Siem Reap is a smaller city of 174,000 people, but it packs a concentrated punch of historic monuments, restaurants, attractions, and entertainment. In 2014, Siem Reap was ranked as the world’s fourth best city for tourists by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards which lives up to this accolade.
The lighting in town after sunset is just so festive and the mood so upbeat that you can’t help but get into the spirit of things on any given night of the week. The sheer volume of well executed souvenirs is astounding. I even succumbed to temptation which is not something I can afford to do since I am carrying all of my belongings around on my back, but the carved Buddha head bracelet was irresistible.
Great restaurants, live music and street food abound, and a nice dinner can be had anywhere from 3-10 dollars. Tuk-tuks will take you across the city for a dollar if you don’t feel like walking back to your hotel. I found a choice little boutique hotel in town for $40 a night including breakfast. It was worth the extra money to be in town, and the warm staff at Villa Medamrei has been extremely accommodating to the point of inspiring me to write my first TripAdvisor review.
Angkor Wat, the big draw, suffered a good deal of damage from the Khmer Rouge. Most of the Buddha statues were beheaded or sold off. Much like Versailles in France, it was gutted by a revolution which led a few of us to enjoy some of the other Wats in the area as much if not more.
The Buddha – Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat – Siem Reap
Travel Zealot and Cambodian plays Buddha
Angkor Thom – Cambodia
Brad & Ash – My first friends on the road who recommended I visit Sapa in Vietnam.
Mountaintop sunset at the final Wat of the day. A good way to say goodbye to Siem Reap.