Gist: Take a dash of China, a dollop of France, a bit of Thailand, a sprinkle of India wrap it with the warmth of the Khmer culture and you get this perfect travel destination. We recently visited this gem in northern Cambodia– and we loved it!
Siem Reap, whose name literally means “flat defeat of Siam (modern day Thailand)”, hosts over 100 temples. Visiting these temples tells a tale of days past when the Khmer empire flourished in that region. Not to mention, it was also the setting for the filming of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Angkor Wat (temple) is a must see. This UNESCO world heritage site was built in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman II as the state temple in honour of the Hindu god, Vishnu. Featured in the current Cambodian flag, this is one of the largest religious monuments in the world. The building is beautifully decorated with carvings and friezes depicting stories from Hindu mythology. Ta Prohm, Bayon, and Benteay Srei are some of the few other temples that should also be visited. These are all nestled amongst jungle and rice paddies adding serenity to the already mystical setting.
No trip to Siem Reap is complete without visiting Tonlé Sap lake and the floating village. Tonlé Sap is the largest lake in South East Asia. It more than quadruples its size during the monsoon season. The Siem Reap river connects the city to the lake. Closer to the lake is a small community of fishermen and their families. Adapting to their environment, the locals built their houses on stilts. During the dry season, they appear to be like wooden skyscrapers as we look up. There are no roads in the floating village and all transport is by boat or canoe, which adds to this community’s charm.
Beautiful weather, smiles all around, delicious food and ancient ruins make Siem Reap an ideal place to visit. As a country whose name was once synonymous with killing fields, civil war and oppression, Cambodia has made great progress to revive itself as a new tourist friendly destination. We expect this gorgeous city to gain further popularity as the perfect gateway to explore the Kingdom of Water.
- P’chum Ben Festival – Siem Reap, Cambodia (travelpod.com)
- Temples Temples Temples – Siem Reap, Cambodia (travelpod.com)
- First Day of Temples – Siem Reap, Cambodia (travelpod.com)
- We are Canadian..that doesnt mean we are gulible.. – Siem Reap, Cambodia (travelpod.com)
- Cambodia and the Pull of Angkor Wat (blogher.com)
- Other Things to Do in Siem Reap : Fish Massage + Video (littlemisslocal.com)
- La Corée, un seul pays à Siem Reap au Cambodge! (cuisinecambodge.wordpress.com)
- Siem Reap: The name says it all. (livinginpp.wordpress.com)
- The Best and Worst of Hotels in Cambodia (asaibybike.wordpress.com)