Siem Reap was little more than a village when French explorers rediscovered Angkor in the 19th century. Since then, the town started to grow, welcoming visitors in ever increasing waves. The Angkor area is today one of the most popular destinations in Asia and the world, and due to its location, Siem Reap has became the center of a modern and chic Cambodia. The city, tough small in size, offers everything from party venues to world class resorts and fine dining. Its tree-lined streets and lively river are best explored on foot or bycicle.
Buried in the heart of the Cambodian jungle, mere minutes from the city of Siem Reap sits the Angkor archaeological site, a monumental complex with more than one hundred temples, palaces and lakes, built between the 9th and 14th centuries. during the reign of Suryavarman II. The largest and best known of these temples, and also the best preserved, is Angkor Wat. Initially subjected to a diversity of Hindu beliefs and later to Buddhist thought, Angkor Wat is the only of the great temples that remains an important religious center. Ankgor Wat has become the symbol of the country and even has its place on the national flag of Cambodia.
Ta Prohm was swallowed by the jungle many centuries ago and trees made their way through its ruins. With its alluring and exotic mixture of moss-filled stones and tree roots, Ta Prohm is one of the most famous temples in Angkor. The walls that surround the central sanctuary are all sculpted with reliefs such as devadas, beautiful female figures that adorn the stone.
This temple dedicated to Shiva is located about 25 km from the most well-known area, and is a perfect excuse for a fun tuk tuk ride. It is said to be built by women and is considered by many “the jewel of Angkor”. Built out of red sandstone, the details of its statues and reliefs give it an extraordinary beauty, despite the wear suffered through the centuries.
Due to the vast expanse of Tonle Sap Lake, there are many floating villages that can be found in its waters. The famous lake is located between the center and northwest of Cambodia and covers five provinces of the country: Siem Reap, Kompung Thom, Battambang, Pursat and Kampong Chhnang, and in addition to hosting thousands of people it also works as a means of transport as ferries circulate between Siem Reap and places when navigable. Chong Kneas, Kampong Khleang and Kompong Phluk are some of the floating towns closer to Siem Reap.
Experience Siem Reap with a visit to Angkor Wat and its unbelievable sunrise over the horizon of Cambodia. The apogee of classical Khmer architecture and has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on the national flag. Experience captivating choreography and the hypnotic colors of Phare Circus performance. If an adventure is your cup of tea, take a trilling helicopter trip in the areas of Siem Reap as well as the Banteay Ampil Temple and Floating Villages of Tonle Sap, Cambodia’s “Great Lake”.
Be mesmerized by the captivating choreography and hypnotic color of a Phare performance in Siem Reap. Feast your senses on a spectacle that blends riveting theater with folk music and distinctly Cambodian stories. Commend the determination of the young circus artists, many of whom are from challenging social and economic backgrounds, as they hypnotize the audience with their energy and emotion. Gain insight into the charity Phare Ponleu Selpak and discover the work the organization does to help vulnerable children and adults in Cambodian society.