The Angkor Temples, Siem Reap
I’m at the gateway to a millennium old temple! The primary gateway to the ruins of the Angkor temples, Siem Reap is often known as the life-support system for the temples. It is the provincial capital of Northwest Cambodia and is the closest city to the world heritage site, the Angkor Archaeological Park. Being so close to a designated world heritage site has made the once quaint village of Siem Reap a tourist boom town! There are just so many things to experience here!
History of Siem Reap
The name Siem Reap, I learned, can be translated to mean “Siamese Defeated”, which is a reference to the victory of the Khmer empire over the Thai kingdom back in the 17th Century. But there are also arguments that state this to be untrue. Scholars maintain that the origin of the name is unknown. Isn’t that mysterious?
Popular Tourist destination in Cambodia
The transition of this village to a tourist hub can be attributed to the French. They came in during the 19th century, and following a Franco-Siamese treaty, helped transform the town into what it is today. Since then, the town has become the most popular tourist destination in Cambodia. One of the things I noticed was the ease of getting around to and around Siem Reap. Commuting here is fun, and the options range from cheap green bikes and tuk-tuks to even helicopters, if you’re willing to spend the money.
As I mentioned earlier, the town is full of things to see and experience. Apart from the must-see temples of Angkor, there are also several other temples around the town to see. The museums and markets for visitors were also rather fun to explore. I found the Landmine museum especially interesting, and would definitely recommend it!
If you like getting massages, go for a blind massage and you can be assured of a relaxing massage by trained experts. If you’re more adventurous, there are also bike tours and sports activities to be enjoyed. And the food is simply lip-smacking. You’ll find something delicious to eat around the Old Market area no matter what your food preferences are.
I must say I’m glad I took my own sweet time exploring this delightful place.