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Siem Reap Province, Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia

Monday, 27 December 2010 06:04 administrator
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Siem Reap

Located in northwest Cambodia, Siem Reap is a major tourist hub in Cambodia. The most recognizable of the temples, Angkor Wat, literally Capital Temple, was built by King Suryavarman II during the early 12th century. Recently the city has seen a great deal of expansion; hundreds of hotels, restaurants and shops, catering to both international and Cambodian tourists have opened to serve the influx of visitors. Also, King Norodom Sihamoni and the Cambodian royal family maintain a residence in the town. The Angkor temple complex is north of the city.

Other sites of interest near Siem Reap include Angkor Thom built by Jayavarman VII, Banteay Srei, Ta Prohm, as well as hundreds of other temple ruins. Angkor, and the surrounding area that would later become known as Siem Reap, faced repeated invasions from the Thais, and ceased to be the capital after a seven-month siege in 1431. The capital was moved to Phnom Penh in 1432, and then to Lovek and Oudong, before moving back to Phnom Penh in 1866. The temple ruins were visited by Western explorers and missionaries before the 19th century, but Henri Mouhot is generally seen as having "discovered" Angkor Wat in 1860.

The name Siem Reap means ‘Siamese Defeated’. Siem Reap was a little more than a village when the first French explorers re-discovered Angkor in 19th century.

The Siem Reap province is the cradle of Angkorian civilization and it is a province that offers plenty of opportunity to tourists enthralled by the cultural patrimony. Siem Reap Angkor is the most attractive landmark in Cambodia in terms of cultural tourism in Southeast Asia.

Siem Reap is a fastest growing town in Cambodia but it is still a safe, friendly, and pleasant place. There is an endless choice of places to stay or dine, and a host of possible activities awaiting the visitors. Often missed are the many opportunities to experience traditional Cambodia : boat trips on the great Tonle Sap Lake to the fishing villages and the Prek Toal bird sanctuary, craft shops ad silk farms, road tours through rice-paddy countryside to distant temples and beyond. ( View Map in Google )

  • The province is subdivided into 12 districts, 100 communes and 907 villages[2].
  • Time zone UTC+07
  • Dialing code +855
  • ISO 3166 code KH-17
  • Population People(2008)[1]
    • Total 896,309
    • Density 87/km2 (225.4/sq mi)
  • Area - Total 10,299 km2 (3,976.5 sq mi)

Gateway to the temples of Angkor

Siem Reap Town serves as the gateway to the millennium-old temple ruins of the Khmer Empire. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Angkor Archaeological Park encompasses dozens of temple ruins including Bayon, Banteay Srey and the legendary Angkor Wat whose artistic and archaeological significance and visual impact put it in a class with the Pyramids, Machu Pichu and the Taj Mahal. Unlike many other world class monuments, the ruins of Angkor are as yet unspoiled by over-development. This will not be true in a couple of years. Though the major temples are relatively well touristed these days, it is still possible get away from the crowds, to explore the area and discover Angkor.

You can not truly say you have been to Siem Reap until you've checked these 9 attractions beside Angkor temples. Top ten attractions in Siem Reap which most of the tourists should check and see are:

1. Take a boat cruise on the lake. The Tonle Sap lake is home to an enormous diversity of wildlife, as well as a number of stilt villages where you can witness traditional ways of life. Cambodia's Great Lake, the Boeung Tonle Sap (Tonle Sap Lake,) is the most prominent feature on the map of Cambodia - a huge dumbbell-shaped body of water stretching across the northwest section of the country. In the wet season, the Tonle Sap Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia, swelling to an expansive 12,000 km2. During the dry half of the year the Lake shrinks to as small as 2500 km2, draining into the Tonle Sap River, which meanders southeast, eventually merging with the Mekong River at the 'chaktomuk' confluence of rivers opposite Phnom Penh.

2. Enjoy a traditional dance performance Dance is an integral part of Khmer culture, combining Apsara dances, folk dances and shadow puppetry. Several restaurants and hotels host evening performances at varying prices, usually accompanying a meal. No visit to Cambodia is complete without attending at least one traditional Khmer dance performance, often referred to as 'Apsara Dance' after one of the most popular Classical dance pieces. Traditional Khmer dance is better described as 'dance-drama' in that the dances are not merely dance but are also meant to convey a story or message.

3. Visit the Angkor National Museum Opened in Siem Reap promises eight chronologically ordered galleries of Angkorian-era artifacts and multi-media presentations of Angkorian history and culture. The Museum had just opened its doors and was not quite completed at time of printing, but should be very soon. Admissions price: US$12 (for foreigners). $2 for a camera. Hours: 9:00AM - 6:00PM.

 

4. Visit the local markets No trip to Siem Reap would be complete without a visit to one of the traditional markets, though they can be a little cramped and hot in the middle of the day. Don't miss the Night Market too, which features over 100 outlets.

 

5. Visit the silk farm located just 16km out of town, here you can witness the entire silk creation process from start to finish. Take a tour of the workshop and stop at the retail shop to buy some souvenirs.

6. Attend Dr Beatocello's concert Swiss doctor Beat Richner plays Bach on his cello every Friday and Saturday evening at 7:15 at Jayavarman VII Hospital, been to Siem Reap until you've to provide support to the three children's hospitals that he runs - donations of blood and money are most welcome. Performances are held at the Jayavarman VII Hospital, located on the road to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Dr. Richner provides an entertaining and worthy Saturday evening.

7. Learn to cook Khmer food While not as famous as that from neighboring Thailand and Vietnam, Khmer cuisine employs subtle blends of ingredients and spices to give a unique favor. A few restaurants organize cooking classes, usually taking a whole day. The good people at The Ox Cart Restaurant at The River Garden Guesthouse are offering culinary tours and cooking courses focusing, of course, on local fare. Culinary tours include a tour of a local market(s) with an introduction to local culinary culture, foods and ingredients, cooking equipment, etc. followed by cooking classes at the restaurant. Call 063-963400 for schedule.

8. Visit Cambodian Cultural Village, a unique, sprawling new cultural attraction in Siem Reap, intended to introduce the visitor to Cambodian culture and history. Wax museum with scenes and figures from history. Fascinating 1/20th scale models of sites such as Phsar Thmey and the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh and the hills and temples of Oudong. Full scale models of a variety of Cambodian architectural types, including different styles of huts and homes, hill tribe houses, pagoda and mosque. Live shows, traditional dance performances and music. Traditional Khmer wedding show twice per day.

10. Exploring the countryside in Cambodia, The vast majority of Cambodians live and work in the rural countryside and a countryside tour or even a day trip to a remote temple ruin can provide a glimpse of ‘real Cambodia’ - picturesque, bucolic scenery, rice paddies and water buffalos, countryside pagodas and little villages filled with traditional stilted houses... And there are a number of ways to see it: by 4WD or dirtbikes, ATVs, bicycle, ox cart and more.

Tours In Siem Reap Province

Ruin
Location
Date of Construction
King/Patron
Style
Ak Yum
AAP - Near the West Baray
8th-11th century AD
---
---
Angkor Thom
AAP
12th-13th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Angkor Wat
AAP - 6km north of Siem Reap Town.
Early-Mid 12th century AD
Suryavarman II
Angkor Wat
Bakong
AAP - Roluos Group
Early 9th century AD
Indravarman
Preah Ko
Baksei Chamkrong
AAP/PC - Near the South Gate of Angkor Thom
Mid 10th century AD
Harshavarman
Bakheng
Banteay Kdei
AAP/GC
Late 12th - Early 13th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Angkor Wat/ Bayon
Banteay Prei
AAP/GC
Late 12th - Early 13th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Banteay Samre
AAP - 4km east of East Mebon
Mid 12th century AD
Suryavarman II
Angkor Wat
Banteay Srey
37km north of Siem Reap Town
Late 10th century AD
Rajendravarman
Banteay Srey
Baphuon
AAP/PC - Central Angkor Thom
Mid 11th century AD
Udayadityavarman II
Baphuon
Bat Chum
AAP/PC
Mid 10th century AD
Rajendravarman
Pre Rup
Bayon
AAP/PC - Central Angkor Thom
Late 12th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Beng Melea

Early 11th century AD
Suryavarman II
Angkor Wat
Chapel of the Hospital
AAP/PC
Late 12th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Chau Say Tevoda
AAP/PC
Early 12th century AD
Suryavarman II
Angkor Wat
East Mebon
AAP/GC
Late 10th century AD
Rajendravarman II
Pre Rup
Kbal Spean
49km north of Siem Reap Town
11th - 13th century AD


Kleangs (North and South)
AAP/PC - Central Angkor Thom
Late 10th - Early 11th century AD
Jayavarman V
Khleang
Krol Ko
AAP/GC
Late 12th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Krol Romeas
AAP/GC



Kutisvara
AAP/GC
9th / 10th century AD
Jayavarman II
Preah Ko
Lolei
AAP - Roluos Group
Late 9th century AD
Yasovarman I
Pre Rup/Bakheng
Neak Pean
AAP/GC
Late 12th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Phimeanakas
AAP/PC - Central Angkor Thom
Late 10th - Early 11th century AD
Jayavarman V
Khleang
Phnom Bakheng
AAP/PC - Near the South Gate of Angkor Thom
Late 9th - Early 10th century AD
Yasovarman I
Bakheng
Phnom Krom
15km south of Siem Reap Town, near the Chong Khneas Port
Late 9th - Early 10th century AD
Yasovarman I
Bakheng
Phnom Kulen
50km north of Siem Reap Town
9th century AD
Jayavarman II
Kulen
Prasat Bei
AAP/PC - Near the South Gate of Angkor Thom
10th century AD
Yasovarman I
Bakheng
Prasat Kravan
AAP/PC
Early 10th century AD
Harshavarman I
Pre Rup
Prasat Prei
AAP/GC
Late 12th - Early 13th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Prasat Suor Prat
AAP/PC - Central Angkor Thom
Early 13th? century AD
Indravarman II
Post-Bayon
Prasat Top (East)
Angkor Thom
Late 13th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Prasat Top (West)
Angkor Thom
9th-17th century AD

Post-Bayon
Pre Rup
AAP/GC
Late 10th century AD
Rajendravarman II
Pre Rup
Preah Khan
AAP/GC
Late 12th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Preah Ko
AAP - Roluos Group
Late 9th century AD
Indravarman I
Preah Ko
Preah Palilay
AAP/PC - Central Angkor Thom
Late 12th - Early 13th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Preah Pithu Group
AAP/PC - Central Angkor Thom
Early 12th century AD
Suryavarman II

Roluos Group
AAP - Roluos Group
Late 9th century AD


Spean Thma
AAP/PC



Srah Srang
AAP/PC
Mid 10th and Late 12th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Ta Keo
AAP/PC
Late 10th - Early 11th century AD
Jayavarman V
Khleang
Ta Nei
AAP
Mid 12th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Ta Prohm
AAP/PC
Mid 12th - Early 13th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Ta Prohm Kel
AAP/PC - Opposite Angkor Wat
Late 12th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Ta Som
AAP/GC
Late 12th century AD century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Tep Pranam
AAP/PC - Central Angkor Thom
9th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Terrace of the Elephants
AAP/PC - Central Angkor Thom
Late 12th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Terrace of the Leper King
AAP/PC - Central Angkor Thom
Late 12th century AD
Jayavarman VII
Bayon
Thma Bay Kaek
AAP/PC
Late 11th / early 12th century AD
Suryavarman II
Angkor Wat
Thommanon
AAP/PC
Late 11th - Early 12th century AD
Suryavarman II
Angkor Wat
Wat Athvea
8km south of Siem Reap Town.
Late 11th century AD
Suryavarman II
Angkor Wat
West Mebon
AAP - On an island in the center of the West Baray
Late 11th century AD
Udayadityavarman VII
Baphuon

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 December 2013 03:26