Tours are operating in all cities. Click here for our COVID-19 Health & Safety updates.

Siem Reap Travel Guide

Pin it

Share on pinterest

Share it

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Food & Drink You Must Try in Siem Reap

Stuffed Frogs

Siem Reap is the land of rice paddies, and these flooded terrains are the perfect feeding ground for frogs. These frogs are foraged and caught often at dusk by locals wielding head lamps for a tasty dinner. Their legs are stuffed with a fresh curry paste and vermicelli noodle mixture, then grilled over charcoal for a beautiful char. Look for them at local markets and roadside carts.

Tarantula

Of all food cultures to enjoy insects, tarantula is exclusive to Cambodia as a legacy of the Khmer Rouge. Their numbers are much bigger here in the North, and make for a delicious drinking snack. Read our guide to eating bugs in Siem Reap to find out more!

Water Buffalo

Water buffalo is a common and delicious animal in Siem Reap and is quite similar in flavor to its popular cousin, beef, but is slightly sweeter, juicer, and known to be healthier. They’re used for rice farming out here, before becoming a favorite bar snack. Try water buffalo jerky crusted with sesame seeds, or water buffalo stuffed in grape leaves and grilled over charcoal on our Siem Reap Evening Tour.

Num Krouk

Num Krouk is a popular street food, cooked in small rounded girdles similar to takoyaki, but instead are made of a delicious rice batter with coconut milk. They are often filled with chives, but in Siem Reap locals also like to fill them with all manner of fresh vegetables before eating them with a sweet and salty house dipping sauce. There are often stalls on the southern end of the Old Market along the river bend.

Hot Pot

This is a popular experience throughout Cambodia, but especially in Siem Reap. Savory broths are simmered on your table, and you can order sets of meats, vegetables, and noodles to cook in the hot pot over the course of an evening. As you cook, the broth becomes more and more delicious. Pub street features many of these restaurants, but for a local experience, look for a bustling hot pot store along National Road 6, 3 minutes from the center of town. Or jump on our Siem Reap Evening Tour for a unique hotpot + bbq combination.

Catfish

Siem Reap sits on the Tonle Sap, a lake that literally translates to “Fresh Water” in Khmer. It is the largest reservoir of freshwater fish on this planet, and daily yields some truly mouthwatering experiences. Since Siem Reap is far from the ocean, opt for the extremely fresh and extremely delicious secret that locals have relished in for millennia. If you see it on a menu, indulge.

Siem-Reap-Travel-Guide-Water-Buffalo
Siem Reap Food Tour Sunset Countryside
Siem-Reap-Travel-Guide-Hotpot-BBQ
Siem-Reap-Travel-Guide-Tonle-Sap-Fish

Our Favorite Restaurants in Siem Reap

The Sugar Palm

A gorgeous menu in a no-frills establishment, this place genuinely represents the breadth and heart of Cambodian cuisine. The head chef, Chef Kethana, is at the top of her game, and so expert in her craft that she actually taught Gordon Ramsey a thing or three during his trip to Siem Reap some years ago.

Marum

A Friends International establishment, Marum breathes new life into an ancient cuisine through creative liberties and a new generation of hungry chefs. With items like Lotus, Jackfruit, and Coriander hummus, Crocodile meat sliders, and Red Tree Ants with Beef stir Frys, you can begin to scratch the surface of local flavors. This social enterprise keeps kids off the streets, so come hungry and try everything!

Ratana Restaurant

This is a hot pot spot very popular with locals and often packed for dinner. Their broth uses bitter gourd which is a unique take and draws in hundreds of guests daily. Their menu is broad and affordable, and does offer a variety of dishes besides hot pot- but if you want to challenge your taste buds, definitely try their #1 seller. If you’re unfamiliar with bitter gourd, they have standard hot pot options and lots of other great things to try. 

Things You Must Do in Siem Reap

Join a Lost Plate Food Tour

Just kidding. But not really, come see what the fuss is all about and come on this adventure! The food is excellent and unlimited, there’s a tuktuk stocked with beers, and an amazing journey through the post-war history of Siem Reap and how it became the Temple Town it is today.

Stroll Along the River

Sometimes getting out of the tuktuk lets you see more of the city. You’ll see life in Siem Reap – people fishing and picnicking along the water, stumble upon some coconut hawkers and irresistible barbecue, and maybe buy a bit of both and make your own picnic on the city benches.

Get a Massage

Spas here are aplenty to service the achy feet of those who’ve wandered temples for hours. Take a load off and enjoy some very reasonably priced massages, and experience the Khmer style of relaxation. Be wary of any massage parlors that are very cheap ($1-$5) and opt for a spa that will give you a true sense of local hospitality- hot teas, foot rubs, bathrobes, and aromatherapy all make for an authentic experience.

See the Angkor Wat Temples

Obviously, that’s what you’re here for! But feel free to explore pagodas in town that are used daily and see local life- as long as you’re dressed appropriately- cover your shoulders, wear full-length loose pants; Angkor and other temples are still sites of worship. There are also plenty of temples outside of Angkor’s complex that will make for a more unique experience, such as Being Mealea, Was Ounalom, or Phnom Krom.

Enjoy a Cruise

The Tonle Sap lake is truly one of Nature’s most amazing creations. It’s the breadth, scope, and scale that are unimaginable in so many metrics and definitely worth learning about. There are plenty of options for tours as well, from sunset dinners to floating villages and crocodile farms. There’s a lot of beauty to experience in Siem Reap’s nature as well- mangrove forests, waterfalls, and plenty of green to enjoy. .

Check out Pub Street

It has to be said! It’s one of those things that you either love or hate, but at least go and find out what side you’re on (or at least for a few photos!) Since 1998, Pub Street has been the hot spot for cutting loose in Siem Reap and is packed with restaurants, bars, and night clubs to entertain any hour of the day. All-day happy hours, super-loud music at night, live music options all compete for tourist attention- but the alleys just off pub street are where the best bars actually are.  

Siem-Reap-Travel-Guide-River-Stroll
Siem-Reap-Travel-Guide-Sugar-Palm
Siem-Reap-Travel-Guide-Pub-Street
Siem-Reap-Travel-Guide-Fisherman

Where to Stay in Siem Reap

Templation Hotel

This place is just dripping with serenity. A gorgeous fusion between modern and traditional, this exceptional resort is a true oasis. Spaced out across 41 suites and villas, lush with greenery, and renown for their exceptional service, this is the best place to stay for higher-end budgets that want to experience the best Siem Reap has to offer. It’s partnered with Bodia, the best Spa in Cambodia, and also is lauded for the gastronomic experiences their restaurants have to offer. Try their private-pool suite, and get your breakfast delivered on a floating tray for you to enjoy poolside. 

Somadevi Angkor Boutique

Don’t be fooled by it’s unassuming exterior in the center of town- Somadevi Boutique features gorgeous hotel rooms and probably the nicest pool in town. There’s also a full spa and a large hot tub in the changing rooms. While the design isn’t uniquely Khmer, it’s location in the center of town gives you access to everything else Siem Reap has going on. This is best suited for mid-range budgets that care about comfort but also want to spend most of their time out adventuring.

Lub D Siem Reap

For budget travelers, we recommend Lub D hotel, a very cool place close to the town center. It’s got bright clean rooms, an excellent pool, and also one of the best cafes in town just downstairs- The Little Red Fox Bar and Cafe. Everything about it is charming, and the only place it will feel “budget” is in your wallet.

Tips for Siem Reap

Temple Etiquette and Dress Code

The Temples are still an active site of worship, and like all other religious sites, there is an expected decorum to follow to be respectful of the local culture. Please wear loose fitting clothes that cover your knees and shoulders- even if it’s hot outside! Never touch monks, and bow your head if you walk past them- just watch the locals and see how they do it!

Getting Around

If you’re arriving in Siem Reap internationally, there are a million options here that make traveling wonderfully convenient. SIM cards are cheap and easy to come by, ride-sharing apps take the trouble out of bartering, and Visa on arrivals are a snap if you are carrying USD in cash and a pen! Please see our Cambodia guide for all these details!

Climate & Weather

The weather in Siem Reap is tropical and consistently warm all year round, varying a few degrees throughout the seasons. Like most tropical climates, Siem Reap has a rainy season and a dry season. Expect serious rain once a day and warm temperatures if visiting between May to October, and drier, cooler days between November and March. April is the Fry & Die month, with peak humidity and heat. 

Our Cambodia Food Tours

Phnom Penh Evening Food Tour

Phnom Penh Hidden Bar Tour

Siem Reap Evening Food Tour

Eat from the 5th century to today.

The capital’s hidden nightlife.

The gastro-story of Temple Town.

Adults $59 USD, Kids $49 USD

Adults $59 USD

Adults $69 USD, Kids $59 USD

6pm daily for 3.5 hours

8pm Fridays for 4 hours

4pm daily for 4 hours

Unlimited food and drinks at 4 food stops and 1 bar

Plenty of drinks at 4 bars

Unlimited food and drinks at 4 food stops and 1 bar

Get 10% off if you book multiple tours online!

Our Cambodia Food & Drink Tours:

Lost Plate Phnom Penh Evening Food Tour

Phnom Penh Evening Food Tour

Eat from the 5th century to today.

Adults $59 USD, Kids $49 USD

6pm daily for 3.5 hours

Unlimited food and drinks at 4 food stops and 1 bar

Lost Plate Phnom Penh Hidden Bar Tour

Phnom Penh Hidden Bar Tour​

The capital’s hidden nightlife.

Adults $59 USD

8pm Fridays for 4 hours

Plenty of drinks at 4 bars

Lost Plate Siem Reap Evening Food Tour

Siem Reap Evening Food Tour​

The gastro-story of Temple Town.

Adults $69 USD, Kids $59 USD

4pm daily for 4 hours

Unlimited food and drinks at 4 food stops and 1 bar

Get 10% off if you book multiple tours online!

Sign up for our newsletter!