Siem Reap Cambodia Travel Guide

Siem Reap Cambodia Travel Guide
A Vagabond Life

Siem Reap Cambodia Travel Guide A Vagabond Life

Traveling to Siem Reap, Cambodia, offers an unparalleled journey into the heart of ancient Khmer civilization, home to the magnificent Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most significant archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. This sprawling temple complex, with its intricate bas-reliefs and towering spires, serves as a symbol of Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage and attracts visitors from around the globe eager to explore its beauty and historical significance.

Siem Reap, however, is more than just the gateway to Angkor. The city itself is a vibrant blend of traditional charm and modernity, with bustling markets, lively bars, and a thriving culinary scene that showcases the best of Cambodian cuisine. Artisans Angkor, a social enterprise, offers insights into traditional Khmer craftsmanship, while the tranquil countryside, with its rice paddies and floating villages, provides a glimpse into rural Cambodian life.

For those seeking adventure, Siem Reap offers hot air balloon rides over Angkor, bike tours through the countryside, and cultural performances that bring the history and legends of Cambodia to life. With its blend of ancient wonders and contemporary experiences, Siem Reap promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Cambodia.

Siem Reap Table of Contents

Siem Reap Map
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Siem Reap Cambodia

Things To See & Do In Siem Reap

Angkor National Museum

The Angkor National Museum showcases art and culture of the Khmer civilisation and the incredible Angkor. There are multiple galleries featuring touch screens and displays with commentary. Audio tours are available for US$5. It is well worth a visit.

Address: 968 Vithei, Charles De Gaulle, Krong Siem Reap Cambodia

Pub Street

Pub Street in Siem Reap Cambodia is a lively and very busy area near Psar Chaa with a diverse range of restaurants, bars and cafes. The road is closed each evening and food carts, drink carts and restaurants spill onto the road. 

Les Chantiers Ecoles  & Artisians Ankor

Ancient trades and traditional culture was destroyed under the Khmer Rouge regime and the following years of instability.  Les Chantiers Écoles in Siem Reap Cambodia teaches young Cambodians wood- and stone-carving techniques, traditional silk painting,  and other artisan skills.

Visit the shop Artisans Angkor to discover beautiful hand crafted goods woth all profits going back into to school and artisans. 

Free guided tours explaining traditional techniques are available daily from 7.30am to 6.30pm.

The school is on side road and well signposted from Sivatha St.

Cooking Courses

Cooking courses are always a fun way to learning a little bit about local cuisine and get a few skills to take away with you. 

Most cooking schools offer hands on cooking instruction followed by a sit down meal to enjoy the food you have cooked. many also include a trip to the local market to colletc the fresh food you will be cooking.

Talk to your hotel or guest house who can usually recommend a good cooking school. 

Angkor Wat Archaeological Park Map

Temples of the Archaeological Park

Angkor Wat

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Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, on a site measuring 162.6 hectares It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum.As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation.

Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple-mountain and the later galleried temple. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this.

Ta Phrohm

Ta Phrohm

Ta Prohm is probably best known from the temple in the movie Tomb Raider. Built in the Bayon style  in the late 12th and early 13th centuries it is located about one kilometre east of Angkor Thom and on the southern edge of the East Baray.  It was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman  as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Ta Prohm is in the same condition in which it was originally found with trees growing out of the ruins it was my favoutite temple we visited. In 1992  Ta Prohm on the World Heritage List by UNESCO. Today, it is one of the most visited complexes in Cambodia’s Angkor region.

Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It was established in the late twelfth century by King Jayavarman as the empires capital. It covers an area of 9 km², within which are located several monuments from earlier eras as well as those established by Jayavarman and his successors. At the centre of the city is Jayavarman’s state temple, the Bayon, with the other major sites clustered around the Victory Square immediately to the north.

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei dates from the 10th-century and is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The temple is on a hill 25 km  north-east of the main group of temples that once belonged to the medieval capitals of Yasodharapura and Angkor Thom. Banteay Srei is built largely of red sandstone, and features decorative wall carvings from ancient times. The buildings  are miniature in scale, which have made the temple extremely popular with tourists, and have led to its being widely praised as a jewel of Khmer art.

Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea  is a temple in the Angkor Wat period located 40 km east of the main group of temples at Angkor, Cambodia and is on the ancient royal highway to Preah Khan Kompong Svay. It was built as a Hindu temple, however there are some carvings depicting Buddhist motifs. It built mainly from sandstone and has remained largely unrestored, with trees and thick brush growing within its towers and courtyard.  The Beng Mealea temple is about 75km from Siem Reap.

How To Visit The Temples

How Much: Passes are sold in one-day ($37), three-day ($62) and seven-day ($72) blocks that must be used on consecutive days

Getting Around: I am not much of a tour person, in fact I go out of my way to avoid them. However this is one thing you have to do as a tour. Take a private tour where you can pick your sights and spend the time to explore this incredible place. We found an excellent guide through our hotel and most reputable hotels can assist with finding a good guide.

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