Siem Reap, Cambodia


Pub Street in Siem Reap by Stefan Fussan

Siem Reap is a town situated in northern Cambodia and the primary gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park. The name Siem Reap literally means "Siam Defeated" but these days, the only rampaging hordes are the tourists heading to the ancient ruins of Angkor. Since Siem Reap is a major tourist destination in Cambodia, prices here including accommodation and food are in many instances higher than elsewhere in the country.
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Siem Reap was once a quaint village town but now has become the largest boom town and construction site in Cambodia. It also has a large expatriate community, directly involved or supporting the local tourism industry. Nevertheless, Siem Reap is quite laid-back for a tourist town and a pleasant place to stay while touring the temple ruins of Angkor. For many visitors, the town is a nice compromise between observing Cambodian life and enjoying the amenities of modern services and entertainment.

Siem Reap street scene by Milei.vencel

Siem Reap's main attraction are the remains of the 9th to 15th century Khmer Empire at Angkor Archaeological Park, one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Tourism in Siem Reap initially catered to the adventurous backpacker willing to travel over tormenting roads in old pick-up trucks from the Thai border in the east. Accommodation then initially comprised of budget-priced guesthouses. Since the turn of the century, hotels of various categories have mushroomed as well as cafes, restaurants, shops and various services catering to tourism.

Ruins of Angkor by Charles J Sharp

Expect to receive almost constant offers for the motodop and tuk-tuk drivers, along with everything else which the drivers may be able to offer to you. Be sure to pick up your free copy of Siem Reap Angkor Visitors Guide and the equally free and useful Siem Reap Pocket Guide from your hotel or guesthouse. These two guides contain lots of tourist info on Angkor Archaeological Park and Siem Reap itself including hotels, restaurants, shopping, transport services, travel info and maps.
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Siem Reap

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