Siem Reap has received much deserved international acclaim as the gateway to one of the Wonders of the World, extraordinary Angkor Wat. But in spite of its location near one of the world’s great historical landmarks, Siem Reap is also a destination in its own right, and there is no shortage of fun and interesting things do in Siem Reap. The historic museums and ancient temples are certainly astounding, but Siem Reap cooking classes, floating villages, Siem Reap hot air balloon rides, puppet shows, the Cambodia Landmine Museum, wildlife sanctuaries, Siem Reap golf and a bourgeoning nightlife and art scene give you many things to add to your engaging Siem Reap itinerary.
If you are unsure of all the things to do in Siem Reap that are out there waiting for you, a good place to start is your concierge at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Resort, who can provide free transfers to our legendary Phokeetra Country Club for some exclusive Siem Reap golf, or provide guidance for other Siem Reap attractions and offer advice and help on getting to various venues, as well as tips for a rewarding Angkor Wat and Siem Reap itinerary. The Siem Reap Tourist Information Center, located in the Old Market district of the city is also a wealth of free information for all things interesting in and around Siem Reap, from Siem Reap hot air balloon companies to Siem Reap cooking class venues and ox cart or horse ride vendors.
Of course, for golfers one of the best things do in Siem Reap is a round of golf on the challenging and unique golf course at our very own Phokeethra Country Club. The location is perfect for world-class Siem Reap golf, nestled in the countryside of Siem Reap, and just a short transfer from your impeccable room or suite at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Resort. The award-winning 18-hole course features an array of natural lagoons and sand traps to challenge golfers of all abilities choosing to partake in a challenging round of Siem Reap golf. Phokeethra Country Club is regarded as the best country club Cambodia has to offer, with luxurious facilities to ensure the style, comfort, and top quality service associated with all Sofitel affiliated establishments. The clubhouse is intricate in its design, offering five-star amenities that extend to its dining and drinking venues, locker rooms and relaxation facilities. Between the 9th green and 10th tee is the restored “Roluos” bridge, a UNESCO site right on the course dating back to the 11th century Khmer Empire, making Phokeethra Country Club’s Siem Reap golf course unique in the world.
Spice up your Siem Reap itinerary with some educational things to do in Siem Reap like a Siem Reap cooking class. Try a Siem Reap cooking class and become entranced by the many dishes on offer and Cambodia’s unique style of cooking. With proper instruction from trained chefs and all materials provided, a Siem Reap cooking class is an ideal thing to put on your Siem Reap itinerary and one of the most enjoyable things it do in Siem Reap for those who want to understand exactly how Khmer cuisine is prepared.
Several Siem Reap cooking classes can be found around town, but you need not go far, ask your concierge at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Resort about our day trips to pick the necessary vegetables in a farm (Agrisud International and Green farmers) and different ingredients to prepare recipes for your menu, finally returning to the hotel to cook your Khmer dishes under the guidance of our welcoming Khmer chef. These are unforgettable Siem Reap cooking classes, providing culinary things to do in Siem Reap that give you a taste of authentic Khmer cuisine that are of your own creation. As well, we offer Khmer dishes at our exclusive Citadel restaurant, prepared with love by our extraordinary Khmer chef for an exquisite culinary experience.
When making your list of things to do in Siem Reap, every visitor should add at least one museum to their Siem Reap itinerary, and the Cambodia Landmine Museum should be near the top of that list. Great for providing historical context, the Cambodia Landmine Museum is not only one of the most entertaining things to do in Siem Reap, but also instructs with great insight on this significant time in Cambodia’s history.
The Cambodian Landmine Museum and Relief Facility is one of the more fascinating things to do in Siem Reap but is actually located about 25 kilometers north of Siem Reap, just south of the Banteay Srey Temple complex inside the Angkor National Park, though no Temple Pass is needed to visit the museum. The Cambodian Landmine Museum strives to educate visitors of the importance of clearing landmines in Cambodia. With potentially millions still in the ground, landmines have immensely impacted the history and culture of Cambodia, which remains one of the most heavily mined countries in the world as a result of decades of conflict, including a civil war, the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and genocide, American bombings, and Vietnamese occupation.
One of the more interesting and innovative de-mining techniques showcased at the Cambodian Landmine Museum was pioneered by a Belgian nonprofit called APOPO, which began using Giant Gambian pouched rats, about 2 feet long from head to tail, 15 years ago. Their eyesight is terrible but their sense of smell is extraordinary. The Cambodian Landmine Museum describes how these hero rats detect the presence of TNT in amounts as small as 29 grams and can clear 200 square meters of land in only 30 minutes, compared to a human de-miner who needs two to three days. A human with a metal detector also picks up all the metal in the ground like nails and scrap, but the rat picks up only the smell of TNT. These hero rodents are very friendly and learn extremely quickly, getting food as a reward every time they find a mine.
In addition to the Cambodian Landmine Museum there are many other museum-related things to do in Siem Reap. The Angkor National Museum is an archaeological museum that should be on every Siem Reap itinerary. Dedicated to the collection, preservation and presentation of historical artifacts, mainly from the Khmer Empire’s Angkor period from the 9th to 14th-centuries, visitors can gain some valuable information on the history of the Angkor civilization, which should enrich every Siem Reap itinerary as you tour the extensive ruins and temple complexes in this UNESCO protected area.
For things to do in Siem Reap that reflect current times in Cambodia, the Samatoa Lotus Farm is a pleasant addition to any Siem Reap itinerary. This unique fair-trade eco-textile workshop presents the whole process of weaving fabric from lotus stems, one of the most ecological fabrics in the world. The Lotus Farm is located 15 minutes from Siem Reap with a 360 degree view of the lotus and rice fields and splendid sunsets on Phnom Krom Temple Mountain.
Fun Activities Such as Hot Air Balloons
There are so many things to do in Siem Reap that your Siem Reap itinerary can keep you busy for some time, and one of the most magical moments may well be in a Siem Reap hot air balloon. Book a Siem Reap hot air balloon with our concierge team who knows everything you need to know about this striking way to experience the tranquility of amazing Cambodia, from above, in a silent Siem Reap hot air balloon. Enjoy a marvelous sunset or sunrise aboard a Siem Reap hot air balloon and fly above the magnificent surroundings of Siem Reap. From a hot air balloon Siem Reap shows off its serenity and its amazing world famous heritage. For amazing things to do in Siem Reap, a Siem Reap hot air balloon ride is a unique activity ideal for solo travelers, couples, family and friends.
Fun airborne things to do in Siem Reap aren’t limited to Siem Reap hot air balloon rides, try a helicopter flight or a zip line. For land-based adventures try a Quad bike tour into the rural heartland of Cambodia’s lush countryside, ranging from one hour rides to over-night expeditions through stunning Cambodian countryside where you can see local villages and rice paddies, or relish the slow life with an ox cart ride or leisurely horseback trek. Experience Cambodia’s largest lake, the Tonle Sap and its floating villages, on a boat tour. Take a Siem Reap cooking class, or a yoga class with Raja Yoga at Peace Café, which also offers free introductory sessions on meditation at 5pm from Monday to Friday, opt for a more playful game of Siem Reap golf with a round of mini golf at ANGKOR WAT PUTT, or take a Vespa temple tour.
With Siem Reap cooking classes, museums and a legion of historic sites to spend hours in, Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Resort will ensure you have no shortage of fun things to do in Siem Reap, truly a city worth exploring.