Siem Reap is the capital city of northwestern Cambodia. It is a popular resort town and a gateway to the Angkor region. The name of the city literally means Siamese defeated, referring to the victory of the Khmer Empire over the army of the Thai kingdom in the 17th century. Nowadays, Siem Reap is a major tourist destination having a large number of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and businesses. Coming to Siem Reap, tourist will be amazed by hundreds of natural and manmade attractions such as breathtaking temples, well-preserved colonial buildings, unique museums, cultural theme parks, expansive lakes and verdant mountains. Let’s check out some Siem Reap's essential destinations
Angkor Wat is the major reason why most visitors come to Siem Reap. It attracts upwards of a million foreign visitors a year. Angkor Wat (Wat temple) is a unique combination of the temple mountain and the later plan of concentric galleries. It is also the central feature of the Angkor UNESCO Heritage Site containing the magnificent remains of the Khmer civilization. Despite the passage of time, the temples retain much of the majesty they have had since they were constructed in the 12th century AD. You can not miss this such a unique destination while traveling to Siem Reap.
Angkor National Museum is an archaeological museum. The museum was first opened in 2007. It’s also known as a state-of-the-art showpiece on the Khmer civilization and the majesty of Angkor. The museum has 8 galleries, all of which combine to give an impressive array of priceless exhibits which date back to the dawn of Angkor Civilization. Inside the museum displays over 6,000 lintels, assorted statues of Hindu gods and Buddhist bodhisattvas and sandstone reliefs. For lovers of art, history, and design, this museum will not let you disappointed.
Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. The lake is unique as it changes the direction of flow twice a year and the lake expands and contrasts with the season. With the rich biodiversity of fish, bird, reptile and other mammals, Tonle Sap Lake is not only the livelihood for more than 3 million people but also a biodiversity hotspot. In 1997, the lake was designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Coming to Tonle Sap, you will have a chance to explore some special destination of this great lake such as floating village Chong Kneas, Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary.
Also known as Psah Chas, old market in Siem Reap located on the west side of Siem Reap River. You can find anything in this market from fruits, flower, clothes, souvenir, food or motorcycle parts, and religious items. This is the oldest Khmer market in Siem Reap and the must-see destination if you want to explore the real Cambodia as well as local lifestyle. The market opens daily from 7.am to 8.pm
Nestling about 50 km north of Siem Reap, Phnom Kulen National Park is one of the most scenic and historically significant locations of the area. Kulen is considered the most sacred mountain in Cambodia and it is a popular place for domestic visitors during weekends and festivals.The most noteworthy is the waterfalls at the top of Kulen Mountain. Coming to Phnom Kulen National Park, tourists can immerse in the cool fresh atmosphere.