Siem Reap is the gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to ancient temples of the Khmer Empire like the magnificent Angkor Wat. Beyond the temples, the city itself has much to offer: a cultural heritage that blends Khmer customs and foreign influence, lush natural landscapes, and unmatched Cambodian cuisine.
As the largest religious complex in the world and one of Asia's most significant archaeological sites, the appeal of a visit to the Angkor Temples, just a short ride away from Siem Reap, is undeniable. What few visitors realize is just how many temples, towers, and shrines there are to explore!
From the smiling, serene faces of the Buddha that adorn the Bayon Temple, to the giant tree roots that have woven their way through the temple of Ta Prohm, there is an almost endless variety of structures, each providing an insight into the vast and powerful Khmer Empire. For the intrepid traveler, there are 72 major temples within the park, with hundreds more ruined structures and smaller shrines to explore. Take a bike tour to cover more ground and to savor the majestic sight of dawn breaking over Angkor Wat's iconic towers on the Angkor Temples Sunrise Bike Tour, before cycling on to explore a range of lesser-known but equally beguiling temples.
The city of Siem Reap itself has a lively and bustling atmosphere, with a vibrant nightlife, busy markets, and a multitude of dining options. Dine in local establishments and indulge in a range of traditional dishes like Amok and Fish Curry, or take the Siem Reap Countryside Bike Tour to enjoy a lunch of Num Banh Chok in a traditional setting. You’ll also ride through nearby villages, speaking to locals about their way of life, the challenges of modernization, and the Khmer traditions they preserve.
Take up the local tradition of basket and mat weaving yourself on the Siem Reap Countryside E-Bike Tour, learning this valuable skill from a master weaver who continues this ancient art. You’ll also meet with Buddhist monks for a water blessing on the shores of Lake Baray, and with a local medicine man who remains the primary healer for many local people in the rural villages.
Spend your time in Siem Reap discovering the architectural splendor of the Angkor Temples, or cycling scenic routes to discover the region’s rich Khmer culture. Either way, a bike tour is the best option for traveling like the locals and soaking up the sights, sounds, and smells of captivating Cambodia.