I always feel a little bad for the rest of the cities in Cambodia. When you compare Siem Reap to any of the other cities like Phnom Penh or Battambang, they are always known for something not quite as impressive as Angkor wat. After all, when you have one of the most incredible ancient ruins at your doorstep, everything else kind of pales in its comparison. The city of Siem Reap is probably best known for the fact that it is the gateway to Angkor Wat and the rest of the Angkor ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. This incredible site doesn’t only include the temples that you can see, but also the many canals and reservoirs that altogether make up an area close to 400 square kilometres, in what is one of the most incredibly important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia – if not the world.
Image Source: whc.unesco.org
Given the huge popularity of the ruins of Angkor Wat and the importance that they hold to the world, Siem Reap has obviously become a bit of a tourist hotspot. The city is crowded with hotels, tours, and plenty of nightlife to satisfy the tourists, once the city of Angkor Wat has closed for the daytime tourist trade. Because of the great draw card of Angkor Wat, many travelers often visit Siem Reap without exploring more of what the town has to offer. I’d like to take an opportunity to take a look at what else is on offer in Siem Reap! This list is brought to you by Travezl.
Enjoy A Food Tour
If you are anything like me, you love your food. The food in Cambodia is second to none, and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the many culinary traditions and history of the local area. There are plenty of food tours that you can take in Siem Reap, and you can enjoy either a morning or an evening tour, or perhaps even a full day tour, where you can taste dishes for 3 to 4 hours at a time. Now that sounds like a good time to me!
Visit the Landmine Museum
Image Source: www.cambodialandminemuseum.org
Cambodia is a country that is sadly dominated by a tragic past. It is home to some of the largest amounts of unexploded ordinance in the world. Many injuries occur every year from people stepping on landmines. The Cambodian Landmine Museum was established in the late 1990s by an ex-Child Soldier who wanted to help reduce the impact of landmines on the Khmer community. The museum raises money to clear landmines, and to fund a school and dormitory for amputee children who have been affected by the land mines. Well worth a visit.
Explore a Floating Village on Tonle Sap
Image Source: wikimedia.org
There is an incredible lake near to Siem Reap which is home to many villages and people. They call it Tonle Sap and have made it home for many generations. Covering 2,500 square kilometres during the dry season and spreading up to 12,000 square kilometres during the wet season, Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake to be found in Southeast Asia. You can take a tour which takes in the incredible area, the lake’s flooded forest, and you can even enjoy a visit to a floating village and the traditional people who call it home.
Explore Angkor Wat
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Your visit to Siem Reap is incomplete if you cannot take time to explore the incredible temples of Angkor Wat! You can take a tuktuk, talk to the site, which allows you to explore the temples at your own pace, and your only expense will be for the driver and your entrance fee to the park. There is the opportunity to go for 1, 3, or 5 days, but be aware that it can get very hot at Angkor Wat and that you will be walking around a lot. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to go with your camera charged and plenty of enthusiasm for this incredible spot.
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