Siem Reap is the primary access point for the Angkor Archaeological Park, the gateway city to the fantastic ruin sites of Angkor Wat
Visit the most impressive ruins of Bayon Temple, Banteay Srei, the “Citadel of Women”, Terrace of the Elephants and Angkor Tom, and enjoy a performance of classical Cambodian dance. Angkor Wat lies 5.5 km north of the modern town of Siem Reap, and a short distance south and slightly east of the previous capital, which was centred at Baphuon. It is in an area of Cambodia where there is an important group of ancient structures. It is the southernmost of Angkor’s main sites. A labor of love by a devout king with an edifice complex, Angkor Wat remains a significant source of pride for the Cambodians descended from Suryavarman II’s subjects.
This once quaint village is quite laid-back and a pleasant place to stay while touring the temples. It is a nice compromise between observing Cambodian life and enjoying the amenities of modern services and entertainment, thanks to a large expatriate community. Since Siem Reap is a major tourist destination, prices in some instances are higher than elsewhere in Cambodia. Expect to receive almost constant offers for motodop and tuk-tuk rides, along with everything else which drivers may be able to offer to you.
Be sure to pick up your free Siem Reap Angkor Visitors Guide and the equally free and useful Siem Reap Pocket Guide from your hotel/guesthouse. It contains lots of info on Siem Reap and the Angkor Archaeological Park, including hotel/bar/restaurant/shop info, travel info, and maps. For the eco-sensitive tourist, check out “Stay Another Day: Cambodia,” a detailed guide with local spots that support the environment and community. Another address is the ConCERT tourist office, a local NGO committed to raising the standards of responsible tourism and ecotourism activities and providing information on the causes and effects of poverty in Cambodia, volunteering opportunities and ecotours.
To See & Do
Most people come to visit Angkor Archaeological Park, the town itself has some worthwhile attractions.
- Angkor National Museum, 968 Charles de Gaulle Blvd, ☎ +855 63 966 601 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Daily 8:30AM-6PM.Exhibits covering the history of the Angkor complex as well as Khmer culture and clothing using high tech displays and video screens. Some say the 1,000 Buddhas room is as impressive as it sounds. US$12.
Angkor Photography Festival – Photography for Change. Annual festival that showcases outdoor projections and various exhibitions around Siem Reap of regional and international photographers. The festival is held during the last week of November every year, consisting of 7 evenings of outdoor projections and more than 10 gallery exhibitions across various venues in the city. The festival is the first of it’s kind in Southeast Asia and is also the biggest. It aims to highlight the work of Asian photographers and provides free workshops for 30 young photographers from the region every year, led by world renowned professionals, which are showcased during the event. There is a full time office/gallery for the festival located on the East river road near the Bopha Angkor Hotel. As well as the festival, the organisers support a local NGO working with street children, that promotes the arts and runs a photography course with students. Photography from these students is also showcased as part of the festival programme.
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The Temples of Angkor • Locations & Activities