Set in northwest Cambodia, Siem Reap is best known for being home to the incredible Angkor ruins. A sprawling World Heritage listed site, comprising ancient temples with the magnificent Angkor Wat as the focal point.
While the Angkor park is one of the World’s most amazing historical sites, Siem Reap province is also home to an array of other ruins; namely Beng Mealea, Bantaey Srei and the holy mountain Phnom Kulen. So, if ancient temple ruins are your interest, this province is the place to explore.
The provincial capital of Siem Reap is also a transportation hub, with many people coming through here en-route to Phnom Penh, Poipet (the northwest border crossing to Thailand) or by bus or boat to Battambang. More often travelers are now using it as a base from which to visit the renowned Preah Vihear temple.
Siem Reap’s international airport welcomes more visitors daily than Phnom Penh. Arrival numbers are expected to triple between 2015 and 2018.
The town itself is situated only three kilometers south of the temple park and has blossomed from a relatively small backwater town to the fastest growing settlement in the region. Annually, two million visitors now travel through the small city to see the adjacent Angkor ruins. This tourism hub has three PGA-rated golf courses, the presence of international hotels such as Sofitel, Raffles, and the Le Meridien; and an airport with 36 international and domestic flights arriving daily.
French explorer Henri Mahout described Angkor Wat as “a rival to that of Solomon and erected by some ancient Michelangelo… grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome.”
At its heart, SIem Reap is a charming, quaint town with old French shop-houses, shady tree-lined boulevards and a slow-flowing river. It has a famed nightlife in and around Pub Street and colonial architecture that adds a cosmopolitan balance.
Most independent travelers tend to visit the ruins in the morning or late afternoon, taking a break back in town during the middle of the day, when the heat and daylight detract from the temples.
Siem Reap & Angkor Wat is a place to be savored. Take your time to experience the 8th Wonder of the World and highlight experience in the Kingdom of Wonder.