What to do, eat and buy in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Aug 11, 2017

Jam Nsouli, general manager of Siem Reap’s Heritage Suites Hotel, shares her top tips for getting the most out of your visit to the ancient city.

Jam Nsouli, general manager of Heritage Suites Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Most tourists visit Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat and the historic temples. What are your top tips to get the most out of their visit?

Visit the temples (main photo) earlier to avoid the crowds – around 7am is a good time. Visitors are also strongly encouraged to dress respectfully and avoid revealing clothes, with no sleeveless tops or shorts. They should be mindful of where they step or touch while in the temples. Avoid any physical contact with the monuments and avoid venturing into restricted areas. Treat the monks with respect – ask for permission before taking photos with or of them! And lastly, be careful not to purchase things from children; this is to discourage begging.

Aside from the temples, there are beautiful pagodas around town that are also worth seeing, such as the Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chom Temple and its neighbouring shrine, found just across from the King’s palace.

What are some good places to eat, and what dishes should we order there?

Cafe Indochine in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cuisine Wat Damnak, which was recently listed as one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2016. Order their special set menu. Also go to The Sugar Palm to try amok, a traditional Khmer dish. It is a slightly sweet curry, usually steamed and served in a banana leaf with a little coconut cream on top. Fish is traditionally used to make this dish, although today chicken and pork is used as well. And visit Café Indochine (above) for their Cambodian fried rice. What makes this different from its Chinese counterpart is the addition of spices like turmeric and basil, making the dish more flavourful with a slight kick, without being overwhelmingly spicy.