Top 38 attractions to explore in Siem Reap Province
Best known as the site of Angkor and the Angkor Wat temple ruins, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Attractions in Siem Reap Province
Angkor National Museum is a must-visit attraction in Siem Reap if you’re looking to learn about the ancient Khmer civilization and Angkorian temples. Located along with Charles de Gaulle Boulevard, this 2-story museum houses 8 galleries with over 1,000 artifacts that are categorized according to era, religion, and royalty.
The Bakong is the first of the large mountain temples in Angkor. It belongs to the Roluos group, build at the end of the 9th century. The Bakong and the other temples of the Roluos group, like the Preah Ko and the Lolei were build in Hariharalaya, an early capital of the Khmer empire. This area is now called Roluos, located North of Tonle Sap lake, about 15 kilometers East of Siem Reap.
The Baksei Chamkrong is a 10th century temple found near the Angkor Thom South gate. The very steep pyramidal temple topped with a single prasat tower was built as a Hindu sanctuary dedicated to Shiva. It was built by Harshavarman I in the early 10th century. It is now one of the main attractions in Cambodia.
Banteay Kdei, meaning “A Citadel of Chambers”, also known as “Citadel of Monks’ cells”, is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom. Built-in the mid 12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII, it is in the Bayon architectural style and it is now one of the great attractions in Cambodia.
Banteay Samre was built in the distinctive Angkor Wat style of construction and art and is a large, relatively low-rise temple. It was built around the same time as Angkor Wat, and the influence can be seen in the towers and railings which strongly resemble the towers of its larger and more famous cousin.
The Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre (BBC) is a new tourist attraction for Siem Reap Province featuring a live display of Cambodian butterflies. it is the largest enclosed butterfly center in Southeast Asia. The center is sometimes referred to as the Angkor Butterfly Center.
Baphuon is a beautiful 11th century “temple-mountain” with steep stairs leading visitors to a terrace which offers one of the best views in the Angkor Archaeological Park. Archaeologists believe that this pyramid-style temple, located within the city of Angkor Thom, was probably among the most impressive of the Angkor temples in its day.
The Bayon Temple is one of the more famous, popular, and beautiful of the structures in the Angkor Wat Archaeological Park. Situated just to the north of Angkor Wat itself, the temple was once at the center of the ancient city of Angkor Thom. It's sometimes called Jayavarman's Temple, in honor of the Khmer king who ordered its construction. It's best known for its many towers with gently smiling faces on each side.
The Landmine Museum represents an agonizing window into the realism of the country’s land mine situation – during Cambodia’s 3-decade-long conflict, approximately 6 million land mines were planted in the nation. This museum was founded in 1997 by Aki Ra, with the aim to make the country safe through the removal of mines from wherever he could find them. Aki Ra was forced to work as a minelayer by the Khmer Rouge, planting land mines from an age as young as 5 years old.
Chau Say Tevoda was built somewhere between 1120 and 1150AD by King Suryavarman II. This smallish, graceful Hindu temple has a central sanctuary, 2 libraries and 4 gopuras (towers) which are at the 4 cardinal points on the compass. To the north is Thommanon Temple, which has a similar design and floor plan to Chau Say Tevoda.
East Mebon is a mountain temple that was built in the middle of the 10th century. It was built by King Rajendravarman II and dedicated to Shiva. Mebon is a pyramid of terraces with stunning sculptures and statues, including the 2m high elephants which sit on each corner. Although not as popular as the main temples, it is a widely visited temple and one that you should definitely make time for during your visit to Siem Reap.
The original River of Thousand Lingams, Kbal Spean is an intricately carved riverbed deep in the foothills of the Cambodian jungle. Lingams are phallic representations sacred to Brahmanism as symbols of fertility, and hundreds of them are carved into the rock here, as are several carvings of gods and animals above the small waterfall.
Krol Ko at Angkor, Cambodia, is a Buddhist temple built at the end of the 12th century under the rule of Jayavarman VII. This is a small temple with a single central tower surrounded by two laterite walls. Pediments displaying the most interesting carvings at the site are on the ground along the enclosure wall. Krol Ko is comparatively untouristed, offering a peaceful atmosphere.
Prasat Lolei is an island temple built in 893 by King Yasovarman I, to honor his ancestors. The temple was constructed on an artificial island in the Indratataka baray, a vast water reservoir measuring nearly 4 kilometers long and 750 meters wide. The baray, now dry, was dug out for irrigation purposes and as a source of drinking water for the capital.
Neak Pean is small and a collection of five ponds, it is worth a visit for its unique features. It is believed to have been consecrated to Buddha coning to the glory of Nirvana. It is one of the temples that make one dream of the olden days of luxury and beauty.
Phimeanakas – sometimes called Vimeanakas – is a large, 3-tiered pyramid of laterite and sandstone construction. It used to be the tallest climbable temple in Angkor Thom, where a stairway on the western or backside of the temple affording the easiest way to climb to the top, from which you would get a good view of the surrounding area. While lacking the impressive carvings of other Angkor structures, and with the stairway now closed, it was one of the wonders in Cambodia.
Phnom Bakheng, the state temple of the first Khmer capital in the Angkor region, survives as one of the world’s greatest architectural treasures. The Temple of Phnom Bakheng was constructed between the late ninth and the early tenth century by Yasovarman I as the centerpiece of his new capital, known as Yasodharapura.
Phnom Bok is situated in the northeast of Eastern Baray of Siem reap province. It is one of the three hills chosen by King Yashovarman I that had high religious value during the Angkorian period. Phnom Bok sits at the summit of the highest hill in the Angkor area which is over 200 meters high above the ground and the main attraction is the temple compound on the very top. It is one of the great attractions in this area and it gives a wide view of this area.
Phnom Krom is a hill located about 12 kilometers southwest of Siem Reap, and is home to a spectacular Angkorian temple built in the 9th century, called Prasat Phnom Krom. The hill is also the best spot to catch the sunset in the Siem Reap area, which can be enjoyed from a beautiful pagoda at the top of the 140-meter-high hilltop.
Phnom Kulen National Park is one of the most revered destinations in Cambodia, as it features Kulen Mountain. Once referred to as the Mount Mahendraparvata, the Kulen Mountain is a cultural and historical resort that marked the origin of the Khmer empire in the 9th century when King Jayavarman II announced independence from Java and declared himself as the ‘Chakravartin’, meaning universal king.
Beng Mealea is a temple in the Angkor Wat style located 40 km east of the main group of temples at Angkor, Cambodia, on the ancient royal highway to Preah Khan Kompong Svay. It was built by King Suryavarman II, early 12th century by the primary deity to Vishnu with the architecture of Angkor Wat.
Prasat Kravan is a 10th-century Hindu temple which was originally dedicated to Vishnu. There are five brick towers that are oriented to the east and surrounded by a small moat. Unusually, the temple wasn’t built by the king, instead, it was constructed by high ranking officials during the reign of King Harshavarman I or Ishanavarman II. Prasat Kravan is in pretty good condition and its symmetry and lines make for a great photo opportunity.
Preah Palilay is a small temple structure located just north of Phimeanakas in Angkor Thom. It contains elements from both Hinduism and Buddhism. It is famous for its unique structure, the surrounding thick jungle, 7-headed nagas, and headless guards create an eerie-feel. Nowadays it is one of the most visited attractions in Cambodia.
The Pre Rup was the state temple of King Rajendravarman II. It is a mountain temple built in the year 961, located just south of the large East Baray and the East Mebon, another mountain temple build by Rajendravarman II just 9 years earlier. In the early 20th century the Pre Rup had been completely overgrown and covered with soil. The temple was excavated during the 1930s and now it is one of the prime attractions in Cambodia.
Preah Khan temple is located in the Angkor Archaeological Park and is still largely unrestored. It is one of the larger temple complexes within the historic park. Preah Khan translates to “Holy Sword” in Khmer, named by Jayavarman VII in honor of his battle victory against the invading force of Chams, who belonged to a kingdom in what is now Vietnam, in the year 1191.
Preah Ko is one of the four temples which make up the Roluos Group, the other three being Bakong, Lolei, and Prasat Prei Monti. It’s one of the oldest temples built during the Khmer empire and predates Angkor Wat by a few hundred years. The temple was built under the Khmer King Indravarman I in 879 to honor members of the king's family, whom it places in relation to the Hindu deity Shiva.
This 10th Century reservoir is a magical setting for its visitors, who admire a serene sunrise from its cross-shaped, laterite landing stage. Under the watchful eye of two lion guardian statues, enjoy the view of the reservoir, which has remained at least partially flooded since its heyday in King Rajendravarman II’s rule.
Prasat Suor Prat is a 12th-century group of 12 towers built by King Jayavarman. The name translates as “The towers of the tight-rope dancers” in English. It’s believed that the towers were used to support a high wire which was stretched between them. The towers are located right in front of the Terrace of the Leper King and the Terrace of the Elephants.
Ta Keo is one of the biggest temples built during the Khmer Empire and it was built a couple of hundred years before Angkor Wat temple. It was built as the state temple for Jayavarman V and he started construction in 975 AD. Unusually, the temple was never finished. There are many stories as to why Ta Keo was never completed, but nobody knows the real reason. Nowadays, It is quite a popular temple with visitors because of its sheer size – five sanctuary towers sit on top of a 22m stepped pyrami
Prasat Ta Nei is a late 12th Century stone temple located in Angkor, Cambodia. Built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, it is located near the northwest corner of the East Baray, a large holy reservoir. It was dedicated to the Buddha. It was built under King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century.
Ta Prohm Temple is a very popular part in a typical Angkor tour. It's the only major stop that wasn't fully reclaimed from the jungle. Many of the walls and structures have been smothered by huge silk-cotton trees and strangler figs, which grow over, around, and through the ancient stone blocks. These trees both hold the ruins together and cause them to collapse.
The Khmer temple of Ta Som, located at the eastern end of the Northern Baray at Angkor, was built at the end of the twelfth century during the reign of the powerful Buddhist King Jayavarman VII. Little is known of the history and purpose of Ta Som. It was likely dedicated to Jayavarman VII’s father, although some have speculated that it may have been dedicated to one of his teachers. The site is relatively small compared with the many other temples built under Jayavarman’s reign.
The Terrace of the Elephants is part of the walled city of Angkor Thom, a ruined temple complex in Cambodia. The terrace was used by Angkor's king Jayavarman VII as a platform from which to view his victorious returning army. It was attached to the palace of Phimeanakas, of which only a few ruins remain. Most of the original structure was made of organic material and has long since disappeared. Most of what remains are the foundation platforms of the complex.
Thommanon is one of a pair of Hindu temples built during the reign of Suryavarman II at Angkor, Cambodia. This small and elegant temple is located east of the Gate of Victory of Angkor Thom and north of Chau Say Tevoda. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. Now, this temple is also a tourist attraction.
The largest artificial reservoir in the Angkor Park called the West Baray is located near Angkor Thom city. In ancient times, the Baray was supplied by freshwater that came from two main sources: The Siem Reap and Puok Rivers. The reservoir was probably built by the great king, Suryavarman I.
The West Mebon is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, located in the center of the West Baray, the largest reservoir of the Angkor area. The temple's date of construction is not known, but evidence suggests the 11th Century during the reign of King Suryavarman I or Udayadityavarman II.
Map of attractions in Siem Reap Province