Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

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Colonial buildings, Siem ReapSiem Reap has become a tourist destination for only one reason - the temples of Angkor Wat, which are among the world's most magnificent historical monuments. The gateway to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap is a small colonial town that has been receiving temple hunting foreigners for over 100 years. Originally the area was home to a number of small villages centered around individual pagodas, however with the arrival of the French and Henri Mouhot ‘re-discovering’ the Angkor temples in the 19th century, Siem Reap became a colonial-era centre. Today you can still see remnants of the colonial architecture, particularly around the Old Market (Phsar Chas) area, as well as the pagodas of the original villages, which along with the river flowing through the centre makes Siem Reap a pleasant town to stroll around. During the last 10 years as Cambodia has become safer the number of visitors has grown Siem Reap riverdramatically, as has the diversity and range of the associated hotels, restaurants, shops, spas, and bars - Siem Reap now even boasts 2 international standard golf courses!

The temples of Angkor Wat are the main reason for visiting Siem Reap, for more information on the temples please click here. However, there are a number of attractions within the town itself. Buddhist pagodas are the traditional seat of Khmer culture, and as Siem Reap has developed around a number of old pagodas such as, Wat Bo and Wat Keseram, a visit to at least one is a must. Other attractions include theCambodian Cultural VillageArtisans d’AngkorAki Ra Land Mine Museum, and the Butterflies of Angkor garden. Additional highlights that should not be missed whilst staying in Siem Reap are a traditional gracefulapsara dance, most often combined with more jovial village dances, and an exciting shadow puppet performance. If all the temple touring and Siem Reap shopping tire you out, no problem, there Pagoda, Siem Reapare now a large number of luxury spas in town where you can receive a revitalising and relaxing massage.

Finally, Siem Reap is only 15km north of the Tonle Sap, the largest lake in South East Asia, taking a cruise on the lake and witnessing the fascinating lifestyles of the people living in its floating villages, as well as the array of birdlife, makes for a wonderful experience – for more information please click here.

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