Siem Reap/Angkor Wat
A few kilometres north of Siem Reap stands one of the world’s most impressive temple complexes, Angkor Wat. In fact, Angkor graces a large area covering several square kilometres of ancient temples. The name means “city or capital”, “wat” meaning “temple”. The main temple of Angkor is one of numerous within the area, but it is the largest and most popular of these architectural wonders. It is estimated that the temples took 30 years to construct by more than 17000 workers.
Angkor’s beauty and its state of preservation are unrivalled, so too the artistic distinctiveness which ensures the UNESCO World Heritage-listed cluster of temples stands out as the unofficial seventh wonder of the ancient world. The City of Siem Reap is the capital city of the north-western province of the same name. Venture into the city’s Old French Quarter and you will see a mix of colonial and Chinese-style architecture. Also worth seeing is the Old Market and its stalls of fresh fruit, vegetables and countless craft and clothing. Expect to see the traditional Apsara dance performances in a centre that is home to interesting craft shops. With the rise of tourism has been the rise of new hotels and restaurants. Small establishments are found around the Old Market area, while the larger more expensive hotels are located between Siem Reap and the International Airport. Surrounding the city are many silk farms, rice-paddy countryside, fishing villages and a bird sanctuary which sits near the Tonle Sap Lake.