Siem Reap Tour Itinerary for 7 Days - The Ultimate Guide for 2023

Siem Reap Tour Itinerary for 7 Days – The Ultimate Guide for 2023

Siem Reap Tour Itinerary for 7 Days – The Ultimate Guide for 2023

If you’re planning a visit to the magnificent temples of Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia, you may be wondering – how many days do I really need? Should I spend 3 days, 5 days, or a full week discovering this ancient wonder of the world?

In this ultimate guide, I’ll share my recommended 7 day Siem Reap itinerary to help you plan the perfect trip in 2023. With the right amount of time, you can fully immerse yourself in the history, culture, and natural beauty of the Angkor Archaeological Park and beyond.

Whether you want to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat, admire the Bayon’s serene smiling faces, wander through the jungle-covered ruins at Ta Prohm, or enjoy Siem Reap’s bustling markets and nightlife when you need a temple break – a full 7 days allows you to see it all.

Key Takeaways:

  • Watching sunrise at Angkor Wat is a moving, bucket list moment. Arrive by 5am to beat crowds.
  • Beyond the temples, save time for cultural excursions like cooking classes, riverboat tours, and countryside villages.
  • Consider staying at multiple hotels like downtown boutiques and peaceful countryside resorts.
  • Private tour guides add invaluable context. Book them through reputable companies.
  • Pace yourself and don’t squeeze too much into each day. Leave room for spontaneity.

Here’s an overview of how I recommend spending your week in Siem Reap:

Siem Reap 7 Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival + City Highlights

  • Explore downtown Siem Reap
  • Learn about silk production, visit the Angkor Silk Farm
  • Cambodia Landmine Museum
  • Welcome dinner with Apsara dance show

Day 2: Small Circuit Temples

  • Sunrise at Angkor Wat
  • Angkor Thom & Bayon Temple
  • Ta Prohm, Ta Keo, Banteay Kdei

Day 3: Grand Tour Temples

  • Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som
  • East Mebon, Pre Rup
  • Sunset at Pre Rup Mountain

Day 4: Outlying Temples

  • Banteay Srei
  • Banteay Samre
  • Roluos Group

Day 5: Tonle Sap Lake

  • Floating villages
  • Ox cart countryside tour
  • Les Artisans d’Angkor arts center

Day 6: Further Afield

  • Beng Mealea jungle temple
  • Kulen Mountain waterfall
  • Banteay Prei temple

Day 7: Cooking Class + Departure

  • Khmer cooking class
  • Souvenir shopping
  • Evening flight home

This itinerary includes all the highlights while leaving room for some relaxed free time each day. You’ll get an amazing overview of the Angkor temples, enjoy interactive cultural experiences, and have the flexibility to revisit your favorite sites.

Below you’ll find a detailed day-by-day guide on how to make the most of your 7 days in Siem Reap!

Day 1: Arrival + City Highlights

After arriving at Siem Reap International Airport (REP) and checking into your hotel, start exploring the charming provincial town that serves as the gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park.


  • Learn about the process of silk production at the Angkor Silk Farm, founded in 1996 to help rebuild Cambodia’s silk industry following the Khmer Rouge regime. You can tour workshops where artisans create luxurious silk fabrics and garments.
  • Visit the Cambodia Landmine Museum to learn about the legacy of landmines in Cambodia through the story of museum founder Aki Ra, who over 25 years has helped clear over 50,000 mines.


  • Explore the Old Market area, getting lost in the maze of stalls selling everything from fruits and spices to souvenirs and clothing. Psar Chaa is one of the most colorful places in town!
  • Check out the Angkor National Museum, which houses thousands of significant Khmer artifacts from the ancient Angkor civilization.


  • Sit down to a delicious welcome dinner at one of Siem Reap’s many restaurants serving authentic Khmer cuisine. Koulen Restaurant offers a buffet alongside traditional Apsara dancing, a lovely introduction to Cambodian culture.
  • After dinner, browse the bustling Angkor Night Market near Sivatha Boulevard to do some souvenir shopping and people watching.

Get a good night’s rest, because tomorrow starts early with sunrise at Angkor Wat!

1-day Angkor Wat SMALL LOOP Private tour | Make the Most of Your 1-day Visit with a Guide on Angkor Small Circuit

Day 2: Small Circuit Temples

On your second day in Siem Reap, you’ll tour the Small Circuit, a 17 kilometer loop that connects temples on the inside of Angkor’s massive walls. Highlights include sunrise at Angkor Wat, exploring Angkor Thom and Bayon, and the jungle-wrapped ruins of Ta Prohm.


  • Rise before the sun and tuk-tuk over to Angkor Wat to watch the morning rays light up its towering sandstone spires. Due to popularity, arrive as early as 5am to beat the crowds.


  • Return to the Angkor Thom walled city, entering through the imposing South Gate lined with 54 giant stone warriors.
  • Marvel at photogenic Bayon temple, with over 200 massive carved smiling faces looking out in all directions.
  • Wander through the ruins of other sites like Baphuon, Phimeanakas palace, and the Terrace of Elephants.


  • Make your way to Ta Prohm, an ethereal temple left in the clutches of sprawling jungle. The interplay of crumbling ruins and giant tree roots is visually stunning.
  • Visit other Small Circuit temples like Ta Keo, a soaring sandstone pyramid, and Banteay Kdei with its atmospheric corridors.
  • End the day relaxing by the lotus pond at Srah Srang before returning to Siem Reap.

After a full day of epic temples, enjoy Khmer cuisine and perhaps a foot massage! Siem Reap has no shortage of dining, spa, and nightlife options.

1-day Angkor Wat GRAND LOOP Private tour with air-con minivan [with the famous Banteay Srei temple]

Day 3: Grand Circuit Temples

On your third day exploring Angkor’s sprawling temple complexes, focus on the sights of the Grand Circuit, which extends 26 kilometers north and east of Angkor Thom. Must-see temples include the underrated Preah Khan and its mysterious stone faces, East Mebon on a circular island, and sunset from Phnom Bakheng.


  • Arrive early to serene Preah Khan temple, wandering the crumbling corridors and hallways adorned with stone faces wrapped in tree roots.
  • Continue to Neak Pean, a petite island temple surrounded by four connecting pools.
  • Visit Ta Som, a small but atmospheric temple cloaked in the encroaching jungle.


  • Journey out to East Mebon, known for its towering temple-mountain architecture perched on an artificial island in the center of Jayatataka Baray reservoir.
  • Make your way to Pre Rup temple for sunset – climb to the top of this Hindu mountain temple for panoramic views over palm-lined rice fields.

After a full day of hitting the highlights of the Grand Circuit, take it easy with dinner and evening entertainment in downtown Siem Reap. Recharge those temple-touring batteries!

Beng Mealea | Beng Mealea Temple Tour Experience | More Thrilling Than Skydiving with Sharks [Includes 4 majestic temples and a unique sunset short hike]

Day 4: Outlying Temples

Venture beyond the main Angkor Park on day four to visit some extraordinary outlying temples. Highlights include the intricate carvings of Banteay Srei, the pink sandstone citadel known as the “jewel of Khmer art”, and the rarely-visited jungle ruins of Beng Mealea.


  • Travel 32 kilometers from Siem Reap to reach Banteay Srei, famed for its ornate detailed carvings decorating nearly every surface, including impressive bas reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.
  • Nearby, drop by Banteay Samre, a peaceful temple with a moat and central sanctum.


  • Make your way 16 kilometers further north to visit the Roluos Group, some of the earliest permanent temples built by the Khmers, including Preah Ko, Bakong Lolei.
  • On the drive back, stop at the roadside temple Beng Mealea, atmospheric ruins overgrown by jungle. You can climb through collapsed halls and galleries.

After a full day on the road, relax with Khmer barbecue and a foot massage!

Afternoon Siem Reap floating village tour [All included Siem Reap floating village Kampong Phluk Private guided tour]

Day 5: Tonle Sap Lake

On your fifth day, get out on the water to see life in the floating villages of Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. Bring your camera to capture truly fascinating glimpses of daily life.


  • Board a local boat to explore Kampong Phluk floating village, where over 3000 people live in homes tethered to the lake, following its ebb and flow.
  • Visit nearby Chong Kneas, the most visited floating village, winding through stilted houses, floating pigpens, a fish farm, a crocodile farm, and Cambodian schools.


  • Experience a breezy ox-cart countryside tour from Siem Reap out to surrounding villages. See rice fields and chat with friendly local villagers.
  • Browse the workshops at Artisans Angkor complex, which works to revive Khmer arts and crafts. Marvel at students masterfully carving wood, weaving silk, painting, and more.

After a day on the water, settle in for dinner and a relaxing evening in Siem Reap town.

Koh Ker and Beng Mealea guided tour [breathtaking natural scenery]

Day 6: Further Afield

Most visitors never venture beyond Angkor Park, but with 6 days already under your belt, use day 6 to explore some other incredible Khmer sites further afield. Highlights include Koh Ker’s jungle temple and waterfall, Banteay Chhmar, and Preah Vihear mountain temple perched on a cliff.


  • Drive 95 kilometers north to Koh Ker, capital of the Angkorian empire from 928-944 AD. Explore the nearly 50 temple ruins spread around the area, like the seven-tiered pyramid Prasat Thom.
  • Enjoy lunch at Koh Ker before hitting the road again.


  • Continue another 60 kilometers north to visit Prasat Preah Vihear, an incredible Khmer temple precariously situated atop a 525-meter cliff on the Thai border.

After a full day of adventuring off the beaten path, you’ll be ready for a relaxing last evening in Siem Reap!

Private Siem Reap Culinary Tour | From Market to Garden Tour with Siem Reap Cooking Class and Angkor Botanical Garden

Day 7: Cooking Class + Departure

On your final day before flying home, enjoy a hands-on Khmer cooking class to learn about Cambodian cuisine and take home new culinary skills. End with last-minute souvenir shopping before catching your evening flight.


  • Roll up your sleeves for a cooking class at one of Siem Reap’s highly rated establishments like The Siem Reap Cooking Class or Le Tigre. Shop local markets and create authentic dishes like amok fish and mango sticky rice!


  • Visit Lucky Mall or Angkor Trade Center to hunt for any last souvenirs, specialty food items, or gifts for loved ones.
  • If you have extra time, head to the downtown Sisowath Quay area along the Siem Reap River for more shopping and dining.
  • Relax until it’s time for your airport transfer, already dreaming of your next visit!

Siem Reap Itinerary Variations

While this 7 day Siem Reap itinerary works well for many travelers, it’s easy to customize to your interests, whether you have less or more time to spend.

Here are some ideas for variations:

5 Days in Siem Reap

If you only have 5 days, you can still see all the top attractions by focusing on Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom/Bayon, Small Circuit temples, and Tonle Sap Lake. Skip some of the outlying temples, since distances are greater. Add floating villages or a cooking class if you have time!

Siem Reap Angkor Wat Tour – A 5 day Siem Reap Angkor Wat itinerary

10 Days in Siem Reap

With 10 full days or more, you have time for a more leisurely pace, revisiting favorite temples, exploring further afield like Koh Ker or Preah Vihear, and taking part in experiences like village homestays or cycling tours. Add destinations like Battambang or Kampot.

Angkor Dreams & Beyond – Private Siem Reap 5 day tour of Temples, Villages, and Nature.

Less Temples, More Culture

Some travelers grow weary of too many temple tours. Instead focus your 7 days on cultural experiences like Khmer cooking classes, educational villages, Apsara dance shows, countryside cycling etc. Just visit the “must see” Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Prohm and a few others.

Temple Marathon

Other visitors can’t get enough of ancient ruins! Maximize your 7 day ticket and cover every temple with sunrise trips, full day tours by tuk-tuk, and maybe even a helicopter tour for aerial views. Spend spare time reading about Khmer history and architecture.

The possibilities for crafting a personalized 7 day Siem Reap itinerary are nearly endless. Use this guide as a starting blueprint, then tailor to match your exact travel style and interests.

Booking Your Siem Reap Tour

While it’s possible to plan your own 7 day itinerary, for convenience, cultural insight, and seamless logistics, I highly recommend booking tours and guides rather than strictly DIY travel.

Some excellent Siem Reap tour companies to check out:

  • PRIVATE Siem Reap Tours – My personal favorite! Friendly expert guides and private, customizable tours.
  • Siem Reap Shuttle Tour – Budget group tours on minibuses. More impersonal but very affordable.
  • ABOUTAsia Travel – Bespoke private tours and guides, luxury options available.
  • Khmer Ways – Small group and private tours with sustainability initiatives.

Benefits of Booking Tours:

  • No dealing with cash, tuk-tuk drivers, admissions, getting lost etc.
  • In-depth insights from knowledgeable guides about ancient history, culture, architecture.
  • Flexibility to customize your daily itinerary and pacing
  • Convenience of door-to-door transport and some meals included

While paying for guided tours does add to your total costs, the value gained is well worth it in my opinion. Do your research to find the right Siem Reap tour company that fits your travel style.

Accommodation for 7 Days

With a full week in Siem Reap, you may wish to split your time between a couple different hotels or boutique resorts.

Recommended areas to stay in Siem Reap:

Wat Bo Area – Central, affordable lodging and restaurants, vibrant night market. Great budget/mid-range options.

Riverside – Stylish boutique hotels set along the Siem Reap River, tranquil and romantic. More upscale.

Outskirts of Town – Lush countryside resorts near Angkor Wat, ideal for a tropical retreat. Need tuk-tuks to get to town.

I suggest starting your trip at a reasonably-priced hotel in the heart of Wat Bo, where you can walk to restaurants and shopping.

Then for a tranquil second half of your stay after several temple days, switch to a peaceful resort nestled amid rice fields and tropical gardens just outside the city – you’ll be perfectly positioned near Angkor Wat.

Some top-rated accommodation to consider:

  • Luxury: Shinta Mani Resort, Belmond La Residence d’Angkor
  • Mid-range: The Siem Reap Hostel, Teo Hotel
  • Budget: Onederz Hostel, Seven Candles Guesthouse

For a complete overview, see my guide to the Best Hotels in Siem Reap across all budgets and neighborhoods.

Siem Reap Private Driver | 1-Day and Multi-Day Siem Reap Private Charter with Private Driver

Getting Around Siem Reap

For transportation on your 7 day itinerary, consider a mix of:

  • Tuk-Tuks – For short trips around downtown Siem Reap, hiring tuk-tuks is very affordable. Negotiate rates in advance.
  • Private Car & Driver – Hire a car and knowledgeable driver through your hotel or a tour company for daytrips outside of town.
  • Group Transfers – Airport transfers, some temple trips and optional activities may be on shared minibuses.
  • Bicycle – Rent a bike for sightseeing around Siem Reap town or cycling through nearby villages.

I’d recommend having a private tuk-tuk or car when possible to avoid waiting on other travelers. But use group transfers if you’re solo and want to save money.

Discuss transportation options with your selected Siem Reap tour company when first planning your itinerary and pricing.

Best Time to Visit Siem Reap

The ideal season for visiting Siem Reap is from November to March during the dry season when rains are minimal. Temperatures are cooler and more pleasant for sightseeing. Visitation also peaks during these months, so book tours in advance.

April to June sees increasing temperatures and humidity. September to October is rainy season when you’ll encounter occasional downpours but cheaper prices and smaller crowds. July and August can be quite wet.

While visiting in dry season is more comfortable, the temples can still be enjoyed year round! The moody atmosphere during wet season has its own appeal. Just come prepared with umbrella, poncho and sweat-wicking clothes.

Siem Reap 7 Day Itinerary Summary

Hopefully this detailed guide provides plenty of temple touring ideas and cultural activities to make the most of 7 days in Siem Reap.

The key is balancing must-see Angkor temples with other experiences to offer variety. Don’t cram so much into each day that you burn out. Leave room to revisit favorites and simply soak in the atmosphere.

Follow this suggested itinerary, then tweak to personalize according to your travel style. Stay flexible – one of the beauties of having a full week is the ability to be spontaneous each day!

With 7 days in Siem Reap, you’ll come away understanding why Cambodia’s ancient Angkor temples are considered one of the world’s most impressive historical and architectural sites. Have an unforgettable adventure!

My Siem Reap Trip Reflection

After several visits to the Angkor temples around Siem Reap, I’m continuously in awe of this ancient kingdom lost in the jungle and the Khmer civilization that built it centuries ago.

No matter how many days you spend exploring Angkor’s soaring towers, intricate bas reliefs, and mysterious smiling faces, it never feels like enough time. I always leave wanting more, imagining the lives of the kings, monks, artisans, and commoners who once inhabited this impressive empire.

Beyond the temples, I’m inspired by the kindness and resilience of the Cambodian people, who have endured so much tragedy but still face each day with warmth, optimism, and pride for their heritage. Spending time among local communities, whether floating villages or countryside ox cart tours, offers touching glimpses into daily life.

The flavors of Cambodian cuisine are another delight – the subtle spices and techniques of dishes like fish amok and banana flower salad, displayed during cooking classes, reveal fascinating cultural connections.

And I can’t forget the magical moments like watching the sunrise cast its glow over Angkor Wat, or hearing Buddhist chants echo through the stone hallways on an early morning temple visit.

Siem Reap is one of those special destinations that sticks with you long after departing. I hope anyone planning a trip there savors each moment to the fullest. Let the temples work their magic!

To start planning your own memorable Siem Reap trip, feel free to check out our tour packages or contact us for a customized tour quote. We’re thrilled to share the wonders of Angkor with fellow travelers!

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