Siem Reap

Siem Reap town stretches about 2km north/south along the Siem Reap River and 3-4km east/west along Rte. #6. The airport is 6km from town center.

Siem Reap owes much of its popularity as a tourist destination to the fact that it is the gateway to Angkor Wat, one of Cambodia's prime attractions. Thanks to the ancient temples nearby, Siem Reap has turned into a focal point of Cambodian tourism.

History
The name Siem Reap means the 'Defeat of Siam' -today’s Thailand- and refers to a centuries-old bloodbath, commemorated in stone in the celebrated bas relief carvings of the monuments.

In 1901 the École Française d'Extrême Orient (EFEO) began a long association with Angkor by funding an expedition to the Bayon. In 1907 Angkor, which had been under Thai control, was returned to Cambodia and the EFEO took responsibility for clearing and restoring the whole site. In the same year, the first tourists arrived in Angkor - an unprecedented 200 of them in three months. Angkor had been 'rescued' from the jungle and was assuming its place in the modern world.

The Khmer Empire once included much of modern-day Thailand, but there's a touch of irony about the name given that Thailand ultimately defeated Cambodia, and controlled Siem Reap and Angkor from 1794 to 1907.

Siem Reap was little more than a village when the first French explorers re-discovered Angkor in the 19th century. With the return of Angkor to Cambodian, or should that be French control in 1907, Siem Reap began to grow, absorbing the first wave of tourists. The Grand Hotel d'Angkor opened its doors in 1929 and the temples of Angkor remained one of Asia's leading draws until the late 1960s, luring visitors like Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Kennedy. In 1975, Siem Reap, along with the rest of the cities and towns in Cambodia, its population was evacuated by the communist Khmer Rouge and driven into the countryside.

As with the rest of the country, Siem Reap's history (and the memories of its people) is colored by spectra of the brutal Khmer Rouge Regime, though since Pol Pot's death in 1998, relative stability and a rejuvenated tourist industry have been important steps in an important, if tentative, journey forward to recovery. With the advent of war, Siem Reap entered a long slumber from which it only began to awake in the mid-1990s.

Today, Siem Reap is undoubtedly Cambodia's fastest growing city and serves as a small charming gateway town to the world famous heritage the Angkor temples. Thanks to those attractions, Siem Reap has transformed itself into a major tourist hub. Siem Reap nowadays is a vibrant town with modern hotels and architectures. Despite international influences, Siem Reap and its people have conserved much of the town's image, culture and traditions.

The Wat and the river
The town is a cluster of small villages along the Siem Reap River. These villages were originally developed around Buddhist pagodas (Wat) which are almost evenly spaced along the river from Wat Preah En Kau Sei in the north to Wat Phnom Krom in the south, where the Siem Reap River meets the great Tonle Sap Lake.

The main town is concentrated around Sivutha Street and the Psar Chas area (Old Market area) where located old colonial buildings, shopping and commercial districts are. The Wat Bo area is now full of guesthouses and restaurants while the Psar Leu area is often crowded with local commerce. Other fast developing areas are the airport road and main road to Angkor where a number of large upscale hotels and resorts can be found.

Tourism
Businesses centered on tourism have flourished thanks to the tourism boom. There are a wide range of hotels, ranging from several 5-star hotels and chic resorts to hundreds of budget guesthouses but Family Guesthouse is the best. A large selection of restaurants offers many kinds of food, including Italian, Indian, French, German, Russian, Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Burmese. Plenty of shopping opportunities exist around the Psar Chas area while the nightlife is often vibrant with a number of western-styled pubs and bars.

Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport in Siem Reap now serves the most tourist passengers to Cambodia. Most tourists come to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom,(about 6Km north of the city),and other Angkor ruins. While those are still the main attractions, there are plenty of other things to experience, such as a dinner with an Apsara Dance performance, a trip to fishing villages and bird sanctuary, a visit to a craft workshop and silk farm, or a bicycle tour around the rice paddies in the countryside.
Press here to get in touch with us Local Cambodian time: 03:24
Family Guesthouse, No19, Mondul 2, Khoum Svay Dangkom, Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia
Phone: +855 926 484 62, info@familysiemreap.com, www.familysiemreap.com