It’s a race against time! You only have 48 hours to see incredible Siem Reap, and you want to make sure that you are spending every minute of it doing something amazing. That’s where we come in. Check out the best way to spend 48 hours in Siem Reap, Cambodia!
Kick-start your day bright in early to visit one of the world’s most stunning religious structures.
Get up early to visit Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Siem Reap. It is the largest monument within the Angkor group and remains one of the most incredible structures in the world. It was likely created in the 16th century, and it stretches over 400 square kilometers in size. It is one of the most wonderful examples of Khmer architecture and boasts of an array of different structures, art, and canals.
Temple Tour at Mad Monkey Siem Reap
Join Mad Monkey every Tuesday and Friday for their iconic Temple Tour. Catch the beautiful Angkor Wat at sunrise to get the most Instagram-worthy of shots. You’ll visit not three but four temples inside the incredible complex. Lunch and private, air-conditioned transportation are included!
Explore the Ta Phrom & Bayon Temples
You’ll likely be starved after a long visit to Angkor Wat, so it’s time to head back to the city to fuel up on lunch and relax the rest of the afternoon.
Vegan and Vegetarian Food in Siem Reap: Eat lunch at New Leaf Eatery
After finishing up at around 1 p.m., it’s time to head back to the city to enjoy a delicious lunch. One of our favorite restaurants in all of Siem Reap is New Leaf Eatery, a social enterprise and eatery duo. This menu has something for everyone on it, including vegan, vegetarian, healthy, gluten-free, local, and international food options. While you are waiting on your delicious food, be sure to check out their in-house library and local shop, which features organic lotions, bug spray, reusable bamboo cutlery, water bottles, metal straws, and so much more. Some of our favorite dishes include:
- Pumpkin & Coconut Soup: pureed pumpkin, garlic, onion, lemongrass, blended with coconut milk, served with toast ($3.50)
- New Leaf Full Breakfast: two eggs (any style), bacon, sausage, sautéed mushrooms, potato rosti, corn & mushroom pancake, sautéed tomato, baked beans & toast ($6.25)
- Steamed Fish Amok (two ways): steamed freshwater fish served both as traditionally with Amok spices, coconut milk and egg, and a modern twist with turmeric & paprika ($6.25)
Lounge by the pool at Mad Monkey Hostel Siem Reap
Enjoy poolside happy hour and catch some rays at Mad Monkey Siem Reap after your lunch. Large bean bags line the huge swimming pool, making it the perfect place to lay out after seeing Angkor Wat. It’s also a great place to meet people, as well, so grab a happy hour cocktail, go for a swim, and make a few friends all the while!
Location: Sivatha Rd, Krong Siem Reap 12402 — VIEW MAP
Contact: +855 10 277 520 | Website
Hours: Daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
After seeing the temples and getting some sun, we head to Phare, The Cambodian Circus. It is surely one of the most incredible performances you’ll see in all of Southeast Asia! Afterward, we venture for a night out on the infamous Pub Street.
Go see Phare, The Cambodian Circus
Phare, The Cambodian Circus is a social enterprise and likely the most unique of its kind. All of the performers from this venue did their training at Phare Ponleu Selpak, an NGO school and professional arts training center in Battambang, about a four-hour ride from Siem Reap. The school gives disadvantaged kids to have the opportunity to get creative and do something truly incredible with their lives — like to perform in a circus. Some go on to work professionally in similar industries while other performers have dreams of becoming doctors and more. The performers tell Cambodian stories through dance, acrobatics, and acting. Some of the stories are:
Siem Reap Nightlife: Head to Pub Street
After an evening filled with culture, it’s time to get messy on one of Southeast Asia’s craziest streets: Pub Street.
Pub Street is one of Siem Reap’s biggest selling points amongst partiers in the city. The stretch of restaurants and bars here seemingly never sleep, and it is not uncommon for nights out to go until the sun rises. Some of our favorite venues to visit include:
- Angkor Wat?
- X Bar
- Miss Wong Cocktail Bar
- Temple Club
- Picasso Bar & Tapas
- YOLO Bar
If you want to do a bit of exploring on Pub Street, be sure to check out Mad Monkey Siem Reap’s epic pub crawl! A customer experience rep will take you to all the best bars on Pub Street. You’ll get free shots along the way in addition to a free singlet and bucket!
Get ready to work off that hangover by cycling through the city, indulging in delicious Khmer cuisine, and discovering some of the most artistic finds in Siem Reap.
Siem Reap Transportation: Rent a bicycle from Grasshopper Adventures
Grasshopper Adventures is the most reliable place to rent a bicycle in all of Siem Reap. The staff is friendly, the prices are affordable, and you’ll be getting around the city in style on one of their bicycles!
Khmer Food in Siem Reap: Have a Local Breakfast at Tevy’s Place
Tevy’s Place is serving up some of the most affordable and tasty Khmer dishes in town. It is located literally right across the street from Grasshopper Adventures. Get ready to indulge for only a few bucks. This restaurant mostly serves local dishes, but there are some international finds on there, including steak!
Location: Street 26, Krong Siem Reap, Siemreab-Otdar Meanchey, Cambodia — VIEW MAP
Contact: +855 098 476 897 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
After filling up on a delicious lunch, it’s time to immerse yourself into Khmer art, culture, and architecture!
History of Siem Reap: Angkor National Museum
Have an impromptu history and art lesson at the Angkor National Museum. The huge structure is filled with artifacts from ancient civilizations. We highly recommend visiting this museum either immediately before or after you visit Angkor Wat because it really gives visitors an understanding of the themes and work that goes behind every carving within the religious structure.
Location: No.968 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khrum 6, Phoum Salakanseng, Khom Sveydangum, Siem Reap Province — VIEW MAP
Contact: +855 63 966 601 | Website
Hours: Daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Art in Siem Reap: Theam’s House
Theam’s House is one of the most unique galleries you’ll have the opportunity to see while in Siem Reap. This art gallery and home duo began thanks to Theam, a Khmer artisan who studied both interior design and painting in Paris. Prior to this, he was residing in Cambodia but had to flea when the Khmer Rouge took over. His goal was to share his passion with his people and to learn more about Khmer art and culture in hopes of restoring the country’s rich artistic heritage.
Theam’s House is situated on a lush garden with intertwining trees, ponds, and foliage. The house is teeming with artistic finds that Theam has collected over the years. A free guide will take you throughout the house in order to tell you more about Theam and his extensive collection. In addition to finding art throughout, Theam also has a team of artists who work onsite to create stunning lacquerware and more. Whether you are artistic or simply looking for an incredible way to spend an afternoon, Theam’s House is a must-visit venue.
Location: 25, Veal, Kokchak District, Siem Reap, Cambodia — VIEW MAP
Contact: +855 078 20 81 61 | Website
Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
End your last night in Siem Reap by doing a bit of shopping before having one last cocktail in this incredible city.
Shop at the Made in Cambodia Night Market
The Made in Cambodia Night Market is unlike any night bazaar you have ever frequented. It is intimate and comes to life as live, local artists play tunes on its outskirts. This is one market where you won’t find aisle after aisle of tacky souvenirs. In fact, every corner you turn will feature a new, handmade item including scarves, jewelry, and unique clothing.
Location: Street 27, Achar Sva St, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia — VIEW MAP
Hours: Daily from 12-10 p.m.
Shop at Siem Reap Old Market (Psar Chas)
The Old Market, as its name suggests, is the older market in all of Siem Reap. Also known as Phsar Chas, this market sits just across the street from the Made in Cambodia Night Market, so you might as well kill two market birds with one stone and visit both!
This market is exponentially different than the Made in Cambodia Night Market but in a refreshing way. It is here you will find local and Chinese food and snacks in the central food court. You can also purchase loads of Khmer decor items to fill your home with or your usual souvenirs. It is enclosed by an overhead roof, making it a great place to shop if it’s raining or if the sun is shining just a bit too bright! The Siem Reap Old Market is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: — VIEW MAP
Hours: Daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Have a Drink at Miss Wong’s
Miss Wong’s is arguably Siem Reap’s coolest place for cocktails. It is tucked away just close enough to Pub Street to end the night there but far enough away making it feel as though you’ve escaped the madness, if only for a delicious cocktail. Miss Wong is made to look like an old Chinese brother or speakeasy of sorts – something completely out of character to Siem Reap’s usual bar scene!
The bar was actually opened by New Zealander Dean Williams, an award-winning radio journalist. In addition to delicious, Asian-inspired cocktails, there is also an in-house DJ handpicking tunes all night. You seriously can’t miss out on visiting this venue the next time you’re in Siem Reap, Cambodia!
Location: House No. 2 Road, Mondol 1 Village, Krong Siem Reap 17252 — VIEW MAP
Contact: +855 (0) 924 283 32 | Website
Hours: Daily from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Where to Stay: Mad Monkey Hostel Siem Reap
Mad Monkey Siem Reap is the place to stay in the city. The hostel has the widest variety of tours out of any accommodation option in addition to daily events that will surely keep you on your toes. The huge pool will keep you cool and you’ll simply fall in love with the incredible staff here.
More Information About What to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Did you love this article about the top things to see and do in Siem Reap, Cambodia? Do you want even more information about how to fill your time in this incredible city? Then be sure to check out the following articles we’ve rounded up to help you make the most out of your time here!
- 25 Incredible Things to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia for eOasia
- 15 Best Things To Do In Siem Reap (Cambodia) for The Crazy Tourist
- A Complete Guide of Siem Reap Responsible Travel Tips by Lola Mendez for Miss Filatelista
- What to do in Siem Reap after you’ve seen Angkor Wat by Lauren Zumbach for CNN
- One Day in Siem Reap Itinerary for a Perfect Day in Temple Town for Grantourismo