When you think of Cambodia you probably think about two things, it’s dark past and Angkor Wat. While the past is undeniable, nor should it be, Cambodia is slowly developing and a large part of this is due to the influx of tourists that come each year to see the wonder that is the old temple complex of Angkor Wat which is actually situated around Siem Reap. But Siem Reap has so much more to offer, and many other ruins that rival Angkor in their uniqueness. No trip is complete without trying or visiting these four things.
Typically you hire a tuk-tuk driver to drive you around all the temples in the area after going to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise, which is breathtaking. One of the best temples in addition to Angkor is Bayon. It is known for all of the faces that are carved into every surface of the temple. As you wander around you will see giant smiling faces, or rather scary ones dispersed all over the complex. You are also allowed to crawl over most of the complex which makes for some truly unique photos.
If you have never tried eating bugs before then this will be a very special experience for you. In Thailand, you can often pick up a scorpion on a spit or other bugs, but this is actually a culinary experience. In many countries getting enough protein can be difficult due to economic constraints, so bugs have long since been used as a diet supplement. This cafe has a menu full of meals with bugs used as the main ingredient. We recommend trying the silkworm and taro croquettes or the pan-fried scorpions. Expanding your palate is never a bad thing!
It is impossible to miss Pub Street. It is essentially the main street in the main part of Siem Reap. It is littered with small pubs and restaurants serving up tastes of home, cheap trinkets, and lots of fish pedicures. Take a wander through it, and maybe go for a fish pedicure where little fish will nibble on your feet after a long day spent wandering around the temples.
The Cambodia Circus
Finally, when you are done wandering around temples from bygone eras, crunching on bugs, and taking in the sites you should go to one of the performances at the circus. Most are evening performances so plan to go for dinner and take in the acrobatic feats along with some traditional Apsara dancing. Your time in Siem Reap will be full, but make sure to take a break poolside each day and catch some rays!