About Sarah R
Lives in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Since Aug 2013
25-34 year old female
Environmentally friendly and responsible traveller. Don't be surprised if you see me collecting rubbish in national parks or on beaches. I love socialising and anywhere I visit or live I take every opportunity to get involved in what's happening around town and get to know my favourite places. I'm always willing to try new things; whether that is a new restaurant, community activity, event or festival in the local area. I love getting out and exploring, seeing the things that a place is known for and then digging a little deeper to find some lesser known gems. I've been known to use online media (TripAdvisor and FourSquare) to find places when I'm new to a town and have often impressed my friends for finding great cafes in out of the way places.
Nature & Wildlife Tours, Bike Tours, Cultural Tours, Hiking & Camping Tours, Motorcycle Tours
Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
Sacred & Religious Sites, Waterfalls, Mountains
Horseback Riding Tours
Bike Tours, Gear Rentals, Eco Tours
Bodies of Water
Ancient Ruins, Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
Flea & Street Markets
Mountain biking is really popular around Siem Reap, and as there is a lot of countryside to explore, going by bike is a fun and energetic way to go! Grasshopper Adventures offer a lovely day ride where you can go to a local village and experience the country lifestyle of Cambodia. Siem Reap is a great city, but it’s a city focused on tourism. If you’re like me and want to get a feel for a place, then getting into the countryside is going to give you a deeper cultural experience. One of my favorite things about living in Siem Reap is how accessible it is to get out of town and have a great day in the great outdoors.
If you prefer not to ride a bicycle, then KKO (Khmer for Khmer Organisation) offer moto (motorbike) tours! Yay! There is something wild and liberating about traveling by motorbike in the Cambodian countryside, and KKO's tours will take you through the rice fields —which are wonderfully vivid in the green season — past local villages, as well as to some of the lesser-known temples that have no admission fee. This organisation is one I really support, their name says it all really; Khmer people helping each other through tourism, training and education.
This is a fun day out, and a good way to help conserve the depleting forests in Cambodia. Every element of this trip has been developed to have a minimal impact on the natural environment, including an electric shuttle to get you to and from the site. Nice! They have a very thorough and safe set up with good quality equipment too.
This is something wonderful to do as an escape from the city. There aren’t many mountains in Siem Reap so this is also a really nice change of scenery, and the waterfalls with freshwater springs are a refreshing way to cool-off on a hot day. There is also a reclining Buddha statue, and 1000 lingas carved into the river bed to explore; this is a very spiritually significant place for Cambodian people, who will sometimes go so far as to collect water from here for weddings! I love nature and hiking, and since there isn’t much else like this close to Siem Reap, this is a real treat.
Friends of mine love this place as a great family activity destination, and it’s another fun way to explore the Cambodian countryside. Whatever your level of experience, discover the countryside and villages of Siem Reap horseback!
Okay, so I haven’t been brave enough to try these yet but I’m assured they’re really easy to ride. (I am a much better passenger on a moto than I think I would be driver!) These electric bikes are available for rent, and with around 30kms of battery life before you have to recharge, you've more than enough power for a tour around the temples, a trip to West Baray, or just a scoot around the general Siem Reap area. Everyone I know that has used them loves them, so I think it will be my chance soon!
You’ve got to love mini golf! This one is just a short drive from town and has Angkor themed holes. It’s a lot of fun, and perhaps a little more challenging that you may initially expect! There are 14 holes in total, making it good for an hour or so of entertainment. There’s also a large water slide here so bring a change of clothes if you dare; it’s very tall so not for the faint-hearted!
Tonle Sap is the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia and it is immense! (Look for it as you fly into Siem Reap; it is like an inland ocean!) When I visited I took a tuk tuk and the driver helped me out with the ticket prices for entry into the lake area and for the boat ride. I recommend you get here the same way, to avoid trampling through village schools and businesses, being disruptive. The lake itself is super impressive, all you can see as far as the horizon is water! Take a paddle through the mangrove-like ‘sunken forest’ and you won't be disappointed.
This is one trip where you'll probably want to stay overnight to enjoy it to the fullest. The UNESCO World Heritage of Preah Vihear Temple falls into my outdoors list because it is largely outdoors. Set atop a hill in Preah Vihear province, you get a spectacular view over the countryside. Hills are rare in Cambodia and this is a big one! The temple itself is a series of buildings that sprawl down the hillside, and disrepair means that many of the roof sections are no longer intact. It’s an excellent temple area for exploring and there are some pretty steep steps, so wear sturdy shoes and mind your step!
The Angkor Night Market is now a predominantly open-air market after some renovations in late 2014. The street between Sivatha Boulevard and Night Market Street is lined with massage places and fish pedicure stores — this is where you can pamper yourself to the extreme — and there are also a couple of great restaurants among the stalls here. Follow this street all the way to the end (Night Market Street), turn left, and cross over to find the open-air stalls with pretty thatched roofs and some lovely wares on offer. Browse the various items, get a foot massage at Baray Spa, or stop for a drink at Island Bar or Brick House.
I’m a bit of a chicken when it comes to heights but apparently floating in a hot air balloon isn’t very scary. Go at sunrise if you’re an early riser or if you’re like me, pick the sunset balloon ride option. Seeing Angkor Wat from the sky gives you a totally different perspective, and you really see how huge the ancient site is. Enjoy the fresh air and the peace from above, free from the chaos below!