Angkor Wat is an ancient city in Cambodia that was the center of the Khmer empire that once ruled most of Southeast Asia. This civilization went extinct, but not before building amazing temples and buildings that were reclaimed by the jungle for hundreds of years. In addition, you can see the ancient capital of Angkor Thom, the intricate Bayon Temple, the Ta Promh temple enclaved by centuries-old roots and vines.
Visit Banteay Srei
Siem Reap is famous for Angkor Wat, but it is also home to dozens of other temples of equal grandeur and mystery. Beng Melea reportedly laid out on the same floor plan as Angkor Wat and once fully submerged by jungle; and Banteay Srei, a beauty for its elaborate carvings, also known as the Citadel of Women.
Moreover, you’ll also see Bakong, a temple dedicated to Shiva and the location of an execution site by the Khmer Rouge; and visit the Landmine Museum, whose founder is a former landmine-planting child soldier.
Explore a floating market and learn to cook Khmer food
Done with the temples, it’s time to see the other sides to Cambodia. Begin your day with an early-morning visit to Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, and glimpse life above water. With a tour, you’ll be taken to a floating village, Mechrey, and roam the (floating) markets and (floating) neighborhoods. You will be also introduced to one of the locals, whose home you’ll get to see.
Venture off on a motorbike
See the rest of Siem Reap has to offer via the locals’ main mode of transportation: motorbike. Head first to Phnom Kulen, a beautiful mountain area northeast of Angkor Wat. It is there that the Age of Angkor reportedly began. You’ll also find a massive statue of a reclining Buddha.
After the day’s motorbiking adventure, enjoy a decadent three-course dinner meal. The experience begins at sunset, which you’ll witness from your own private pagoda, before being served exclusively by your own waitstaff and chef.