10 Hidden Gems of Siem Reap, Cambodia: Secret Spots and Local Hangouts

Siem Reap, located in northwestern Cambodia, is world-renowned for its stunning ancient temples, particularly the magnificent Angkor Wat. However, beyond its famous archaeological wonders, Siem Reap is also home to a vibrant local culture and a plethora of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. In this article, we will unveil 10 secret spots and local hangouts that will add an extra touch of excitement and uniqueness to your Siem Reap adventure.

1. The Hive

Address: #631, St.26, Wat Bo Village, Sangkat Salakamroeuk, Siem Reap
Website: [The Hive Siem Reap](https://www.facebook.com/TheHive.SiemReap)

If you are on the lookout for a cozy and laid-back coffee shop away from the tourist crowds, look no further than The Hive. Nestled in a quiet residential area, The Hive offers a tranquil ambiance, excellent coffee, and delicious homemade pastries. Their lush garden is the perfect spot to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. With free Wi-Fi and friendly staff, this hidden gem provides a delightful space to relax, catch up on work, or simply enjoy some peaceful moments.

2. Phare, the Cambodian Circus

Address: Intersection of Ring Road and Sok San Road, South of Western Baray, Siem Reap
Website: [Phare, the Cambodian Circus](https://pharecircus.org/)

Phare, the Cambodian Circus, is a spectacular performance that combines theater, traditional music, dance, acrobatics, and storytelling. Unlike any circus you have ever seen, Phare showcases the extraordinary talent of Cambodian artists who create captivating stories through their powerful and emotive performances. The dynamic energy and skill of the performers will leave you in awe. By attending a show at Phare, not only will you be entertained, but you will also support a social enterprise that educates and empowers young Cambodians.

3. Butterflies Garden Restaurant

Address: River Road (Behind Old Market), Wat Bo Village, Siem Reap
Website: [Butterflies Garden Restaurant](http://www.butterflies-garden-restaurant.com/)

Escape the bustling streets of Siem Reap and enter a serene oasis at Butterflies Garden Restaurant. Tucked away behind the Old Market, this hidden gem offers a picturesque dining experience amidst lush gardens and ponds. Feast on authentic Khmer cuisine or enjoy international dishes while surrounded by a stunning variety of tropical butterflies fluttering freely. Their commitment to using fresh ingredients and providing warm hospitality makes this restaurant a delightful culinary discovery that should not be missed.

4. Artisans Angkor Workshop

Address: Stung Thmey Street, Modul 2 Village, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap
Website: [Artisans Angkor](https://www.artisansdangkor.com/)

Artisans Angkor is a social enterprise dedicated to preserving traditional Khmer craftsmanship while providing sustainable job opportunities for rural Cambodian artisans. Explore their workshops and witness the intricate processes of stone carving, silk weaving, wood carving, lacquerware, and more. The intricacy and skill displayed in the handicrafts created by these talented individuals are awe-inspiring. By visiting Artisans Angkor, you will not only have the chance to purchase unique souvenirs but also contribute to the preservation of Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage.

5. The Pink Bar

Address: Thmey Village, Svay Dangkum Commune, Siem Reap
Website: [The Pink Bar](https://www.facebook.com/ThePinkBarSR/)

For a vibrant and funky night out, head to The Pink Bar, a lively spot that brings together locals and visitors alike. This vibrant bar is known for its colorful and quirky décor, lively music, and affordable drinks. Enjoy a wide selection of cocktails while mingling with friendly locals who are always ready for a good time. The Pink Bar is the perfect place to let loose, dance the night away, and experience Siem Reap’s vibrant nightlife.

6. Smile of Angkor

Address: 60, Achar Sva Street, Nokor Thom Commune, Siem Reap
Website: [Smile of Angkor](https://www.smileofangkor.info/)

Smile of Angkor is a unique cultural show that takes the audience on an extraordinary journey through the history, legends, and myths of Cambodia. This grand spectacle combines traditional dances, stunning costumes, breathtaking choreography, and impressive multimedia effects to create an immersive and visually stunning experience. Prepare to be captivated by the tale of ancient Khmer civilization brought to life on the stage. Smile of Angkor is a must-see for those seeking a deeper understanding of Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage.

7. Peace Café

Address: River Road, Wat Damnak Village, Siem Reap
Website: [Peace Café](https://www.peacecafe-siemreap.com/)

Located near the serene Wat Damnak temple, Peace Café is a hidden vegan and vegetarian haven that delights both the taste buds and the soul. With its tranquil setting, lush garden, and healthy yet delicious menu, Peace Café offers a respite from the busy streets of Siem Reap. Indulge in their creative plant-based dishes, such as the popular “Buddha Bowl” or their refreshing smoothies. Make sure to try their heavenly raw desserts made with nutritious, guilt-free ingredients. At Peace Café, you can nourish your body and feel good about your dining choices.

8. Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary

Address: Prek Toal Village, Battambang Province
Website: [Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary](https://www.samveasna.org/destination/prek-toal)

Nature enthusiasts and bird lovers should venture to the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, a hidden gem located about 30 kilometers from Siem Reap. Recognized as one of the most important breeding grounds for endangered water birds in Southeast Asia, this sanctuary is a remarkable conservation success story. Take a boat tour through the flooded forests and witness the diversity of bird species, including the iconic spot-billed pelican and the rare masked finfoot. Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary promises an unforgettable experience immersed in the beauty of Cambodia’s natural heritage.

9. Island Bar

Address: Sok San Road, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap
Website: [Island Bar](https://www.facebook.com/islandbarsiemreap/)

If you’re seeking a unique and quirky bar experience, Island Bar is the place to be. This hidden gem is built on bamboo rafts, floating on a pond surrounded by lush greenery. Traverse the rustic wooden bridges to reach the bar and enjoy a wide range of drinks while lounging on their cozy cushions. The peaceful atmosphere and enchanting surroundings make Island Bar an ideal spot to unwind and connect with nature, away from the bustling streets of Siem Reap.

10. Bakheng Hill for Sunrise or Sunset

Address: Angkor, Siem Reap
Website: N/A

While Angkor Wat draws a substantial number of tourists, you can still enjoy breathtaking views of the majestic temple away from the crowds. Bakheng Hill, a lesser-known spot, offers panoramic vistas of Angkor Wat at sunrise or sunset. An approximately 30-minute hike to the top of the hill will reward you with stunning views, serene surroundings, and a sense of tranquility. Remember to arrive early to secure the best viewing spot and witness the sky change colors as the sun rises or dips below the horizon. Bakheng Hill offers a unique perspective on Angkor Wat and is an excellent alternative to the more crowded sunrise or sunset viewpoints.

Siem Reap is a destination that never ceases to amaze. Beyond the iconic temples of Angkor, these hidden gems and local hangouts add an extra layer of enchantment to your Siem Reap adventure. So, venture off the beaten path, explore the lesser-known spots, and uncover the secret treasures that make Siem Reap a truly remarkable destination.

Sources:
– [The Hive Siem Reap](https://www.facebook.com/TheHive.SiemReap)
– [Phare, the Cambodian Circus](https://pharecircus.org/)
– [Butterflies Garden Restaurant](http://www.butterflies-garden-restaurant.com/)
– [Artisans Angkor](https://www.artisansdangkor.com/)
– [The Pink Bar](https://www.facebook.com/ThePinkBarSR/)
– [Smile of Angkor](https://www.smileofangkor.info/)
– [Peace Café](https://www.peacecafe-siemreap.com/)
– [Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary](https://www.samveasna.org/destination/prek-toal)
– [Island Bar](https://www.facebook.com/islandbarsiemreap/)