Siem Reap is one of those places that cater to every taste. It’s difficult to get bored in this ever-evolving city. The variety of cuisine, accommodation, shopping, modes of transport, and daily activities is quite astonishing for what is actually a relatively small – and new – city on the edge of the Tonle Sap Lake.

The central highlight is of course the Temples of Angkor – most of which are just a short trip from the center of town. However, it would be a mistake to see Siem Reap as merely a bed for the night to allow for days at Angkor Wat. Whether it’s enjoying sipping a coffee and people-watching in the town, taking a quad bike out into the countryside, or bargaining for silks and silver in the burgeoning markets, there are plenty of reasons to extend a stay after becoming “templed out”.

The central shopping and restaurant area is concentrated around the south of the city near the Old Market. Nearly every week a new bar, boutique, massage spa, or restaurant seems to open; such is the pace of development. What can seem a sleepy town by day (because everyone is at the temples) is teeming with people in the high season after sunset, with tuktuks and motos jostling for space on the small streets.

Siem Reap Province actually has a lot to offer apart from the temples of Angkor. Bordering the Tonle Sap Lake, it is part of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve and home to rare and endangered wildlife. In addition, about 60km north of Siem Reap town is the Kulen Mountains. Although perhaps not mountainous by general standards, they are in stark contrast to the flat horizons of Cambodia’s rice fields. With a thick jungle, beautiful waterfalls, and hidden ruins, it is a fantastic place to explore and very popular with Cambodian families on holiday time.

Siem Reap has grown rapidly, going from a barely-paved village with a few small restaurants to a vibrant city, packed with markets, restaurants, and luxury resorts in less than 15 years. Siem Reap now welcomes over 2 million visitors each year.


According to the siemreap