Siem Reap is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cambodia. It is a great place to go to if you are interested in the Cambodian natural wonders and incredible monuments, because it is, in fact, a pretty laid-back place and, although numerous tourist roam the streets of this city most of the time, it still keeps a relaxing, serene atmosphere. Here are some tips regarding a visit to Siem Reap and a few fun facts about the Cambodian universe:
1. Getting around Siem Reap
You can easily get around this beautiful city. The city centre is kind of compact and flat, so it’s easy to go around by foot. You can also get a bike. Many guest houses there will lend bicycles to whoever needs one for a very small fee, sometimes even for free. Some of these guest houses are affiliated with a local charity that will use the money to fund education or clean drinking water projects. There is also the possibility to rent an e-bike. These bikes can be charged at certain points and the cost is around $10/hour.
Motorbikes or motodops (motorbike taxis), as well as tuk-tuks can be found pretty much in every corner of Siem Reap and locals will be more that happy to help tourist get around with their means of transportation. The fees are low and the rides are enjoyable.
2. What to visit
The most popular tourist site there is by far the Angkor Archaeological Park. You can also check out the Angkor National Museum, the Angkor Silk Farm, the Angkor Handicraft Association (this is a NGO that works only with the artisans from the rural areas of Siem Reap and that promotes only authentic and certified handicrafts – this is a great opportunity to pick the best souvenirs from your trip).
Visit the McDermott Gallery, the Senteurs d’Angkor Workshop and the wonderful, representative temples: Wat Preah Prom Rath, Wat Prohm Rat, Wat Preah Enkosa, Wat Preah Enkosei, Wat Po Lanka, Wat Bo, Wat Damnak and Wat Kesararam.
3. Try different activities
You can try tasting some delicious alcoholic beverages at Georges Rumerie or Sombai Cambodian Liqueur. Take a ceramic class at a pottery centre, a cooking class, a cocktail class, watch a wonderful cultural performance at Apsara Theatre for example (there are many other places that display all sorts of art manifestations), go to a cinema, attend a festival (such as the Angkor Photography Festival, The Water Festival or The Annual Street Puppet Festival. You shouldn’t miss out on the great massages or the exciting bike/motorbike tours.
4. Fun facts about Cambodia: tarantulas are often eaten as a snack here. If you are curious about the “pleasantly crunchy legs” of these tarantulas, you can try one, as they are widely consumed there.
Cambodia also has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, with around 2000 square kilometres being lost every year.
The $30 million Angkor Panorama Museum in Siem Reap was apparently a gift from North Korea to Cambodia. The two states seem to have a pretty special relationship.
The Cambodian forests used to be the homes of many Indochinese tigers, but these are now declared functionally extinct there, with the last tiger having been spotted is 2007.
River dolphins can be found in the upper Mekong River in Cambodia. You should write this down in your wish-list if you plan to visit more that just Siem Reap.
The Cambodian flag depicts one of the main tourist attractions there: the main building of Angkor Wat. Only two countries in the world (Cambodia and Afghanistan) feature a building on their flags.The Cambodian flag depicts one of the main tourist attractions there: the main building of Angkor Wat. Only two countries in the world (Cambodia and Afghanistan) feature a building on their flags.
Overall, Cambodia and especially Siem Reap make a very interesting destinations for a vacation. If you are attracted by these beautiful lands, you should check out the available flights to your destination and the complete list of hotel deals there on TripEconomy. Enjoy your vacation!