Discover 8 fascinating attractions in Angkor, Cambodia
Angkor was the capital city of the Khmer Empire, also known as Yasodharapura and flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries. The city houses the magnificent Angkor Wat, one of Cambodia's popular tourist attractions.
Siem Reap is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia. It is a popular resort town and a gateway to the Angkor region. Siem Reap has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter and around the Old Market. In the city, there are museums, traditional Apsara dance performances, a Cambodian cultural village, souvenir and handicraft shops, silk farms, rice-paddies in the countryside, fishing villages and a bird sanctuary near the Tonle Sap Lake and a vibrant, cosmopolitan drinking and dining scene.
Whilst Angkor Wat remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cambodia, there are many more beautiful and fascinating attractions to discover in the Angkor region:
1. ANGKOR WAT
Angkor Wat is the central feature of the Angkor UNESCO World Heritage Site containing the magnificent remains of the Khmer civilization. Angkor Wat's rising series of five towers culminates in an impressive central tower that symbolizes mythical Mount Meru. Thousands of feet of wall space are covered with intricate carving depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. The most important are the Carved Bas reliefs of the Hindu narratives. They tell a story about gods fighting demons in order to reclaim order which can only be achieved by recovering the elixir of life known as amrita. The gods and demons must work together to release it and then battle to attain it.
2. ANGKOR THOM
Angkor Thom is an inner royal city built by Jayavarman VII, the Empire's famed 'Warrior King', at the end of the 12th century and is renowned for its temples, in particular the Bayon. Other notable sites are Baphuon, Phimeanakas, The Terrace of the Elephants and The Terrace of the Leper King. The city can be accessed through five city gates, one at each cardinal point and the Victory Gate on the eastern wall.
3. ANGKOR NATIONAL MUSEUM
The Angkor National Museum offers visitors a better understanding of the area's archaeological treasures. The Golden Era of the Khmer Kingdom is presented, including the use of state-of-the-art multimedia technology. The museum covers Khmer history, civilization, and cultural heritage in eight galleries.
4. ARTISANS ANGKOR
Artisans Angkor is a semi-public company founded in 1992 which aims to revive traditional Khmer craftsmanship and provide employment for rural artisans. It is also associated with a silk farm where visitors may learn about sericulture and weaving. It also participates in the restoration of historical Angkor sites by repairing and replacing damaged sculptures.
5. CAMBODIA CULTURAL VILLAGE
The Cambodian Cultural Village assembles all the miniatures of famous historical buildings and structures of Cambodia. There are 11 unique villages, which represent different culture heritages, local customs and characteristics of 21 multi races.
6. CAMBODIA LANDMINE MUSEUM
The Landmine Museum offers tourists and Cambodians the chance to see landmines up close, understand how they work, and what they can do to help rid Cambodia and the world of their continuing threat. It is approximately 25 km north of Siem Reap (30 minutes by tuk tuk), 7 km south of the Banteay Srey Temple complex in Angkor National Park.
7. CAMBODIA WAR MUSEUM
The War Museum Cambodia covers the last three decades of the 20th century when the Khmer Rouge was active in Cambodia. There is a vast array of vehicles, artillery, weaponry, landmines and equipment on display. The museum is making use of guides who are war veterans who fought for the Cambodian army, the Khmer Rouge or the Vietnamese army.
The Old Market or Psah Chas is between Pub Street and the Siem Reap River, and offers a mixture of souvenirs for tourists and a variety of food produce and other items meant for the locals. Other markets in Siem Reap include the Angkor Night Market which is off Sivutha Street, Phsar Kandal (The Central Market) on Sivutha Street which mainly caters to tourists, and Phsar Leu (The Upper Market) which is further away along National Road 6 but is the biggest market of Siem Reap used by the locals. The Made in Cambodia Market (initially called "Well Made in Cambodia")  is a night market for tourists in Siem Reap where all the products sold are made in Cambodia. The market hosts daily shows and other events in King's Road.
SLEEP AT FIREFLY GUESTHOUSE
The Firefly is a German and Spanish run Guesthouse and offers all the comfort and service of a Hotel for a budget price. Your stay at the Firefly Guesthouse will give you the unique opportunity to discover the real Cambodia. Located only a few minutes away from the touristic center by tuk tuk (our favorite three wheels transportation) you will find yourself in a colorful and exotic local neighborhood with a food market just around the corner.
SLEEP AT SANTA CLARA BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Santa Clara is a 13 bedroom luxury hotel situated along the Siem Reap River, north of the town and only a few kilometres from the famous Angkor Wat. The hotel embraces the beauty and culture of traditional Siem Reap whilst delivering the luxury, comfort and safety the discerning traveller deserves.
SLEEP AT SARAI RESORT & SPA
Situated in the exotic city of Siem Reap, Sarai Resort & Spa is a luxurious, Moroccan-inspired boutique resort. Sarai Resort & Spa was designed to be a destination where travelers from East and West come to pleasantly discover superior services, comfortable rooms, great food, exquisite spa, and a beautiful swimming pool.
SLEEP AT SOKHA ANGKOR RESORT
Sokha Angkor Resort offers luxurious resort living in central Siem Reap. The hotel offers wellness and relaxation with spa treatments and facilities within its private gardens. The property features an outdoor pool available all year round and an in-house restaurant.
SLEEP AT THE EMBASSY ANGKOR RESORT & SPA
The Embassy Angkor Resort & Spa is located on a quiet side of Siem Reap Town and they have managed to create a small paradise for guests. The resort is built in a style where Khmer architecture meets Western efficiency and is located amidst a green and relaxing environment. Unwind after a hot day at the Temples of Angkor at the extensive pool complex, which lies in front of your room and encircles the restaurant.
Rose Apple Boutique B&B offers accommodation away from the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap. Featuring an in-house restaurant, this cosy hotel also features an outdoor salt-water pool and free internet access.
SLEEP AT THE VILLA SOK SAN SQUARE
The Villa Sok San Square is perfectly located in the heart of Siem Reap within easy walking distance of the Old Market, the Pub Street and the Night Market, yet is quiet and peaceful. It is also minutes away from Cambodia's most famous and mystical attraction, Angkor Wat Temple.
SLEEP AT VIROTH'S HOTEL
Viroth’s Hotel is ideally located in a leafy street in the center of Siem Reap, in the vibrant Wat Bo area, the hotel boasts an 50’s-inspired exterior, complimented by large green areas and vertical gardens. This peaceful area adjacent to the river is just steps away from the old market, shopping and entertainment district and 15 minutes ride from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, while Siem Reap International Airport is accessible within an 8 km drive.
SLEEP AT VIROTH'S VILLA
Located close to the center of Siem Reap, Viroth's Villa is a nineteen rooms Boutique Hotel tastefully designed with fifties and sixties inspirations. The building from 1960 has been renovated following the “New Khmer Architecture” movement.
EAT AT CHARCOAL L'ENTRECOTE
Inspired by the renowned Parisian restaurant, Le Relais de l’Entrecôte, founded in 1959 by Paul Gineste de Saurs, Charcoal l’Entrecôte is Siem Reap’s take on a legendary dining experience. The team is proud to offer guests a taste of Paris with every bite.
EAT AT THE KITCHEN
The Kitchen is a one of a kind Cambodian fine dining experience that captures the diversity and wealth of Khmer cuisine. Designed around the Kingdom’s seven cities, Chef Bora will take you on an unforgettable journey across the country, one dish at a time.
EAT AT VILLA CHANDARA
Allow Villa Chandara to bring you on an adventure the tourist crowds cannot follow: To an enchanting one-of-a-kind rural experience set in the landscaped gardens of a private dining villa favored over the years by visiting personalities of stage and screen who value anonymity and discretion.
EAT AT VIROTH'S RESTAURANT
Viroth’s Restaurant; the perfect place to enjoy traditional Khmer cuisine in a chic and contemporary setting.The restaurant is owned and operated by Viroth and his family, who are passionate about food and hospitality.
PLAY AT ASEAN ANGKOR GUIDE
Asean Angkor Guide provides private tours in Cambodia and especially in Siem Reap. As experienced tour guides for many years, they are able to assist you to organize a perfect private tour with flexible itinerary according to your needs.
PLAY AT BARCYCLE CAMBODIA
Bar Cycle Cambodia is the most unique and fun way to experience the sites, sounds and tastes of Siem Reap. They can accommodate up to 12 people on the City Tours and Rolling Food Tours and ensure you have a great time exploring the local day/nightlife.
PLAY AT CAMBO FIRST TRAVEL
Cambo First Travel are local guides and drivers in Siem Reap, which is located not too far from the ancient city of Yasodharapura. They would like to share their culture, history and civilization of the local community with their customers.
PLAY AT CEBU ANGKOR TOURS
Cebu Angkor Tours is a professional tour company owned by Mr. Heng Seng Hok. He is a licensed Cambodian tour guide in the Siem Reap, Angkor Region. He offers fantastic tour experiences in Angkor, Siem Reap and neighbouring provinces in Cambodia.
PLAY AT ELLA BOAT
Ella is a classic, custom wooden boat, modelled on a traditional hull and finished to a high standard for private cruises on Tonle Sap Lake. Travel by road through beautiful Cambodian countryside to begin your exploration the floating villages of Tonle Sap. Aboard Ella cruise along waterways to the margins of the lake to reach the remote village of Meachrey.
PLAY AT PEACOCK ASIA TOURS
Peacock Asia Tours is a dedicated travel destination management company from humble beginnings in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Their operation has spread across the country, with offices in Siem Reap Angkor, where they cater to travellers coming to, Siem Reap, Battambang, Preah Vihear, Phnom Penh, Kep, Kapot and Sihanuk Ville.
PLAY AT SIEM REAPER
Siem Reaper is a locally owned company based in Cambodia. 100% of the business and their local business partners are owned by local Cambodians. The tours are designed by locals and founded on the immersive power of local experiences. Siem Reaper will take you to must-see attractions, lesser-known roads, first-hand experiences and meet dedicated teams of local guides.
PLAY AT TASTE SIEM REAP
Taste a curated collection of Siem Reap's most interesting art, dining and drinking experiences. Visit three or four venues in one evening. Have fun and enjoy the best of Siem Reap, while your professional hosts plan everything.
HOW TO GET THERE: Siem Reap international airport located in Siem Reap city of NW Cambodia is the nearest airport from Ankor Wat. It is about 6kms away and on an average takes 20 minutes to reach Angkor Wat through main gate of Angkor Wat where entrance tickets can be purchased.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: The best time to visit Siem Reap is in December and January, when the days are assuredly sunny and dry. Just be aware that this is the peak tourist season, so you'll find it more crowded everywhere and prices will be higher.
VISAS: For most visitors, visas are obtainable upon arrival at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airports. In the event of land crossings from Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, visa can be obtained at International Check Point border.
GETTING AROUND: To get around Angkor Wat you need a vehicle, no way you can walk the whole complex. Foreigners are not allowed to drive inside the park, so you must hire a bicycle, a tuk-tuk or a van driver. Bicycles are fun, but be prepared for long hours cycling and the heat.
CURRENCY: The official currency of Cambodia is the riel (KHR), which is pegged at a value of roughly 4,000 riel to the US dollar. The rate fluctuates up and down on a daily basis, but a general conversion rate of 4,000:1 is accepted throughout Cambodia.
LANGUAGE: Khmer is now used for all official communication. English is the language of tourism and understood by many people in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. In the countryside few people speak English or French.
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