Siem Reap Province is located in northwestern Cambodia, a popular tourist destination as the gateway to Angkor Wat temples, the world famous heritage site. Siem Reap also offers other charm and allure besides the famous temple. Despite international influences, Siem Reap and its people have been able to conserve the townís image, culture and traditions. You can find the colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter and in the Old Market, shady tree-lined boulevards and a slow-flowing river. Here are some activities you can do in Siem Reap.
You should not miss to see the magnificent Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. It is a great religious monument in the world located in Angkor Archaeological Park, house of the magnificent remains of Khmer empire of the 9th to the 15th centuries. Early Angkor temples were built as Hindu temples, then later in the late 13th century, Angkor Wat gradually moved to Buddhist. The temple was built by Khmer King Suryavarman II in 12th century as his state temple and final tomb. Built with classical style of Khmer architecture and dedicated to Vishnu god, Angkor is the representation of Mount Meru, the home of the gods. It becomes the symbol of Cambodia as it is shown on its national flag.
The best time to visit Angkor Wat is during sunrise where you can see the sun climbs behind the main shrineís dome is a breath-taking view. Make sure you get early to the temples to avoid the big crowds. Then you can explore the ruins in the morning and return to Angkor Wat later in the afternoon. Donít forget to bring a torch if you visit the temple at sunrise or sunset because the temple has many steps, ponds and other hurdles you canít see during your exploration. The temples open at 05:00 am and close at 5:30 pm. The main and grandest temples circuits are Angkor Wat, Angkor Tom with its beautiful Bayon temple and Ta Prohm. Sunset at Angkor Wat is best viewed on the top level or outside of the temple.
Tuk-Tuks Tour Guide
You can hire a Tuk-Tuk to get you anywhere in the main city of Siem Reap or to see sunrise at Angkor Wat. Tuk-tuk is an auto rickshaw with a three-wheeled cabin cycle offering space for two passengers, used as a vehicle for hire. For about USD12 Ė 15 the driver can be a good tour guide to the main Angkor temples. Add another USD3 extra fee if you want to start the tour early in the morning at 5 am. Some drivers may speak English and they must wear a uniform when driving in the park.
Give Back with Authentic Khmer Food
Donít miss out to taste the best authentic Khmer Food at Green Star, the not-for-profit restaurant which houses and supports the street kids of Cambodia. Located away from the tourist area but the food is absolutely delicious and all home cooked. You should try the corn kernels as the starter, the tasty fried corn off the cob using a secret recipe. They have a variety of dishes included frog, duck and eel. The best are the barbeque beef with lime and pepper, grilled frog with kampot pepper and chicken and cashew nuts. The prices are quite affordable with most of the mains range from US$2.50 to US$3.50 You wonít regret it, itís really excellent food at good prices for a good cause.