Another Asian marvel situated in northern Cambodia called Siem Reap. The name Siem Reap literally means Siam Defeated-and refers to the centuries-old conflict between the Siamese and Khmer peoples.
Siem Reap is the primary access to the Angkor region. In Siem Reap you can see Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter and traditional APSARAS dance performance. The Town is a cluster of small villages along the Siem Reap River.
Siem Reap & Cambodia have become popular tourist destinations in recent years, and this popularity has made it difficult to appreciate the beauty of the Angkor Temples.
Attractions of Siem Reap
Angkor Wat: Angkor wat or Wat temple is a big attraction of Siem Reap. It is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. The site has been managed by the private SOKIMEX group since 1990, which rented it from the Cambodian government.
Kampong Phluk Floating Village: Kompong Phluk, literally translated as Harbors of the Tusks, is the name given to a stilted village community found living on the lake. Once you arrive there you’ll be able to see the natural way of life on water as the predominantly Cambodian community go about their business.
Apsara Dance: Apsara dance is an ancient dance form in Siem Reap. It is the commonly used term to describe the traditional Cambodian dance form that was previously practiced in the royal palaces. “Khmer Classical Dance” or “Cambodian Court Dance” would probably be more accurate descriptions – Apsara is just one character portrayed by these highly skilled dancers.
Angkor National Museum: The museum has 8 galleries, and displays the array of artifacts which date back to the earliest civilizations of Angkor. The museum is located on the Charles de Gaulle Road (main road leading toward the Angkor Temples) just in front of Grand Raffles Hotel near the center of town.
Thrills & Fun
Shooting Range: It is a real adventure and a true game of Russian roulette. Armament and explosives availability apparently is only limited by how much you are willing to spend. Listening to the soldiers-turned-used car salesmen put the hard sell on a new machine gun is almost worth the trip.
The Water Festival: This is a very important festival for the people of Siem Reap and worth watching too. The festival marks the changing of the flow of the Tonle Sap and is also seen as thanksgiving to the Mekong River for providing the country with fertile land and abundant fish.
How to reach there?
Siem Reap has the second largest airport in Cambodia. It is quite modern and a distinct Cambodian style building. Siem Reap International Airport has all the facilities that any other International airport has. There are separate terminals for international and domestic flights. Siem Reap International Airport has services from these airlines:
Airlines – From
- AirAsia- Kuala Lumpur
- Asiana Airlines- Seoul-Incheon
- Bangkok Airways – Bangkok
- Cambodia Angkor Air- Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh
- China Eastern Airlines- Kunming, Nanning
- China Southern Airlines- Guangzhou
- Jetstar Asia – Singapore
- Korean Air – Seoul-Incheon
- Lao Airlines – Luang Prabang
- Malaysia Airlines – Kuala Lumpur
- Silk Air – Da Nang, Singapore
The airport is just 7km away from the town. Most hotels offer a free airport pick-up if you’ve booked in advance.
How to roam around?
A plenty of two wheelers are available along with the drivers from motodops. If you ride within the town it will cost you around US$0.50 or 2,000 riel, during night and bad whether it can be doubled up to US$1.
Renting a motorbike is prohibited for foreign travelers in Siem Reap, however foreigners may ride motorbikes they have rented elsewhere.
The ubiquitous tuk-tuk and the entreating call of drivers are a fixture of almost every street corner. A tuk-tuk carries four people at a time. A tuk-tuk trip within Siem Reap should cost US$1.
Cars can be hired on rent. All the drivers have good knowledge of routes and can speak in little English which is enough for you to understand. Cars or cabs are available for multiple days also.
Your passport must have at least four months’ validity remaining when you arrive in Cambodia. Local immigration authorities may deny entry and deport people who do not meet this requirement, even if they intend staying only for a short period.
Tourist visas are valid for thirty days only. This validity period refers to the period in which you are able to commence your thirty day visit to Cambodia. It does not extend the time you are permitted to stay in Cambodia beyond thirty days. Tourist visas must be renewed if you intend to stay in Cambodia in excess of thirty days. Tourist visas can be renewed only once.
Cambodian customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Cambodia of items such as drugs, firearms, antiquities, or ivory.