The good thing when you’re in Siem Reap looking for fun is that you can switch with great ease from modern activities to local stuff. And you don’t even have to search a lot to find the proper bar, the right café or the secluded village you’ll fall in love with. In fact, it’s pretty simple if you follow a few basic rules:
- Go with the crowd. The best entertainment in Siem Reap is, ironically, where the tourists are. Almost everything that stays away from the touristic circuit is either too wild or too poor.
- Don’t experience the same thing twice. Some bloggers write about how they loved a bar so much that they kept going there night after night. What they don’t know is the large number of night bars they missed.
- Focus on what suits you most. Siem Reap offers specific attractions for specific tastes.
- Alternate between occidental bars and Khmer representations, parties, etc.
If you want to party, there are plenty of bars. Actually, from November until late March nightlife in Siem Reap resembles the one in other South-Asian metropolises. The feeling is that you’re dealing with a massive international crowd that’s always on the move. While this may seem tiresome at the airport and on the streets, when you wait for the next bus, it’s definitely not in a bar.
- The Angkor What? – Splendid pun! You’ll find a great blend of young and old people here. French and English are both common.
- Dead Fish Tower – It has a special charm due to its peculiar architecture, but it also gets great reviews for its Khmer dishes and drinks.
- Brodies Bar – Care for a round of darts? Or pool? This bar is both very popular and easy-going.
- Linga Bar – A colorful gay bar with a lot of style and distinction.
To a certain degree, finding the right spot for a few hours of recreation can be more difficult than you’ve initially thought. This happens mainly because Siem Reap is always changing. If you want something different than a massage or a spa session, you should focus on gardens (they are in abundance, especially private gardens), parks and cafés. This last category is perfect when you want to mix relaxation with street life.
- Banana Leaf Café – Great for long drinks and good coffee. Music is better than average and, during weekends, they have life representations.
- Café d’Angkor – A sophisticated international restaurant with a particularly quiet atmosphere.
- Miss Wong Cocktail Bar – Excellent drinks and a red-and-white décor.
Apart from simply sitting in a bar, you can engage in many other entertaining activities. Here’s what you can do in Siem Reap better than in other places:
- Do some shopping in the Night Market.
- Take gulf, cooking or dance classes from local professionals. These offers are generally for one week.
- Go biking and visit the neighboring villages and plantations.
- Spend an evening watching local dance or theatre performances.
- Learn about Cambodian fauna at the wild sanctuaries near Siem Reap. We recommend Boeng Peae and Kulen Promtep.