Travel and Leisure

10 best places to visit in Siem Reap

Cambodia is a mix of landscapes, colors, peoples and religions. The favorite destination for the travelers is certainly the city of Siem Reap and its legendary Angkor temples. Located in the north-west of Cambodia, near the central Tonle Sap Lake, Siem Reap is an incredible city with rich historical heritage. This city, classified as a UNESCO heritage site, combines ancestral traditions with modernity. Cambodia Taxi driver and its team will be glad to prepare for you an amazing tour program to discover Siem Reap with a private guide to make an immersive tour experience.

Angkor Wat

Once you are in Siem Reap, you cannot miss the visit of Angkor temples, a true symbol of the city. This complex of Buddhist temples is certainly the main travel attraction in the region. Since 1992, the best known temple Angkor Wat has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is present also on the national flag of Cambodia. This temple, built in the 12th century is relatively well preserved. From its top, you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking view of the entire Angkor site.

This city of Siem Reap was the one time capital of the Khmer Empire. The remains of Angkor Temples are nestled in the jungle will tell you a thousand-year-old history.

National museum of Angkor

One of the best ways to learn about the history of Khmer civilization is to visit the Angkor National Museum located in Siem Reap. You will discover several galleries that preserve the cultural and historical heritage of the region. These exposed objects are living testimonies of the magnificence of the local art in ancient times.

Tonle Sap Lake

Tonle Sap Lake is the largest lake in Southeast Asia. During your stay in Siem Reap, you cannot miss the floating villages on its shores. In the rainy season it offers an astonishing spectacle, since almost all of the buildings are in the water and you have to travel by boat through the entire village. You will also find a lovely bird sanctuary not far from the lake. This peaceful place is the ideal place for hiking with the family and exploring the charm of the countryside. If you like fishing, it’s another activity to try in the lake.

National park of Phnom Kulen

The national park of Phnom Kulen is located at 50 km from Siem Reap, it will take around 1 hour by car to reach the park. Located at the foot of the sacred mountain of Kulens, this magic place is full of wonders. The archeological site of Kbal Spean is one of the must-do of Phnom Kulen located along the Kbal Spean River. The site contains many figures carved into the rocks and the banks of the river.

Cambodian Circus Phare

The team of Cambodia Taxi Driver advises you to attend a show of Cambodian Circus Phare. This association trains young Cambodians in circus and theater professions. It will be a unique cultural immersion that you shouldn’t miss.

Koh Ker

Located 90 km northeast of Siem Reap, Koh Ker is a destination of the beaten path. The former royal city of the 10th century, built by King Jayavaraman IV (AD 928-942) is an archaeological site rarely visited by the travelers. A perfect place to explore far from mass tourism.

Beng Mealea Temple

Located 42 km northeast of Siem Reap, Beng Mealea which literally means “lotus pond” is another magnificent Buddhist temple. Very isolated, this archaeological site is covered by the jungle which creates a really magical atmosphere.

Ta Prom

Certainly one of the most famous Angkor temples in Cambodia is Ta Prohm. Along with Angkor Wat, it is one of the most frequented temples. It was built in the 12th century and first served as a monastery and university for the Mahāyāna Buddhist movement.

The vegetation which surrounds Ta Prom gives to the temple a timeless aspect.

Banteay Srei

Just at 20 km from Angkor, in Banteay Srei district lies one of the gems of Angkorian art. In the heart of the forest, the temple of Banteay Srei is today a place of pilgrimage still little known to the travelers. It is listed as UNESCO site since 1992 for its unique refined sculptures. The lovers of ancient sculptures will enjoy this place a lot.

Banteay Srei is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva built in 967. The temple was discovered late due to its location. Nestled in the middle of a forest made it difficult to access.

The temple was restored in 1930 using the anastylosis method. It consists in reconstructing the site with the elements found on the spot, thus preserving the authenticity of the temple. The particularity of the temple lies in the stone with which it was built: the pink sandstone gives lot of charm to this temple. But, the most attractive things are the 3-dimensional refined sculptures. They are so well detailed that many people believes that they were designed by women.

Bayon

The Bayon is one of the most emblematic temples of Angkor. It was built between the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century. If the temple of Angkor Wat is majesty itself, this one is a mystery incarnation. Just imagine a forest of gigantic heads, looking in all directions. A massive mountain of 54 towers. They are each decorated with 4 faces supposed to illustrate the 4 virtues of the Buddha.

During your stay in Siem Reap, you will appreciate also the visit of the local markets. A great opportunity to discover the local lifestyle. At the Phsar Chas market, all kinds of food can be found on the stalls. Here you can find river eels, exotic fruits, mangosteen, rambutans and much more.

A private trip to Siem Reap is an opportunity to discover also the Cambodian gastronomy. One of the best activities in Siem Reap is the cooking class. An original and pleasant way to discover the gourmet riches of the country: spicy green papaya salad, chicken, frog legs, sticky rice, Amok and much more.

We hope this article will help you to plan your stay in Siem Reap easily and that you will enjoy all these visits.

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