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Top things to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia

While Phnom Penh attracts tourists by Nagaworld casino, the former capital Siem Reap brings mysteriousness and antiquity of one of the most glorious civilizations to visitors. It is said to the place having the imprint of Khmer dynasty in the past as well as the image of Cambodia both at present and in the future. If you are curious about what to do in Siem Reap, read this article carefully and follow my directions.

Where is Siem Reap?

Siem Reap is a province in the northwest of Cambodia, lying on the banks of Tonle Sap Lake. It is also the name of a city belonging to this province. Siem Reap used to be the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Now it is the beautiful former capital of the country of temples, keeping valuable historical relics.

Go sightseeing in Angkor temples

With hundreds of temples scattering in the whole area of World Cultural Heritage Angkor, you can prioritize to admire some most beautiful temples.

  1. Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the biggest and prettiest among all Angkor temples. It was built during the reign of King Suryavarman II at the first half of 12th century, being the pinnacle of Khmer architecture. This temple is famous with long corridors sculpted by hundreds of Indian epic bas reliefs and thousands of splendid statues of Apsara dancers.

The gorgeous sunrise in Angkor Wat
The gorgeous sunrise in Angkor Wat

Don’t forget that Angkor Wat is an ideal place to admire the view of the sunrise and sunset.

  1. Ta Prohm

This is the most romantic temple in Angkor with the image of old trees having deep root in the ground. Locals believe that those who take photos under these trees will love each other forever.

The sense of mysteriousness covers Ta Prohm temple
The sense of mysteriousness covers Ta Prohm temple

Though it is not the most outstanding temple, unique carved doors and mysteriousness are reasons why Ta Prohm was chosen to be the main film studio for “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”.

  1. Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom leaves a strong impression by Buddha statues with four smiling faces.

Smiling faces of Buddha statues in Bayon temple makes visitors emotional
Smiling faces of Buddha statues in Bayon temple makes visitors emotional

Bayon Temple lies in the central area of Angkor Thom – the final capital of Angkor Empire. In the beginning, this temple comprised 54 towers but now only 37 towers have remained intact.

Unique architecture and mysterious statues can bring tourists emotional moments, especially when they see the smile on the face of Buddha.

Besides, there are still many other old temples in Angkor like Banteay Srei, Preah Khan, Bakheng… Visit and enjoy their beauty to know why they have been recognized as the World Cultural Heritage.

Visit Tonle Sap Lake

Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, recognized as the Biosphere Reserves of the world by UNESCO. This lake not only brings the fisheries resources but also serves as a tourist attraction of Siem Reap.

Tonle Sap - The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia
Tonle Sap – The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia

Coming here, travelers might have fascinating experiences such as going sightseeing in a boat, visiting floating villages of locals or discovering bird sanctuaries…

Taste Siem Reap cuisine

Siem Reap cuisine is abundant with Khmer, Vietnamese, Thai or Western foods. But it’s a good idea to taste Cambodian dishes, for example, Amok. This is a typical food of Cambodia with sweetness of coconut water, jaggery, prohok and aroma of banana leaves.

Amok - a unique traditional food in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Amok – a unique traditional food in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodian foods are very cheap, so you needn’t worry about the price. Just eat and enjoy the unique flavor of cuisine in Siem Reap.

Discover the life in the countryside

You must be excited about the final experience: get out of the central area of Siem Reap to discover small villages in the countryside. You can travel by hitchhiking, tuk tuk, motorbike or bike.

Tourists love discovering villages far from the central area of Siem Reap by motorbike
Tourists love discovering villages far from the central area of Siem Reap by motorbike

The feeling when you pass through villages and green rice paddies is awesome. Remember to welcome the first sunshine of a new day beside green terraces.

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