Siem Reap & Angkor Wat: An Overview

Once the seat of the ancient Khmer Empire, over one thousand temple ruins remain in the Angkor region, encircling the town of Siem Reap with its chic luxury hotels, and some of Cambodia's finest restaurants.

Katie, Carrie and Rosie are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The iconic Angkor Wat never fails to impress, even with the crowds it attracts at sunrise!
  • Explore a different way of life, visiting the floating fishing villages on the great Tonle Sap lake

Holidays to Siem Reap & Visiting Angkor Wat: The Detail

The main draw is, of course, the majestic UNESCO heritage Angkor temple complex. From the iconic sunrise shot of Angkor Wat's three lotus shaped peaks, to the jungle clad ruins of Ta Prohm, there are plenty of archaeological gems to explore.

The vast complex contains the remains of the former imperial capitals of the Khmer civilisation that ruled this part of the world between the 9th and 14th centuries. After falling under Thai rule in the 14th century, a Khmer rebellion in the 15th century resulted in the empire moving South, and so the temples of Angkor were abandoned and forgotten for several centuries.

The town of Siem Reap is the perfect base from which to explore the temples, offering a plethora of luxury hotels, and a booming gastronomy scene. Many of Cambodia's finest restaurants lay in Siem Reap, alongside stylish cocktail bars and a bustling nightlife.

The town is also home to a vast array of galleries and workshops, with Siem Reap at the heart of the arts revival in Cambodia.


Original Highlight

A floating house in the middle of Tonle Sap Lake is a great spot to watch the world drift by - take a picnic.

Katie, Original Traveller

A note on price

Cambodia is reasonably affordable: a 10-day itinerary starts from approximately £1,800 per person (excluding flights), though stays in the most luxurious hotels could cost up to £6,000 per person for a trip of the same duration. There are no direct flights to Cambodia, so these commonly cost from £700 per person. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 31°C / 87°F
  • Rainfall — 0cm / 0.3 inches
Flight from London

12:15 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +7 hrs

Top picks for Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

The pool at Amansara, luxury hotel in Cambodia


Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

This secluded enclave was built in the 1960s as the guest villa of King Sihanouk.

Where to stay

Aqua Mekong

Aqua Mekong

Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

Aqua Expeditions started life with two luxury cruise ships on the Amazon before choosing another mighty river – the Mekong – for their third vessel. Aqua Mekong duly launched in 2014, and plies the waters between Saigon in Vietnam and Siem Reap in Cambodia, home to the extraordinary temple complex of Angkor Wat.

Where to stay

A Stilted House at Sala Lodges - Cambodia

Sala Lodges

Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

The stilted ‘lodges’ at Sala Lodges have made quite the journey to arrive at their home in the heart of Cambodian countryside, near to Siem Reap. The lodges are traditional Cambodian homes, collected from villages all over the country and transported to Siem Reap, where they have been rebuilt, and upgraded to offer the comfort of a boutique hotel.

Where to stay

Shinta Mani Resort

Shinta Mani Resort

Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

Much like its sister hotel, Shinta Mani Resort provides arguably one of the most contemporary and design-focused places to stay in Siem Reap (except with a more attractive price tag). The resort is walking distance of the old market, cafés and bars, and just a 15 minute drive from the temples of Angkor.

Where to stay

Tonle Sap Lake Trip

Tonle Sap Lake Trip

Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

As a day trip from Siem Reap a visit to Tonle Sap Lake is highly recommended.

What to do

Phum Baitang

Phum Baitang

Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

Sitting pretty within eight acres of luscious gardens and rice paddy fields near to Siem Reap, guests of Phum Baitang can lounge by the pool or on their private terrace, and enjoy the views of quintessential rural Cambodia, without foregoing the comfort of a luxury retreat, or the conveniences of the nearby town.

Where to stay

Original Travel's dossier (restaurants, sights, useful tips) arrived through our letterbox before we left, and we sacked off TripAdvisor for the entire trip.


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