siem reap

By Sophie - February 23, 2018

I recently spent four days in Siem Reap, exploring the wonders of Angkor and the vibrant city of Siem Reap. Angkor just means 'city', and is thought to have been inhabited by 1 million people, a megacity at its time.


Over the course of 3 days, we visited 10 temples. A lot of people talk about being 'templed out', meaning they just can't visit any more temples, but I think that three days is just long enough to immerse yourself in the wonders of Siem Reap without being 'templed out'. Our tactic was to visit Angkor Wat last, because it is indeed the most impressive by far.

The most important thing is to go when it's not too hot so you can withstand walking around the temples for more than ten minutes. The temples seem to clear around midday, when temperatures peak but it's the perfect opportunity to get a more personal experience.

Banteay Srei

Throughout Angkor, there is a mix of Buddhism and Hinduism, Banteay Srei is a Hindu temple to Shiva. It's far from all the other temples, but definitely worth seeing. The main three towers are in great condition, and their miniature size makes them much easier to observe in detail. 

Angkor Thom

North gate of Angkor Thom


Baphuon takes the shape of a reclining Buddha. It used to be a Hindu temple, but when it collapsed, the empire was Buddhist so they reconstructed it by shaping it into a Buddha, ignoring its previous shape.


This is the main temple of Angkor Thom, with several levels. I could spend hours marveling at the faces on top, but be sure not to miss the grounds at the bottom. When you exit, it's definitely worth taking a stroll around the whole temple.

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is famous for being used in Tomb Raider, and for the trees that have grown onto the temples.

Preah Khan

Preah Khan is one of the larger temples, very deep and goes out on both sides. With intricate carvings and never-ending doorways, it's the grandest of the Grand Circuit. Despite the efforts to reconstruct it, there are piles of broken stones everywhere.

Ta Som

The famous tree doorway

Neak Pean

The temple on the water: it's quite a long but tranquil walk to get to.

East Mebon

Pre Rup

East Mebon and Pre Rup are extremely similar, East Mebon is just lower than Pre Rup because it was built for the king, whereas Pre Rup was to the Gods. Both are great for watching the sunset, although Pre Rup is more famous and therefore more crowded. Be warned, there are quite a lot of stairs at both which are steep, for wooden stairs at Pre Rup, go around to the right although they are quite unstable.

Angkor Wat

The temple of all temples. With long halls filled with stories of the Khmer empire, it feels like none of the other temples. For the typical reflection shot (top of this post), it's a lot less impressive in real life. Find the two puddles on either side of the path, and get the lowest angle possible. 


For three nights, we stayed at The Beige but we went to check out the Shintamani one day. It's extremely photogenic, and very open for visitors.


With the black and white stripes featured everywhere, it's hard to not keep stopping to take photos of this whole hotel. Even if you don't stay, the swings in the restaurant are worth a visit for. On top of that, there's the Shinta Mani Foundation which helps locals get better education, opportunities and healthcare.

The Beige

Breakfast in the pool, shop the look here

A hotel like no other in Siem Reap, The Beige is a glamping experience. With luxury tents with aircon, concrete floors and proper furniture, it takes camping to a new level. You even get a view of water buffalo roaming around outside.


Siem Reap was no exception to my global brunch and coffee hunt. I'm always on the lookout for new brunch places and the best coffee in any city. These are the two I managed to find.

Sister Srey Cafe

Their iced coffee was the best thing I had in Siem Reap. The open aired cafe is conveniently located adjacent to the market and serves a seriously good cup of coffee.

Vibe Cafe

Another aesthetic cafe, with instagrammable vegan food. The acai smoothie was amazing, as was the acai bowl. The letters cut out of mango were the highlight of my bowl, they did it only because they knew it was for the gram.

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