local Disabled CommunityNight MarketPhone: +855 12 676826Hours: 20:30-21:15, every night except SundayPrice: Free, donations encouragedA two act play written and performed by participants who share with great feeling what it is like to be disabled in Cambodia and the challenges of their lives. As many of the performers are in pursuit of education to better their lives they appreciate donations of school materials such pens and writing books.
Festivals
Angkor Photography Festival: Photography for ChangeAnnual festival that showcases outdoor projections and various exhibitions around Siem Reap of regional and international photographers. The festival is held during the last week of November every year, consisting of 7 evenings of outdoor projections and more than 10 gallery exhibitions across various venues in the city. The festival is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia and is also the biggest. It aims to highlight the work of Asian photographers and provides free workshops for 30 young photographers from the region every year, led by world renowned professionals, which are showcased during the event. There is a full time office/gallery for the festival located on the East river road near the Bopha Angkor Hotel. As well as the festival, the organisers support a local NGO working with street children, that promotes the arts and runs a photography course with students. Photography from these students is also showcased as part of the festival programme.
The Annual Street Puppet FestivalAn exciting pageantry with the concept of sticks and stilts manipulated puppets much like those which debuted in the opening parade of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and also quite similar to the Trinidad & Tobago Carnival.
The Water FestivalThis vast festival is probably the most extravagant festival in the calendar. Over three days starting with the last full moon day in October or the beginning of November up to a million people from all walks of life from all over the country flock to the banks of Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers in Phnom Penh to watch hundreds of brightly coloured boats with over 50 paddlers battle it out. The boat racing dates back to ancient times marking the strengths of the powerful Khmer marine forces during the Khmer empire. In the evening brightly decorated floats cruise along the river prior to and complimenting the fireworks displays. there is often a parallel festival at Angkor Wat and although it is smaller in scale it is just as impressive due to the backdrop of Angkor Wat. The festival marks the changing of the flow of the Tonle Sap and is also seen as thanksgiving to the Mekong River for providing the country with fertile land and abundant fish. It is at this time when the river flow reverts to its normal down stream direction. The remarkable phenomenon that is the Tonle Sap sees the river flowing upstream during the rainy season and then change direction as the rains cease and the swollen Tonle Sap Lake empties back into the Mekong River leaving behind vast quantities of fish.
Massage

The Khmer believe that Thai massage is derived from Khmer massage and that it is more relaxing as it requires less twisting and turning. The numerous Khmer-style massage shops mostly offer genuine massage and are not a front for sexual services. If you feel unsure what type they will give you, a safe bet is to opt for one of the blind massage services. The trained masseurs are the real deal. Some are inside the night market. Contrary to common belief, blind massage services DO OFFER special massages too.

Fish MassagePrice: USD1-2 for 15 minThis Thai fad has crossed the border. Dip your feet in a tank of fish and wince as they eat the dead skin off your toes. Trying a tank with feet already inside it will tell you if the fish are hungry. Some claim to have no piranhas while others offer a free beer to subdue any doubts.
Frangipani Spa615/617 Hup Guan StPhone: +855 63 964391Price: USD25-50Wonderful spa with a nice atmosphere, peaceful rooms, and experienced staff. The massages actually feel like trained people are giving them. No special services or hidden fees. It is a nice place to go as a couple or alone. They have massage tables and air conditioning. Tasteful exterior surrounded by frangipani plants (partly obscuring their tasteful green sign saying "frangipani").
Lemongrass Garden7 Sivatha BlvdPhone: +855 12 387 385Price: USD10-30Lovely little spa with a relaxing atmosphere and experienced staff. 60 minute Khmer massages are USD10, while 90 minute Khmer massages are USD15. They also offer oil massages, "spiritual massages," and manicures/pedicures. Treatment rooms have air conditioning, and they provide a cool drink before treatment and warm tea afterwards. They also claim to pay higher wages than most places in Siem Reap, as well as provide other benefits to their workers.
Orphanage visits

Some travellers feel visiting an orphanage is a good way to make a positive contribution to Cambodia, while others feel that orphanage tours do more harm than good. The largest child protection group in the country has asked that tourists not visit orphanages--the great majority of Cambodian children in orphanages have living parents, but the tourist demand for orphans results in these children being separated from their parents. Whichever view you hold, orphanages and the aid organisations that support them are a significant feature of the Siem Reap economy. Many are scams, so it's worth doing a bit of research on them beforehand.

Some long running orphanages that have a good reputation are:

Cambodian Children's House of PeaceNo.004 Phum Mondul 3, Sangkat SlorkramPhone: +855 92 407077Hours: Sundays, 19:00Price: FreeThe Cambodian Children's House of Peace (aka Santepheap, which means Peace in English) is an orphanage in Siem Reap responsible for over 30 children. The children of the orphanage put on a traditional Khmer Dance show every Sunday night from 19:00-20:15 to highlight traditional Cambodian culture as well as draw attention to the orphanage in general.
The Sangkheum Centre for ChildrenPhone: +855 12 675637Children's centre for orphaned, abused or neglected children aged 2-18 receive basic care and additional enrichment classes to supplement their public schooling.

source: Wikivoyage

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