2 Days in Siem Reap

Siem Reap Mini Guides

Spending 2 days in Siem Reap is pretty much the bare minimum required to see the very best that the city and the surrounding area has to offer. Often visited as part of a general tour of Southeast Asia, as well as on weekend breaks from surrounding countries, the place is quite convenient for short stays. It's compact enough to get around easily, with the airport and all of the major attractions within very easy reach of the city centre.

This Siem Reap mini guide will give you a rough itinerary to ensure that you get the most out of your limited time. It will be quite a busy 48 hours, but one which includes some of the world’s most famous views and attractions, from iconic temples and bustling markets to breathtaking waterfalls and beautiful cultural shows.

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Day 1: Temples and Pubs

Day - Angkor Wat Tour

The star attraction in Siem Reap is undoubtedly the Angkor temples. The ancient ruins are simply breathtaking, with the smaller structures giving you a real Indiana Jones feeling. It can be a little tiring to spend a full day in the sun, wandering around the historical hallways, so you might want to consider just doing a half-day tour, though that does mean you run the risk of missing out on some of the secret gems of the expansive Angkor Archaeological Park.

The essential must-see temples are Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm Temple and, of course, Angkor Wat itself. Fortunately, these are included on pretty much every tour itinerary. Seeing either the sunrise or sunset from Phrom Bakheng is also a memorable experience to include in your two days in Siem Reap. The sunrise tends to be less crowded and more spectacular, though it does mean having to wake up very early to get there on time.

  • Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat

    One of the wonders of the oriental world. Covering an area of several hundred square kilometres, Angkor will take your Read More»

  • Bayon Temple

    Bayon Temple features many complicated and exquisite bas-reliefs with scenes depicting land and naval warfare, market Read More»

  • Bayon & Ta Prohm Temples

    Bayon & Ta Prohm Temples

    Aside from Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and Bayon may be the best known and most photographed of the 'other' temples. Ta Prohm Read More»

Night - Phare Circus + Pub Street

You might need to allow a few hours to recover from your temple tour, but you should try to be ready for 7.30pm to see the extraordinary Phare Circus. Combining acrobatics and dance with storytelling, it is both a fun display of athletic performance and a moving tale of Cambodia history and culture.

From there, head to the nightlife hub of Siem Reap – Pub Street. It’s nearly as famous as Bangkok’s Khao San Road and for basically the same reason: the US$0.50 draught beer! The short road is lined with fun and lively bars and clubs with excellent drinks offers. There are also plenty of great restaurants in the nearby alleys.

  • Siem Reap Pub Street

    Pub Street Siem Reap is the definitive nightlife hub of the town, featuring rows of backpacker-friendly bars and pubs, Read More»

  • 10 Best Nightlife in Siem Reap

    The best nightlife in Siem Reap are mostly concentrated within Pub Street, a vibrant street filled with Read More»

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Day 2: Lakes and Dances

Day: Tonle Sap Lake + Phnom Kulen National Park

After an exhausting day exploring manmade wonders on Day 1, today is all about cool and natural attractions. The massive Tonle Sap Lake, a short drive from Siem Reap, is the biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. It has several fascinating floating villages on its banks, as well as beautiful mangrove forests to explore. The rich natural habitats around the lake are home to a remarkable range of wildlife species.

To get the most out of your two days in Siem Reap, we suggest going from the low-lying lake to the mountains north of Siem Reap and the beautiful Phnom Kulen National Park. There are a couple of waterfalls here, with the main Phnom Kulen falls being especially stunning. There are also a couple of small but striking temples in the region, which are worth a visit if you’ve not overdosed on temples.

  • Tonlé Sap Lake

    Tonlé Sap Lake

    During the dry season the lake drains into the Tonle Sap River. But in the rainy season (June to October), the huge Read More»

  • Phnom Kulen National Park

    Phnom Kulen National Park

    Situated about 50km north of Siem Reap, Phnom Kulen National Park is one of the most revered destinations in Cambodia, Read More»

  • Waterfalls near Siem Reap

    There are not that many waterfalls near Siem Reap, sadly. The area is very flat, so water doesn’t really have that far Read More»

Night: Old Market + Apsara Dance

Finish off your 2 days in Siem Reap with a little local colour by visiting the Old Market – Psar Chas. Open until 8pm, the outer areas are great for finding interesting and affordable souvenirs. At the heart of the covered area is the fresh market, where your senses will be assaulted by the powerful odours of spices and seafood.

While there are plenty of good budget restaurants around the Old Market, we suggest heading for one of the restaurants offering an Apsara Dance dinner show. Failing that, you should pick one of the places in our list of the best restaurants in Siem Reap before checking out an Apsara performance because this intricate local dance is not to be missed and makes a great ending to a busy 48 hours in Siem Reap.

  • Siem Reap Old Market (Psar Chas)

    Old Market in Siem Reap, situated on the west side of Siem Reap River, is where the local population head to in the Read More»

  • 10 Best Restaurants in Siem Reap

    The best restaurants in Siem Reap appeal to travellers worldwide, offering high quality dishes, an extensive drinks Read More»

  • Apsaras Dance & Dinner Shows

    Apsaras Dance in Siem Reap

    Several restaurants and hotels in Siem Reap present Apsara Dance Shows, and Apsara Dance Dinner Shows are included in Read More»

Where to Stay in Siem Reap

The city of Siem Reap has an exceptional range of accommodation options, from budget hostels and guesthouses to luxury hotels and resorts. When it comes to picking where to stay, you can narrow your search by filtering for your preference of location, style and budget, among other factors. Check out our Top 10 Hotels in Siem Reap page, which is a great place to start as it gives you an idea of the best that the city can offer.

  • Top 10 Hotels in Siem Reap

    This selection of the best hotels in Siem Reap is guaranteed to make your stay in this charming town an unforgettable Read More»

  • 10 Best Luxury Hotels in Siem Reap

    The best luxury hotels in Siem Reap boast elegantly-furnished suites, diverse dining options, charming service and a Read More»

  • 10 Best Budget Hotels in Siem Reap

    The best budget hotels in Siem Reap prove that you don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount of money for decent Read More»

  • 10 Best Hotels Discounts in Siem Reap

    This compilation of the best hotel discounts in Siem Reap gives you incredible rates for an enjoyable yet Read More»

  • 10 Hotels Travellers Love Most in Siem Reap

    This selection of 10 hotels travellers love most in Siem Reap is compiled based on reviews by previous guests, all of Read More»

  • 10 Best Cheap Hotels in Siem Reap

    Our list of the best cheap hotels in Siem Reap is specially catered for those looking to enjoy a comfortable stay Read More»

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