Cambodia is home to centuries of history, and there is no better way to get acquainted with that history than by visiting Siem Reap, a resort town that serves as the gateway to the stunning ruins of Angkor Wat. Previously, you must have a visa to Cambodia and therefore enjoy all the possibilities in this ancient culture.
While that is the driving factor for most of the visits to the region, there are many other wonderful attractions that are well worth your time if you are visiting the area. Here are the best attractions that you should see if you’re in Siem Reap.
The Angkor Wat is a national symbol for Cambodia, appearing even on the country’s flag, and is one of the greatest religious relics still standing in the world today. The temple was constructed in the 12th century, and has changed hands many times over the centuries. The temple is the largest example of Khmer architecture that still exists, and the structure is defined by the five large towers that loom over the structure. This historically significant and beautiful structure is a can’t-miss attraction for anyone who travels to Cambodia.
Angor Thom is the companion city of Angkor Wat, built around the same time in the early 12th century. The city is designed in the Bayon style, and a casual walk around nine square kilometer site will reveal many wonderful architectural relics of a bygone era. The beauty begins at the entrance, with the grand gateway to Angkor Thom looming over visitors and continues throughout the site with curiosities such as the faces carved into the Prasat Bayon, the beautiful Khmer temple on the grounds.
This Hindu temple is another wonderful historic site to visit largely because it has been so well preserved, compared to the deterioration the Angor Wat and Angor Thom exhibit. The Bantaey Srei features many, many wonderful intricate carvings depicting the gods and goddesses of the Hindu faith. The temple is built of red sandstone that the ancient builders were able to carve like it was wood, which gives the temple its beautiful coloring and allowed for the creation of the many wonderful carvings.
Not everything that’s worth visiting in Siem Reap comes from the 12th century. If you pass through Siem Reap, make sure you make time to stop in the open air market in the middle of the city. Grab authentic Cambodian cuisine from street vendors or pick up some of the wonderful local oddities on sale from the different vendors.