Siem Reap Travel Guide: A Journey To Cambodia Temple Town

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If you like the feeling to explore ancient places, maybe Siem Reap will be perfect for you. Used to be the capital of Cambodia in the Angkor dynasty, this place insists on many historical works that some are received UNESCO World Heritage and known for its long history. In addition, you can choose our Siem Reap Tour package to explore this beautiful city

Read more: 15 BEST THINGS TO DO IN SIEM REAP BESIDES TEMPLES

Overview of Siem Reap

Location

Siem Reap is the largest city after Phnom Penh in Cambodia. It can be known as a city but the name Siem Reap is also a province in northwest Cambodia. The flying distance from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh is 143 miles (231 km). However, if you travel between two destinations by car, the length is 314.7 km. Related tour: Vietnam and Cambodia tour package (14 days)

Siem Reap has a combination of French and China architecture in the Old French Quarter and near the Old Market. In contrast to these areas, the inner city area is boldly Cambodia with traditional museums, Apsara dance performances, cultural villages, Cambodian souvenirs, and handcraft,…

Overview of Siem Reap

Weather

Siem Reap suffers from a tropical wet and dry climate. Therefore, the temperature hardly drops below 30°C (86°F). There are two seasons in a year: wet and dry. 

The wet season starts when the rains appear more frequently in Ma and last till October. The remaining six months will be considered the dry season and the highest temperature it can reach is 40°C.

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History

Siem Reap means “defeat of Siam” (Siam is the name of Thailand back then). As word of mouth story, Cambodia and Thai had conflicted for centuries. Therefore, the town named “Siem Reap” after King Ang Chan (1516-1566) repulse the Thai army sent by King Maha Chakkraphat.

When French explorers discovered Angkor in the 19th century, Siem Reap was merely a village. Following a Franco-Siamese treaty, the French took control of Angkor in 1907, and Siem Reap started to grow.

The Grand Hotel d’Angkor first opened its doors in 1929, and until the late 1960s, the temples of Angkor were one of Asia’s top tourist destinations, drawing celebrities like Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Kennedy. Siem Reap fell into a deep slumber with the arrival of war and the Khmer Rouge, emerging only in the middle of the 1990s.

Where to stay in Siem Reap

Siem Reap airport is about 6 km from the city center. This place has a lot of old structure, so many people still things the quality of hotels here are not good. However, you will be surprised by the infrastructure in Siem Reap because it has become as modern as the capital of Cambodia.

If you have enough budget, you can book a room in the QL6 area to receive the best quality from 3-5 star standard luxurious resorts and hotels.

On the other hand, you can stay in the Western place( near Pub Street and Siem Reap night market) at an affordable price. Stay in this area, you can enjoy the hustling atmosphere of local daily life. Around this place, there is a lot of local restaurant and nightlife entertainment that serve at a reasonable price.  

Siem Reap travel guide to famous sites

Angkor Wat

The heart of the Angkor UNESCO World Heritage Site, which houses the majestic Khmer civilization’s ruins, is Angkor Wat. The majestic central tower of Angkor Wat, which is the culmination of a rising set of five towers, represents the fabled Mount Meru. The exquisite carvings on the walls, which span thousands of feet, show scenes from Hindu mythology. 

The Carved Bas reliefs of the Hindu tales are the most significant. It told the story of gods versus demons to restore order, which can only be accomplished by obtaining the amrita, the elixir of life. To unleash it and subsequently fight for it, the gods and demons must cooperate.

Siem Reap travel guide to famous sites

Angkor Thom

The famous “Warrior King” of the Empire, Jayavarman VII, constructed the inner royal city of Angkor Thom around the end of the 12th century. It is well-known for its temples, particularly the Bayon. Baphuon, Phimeanakas, The Terrace of the Elephants, and The Terrace of the Leper King are more noteworthy locations. Five city gates, one at each cardinal point plus the Victory Gate on the eastern wall, provide access to the city.

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm was initially constructed as a university and monastery for Buddhists. 12,500 people lived there, including approximately 20 high priests and more than 600 dancers. Around 80,000 people lived in the villages that served as Ta Prohm’s suppliers of goods and services. After the collapse of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century, it was abandoned and left in ruins for hundreds of years.

Ta Prohm is one of the most visited temples in Angkor because it is mostly in the same state as when it was discovered, unlike most Angkorian structures. This is due to the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees sprouting from the ruins and the surrounding forest.

Bayon temple

The Bayon Temple, which sits in the center of Angkor Thom, functioned as the emperor Jayavarman VII’s state temple. It is a mountain temple created to resemble Mount Meru, which in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology serves as the center of the cosmos.

The towers that protrude from the upper terrace and congregate around the Bayon’s central peak are what give it its most recognizable appearance: a plethora of tranquil, beaming stone faces.

The faces on the Bayon temple were carved to resemble Jayavarman VII. Several of these towers have fallen since the temple’s construction.

Angkor National Museum

Visitors can gain a better grasp of the region’s ancient treasures at the Angkor National Museum. With the aid of cutting-edge multimedia technology, the Golden Age of the Khmer Kingdom is depicted. In eight rooms, the museum explores the history, culture, and civilization of the Khmer people.

A late 12th-to-early 13th-century seated Buddha protected by a naga (mythical serpent), a standing Vishnu from the 7th century from Sambor Prei Kuk in Kompong Thom, and a lovely 10th-century lintel from the lovely temple of Banteay Srei are just a few of the collection’s notable pieces.

Markets

Between Pub Street and the Siem Reap River is the Old Market, or Psah Chas, which sells both tourist goods and a range of food products and other items for the inhabitants. The Angkor Night Market, off Sivutha Street, Phsar Kandal (The Central Market), on Sivutha Street, which primarily serves tourists, and Phsar Leu (The Upper Market), farther away along National Road 6, are additional markets in Siem Reap. 

Phsar Leu is the largest market in Siem Reap and is used by the locals. Tourists can shop at a night market in Siem Reap called The Made in Cambodia Market (formerly called “Well Made in Cambodia”), where every item for sale is made in Cambodia. The market has everyday performances and events on King’s Road.

Reviewed by

Diep Van

Phone: +84901166884

Email: diep.van@ftripvietnam.com

Diep Van

Founder & Photography Guide

Specialties: Culture, landscape, portrait, hiking, active and adventurous tour

Besides my unlimited passion for traveling, a professional tour guide for over a decade, I have been taking photographs since sitting at Hanoi of the University of Culture in the early 2000s. Photography started as a hobby but it was seriously taken due to my work relations and my significant passion for the beauty of our world, especially in Southeast Asian parts such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Within a few years of taking photographs, my works began to be recognized by many reliable international publications such as AFAR Travel, The Times, and The Daily Telegraph newspaper. In addition, I continuously add to my growing profile by winning numerous major awards: 3rd Position of The Independent Photographer 2018, 1st Position of Amateur Photographer of the year 2018, Grand Prize Winner of the AFAR Travel Photography 2019, and a Gold Award of San Francisco Bay International Photography 2020.

I photograph a wide variety of subjects, from travel to landscapes to street scenes. I enjoy documenting the East’s rich cultural heritage and its land soaked in glorious sunrise or sunset light in remote and secluded spots. And, I am very happy to share my knowledge and experience with you. You can visit Luminousvietnamtour to explore tour!