Visit Cambodia, a Premier Tourist Destination
Siem Reap is a charming provincial town defined by a cluster of villages and is the most prosperous region of contemporary Cambodia. It has become an irresistible destination for approximately one million tourists per year, welcoming visitors from across the United States, Europe, China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
While visiting the temples will certainly be the centerpiece to your visit to Cambodia, there are still plenty of other things to do in and around Siem Reap. As a gateway to these ancient temple ruins, Siem Reap has experienced exponential growth in recent years, turning this once sleepy village into a tourism mecca.
This influx of visitors to Siem Reap has lead to a proliferation of many languages, including English (the official language until recently was French), and has led to the growth of a vibrant shopping, nightlife and entertainment scene as well.
What is attracting so many visitors to Siem Reap, making it one of Asia’s premier attractions?
- The Angkor National Museum – This modern facility, one of Asia’s premier attractions, is devoted to the preservation of Khmer traditions, the history of Angkor Wat, and is home to a breathtaking gallery of 1000 Buddhas.
- Tropical rain forests – While the Cambodian government has struggled to enforce environmental regulations, it has shown interest in reducing deforestation and setting up protected areas. On paper, more than 20 percent of Cambodia is under some form of protection, including the spectacular ruins of Ankor, which cover over some 400 square kilometers and are one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia.
- The ancient temple ruins of Angkor Wat- Angkor Wat, means “Temple City” or “City of Temples” in Khmer (which is the official language of Cambodia). The Hindu temple complex, built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, is largest religious monument in the world. Seeing the intricate detail and the layer upon layer of craftsmanship of these ancient temples is a profound experience.
- Kompong Phluk – A village on the Tonle Sap Great Lake, a visit here by boat gives a glimpse into another world and another way of life by families who eke out a living on one of the most abundant inland fisheries in the world. The flooded forest around Kampong Phluk is also fascinating − submerged for half the year, the trees have learned to adapt and are an invaluable part of the extraordinary ecosystem here.
- Pub Street – The loud music blares from restaurants, and bars selling cheap beer and reasonable food makes this area a crazy and fun way to spend your evening.
Siem Reap (which literally means the “Defeat of Siam”) has become one of the world’s premier travel destinations. The high season for a visit to Siem Reap, Cambodia, is from October to March when the weather is most comfortable, the temperature is moderate, and the sun shines most of the day. April through August is the rainy season and is often hot and humid.
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