The concept of solo travel can be a nightmare for some people especially for those who are traveling on their own for the first time while for others, it is an opportunity to be on a voyage of self-discovery. Many travelers claim that traveling solo is empowering and thought-provoking and is the best way to see the world.
When you are traveling with someone else, you share each discovery, but when you are alone, you have to carry each experience with you like a secret, something you have to write on your heart, because there is no other way to preserve it. – Shauna Niequist
Traveling Solo in Siem Reap
Siem Reap, a culturally rich and stunning destination best known to be the home of Angkor Wat is fast gaining popularity among the solo travelers. With a rich history, magnificent temples, friendly locals and reasonable prices, undoubtedly, it is high on most people’s travel destination list. We have listed down top things do in Siem Reap for solo travelers.
Top Things to Do in Siem Reap for a Solo Travel
1. Go Temple Hopping
This goes without saying. Angkor Archaeological Park, once voted as the world’s best destination is the sole reason why most people, if not all, flock to Siem Reap, to venture out to see Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples. The temple complex offers stunning sights, centuries-old temples and some picturesque views. Now, if dragging around with the massive crowds concerns you, there are less visited temples where you can really scramble around. There is Beng Mealea, a very old temple largely devoid of obtrusive signs of restoration and Banteay Srei which is the only Angkor temple that was not built for the king, but rather, for the Gods – both can offer you an authentic ‘Indiana Jones experience’
2. Take a Photography Tour
One of the downsides of solo travel is the struggle of taking amazing shots of yourself or taking some great snaps of the destination you are roving around. We understand that most of the time your photos just do not give justice. Why not sign up for a photography tour to make sure that you can bring home some wonderful photographs from Angkor? Taking a photography tour is a great idea as you will be guided to the most photogenic temples of Angkor and you will be taken to the best spots to avoid the massive crowds (Say hello to people-free photographs!)
3. Detox Yourself
Wellness is now becoming a consequential part of travel to Cambodia. If you are after your well-being, you can complement your visit to Angkor with a wellness program to balance your mind, body and spirit. Navutu Dreams, Siem Reap’s only resort for relaxed luxury and wellness retreats offers a wide range of programs for a rejuvenating holiday retreat. There is a 3 Day Yoga Holiday Break to help you re-balance your energies and recharge your batteries or a Detox for the Mind to help you achieve a total rejuvenation. If practicing yoga and meditation is your thing, Samadhi Yoga is the perfect Siem Reap Yoga Studio to level up your practice. The yogashala offers daily yoga classes taught by seasoned wellness and yoga teachers.
4. Go Shopping
If you are on the hunt for unique gifts and experiences from Angkor, Kandal Village in Siem Reap is your best option. Kandal Village, just a short walking distance from the center of Siem Reap Town is home to a range of upscale shops, cafes, fashion outlets and souvenir stores.
5. Pamper Yourself
After venturing out the temples of Angkor, we are sure that there is a serious need for some pampering sessions. Give yourself a relaxing treat and indulge in some spa treatments. In Cambodia, most of the spas only use organic and locally-sourced ingredients. Perhaps, you can get a spa treatment or a combination of treatments and massages at Honeycomb Spa or at the spa and wellness centers recommended by TripAdvisor.
6. Visit a Gallery
Siem Reap has a wide range of art galleries and handicraft shops. There is Artisans d’ Angkor which offers a guided tour to get you initiated in crafts like stone and wood carving and Diwo Gallery which showcases a selection of the most refined Khmer statues and Buddha. McDermott Gallery, on the other hand, exhibits amazing photographs of the temples of Angkor and the work of famous photographers.
7. Entertain Yourself
Cambodia’s leading circus, theater and performing arts organization, Phare Cambodian Circus should not be missed out when visiting Siem Reap. The circus is more than a conventional circus as it blends arts, music, gymnastics with a traditional and modern approach. You are guaranteed to leave with a fun experience. You can also delve deeper into Cambodian tradition and learn more about the traditional Khmer performing arts by watching POP-UP Shadow Puppets by Bambu Stage. It is a great way to experience one of Cambodia’s living treasures.
8. Try Cambodian Cuisine
Cambodian cuisine is one of the world’s oldest living cuisines, and is considered by many as one of the healthiest and most balanced diets on the planet. In Siem Reap, there are many restaurants to indulge your taste buds in the local cuisine. There is Cuisine Wat Damnak,a highly regarded restaurant in Siem Reap known for well-lauded and savvy cuisine. It was even named one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.. And for the ultimate Khmer dining experience, Khmer Grill Restaurant does not disappoint.
9. Join a Cooking Class
Now, that you have got a taste of the Cambodian cuisine, you may want to enroll yourself for a Siem Reap cooking class to learn the ins and outs of cooking Khmer food. Surprise your family and friends by preparing them Khmer cuisine – simple yet delectable cuisine.
10. Chill out at One of the Pubs on Pub Street
If you want to experience Siem Reap’s late-night scene, head over Pub Street which houses jazzy bars from hardcore drinking pubs to more relaxed hideouts. Whether you are solo or with friends, you always have options on offer. One of our favorites is Miss Wong, a Shanghai-inspired cozy cocktail lounge that serves up deliciously refreshing cocktails and other drinking indulgences.
Where to Stay in Siem Reap for a Solo Travel?
Navutu Dreams is Siem Reap’s only resort and wellness retreat, just a few minutes away from Angkor Wat and just a short driving distance from Pub Street and the Old Market area. This wellness resort has been very popular among visiting solo travelers. Discoveries, authentic Cambodian experiences, a relaxing holiday retreat and true cultural immersion are just a few things waiting for you.