Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

Buddhist monks in Cambodia
Visiting Siem Reap and Angkor Wat in three days - Buddhist monks

Siem Reap Cambodia

Siem Reap and its incredible temples, are one of the things to see in Cambodia, nature seems that in some places wants to take back the part that was taken from the buildings, a landscape so original is difficult to find in other parts of the world, certainly deserves to be included among those places to visit at least once in your life.

The airport of Siem Reap is the most important in Cambodia, where most of the tourists arrive, interested in visiting the temples of Angkor, not far from the town and easily reachable by tuk tuk service (about 9 dollars) or by taxi (15 dollars). There are many hotels that provide a free transfer service for those who book directly on their website and stay for a minimum of 3/4 nights. Many international airlines arrive, including Air Asia, Bangkok Air, Cambodia Angkor Air, Lao Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, etc.

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Purchased in advance, the flights are quite convenient, especially with Air Asia and will make your trip to Siem Reap fast but especially cheap.

Angkor Temples Cambodia
Angkor Thom

Siem Reap things to do

What to visit in Siem Reap? It takes at least 3-4 days in this beautiful town, not only to calmly admire all the temples of Angkor but also to enjoy the local culture and the evening streets of the Night Market, between the smell of food and Cambodian hospitality. The best and most authentic way to tour Siem Reap and his temple area, is to take a tuk tuk, with a guide and admire all the surroundings (cost about 20-25 dollars). The area is about a 10-minute drive from the centre. If you are trained and want to do the route on your own you can also opt for the bicycle, there are no major obstacles, the roads are easily covered, the only thing to take into account is certainly the high temperature and sultry, which distinguishes this area. We recommend taking a local guide,who can explain the history of the place. You can easily find at Siem Reap on your arrival through local agencies and inside the major hotels.

In my opinion, the complex should be visited calmly and as closely as possible to the local nature. Precisely because immersed in nature, if we can admire them with a few people around, they retain even more of their charm, rather than queuing up to enter each facility. What to see in Siem Reap if not the beautiful temples? In order to access the archaeological site of Siem Reap, you must have a pass, which can be purchased before starting the visit, at the outdoor ticket office, which is located about 5 km and remains open until about 17.30 in the afternoon. We recommend going there the evening before, to avoid queuing on the day of your visit.

Banteay Samray  Siem Reap
Banteay Samray - Siem Reap

There are two circuits in the archaeological area of Siem Reap, the Great Circuit and the Small Circuit, each of which requires, at least, 1 day to be visited, but if you want to do things more calmly, we recommend that you devote at least 3 days to the visit, even considering that the Banteay Samray is located about 5 kilometers outside the Grance Circuit. The visit requires all day long, in the hot hours the sun is strong, do not forget water, you can also buy it near each entrance, hat and sunscreen, prefer light clothes that cover the shoulders and legs, especially to avoid problems entering the sacred places.

We can mention the main temples of Siem Reap that are definitely worth a visit, bearing in mind that there are also many others, about 50 in the whole area.

Angkor Thom, with the door that leads to the temple of Bayon, the entire area leaves the visitor amazed who admires the bas-reliefs and statues that with their faces seem to scrutinize the surrounding jungle.

Ta Phrom Cambodia
Ta Phrom

Don’t miss the famous temple of Ta Phrom, which hosted the famous film by Angelina Jolie, Tom Raider. Beyond the film, the temple is not big but very beautiful, the roots of the fig trees and other creepers, give rise to surreal views.
The temple of Angkor Wat that needs no introduction, the most famous of the archaeological complex, beautiful to admire especially at sunset, where the image of its buildings is reflected in the pond in front of it, creating a striking postcard to photograph.
The beautiful Banteay Srey, outside the temple circuits of Angkor, known as the Citadel of Women, is located about 30 minutes from Siem Reap, so you can not get there by bike. Particular for its red-pink color, inside is perfectly preserved and you can admire the bas-reliefs and sculptures. Let’s not forget to mention also the temples of the great circuit, often less crowded, such as Pre Rup, Preah Khan and Neak Pean.

 Angkor  Wat temple
Angkor Wat

The temples of Angkor in Cambodia are perfectly accessible at any time of day or year, but at dawn and dusk have a particular charm, especially because there is less influx of tourists and even in the rainy season in my opinion, there is a lush vegetation.

A visit not to be missed is the Phnom Kulen located about 60 km from Siem Reap, considered the holiest mountain by the Khmers. You can get there comfortably by renting a car with a private driver, costing about $ 70. The trip should take about an hour and a half and the cost of entry is $20 per person. We recommend arriving before ten otherwise the site becomes very busy. Today it is one of the main tourist destinations in the country. Here you can admire, in addition to an extraordinary vegetation and a beautiful waterfall, a Buddhist temple with inside a lying Buddha carved into the rock which is considered the largest in Cambodia. At the bottom of the stream you will see bas-reliefs representing Hindu sacred images. The pagoda where the lying Buddha is located is considered a very religious site and is frequented by many believers from all over Southeast Asia.

Deciding to go to Siem Reap means not only visiting the temples of Angkor during the day, but finding yourself walking in the evening in the famous Night Market, with shops of all kinds, from fruit to ornaments, home accessories, massage parlors and restaurants of all kinds.

Before you go shopping in the famous Night Market, you must sit in one traditional place and taste the famous street food, at great prices, do not miss one of the most famous dishes of Kmer cuisine, Amok, a fish fillet roasted with hazelnuts, eggs and coconut milk, wrapped in banana leaves.

Siem Reap hotels

If you are looking for a hotel in Siem Reap, a small hotel, simple but clean, with a nice swimming pool to cool off after the temples of Angkor and a great massage center, you can try among many others the Central Boutique Angkor Hotel, 5 minutes from the Night Market. The small pools of the hotels are essential, to cool down from the heat and humidity, after a day in the temples.

In the evening don’t miss the traditional Kmer dance show.

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Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

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