Siem Reap, literally means Siam Defeated, is nestled in the northwestern Cambodia and is the capital of the Siem Reap province. In recent years, this city is considered a prime tourist destination in Asia. Not only this city is an attraction in itself, its close range to Angkor Temples, the most popular tourist destination in Cambodia, is an inviting feature as well.
Tourists enter Siem Reap through Siem Reap International Airport, the second largest airport in Cambodia that is distinct due to its traditional Khmer architecture and style. The international and domestic terminals are separate from each other, therefore, tourists can navigate around with ease. The airport is just 7km from the center, so one can have either a tuk-tuk or a taxi when going to the city. Hotels also offer airport-to-hotel transfers as part of the accommodation package. If there is no big luggage in tow, being a passenger of a motodop (motorbike taxi) adds to the experience. Siem Reap is compact, flat, and dry, and with perfect weather, one can go around on foot. Tourists who prefer to ride opt to rent motodop, tuk-tuk, or bicycles, and for those with a budget to spare, there are also rent-a-car services. The drivers very well know their way to the city, however, they cannot serve as tourist guides because of the language barrier.
Being one of the top destinations in Asia made the hotels and accommodations of Siem Reap thrive. From upscale hotels to backpacker hostels, there is a home to match every tourist’s taste and preference. The large hotels, such as The Privilege Floor, Borei Angkor Resort & Spa, and Shinta Mani Club, are lined-up from the National Road up to the airport. The Old Market area is where hostels and budget accommodations are found, and the streets of Wat Bo Road have Soria Moria Boutique Hotel and other boutique hotels that easy in the pocket yet undeniably stylish.
From Asian staples to international dishes, the culinary of Siem Reap gives every tourist a reason to indulge in the city’s dining scene. Every street of Siem Reap has its line-up of restaurants to boast of, but the largest assortment of restaurants is found few blocks from the Old Market and some interesting alternatives are seen in Wat Bo Road. The Pub St. in the Old Market is something that cannot be missed, while The Alley is for the ones who are into a quiet, relaxed kind of dining. From fine dining to local eateries, from fashionable dishes to street food, eating in Siem Reap adds to the marvelous experience.
The Angkorian Temples are no doubt the attraction that entices tourists to Siem Reap, but the city itself has a bundle of destinations that are worthy to be seen. Specialty museums, such as the Cambodia Landmine Museum, reflect the history and culture that define the city. Kbal Spean is an 11th-century relief carvings that line the stream beds along a chain of waterfalls. Phnom Kulen National Park, a religious place, is a breath-taking site where the abundance of mountains and waterfalls represents the magnificent work of nature. Siem Reap, a once modest village, has become a pleasant city to stay while touring Cambodia’s historic temples and feeling the laid-back Cambodian lifestyle. With all its attractions combined, and the welcoming nature of its people, exploring the city of Siem Reap is truly something to cherish.