10 years ago Siem Reap was where you stayed, ate and grabbed a beer or two between investigations of Cambodia’s twelfth-century sanctuary complex Angkor Wat. Presently the city that Angkor made is something of a destination itself, attracting guests with a vivid and varied feasting scene, stylish hotels, amiable inhabitants and a laid-back river town atmosphere. Include a developing network of Cambodian and worldwide artists, performers and designers reviving traditional arts and exploring new means of creative expression and you have a perfect short-break city, regardless of whether the temples are on your agenda.
Siem Reap’s Tourist District
The core of Siem Reap’s tourist district is known as Old Market or Psah Chas. This part of town is home to an expansive centralization of restaurants and shops geared towards a consistently expanding number of American, British and European visitors. The influx of tourism has changed a quiet little city into a bustling downtown area with eclectic array restaurants, bars, and clubs that rivals any college town along with a night market that keep going well past midnight.
The Angkor Temple Region
The primary attraction for guests to Siem Reap is the Angkor Wat and the Angkor Temple Region, which covers in excess of 300 km of northwestern Cambodia. The Angkor Temple Complex has been assigned a UN Heritage Site and consists of many structures from the ninth to the fourteenth century that recounts the story of the ascent and fall of the Khmer empire. This immense collection of historical structures are decorated with complicatedly carved, inestimable Khmer work of art and that give an archeological and a pictorial history of a realm that ruled much of southeast Asia for five centuries.
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