In my early years of traveling, there was no other place that had captured my wanderlust more than Siem Reap. If you’re fascinated by ancient architecture, this place is undoubtedly a great reason to travel to Cambodia and a must-visit in Southeast Asia.

I have always enjoyed each time I get the chance to go. In fact, I have visited Siem Reap 4x so far! I just can’t get enough of the temple runs and relaxed cosmopolitan vibe of the city center.

My last trip happened recently when Cebu Pacific Air, PH’s leading budget airline, invited me to join a 5-day tour. Traveling to Siem Reap has never been easier than it is now thanks to Cebu Pacific’s 3x weekly flights direct from Manila. Not to mention, available connections between Manila and all major cities in Visayas and Mindanao. View affordable flights to Siem Reap.

Ready to achieve your Siem Reap travel goals? Scroll down to see the list of spots that I enjoyed during my latest trip. As a bonus, I’ve included a sample Siem Reap itinerary that’s perfect for first-time visitors. For more, also check out my detailed Siem Reap Travel Guide.

1. Angkor Wat

Location: Angkor Little Circuit. Save on Google Maps.

Angkor Wat is the centerpiece of the ancient city of Angkor. Needless to say, your trip to Siem Reap wouldn’t be complete without exploring this massive and impressively built temple.

As you walk past the west gate and approach the main structure, don’t miss the picturesque view of Angkor Wat from the reflecting ponds. Make your way to the outer gallery and admire the extensive stone carving depicting scenes from the Hindu epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Walk up to the highest level for a closer view of the central tower. Before leaving, make to sure to find the bas-relief of the “Churning of the Sea of Milk” found at the east wall of the outer gallery.

The vibe at Angkor Wat changes depending on the time of day and season of the year. If you want to avoid the huge crowds, schedule your trip during the late afternoon as crowds often troop to Phnom Bakheng to watch the sunset. The low season (May to September) and shoulder seasons are also an interesting time to go. There’s a chance of rain showers, but the fewer crowds and sober mood also add to the mystifying experience.

2. Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Yes, you need to wake up before the crack of dawn, but the experience can be worth it, especially when the sky is clear. Seeing the silhouette of Angkor Wat slowly appear against a pitch black sky is one of my fondest memories of Siem Reap. The golden sun rising past Angkor Wat’s iconic towers is also a very beautiful sight.

It’s best to leave your hotel 30 to 45 minutes before sunrise. You can Google “Siem Reap Sunrise” to know the exact time. The best spot is at the edge of the south reflecting pond. The north reflecting pond used to be a beautiful vantage point but it’s now covered up by a thick layer of algae and water lilies.

3. Ta Prohm

Location: Angkor Little Circuit. Save on Google Maps.

Ta Prohm is another temple that I never fail to visit when I’m in Siem Reap. This crowd favorite is also known as the “The Jungle Temple,” made famous by the 2001 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie. Here, you can find gigantic trees and their roots taking over the ruined stone structures.

Like Angkor Wat, it is best to visit Ta Prohm just after sunrise or during the late afternoon to avoid the crowds.

4. Bayon Temple

Location: Angkor Little Circuit. Save on Google Maps.

Bayon Temple, famous for its iconic giant Buddha faces carved on stone-towers, along with Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm comprise the three major temples found along the popular “Little Circuit” loop.

Including these three main temples should be enough for a day’s tour. If you’re a big fan of architecture and ancient monuments, however, and you feel like you won’t easily get “temple fatigue,” it might be worth including more sites in your itinerary.

Angkor Little Circuit main temples and sites

Angkor Wat*

Angkor Thom South Gate*Location: Save on Google Maps.

Bayon Temple*

Baphuon TempleLocation: Angkor Thom. Save on Google Maps.

Phimeanakas TempleLocation: Angkor Thom. Save on Google Maps.

Terrace of the Elephants & Terrace of the Leper King*Location: Angkor Thom. Save on Google Maps.

Thommanon TempleLocation: Save on Google Maps.

Chau Say Tevoda TempleLocation: Save on Google Maps.

Ta Keo Temple*Location: Save on Google Maps.

Ta Prohm Temple*

Banteay Kdei TempleLocation: Save on Google Maps.

Srah Srang (reservoir)Location: Save on Google Maps.

Phnom Bakheng* — Popular destination for sunset views. Arrive at the temple on or before 4 pm during the peak tourist season. Only around 300 people are permitted to go inside at a time. There is no view of Angkor Wat or other major temples from the top.Location: Save on Google Maps.

The more interesting sites are marked with an asterisk*.

5. Banteay Srei

Location: Angkor Grand Circuit. Save on Google Maps.

Banteay Srei is one of my favorite temples. Constructed from pink-hued sandstone, this temple may be small but the detailed carvings here are impressively intricate! Banteay Srei is quite a distance away from Angkor Wat. If you plan to go, it might be worth visiting temples in the Grand Circuit loop as well.

Angkor Grand Circuit main temples and sites

Preah Khan*Location: Save on Google Maps.

Neak Pean*Location: Save on Google Maps.

Ta SomLocation: Save on Google Maps.

Eastern MebonLocation: Save on Google Maps.

Pre RupLocation: Save on Google Maps.

Beyond the Little Circuit and Grand Circuit

Banteay Samre*Location: Save on Google Maps.

Phnom Kulen*Location: Save on Google Maps.

Kbal SpeanLocation: Save on Google Maps.

Rulous group* — Bakong Temple, Preah Ko & Lolei Temple.Location: Along the way to Tonle Sap. Save on Google Maps.

Phnom KromLocation: On a hill near Tonle Sap. Save on Google Maps.

Beng Melea*Location: Save on Google Maps.

Koh Ker*Location: Save on Google Maps.

6. Siem Reap Food & Cafes

Siem Reap is a treasure trove for food lovers too! The restaurant scene in the city is noticeably cosmopolitan thanks to French-colonial, American and influences from its close Asian neighbors. Adding to the mix are many other cuisines brought by expats and tourists from all over the World.

Malis

Location: Seam Reap Riverside / Pokambor Highway Mondul 1 Village. Save on Google Maps.

One of my best dining experience in Siem Reap! If you’re looking forward to try local flavors, Malis is definitely a must try! This gorgeous restaurant found in the upscale riverside district serves elevated Cambodian dishes. Get a taste of the Fish Amok (the national dish), Takeo sausage and their signature Malis Mousse (jasmine flower-infused mousse).

Khéma Angkor

Location: Seam Reap Riverside / Achar Sva Street, Corner Street 22, Wat Bo Rd, Siem Reap. Save on Google Maps.

Housed in a restored French-colonial style building, Khéma is another beautiful dining venue along Siem Reap River. This place combines an on-site café, bakery, restaurant and a World class deli.

Other cafes and places to eat in Siem Reap

Blue Pumpkin — Recommended place to eat near Angkor Wat.Location: Near Angkor Wat west entrance. Save on Google Maps.

Brown Coffee — Enjoy the coffee and beautiful interior design.Location: National Road No. 6 Ta Phul Village (In front of Wat Kesararam). Save on Google Maps.

Restaurant Bang Thom — Recommended place to eat on the way to/from Banteay Srei temple.Location: Bong Thom Homestay. Found along the way to Banteay Srei. Save on Google Maps.

The Heritage Walk (mall) — The only Starbucks in Siem Reap city center if you’re planning on purchasing a “Cambodia” Starbucks cup souvenir.Location: Natonal Road 6 cor Oknha Oum-Chhay St. Save on Google Maps.

7. Pub Street

Save on Google Maps.

Enjoy the party scene along Pub Street, Siem Reap’s version of infamous Khao San Road in Thailand.

If you want to take it more chill, explore Alley West and other cute lanes branching off Pub Street. These backstreets are home to quiet cafes and restaurants tucked away from the crowded watering holes.

8. Siem Reap Markets & Shopping

For cheap souvenirs, one of the best places to shop is Siem Reap’s Old Market. For more, make your way across the wooden bridge, over the river to the Siem Reap Art Center Market.

On the lookout for something more upmarket? Nearby Kandal Village offers trendy designer boutiques, galleries, and quirky cafes.

Angkor Market (a supermarket along Sivatha Blvd) sells Cambodian coffee beans, tea, cooking ingredients and beauty products in addition to imported selections.

9. Tonle Sap & Chong Kneas Floating Village

Save on Google Maps.

For a change in scenery, go on a boat tour to a floating village in Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Over 3 million people live in floating villages on the lake and stilt houses along the banks of the Tonle Sap. Visitors can get a glimpse of the villager’s unusual way of living by the water, the variety of wildlife or simply enjoy a serene sunset cruise.

Places to visit in Siem Reap

Siem Reap tourist spots, things to do in Siem Reap, where to go in Siem Reap & more.

Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

What places have you added to your bucketlist? Have you been to beautiful places in Siem Reap that should be on this list? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Manila-Siem Reap Flights on Cebu Pacific Air

Cebu Pacific is the only airline flying direct from the Philippines to Cambodia’s #1 travel destination. The airline operates Manila-Siem Reap flights 3x weekly. Flight duration is 3 hours. Click below to check the lowest airfares

Check flights to Siem Reap

To get to Siem Reap, I first flew domestic from Iloilo to Manila, where I joined my #CEBfliesSiemReap travel buddies. Our group was composed of travel bloggers and influencers from the Visayas and Mindanao (Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao and General Santos). The evening schedule of Manila-Siem Reap was quite convenient for travelers, like us, who were coming from other parts of the Philippines outside Manila.

CEBMeals & Fun Cafe

If you regularly fly with Cebu Pacific, you’d be happy to know that the airline has updated its inflight meals and snack selection.

I highly recommend you try the Iced Serenitea Express Milk Tea (also available hot), which paired excellently with the Ube Coconut Macaroons. I also enjoyed the Japanese Chicken Mayo Sandwich & Japanese Chicken Mayo Sandwich (great for vegetarians). As usual, remember to pre-book your add-ons, ahead of your flight to enjoy cheaper prices online.

CEB WiFi Kit 4G/LTE Data Roaming

Having mobile internet access is A MUST when I travel. I was happy to have tried Cebu Pacific’s CEB WiFi Kit, a portable WIFI data roaming device that you can rent for your trip abroad. It supports over 100 countries and offers unlimited data roaming.

I loved the simplicity of the CEB WiFi Kit! There’s only one button to fiddle with — the ON/OFF button. Once powered up, you can easily connect your phone (max 5 devices) and enjoy up to 4G/LTE speeds. The connection quality was largely dependent on the available mobile signal of local carrier partners. Considering the mobile data situation in Cambodia, I’d say the CEB WiFi Kit is quite reliable.

Learn more.

Share your travel moments instantly while enjoying your temple run! Use these hashtags #MakeFirstMomentsHappen #CEBfliesSiemReap #CEBtravels #CEBWiFiKit and tag @cebupacificair!

Where to Stay in Siem Reap

Crown Angkor Hotel

Our home for 4 nights in Cambodia! I loved that Crown Angkor Hotel was easily accessible from the airport. The drive only took around 10 minutes, which was well appreciated especially after a late evening flight arrival. The rooms were very spacious and overlooked a refreshing view of the swimming pool.

There is a restaurant on-site that offers buffet breakfast as well as several restaurants nearby operated by the 5A Cambodia group. We especially loved the Chinese-style seafood at Ba Jiao Lou restaurant. Two thumbs up on the extra large prawns, crab, and fresh fish!

Travel time to Pub Street in Siem Reap City Center is 17 minutes, while the drive to Angkor Park Pass ticket booth is 22 minutes.

Get in touch with Crown Angkor Hotel and 5A Cambodia group:

Website

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 063 762 111

5J Luxury Resort and Spa

Scheduled to open in August 2019, 5J Luxury Resort and Spa (located near Crown Angkor Hotel) is the newest development by 5A Cambodia group of resorts and restaurants.

If you’re particularly fond of staying in properties made of wood, you’re going to love this one! 5J Luxury Resort and Spa offers spacious luxury suites featuring old thick-wood, accentuated with high-quality Khmer furniture design. Click below to learn more.

Visit website

Where to Stay near Manila-NAIA Airport

Belmont Hotel Manila

During our stopover in Manila, we stayed at Belmont Hotel, which was conveniently located in Newport City, opposite the Manila-NAIA Terminal 3. This hotel is perfect for travelers seeking extra comfort and convenience. It’s also within an easy walk to Newport Mall and Resorts World Manila.

View websiteSee rates on AgodaBooking.com

You can find Belmont Hotel right beside the Runway Manila entrance from where passengers can walk anytime to the airport within five minutes (via an elevated walkway). In addition, free shuttles regularly make the rounds at Newport City and to/from the airport.

Savoy Hotel Manila

While waiting for our flight, we had lunch at nearby Savoy Hotel Manila and had a quick tour of the rooms. This hotel is also an excellent option to consider in Newport City. Savoy Hotel features a lovely outdoor swimming pool and Instagramable colorful bed runners.

View websiteSee rates on AgodaBooking.com

Cebu Pacific Traveler’s Lounge at Resorts World Manila

Cebu Pacific in partnership with Resorts World Manila has opened a travelers lounge at the Newport Mall. This new facility offers flight check-in services for passengers of Cebu Pacific. It’s a great opportunity for passengers who want to avoid queueing at the airport, get their boarding passes, and enjoy the attractions at Resorts World Manila while waiting for their flight.

As of the time of our visit, those with check-in bags, however, still have to proceed to the Bag Drop counters at the airport (after check-in). Nevertheless, it’s a nice option to have in addition to online check-in and the regular airport check-in counters.

Sample Siem Reap Itinerary

Here’s the 6-day itinerary that I followed during my most recent trip to Siem Reap. Since I was coming from Iloilo, the first and last days were mostly spent on the flight connection in Manila. The itinerary below should also be a good inspiration to Pinoy travelers coming from other cities outside Manila, like Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, General Santos or Cagayan de Oro.

Day/Time Activity
Day 1 Philippines to Siem Reap
Iloilo to Manila flight
Arrive at Manila-NAIA International Airport
07:05 PM Manila to Siem Reap flight
09:10 PM Arrive at Siem Reap International Airport. Siem Reap time is 1 hour behind PH time.
Airport to hotel transfer
Check-in at Crown Angkor Hotel
Rest
Day 2 Ancient Angkor Highlights
Morning Hotel pick-up for Angkor temples tour
Buy 3-day Angkor Park Pass ticket
Angkor Thom south gate
Bayon Temple
Terrace of the Elephants & Terrace of the Leper King
Visit more temples in the Little Circuit loop (optional)
Lunch at Angkor Cafe by Blue Pumpkin
Angkor Wat
Sunset at Phnom Bakheng
Rest
Day 3 Angkor Grand Circuit
4:45 AM Depart hotel for Angkor Wat sunrise
5:30 AM Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Ta Prohm
Banteay Srei
Lunch at Bong Thom Home Stay
Visit more temples in the Grand Circuit loop (optional)
Afternoon Free time
Dinner at Malis Restaurant
Indulge in a spa/massage
Drinks at Pub Street
Day 4 Tonle Sap & Kandal Village
Morning Hotel pick-up for Tonle Sap tour
Visit Tonle Sap floating village. Options include Chong Kneas, Kampong Phluk &  Chong Knease
Phnom Krom (optional)
Rolous group temples (optional)
Afternoon Transport to Siem Reap city center
Enjoy the cafes and boutique shops at Kandal Village
Explore the Night markets and Pub Street alleys
Drinks at Pub Street
Day 5 Souvenir shopping
Morning Last minute shopping at the Old Market, Siem Real Art Center Market, Angkor Market (supermarket) and/or Kandall Village
Lunch at Khéma
Free time
Back to hotel. Rest & check-out
Hotel to airport transfer.
07:00 PM Arrive at Siem Reap International Airport
09:55 AM Siem Reap to Manila flight
Day 6 Newport City Manila
01:55 AM Arrive in Manila
Airport to Newport City transfer via free hotel shuttle or Runway Manila (walkable from T3).
Check-in at Belmont Hotel or Savoy Hotel
Morning Free time. Enjoy the swimming pool & poolside lounge.
Hotel check-out. Leave luggage at the concierge.
Explore Resorts World Manila while waiting for next flight. Drop by the Cebu Pacific Traveler’s lounge for flight check-in or check flight status.
Manila to Iloilo flight

This trip was made possible thanks to Cebu Pacific Air.

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