Bushbaby Travel: Inspiring travel for life
Angkor Wat

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap is no longer just the jumping off point for Cambodia’s 12th-century temple complex Angkor Wat. A destination in its own right, it lures visitors with a lively and varied dining scene, stylish hotels, friendly locals and a laid-back river town ambiance. There is a growing arts scene too, with performers and designers reviving traditional arts and also experimenting with new forms of creative expression.

A popular activity for families that is sure to keep the children entertained is a guided tour of the city’s food markets and street stalls. After staisying your hunger pangs why not investigate the vibrant shopping scene where you can pick gorgeous scarves, linens and homewares. Neary Khmer is the place to head if you want something tailor-made; select from richly hued raw silks ( and treat yourself to something made to order.

A must-see attraction is Phare, the Cambodian Circus, where every evening theater, dance, music, storytelling and circus arts come together in an hour-long show staged by Phare Performing Social Enterprise’s Battambang school, which provides free arts education to disadvantaged Cambodian youth. Book your ticket (best seats, closest to the stage, come with a bottle of iced water) and arrive early to browse the small shop or grab a juice at the cafe. Shows change monthly.

The best way to avoid the crowds at Angkor Wat is to rise before the sun and venture beyond the main temples. Take a taxi from Siem Reap to Phnom Bok Temple (one hour approx.) where a climb up 635 steps reqards you with sweeping views over Tonle Sap Lake, the Kulen Plateau and rice fields. Built between the 9th and 10th centuries, the temple is unrestored but picturesque, especially when the frangipani trees are in bloom. Bring a picnic (most hotels will pack a simple breakfast box) and enjoy the solitude before descending to the more popular temples closer to Siem Reap town. A loop might include stops at diminutive Banteay Samre and Banteay Srei, whose elaborately carved red sandstone temples draw visitors.

Angkor Wat

sign up for inspiration and special offers

follow us on social media