Siem Reap offers something for just about every traveller: historical temple ruins, rich and fascinating history, delicious street food, electric nightlife, quirky restaurants and bars, beautiful boutique hotels and memorable cultural experiences. A stone's throw away from the magnificent region of Angkor, the city is best known as being the home of the largest temple complex in the world.
The magnificent temples of Angkor are the main reason millions of travellers are drawn to Cambodia each year. Constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries, these temples and structures were once the grounds for the Khmer Empire’s capitals. The Angkor Archaeological Park covers around 400 square kilometres, and the largest, most well-known temple is Angkor Wat. As well, there are many more remote Khmer temples that are equally as beautiful and worth visiting if you have more time in Siem Reap.
If you’re feeling a little templed out, there is much more to explore in and around the city. Hop on the back of a Vespa and weave through the streets with a local as they reveal some of the top local foodie spots like markets, bars and restaurants. Head out to the countryside and walk, cycle or even ride a quad bike through the backroads, passing villages, paddy fields and taking in a more peaceful side to the city. The land here is especially lovely and verdant just after the rainy season in October and November.
For those who wish to travel a little further afield, venture out to Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake and river system known as the Tonlé Sap. Here you can cruise past the stilted villages on the lake, like in the town of Kampong Phluk that soars above the water in the dry season and sits on top of the water in the rainy season. For an alternative experience to watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat, we recommend getting out on the lake early in the morning. This is when the village slowly wakes up and a blistering sun rises over the water before locals head off to work and children row themselves to school.
There are extensive accommodation options to choose from in Siem Reap. Some of the smaller, characterful hotels like Heritage Suites, Jaya House Riverpark and Pavillon D'Orient are our favourites, while the luxury properties like Phum Baitang set on rice paddy fields and opulent Amansara are top-notch. For a more peaceful, intimate stay, Java Wooden Villas is lovely and tranquil while the Bong Thom Homestay sits out in the countryside, an ideal base for visiting the more remote temples.
Siem Reap is packed with adventure, history and beauty, and you could easily spend a long time here without seeing and experiencing everything. Experience Travel Group will help you make the most of your time in the city as you discover the main sights as well as taking part in some of our more off-the-beaten-track experiences.
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