Siem Reap province is located in northwest Cambodia. It is the major tourist hub in Cambodia, as it is the closest city to the world famous temples of Angkor (the Angkor temple complex is north of the city). The provincial capital is also called Siem Reap and is located in the South of the province on the shores of the Tonle Sap Lake, the greatest sweet water reserve in whole Southeast Asia. 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.
At the turn of the millennium Siem Reap was a Cambodian provincial town with few facilities, minor surfaced roads and little in the way of nightlife. Tourism industry catered largely to hardy backpackers willing to brave the tortuous road from the Thai border on the tailgate of a local pick-up truck. There were a couple of large hotels and a handful of budget guesthouses. Tuk-tuks and taxis were non-existent and the trusty motodup was the chosen means of touring the temples of Angkor.
The proximity of the Angkorian ruins turned Siem Reap into a boomtown in less than half a decade. Huge, expensive hotels have sprung up everywhere and budget hotels have mushroomed. Property values have soared to European levels and tourism has become a vast, lucrative industry. The Siem Reap of today is barely recognizable from the Siem Reap of the year 2000.
Though some of the town's previous ramshackle charm may have been lost the developments of the last few years have brought livelihoods, if not significant wealth, to a good number of its citizens. This has been at a cost to the underprivileged people living within and beyond the town's limits that now pay inflated prices at the central markets and continue to survive on poorly paid subsistence farming and fishing. If Cambodia is a country of contrasts Siem Reap is the embodiment of those contrasts. Despite the massive shift in its economic fortunes, Siem Reap remains a safe, friendly and pleasant town. There is an endless choice of places to stay or dine and a host of possible activities awaiting the visitor.
Trip to Siem Reap Angkor in Cambodia
Credit: Angkor Cambodia
Siem Reap province is 10,299 square kilometres big and definitely one of the most famous ones in Cambodia. It's located in the Northwest of the country bordering to the North with Oddor Meanchey, to the East with Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom, to the West with Banteay Meanchey and to the South with the biggest sweet water reserve in Southeast Asia, the huge Tonle Sap Lake.
The province in general, especially in the Southern part consists of the typical plain wet area for Cambodia, covering lots of rice fields and other agricultural plantations. The northern part is turning into an undulating area covered with some deeper, green forests. A quite distinguished mark of Siem Reap Province is the smaller, but important Siem Reap River. It rises from Phnom Kulen, meanders through the northern part of Siem Reap Province and eventually into the Tonle Sap Lake.
The current population in this province is about 903,030 people or 6.3% of the country's total population (14,363,519 person in Cambodia, 2007, provincial government data), with 440,395 male and 462,635 female. The population density is therefore 87,7 people per square kilometre.
The country has a tropical climate - warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travellers need not to fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.
Climate: Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However, those plans to travel extensively by road should be avoided the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable. The average temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months, whereas the hottest is April. General information about the provincial climate:- Cool season: November- March (23-29c)
- Hot season: March- May (27c -37c)
- Rainy season: May - October (24-33c, with humidity up to 90%.)
Generally spoken Siem Reap Province is all in all economically focusing on the foreign tourism due to the famous Angkor Temples. Since of the year 2000 the economical growth rate is gaining double-digits. It's all sub-sectors such as hotels, restaurants, bars, entertainment places and transportation to profit from the annual influx of tourists, which was in 2007 more than 1,000,000 people.
Except the tourism sector the provincial economy was and still is growing due to the enforced fishery. Thousands of tons are annually exported to other provinces within the country or outside Cambodia. Farming and fruit cropping has probably become a minor profitable sector, but is still done by the vast poor rural population, who are the underdogs regarding the annual provincial revenue.
There are dozens of temples ruins in Siem Reap, many of the most significant with in the Angkor Archaeological Park. just north of the city , others further afield . the temples vary in iamportance , interest and condition and are spread over a large area ,often kilometres apart . In other to get the most of your temples visit , it is best to prepare at lease a preliminary itinerary . your itinerary should depend largely on the length of your visit and your travel of interest , though some ruins are must-sees. Any itinerary should include the legendary of Angkor wat and Bayon . these two temples ruins offer the most spectacular and unique examples of Angkorian art and architecture.on the road trip to Bayon,you will also see the South Gate of Angkor Thom and other minor ruins. As it is within walking destance of Bayon, even the briefest visit can usually include central Angkor Thom with its artistically interesting terraces and massive ‘temple-mountains’,Bapoun and Phimeanakas.
As time and interest allows, build the rest of your itinerary around visitng each type of major temlpes mountian such as Pre Rup , Takeo , Bakhong and West Mebon , Flat ,sprwaling monastic complex such as Ta Prohm , Preah Khan , and Banteay Kdey , and unique monument such as Neak Pean and Sra Srang . The Rolous Group ,which is comprised the monument of an early Khmer capital. lie about 15 km East of Siem Reap. it is a bit out of the way , but offers some fine of examples of early Angkorian art and should be include in two or three day itineraries . Of special note is the artistically exquisite but more even destant temples, Banteay Srey . if there is ant way of sqeezing it into your itinerary , it is well worth it.
In Angkor area , there are many temples ruin for visiting but the visitable and normal itineraries the tourists always visit the temples such as Ankor Wat,Phnom Bakheng, Baksei Chamkrong, Angkor Thom ,through main gate as South Gate , West Gate ,Norh Gate , East Gate and Victory Gate, and detail complex temples in Central of Angkor Thom City( Bayon, Bapoun , Phimeanakas , Royal Palace Area, Terrace of Elephants, Terrace of Liper King , Preah Palilay, Tep Pranam , Preah Pithu Group , North Kleang , Prasats Sour Prat, North Kleang and South Kleang and more and more ruins in some place of this area.), however we still have some more temples after Angkor thom such as Thommnon ,Choa Say Thevoda, Ta Nei , Takeo , Ta Prohm , Banteay Kdey, Sra Srang ,Prasat Kravan.In other direction there are also temples such as Pre Rup , East Mebon , Ta Som , Neak Pean and Preah Khan with some other small ruins along the road as Krol Ko, Prasat Prei, Banteay Prei. the East of Angkor area such as Rolous Group which have three temples for visiting such as Bakhong, Preah Ko and Lo Lei . For long destant temples and outside Angkor Area ( remote are temple ) such as Banteay Srey , Banteay Samre ,Kbal Spean , Kulen mountain , Beng Melea.
if the visitor have long stay in Siem Reap, they can go to visit very far temples such as Koh Ker, Preah Vihear ( location in Preah Vihear province) and Sambor Prei Kuk (in Kampong Thom Province), Bantey Chhmar temple ( Banteay Meanchey Province,near Thai border).
The great itineraries for visiting the temples of Angkor , there are three types to be arranged and easy trip for understanding well. there are such as below: Ø Small Tour Area:
There are many temple as Ankor Wat,Phnom Bakheng, Baksei Chamkrong, Angkor Thom ,through main gate as South Gate , West Gate ,Norh Gate , East Gate and Victory Gate, and detail complex temples in Central of Angkor Thom City( Bayon, Bapoun , Phimeanakas , Royal Palace Area, Terrace of Elephants, Terrace of Liper King , Preah Palilay, Tep Pranam , Preah Pithu Group , North Kleang , Prasats Sour Prat, North Kleang and South Kleang and more and more ruins in some place of this area.), however we still have some more temples after Angkor thom such as Thommnon ,Choa Say Thevoda, Ta Nei , Takeo , Ta Prohm , Banteay Kdey, Sra Srang ,Prasat Kravan. Ø Grand Tour Area:
there are many temples such as Pre Rup , East Mebon , Ta Som , Neak Pean and Preah Khan with some other small ruins along the road such as Krol Ko, Prasat Prei, Banteay Prei. Ø Remote Area or Temple outside the Main Park of Angkor (Part 1) :
there are a few temples such as Kbal Spean(1000 Lingas on River bed and waterfall) , Banteay Srey (temple of Ladies or temple of Becauty), Phnom Kulen ( water fall). In same trip day, the toursits can ask to your driver for visiting Banteay Samre temple on the way back from those temples above. In the same recommendation about Remote area temple , there are Also Rolous Group ( Lolei, Preah Ko , and Bakhong ), and Beng Melea temple. Ø Temple outside the Main Park of Angkor (Part 2) :
Banteay Chhmar temple , Koh Ker , Preah Vihear , Sambor Prei Kuk ( all these temples is available to go by car only). However all temples in Battambang Province is also recommended for visiting, there are many temple such as Ek Phnom , Phnom Banan,and Phnom Sampeou ( if tourists have plan for visiting Battambang , they can skip this during they are in Siem Reap Province).
â€‹As enthralling as temples of Angkor may be, there are lots of other thing to see and to do. Seeing a bit cambodia away from the temples can help avert “temple-burnout” and round out Cambodian experience. it also help Cambodia by taking some of tourist plessure off of the temples and spreading the tourism dollars are a bit more widely . In additional to the following suggestions, check out the section on visiting The Tonle Sap Lake and Birds watching at Prek Taol r remote temple ruins , attending a traditonal performance , going on the helicopter , Ballon and elephants riding , Traditional markets, and good course ………
Other sightseeing in Siem Reap
o Apsara Dancing Show ( Performance )
o Floating village of Chong Kneas
o Floating forest of Kampong Pluk
o Birds watching of Pre Toal
o Souvenir Shop
o Silk Farm
o Artisans D’Angkor
o Tarditional Massages and Spa, Sunna and steam , Gym and Sports
o Cambodia Land Mine Museum and Relife Facility
o Siem Reap War Museum
o Cambodian Cultural Village
o Crocodile Farm
o Balloon Flight
o Ox Cart Riding
o Elephants Riding
o Horse farm , Horse Riding
o Pagodas and Shrines
o Tatoos Center
o Circus Artist Show and Cenima
o Cooking Class
o GOOD COURSE such as Angkor Hospital for Childrent , Beatocello and Jayavarman VII Hospital ( childrent hospital ), Orphanic Center ,………..
o Night Markets , Old Market , Pub Street , Restaurants abd Bars , Night Club Dancing and Party …….
o Look around City, River View , Royal Garden , Royal Residence ………
o Much more interesting place to do sightsseing in Siem Reap Town
it has as been a traditional since the earliest day of tourism in the 9th centuray to treat visitors to Siem Reap with an Apsara Dance Perfoamnce – a taste of living khmer culture . No visit to Cambodia is complete without attending at least one performance.
Traditional Khmer Dance is better described as “Dance Drama” in that the dance are not merely dance but also meant to convey a story or message . There are four main modern genres of traditional Khmer dance such as
1). Classical Dance
2). Shadow Theater
3). Lakhon Khol ( all-males masked dance drama )
4). Folk Dance
5). Monkey and Fish Lover
6). ( More and More )
v Khmer-China Hospital : Full service medical clinic , 24hours Service, Ambulance Service. Tel: 012 59 66 86
v ROYAL ANGKOR INTERNATIONAL HOSPITAL : Standard medical service , 24 hours trauma and emergency care, ambulance , translation ,evacuation .
TEL: 063 76 18 88 www.royalangkothospital.com
v Siem Reap Provincial Hospital : Rudimentary facility. TEL : 063 96 31 11
v U_CARE PHARMACY : one of the best respected pharmacies in Cambodia.
Tel: 063 95 63 96
v TOURIST POLICE : a police station are located opposite the main entraince / admission station to the Angkor Archaeologicial Park . Hotline : 012 40 24 24