Rest and Relaxation in Siem Reap – Recover After Traversing the Temples!
For the vast majority of visitors to Siem Reap, their first impression of this delightful little town is only as a gateway to the magic of the nearby Angkor Wat UNESCO World Heritage Site. That said, after a long, hot and dusty day or two traversing the vast temple complex, Siem Reap will soon start to seem like a backpacker’s paradise. The small streets of the city center are lined with bars, restaurants, spas, massage parlors and coffee shops that are all designed to cater to travelers from around the world.
Whether you are in Southeast Asia for a short trip or Cambodia is only one stop on an epic ‘around the continent’ trip, Siem Reap can be an oasis for rest and relaxation. Local Cambodian entrepreneurs know that their visitors want all of the comforts of home. The savvy business owners are all too keen to provide these – sometimes at a premium! That said, there are options for spa treatments, massage and yoga classes at all price ranges.
If you are planning a trip to Siem Reap, here are our top tips for rest and relaxation after you spend your days at the temples.After a long, hot day traversing the temples, Siem Reap will soon start to seem like paradiseClick To Tweet
Spend some time at the spa
Are you looking for something uniquely Cambodian and truly luxurious? A traditional Cambodian herbal body treatment is the J’Pong heat treatment. It will completely relax your muscles, replenish your spirit and help to heal your body for another day of temple hopping. If you have it in your budget, we recommend splurging on a treatment at the Mudita Spa (located at the Borei Angkor Hotel). It’s ultra posh and very worth the money.
They describe J’Pong as “an ancient, steam-filled Khmer heat and herbal treatment. It allows visitors to relax in a cloud of herbal steam. This helps to clear the lungs, relieve stress, promote blood circulation and regenerate energy. The herbs used in this herbal healing are all natural. They include dried turmeric, cinnamon, sweet basil, mint, prai, lemon grass, cloves, galangal, ginger, tamarind, thanakha and kaffir lime leaves”. Said to increase your physical strength while it calms your mind, J’Pong will relax and revitalize you, inside and out.
Feeling a little tight on funds? Not a problem. Siem Reap is home to countless small spas and beauty parlors that are aggressively competing for your business. You can get a perfectly lovely facial, manicure or pedicure for a fraction of what you would pay in the West.
Massage your weary muscles – Khmer Massage
If you are like most visitors to Siem Reap, you will likely spend your days hiking, climbing temples and scrambling over rocks and ruins. All of this adventuring leads to weary limbs and aching muscles. The entrepreneurs of Cambodia know this! The streets are lined with massage parlors, all boasting rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. All at different price (and quality) levels.
Traditional Khmer massage is a unique and ancient practice. Known for its lack of oils and the use of hot cups and/ or coins. They do this in order to open certain channels in the body and increase blood flow to wounded areas.
From as low as $5 US per hour, you can invest in a traditional Khmer massage or a European deep tissue rub down. You can also choose to visit a branch of the ‘Seeing Hand Massage’ chain. In which seeing impaired individuals receive training in order to become massage practitioners.
Yoga and Meditation in Siem Reap
In this predominantly Buddhist country, yoga and meditation is a part of many people’s daily life. As a visitor to Siem Reap, there are plenty of opportunities for you to partake in these ancient practices. Many people decide to engage in a retreat while here. The retreats range in duration anywhere from a few days to well over a month. If you just want to drop in for a class here and there, the Angkor Bodhi Tree Retreat and Yogi Centre is a brilliant option. You can relax and soothe your mind, preparing for a new day of archaeological intrigue.
HendrikPosted at 03:59h, 05 December
This looks actually very interesting, since relaxing & wellness could be the perfect contrast program to all the exciting hiking tours and adventure holidays in this region. And 5$ for one hour of massage…no need to talk about this. Here in Switzerland you would get 1 minute massage 😉
Thank you for sharing your experiences, cheers from Birdie & Hendrik
The Travel NinjasPosted at 04:09h, 05 December
Hi Birdie & Hendrik. Oh, it feels SO good after trekking all day! We couldn’t believe it either. We’re from Miami, Florida in the USA and $5.00 doesn’t even cover the parking fee at the Spa. ? We then figured that a $5.00 massage was going to be crappy but NOPE – it was awesome! We’d love to visit Switzerland someday. We will not be expecting $5.00 massages though. 😉
Madhurima MaitiPosted at 09:42h, 06 December
This sounds really interesting. Thank you for sharing your experiences in Siem Reap. Trekking, visiting the spa, massage – this sounds really amazing! I also loved your picture doing yoga. It’s such a fabulous location,
The Travel NinjasPosted at 09:46h, 06 December
Hi Madhurima. It was quite an adventure. The massage felt SO good after all of the trekking!
KatiePosted at 13:40h, 06 December
I loved visiting the temples of Siem Reap but they do take their toll on the muscles! These are some great tips, I will definitely head to a spa next time!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 13:55h, 06 December
Hi Katie. You’re absolutely right. It’s awesome visiting the temples but a massage really does a body good afterwards! 🙂
Megan JohnsonPosted at 09:03h, 07 December
Great post!! I love advice for things outside of the typical tourist places! And i love yoga, spa and relaxing!!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 09:09h, 07 December
Hi Megan. Thanks for your kind words. You would love Siem Reap!
JuliaSanPosted at 21:54h, 09 December
We were in Cambodia a couple of months ago visiting Angkor Wat and the other temples. I can also confirm, that it is a great thing to find a way to relax afterwords. Massages are very good vaue for money and good quality. 🙂
The Travel NinjasPosted at 21:59h, 09 December
Hi Julia. You’re absolutely right! The massages are quite good especially for the price. 🙂
FSPosted at 11:08h, 10 December
Nice post. Thanks for sharing. Will try to visit Siem Reap someday.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 11:11h, 10 December
Hi FS. Hope you will get to visit Siem Reap in the near future. 🙂
Brown Gal TrekkerPosted at 20:03h, 10 December
I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxation in Siem Reap. I so miss the massage !!! And the food is great… busy place and the temples can get exhausting to visit.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 20:05h, 10 December
Hi. We had a massage (sometimes two) everyday during our time in Siem Reap! It was amazing. Yes, the food was great as well. 🙂
Sandy N VyjayPosted at 21:37h, 11 December
Nice to look at a post beyond the temples of Siem Reap. Pretty useful stuff as one is bound to be exhausted after so much of temple hopping. I would love some meditation in a serene retreat to recharge the body, mind and soul.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 21:40h, 11 December
Hi Sandy. Indeed. Siem Reap has some amazing retreats!
Cez of eTrampingPosted at 15:55h, 15 February
This looks like a great trip destination! I like how you included some airfare and hotel pricing, thanks for the post!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 16:00h, 15 February
Hi Cez. You’re welcome. Thanks for reading and commenting.