If Southeast Asia is on your wellness travel bucket list, then there’s no way you can miss Siem Reap, Cambodia. Famous for Angkor Wat and popular among backpackers, Siem Reap isn’t typically thought of as a “wellness destination,” but I’m here to tell you that the Kingdom of Wonder has so much more to offer than archaeological sites.
Siem Reap is home to affordable yoga retreats, talented healers, a plant-based food scene, and unique fitness classes. Compared to well-known wellness hotspots, Cambodia is less expensive, more authentic, and offers exceptional experiences that you won’t find anywhere else.
This Siem Reap wellness travel guide will give you the inspiration and practical information you need to plan your own wellness retreat in Cambodia.
Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel is the “hidden gem” of wellness hotels in Siem Reap. If you’re not checking in to an official yoga retreat, I recommend you stay at Baby Elephant and build your own retreat around their in-house wellness offerings and mix in other recommendations from this guide.
Baby Elephant has a saltwater swimming pool, a juice bar, a delicious restaurant with vegan-friendly options, and a quaint in-house spa that offers traditional Khmer massage.
They also have a partnership with Yoga Space, one of Siem Reap’s best yoga studios. You can pre-book your class at the Baby Elephant front desk and they’ll arrange a tuk-tuk for you which costs just $2 each way.
My full review of Baby Elephant is coming soon!
If you want to enjoy all of Baby Elephant’s great amenities while saving around $25/night, then check out their sister property, BE Happy Guesthouse. Online, it appears that Baby Elephant and BE Happy and separate properties, but the two hotels are essentially one in the same.
I had the opportunity to stay at both hotels and I found Baby Elephant to be more comfortable, but BE Happy is a great option if you’re on a budget or prefer to spend your travel dollars on experiences rather than accommodation.
VIBE is Siem Reap’s first 100% vegan cafe. Everything they serve is plant-based, made from scratch, and sourced from organic and chemical-free local farmers and suppliers. Compared to other cafes in town, VIBE is on the expensive side, but their quality, presentation, and creativity can’t be matched.
GIVE Kefir is Siem Reap’s probiotic brewery. They create living tonics and teas made with immune-boosting superfood ingredients like turmeric and spirulina. Stop by for a complimentary tasting or grab or a bottle to-go and stash it in your hotel mini fridge for kombucha on-demand.
For more restaurant recommendations, read my full Siem Reap cafe guide.
Yoga Space is a small studio located in the heart of Siem Reap. They offer incredible yoga classes, free meditation workshops, community events, and more. They provide high-quality yoga mats and props and serve complimentary chilled herbal tea after class. With only 9 mats, it’s very easy to meet people and feel like you’re part of the Siem Reap yoga community. Yoga Space is basically the quaint, intimate yoga studio of my dreams. Space is limited, so arrive early and bring cash.
Tavoos Garden is a non-profit center for yoga, mediation, dance, and martial arts that’s located within walking distance of Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel. They have the largest yoga shala in Siem Reap where they host free daily yoga classes in addition to paid wellness programs. Tavoos believes that yoga is a gift that should be shared, not profited from, so they invest their proceeds back into the local Cambodian community.
NIA is a fusion movement practice that combines dance, martial arts, yoga, and other therapeutic healing practices. It’s a unique exercise class that embodies true holistic fitness. I didn’t have time to catch one of Debbie’s classes when I was in Siem Reap and it’s seriously my one regret from the trip because I heard nothing but rave reviews from multiple people. Debbie teaches NIA at various studios around town — see her current schedule here.
For natural and non-toxic technical beauty services, head to Sugar Spa. They offer vegan waxing, vegan eyelash extensions, results-driven skincare services, and manicures that are free of the "big 10" nail polish chemicals. Sugar Spa is hands-down the best place for pampering in Siem Reap. Be sure to catch a yoga class at Yoga Space before or after your treatment.
For just $5, you can spend the day at Bayon Era Hotel located just outside of downtown Siem Reap. Their spa facilities include a steam room, sauna, hot tub, cold bath, gym and a large pool for swimming on sunbathing. For an additional $5, you can add a sixty-minute massage. They don't really advertise this on their website — this is insider knowledge and is considered one of Siem Reap's best kept secrets.
Francois Chaillou | Acupuncture and IV/IM Injections, ph. 096 411 6780
Leab | Blind Shiatsu Massage, ph. 088 824 0243
Richard | Cranio-Sacral, Lymphatic Drainage, Reflexology and Massage, ph. 0788 24 402 or 015 846 770
Dennis | Palm Reader, ph. 093 783 267
Hariharalaya is the #1 yoga and meditation retreat in Siem Reap and has over 1,000 positive reviews on TripAdvisor. Hariharalaya is a six day, five night retreat that’s located in a traditional Cambodian village near Siem Reap. I attended Hariharalaya in March 2020 and had a wonderful experience. The meals are simple, fresh, and delicious. There’s a digital detox and a day of silence, so you have the space to truly free yourself of distractions and reconnect with yourself. My full review of Hariharalaya is coming soon.
Read my full guide to the best yoga retreats in Cambodia.
I hope you enjoyed this wellness travel guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia! Have you been to Siem Reap? Let me know in the comments. Travel well!
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. I take my recommendations very seriously, and I may receive a small commission from certain sales (without any extra cost to you). This helps me continue to create free, high-quality content to serve you better.
Copyright © 2020 Passport to Wellness (Brittney Ayers). All rights reserved.
* You may not take any images or content from this site without written permission. For more information, contact us here.