Siem Reap is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwest of Cambodia - also the closest city to the famous Angkor complex. Siem Reap, which literally means 'Victory over Siam', refers to the victory of the Khmer Realm over the Thai Kingdom in the 17th century.
If Cambodia is a nation full of contrasts, Siem Reap is the crystallization of those contrasts. Although gradually Siem Reap carries massive changes due to the development of trade and industry, overall Siem Reap still a safe, charming and lovely city. There is an endless choice of places to stay and a variety of activities waiting for travelers.
The first impression when you enter Siem Reap is the incredible touristic burst in a small town. Nevertheless, if you take a closer look and spend an hour wandering on the streets, you’ll be overwhelmed by a pretty and charming combination of old French cafés, rickshaws, and local small shops selling strange products. This is truly a place in which history meets the present.
This mixture of French colonialism, Angkorian history, Khmer tradition, and Cambodian good spirits is basically unlimited. Siem Reap has grown exponentially, but it still retains some of its charm, especially around Psar Chas (Old Market) and in the French Quarter. The whole Old Market area stretches from the river across to the night markets on Sivutha Blvd and carries such items as fruits and vegetable, secondhand cloths, hardware, motorcycle parts and religious items.In the Old Market, travelers can find the deepest selection of souvenirs and curios as well as savor a budget meal with various Cambodian cuisines. Or you may prefer to have a stroll along the river near the French Quarter and immerse in the lush emerald surroundings and tree-lined boulevards. Don’t miss the chance to visit the truly remarkable sights - Angkor Temples and contemplate the greatness of the Angkorian Empire.
As an alternative to visiting extraordinary places, there’s an abundance of room for fascinating activities. Enjoy Spas with relaxing massage, warm bathing and aromatherapy that you can easily find the appropriate setting to relax. Visit the surroundings with a biking trip, or other local means of transport. The real Cambodia will surely be very close to you if you take a step or two away from the main roads. There are also plenty of traditional Apsara dance performances, handicraft shops, local fishing villages, rice paddy fields, and a bird shelter near the Tonle Sap Lake. All of them are available at any time for everyone to take pleasure in leisure time.
Besides a bunch of remarkable spots and distinctive exciting activities, those who come to Siem Reap can choose to have meal in an excellent variety of restaurants. This is also a great time to get delight from the traditional music offered by the restaurant during the dinner hour. Like many other parts in Asia, international restaurants in Siem Reap comprise their own way of interpreting cuisines all over the world. Some of them are just normal, but there is a handful of places that are worthy of all the attention.