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Destinations

SIEM REAP

Siem Reap is a province located in northwest of Cambodia. It borders the provinces of Oddar Meanchey to the north, Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom to the east, Battambang to the south, and Banteay Meanchey to the west. The provincial capital is Siem Reap town.
Siem Reap is the 10th largest province in Cambodia. A large portion of Siem Reap's southern border is demarcated by the Tonle Sap and as such, it is one of the nine provinces  making up the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve. In modern times the province is best known as the site of Angkor and the Angkor Wat temple ruins.
 
 
 
Area: 10,299sq.km
 
Population: 896,309 inhabitants
 
Topography: Siem Reap topography features two regions:
 
+ The Southern part consisting of the typical plain wet area, covering lots of rice fields and other agricultural plantations.
+ The northern part turning into an undulating area covered with some deeper, green forests.
 
A quite typical mark of Siem Reap province is the smaller, but important Siem Reap River. It rises from Phnom Kulen, meanders through the northern part of Siem Reap Province and eventually into the Tonle Sap Lake.
 
Administrative divisions: Siem Reap is divided into 12 districts with 100 communes and 907 villages.
 
Climate: Siem Reap features a tropical, wet and dry climate. The city is generally hot throughout the course of the year, with average high temperatures never falling below 300C in any month. Siem Reap has a relatively lengthy wet season which starts in April and ends in November. The dry season covers the remaining four months. The city averages approximately 1500 mm of rainfall per year.
 
 
Sights of interest
 
Siem Reap, the provincial city of Siem Reap Province, is located in the South of the province on the shores of the Tonle Sap Lake. Siem Reap town is 320km north of Phnom Penh.
 
Siem Reap has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter, and around the Old Market. In the city, there are museums, traditional Apsara dance performances, Cambodian cultural village, souvenir and handycraft shops, silk farms, rice-paddy countryside, fishing villages and a bird sanctuary near the Tonle Sap Lake.
 
Siem Reap today is a popular tourist destination and has a large number of hotels, resorts, restaurants and businesses closely related to tourism. This is much owed to its proximity to Angkor temples, the most popular tourist attraction in Cambodia.
 
Angkor, in Cambodia’s northern province of Siem Reap, is one of the most important archaeological sites of Southeast Asia, recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It extends over approximately 400 square kilometres and consists of scores of temples, hydraulic structures (basins, dykes, reservoirs, canals) as well as communication routes. For several centuries Angkor, was the centre of the Khmer Kingdom. With impressive monuments, several different ancient urban plans and large water reservoirs, the site is a unique concentration of features testifying to an exceptional civilization.
Temples such as Angkor Wat, the Bayon, Preah Khan and Ta Prohm are the famous sites of Khmer architecture:
 
     + Angkor Wat, 6km north of Siem Reap, is the largest  and the most remarkable temple among all the Ankor complex.
 
                                                                                              
Angkor Wat which literally means ‘City Temple’ is a Hindu temple complex built to replicate the heavens on earth.  Constructed for King Suryavarman II in the early twelfth century, it is the best-preserved temple and is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation; first Hindu, dedicated to Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is the epitome of the high classical style of Khmer architecture.  This magnificent temple combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture; the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian Hindu architecture. Constructed within a moat and an outer wall, it is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology.
 
Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west and this has scholars divided as to its significance. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture. The extensive bas-reliefs and the numerous guardian spirits adorning its walls serve as evidence of the strong Khmer religious beliefs.
 
     + Angkor Thom was established in the late twelfth century to early thirteenth century by King Jayavarman VII. This site is situated 1.7 Km north of Angkor Wat, within which are located several monuments from earlier eras as well as those established by Jayavarman and his successors.
 
The fortified city of Angkor Thom, some 9sq.km in extent, was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire built by Angkor’s greatest King, Jayavarman VII (ruled 1181-1201).
 
Centered on Baphuon, Angkor Thom is enclosed by a square wall 8m high and 12km in length and encircled by moat 100m wide. The city has five monumental gates, one each in the north, west and south walls and two in the east wall. In front of each gate stand giant statues of 54 gods (to the left of the causeway) and 54 demons (to the right of the causeway), a motif taken from the story of the Churning of the Ocean of Milk illustrated in the famous bas-relief at Angkor Wat. In the center of the walled enclosure are the city’s most important monuments, including the Bayon, the Baphuon, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas and the Terrace of Elephants.
 
 
                               Smiling stone face - Bayon Temple                                                        Baphuon
 
 
                            Phimeanakas                                                                       Terrace of the Elephants                 
 
     + Ta Prohm, originally called Rajavihara, is believed to be built in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries.  It was founded by King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in the same condition when it was found the first time. Trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor’s most popular temples with visitors.
 
Rajavihara (Royal temple), as it was originally known, was one of the first temples founded pursuant to a massive program of construction and public works after the King’s ascension to the throne in 1181 A.D.It was built in honor of his family. The temple’s main image representing Prajnaparamita, the personification of wisdom, was modeled on the king’s mother. The northern and southern satellite temples in the third enclosure were dedicated respectively to the king’s guru and his elder brother. As such, Ta Prohm formed a complementary pair with the temple monastery of Preah Khan, dedicated in 1191 A.D., the main image of which represented Avelokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion and was modeled on the king’s father.
 
The site was home to more than 12,500 people (including 18 high priests and 615 dancers), with an additional 80,000 people in the surrounding villages working to provide services and supplies.
 
 
Ta Prohm
 
Cambodian Cultural Village
 
Opened on September 24, 2003, the Cambodian Cultural Village, covering a total area of 210,000 sq.m, is designed to provide tourists with an excellent insight into the life and culture of the Cambodians; their traditions and practices...
 
There are eleven villages, representing the varied culture heritage of nineteen races. 
 
Like a theme park, tourists are treated to miniatures of historical buildings, stone carvings, wood works and many forms of arts and crafts. 
 
There are traditional performances such as dances of the ethnic groups, traditional wedding ceremony, circus acts, acrobats, elephant shows, Khmer boxing, the famous Apsara dance and more to entertain the tourists, including a wax museum displaying scenes from the culture and history of Cambodia.
 
 
Angkor National Museum, located in No 968 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, is an archaeological museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and presentation of Angkorian artifacts, also to provides information and education about art and culture of Khmer civilization, with collections mainly dated from Khmer Empire’s Angkor period circa 9th to 14th century. Most of the artifacts are discovered in and around the Angkor archaeological sites nearby. The museum is on the way between downtown Siem Reap to northern road leading to Angkor ancient city.
 
Opened on 12 November 2007, the Angkor National Museum offers visitors a better understanding of the area's archaeological treasures. The Golden Era of the Khmer Kingdom is presented, including the use of state-of-the-art multimedia technology. The museum covers Khmer history, civilization, and cultural heritage in eight separate galleries.
 
Angkor National Museum
 
Old Market (Psah Chas)
 
Psah Chas,  literally "Old Market"), is an open air market in the south of the city, popular with tourists in the city and sells souvenirs but it is also known for its variety of Cambodian cuisine, and has a number of food stalls which sell a variety of rices, dried fish and pork sausages, vegetables and fruits. Some stalls sell baguettes and spiced frogs, which is believed to be a relic of French colonialism in the area. Other stalls cook up various Khmer soups and red chili slices and peanuts. 
 
 
Old Market Siem Reap
 
Tonle Sap
 
The Lake is the largest fresh water in South East Asia. Its dimension changes depending on the monsoon and dry season. During raining season from June to October, the lake is filled by water flowing from the Mekong with 14 meters in depth and expands the surface of 10,000 square kilometers. In dry season from November to May its size is 3,000 square kilometers with two meters in depth and water flows out from the Lake to the Mekong, in and out flowing is the natural phenomenon occurrences. The flooded forest surrounding the edge of the lake is the best shelter and also very important for all kinds of fishes spawned and breeding babies. This lake provides many of biodiversities, over 300 species of fresh water fishes, as well as snakes, crocodiles, tortoises, turtles and otters, more than 100 varieties water birds including storks, pelicans, etc

The Lake is also an important commercial resource, providing more than half of the fish consumed in Cambodia. In harmony with the specialized ecosystems, the human occupations at the edges of the lake is similarly distinctive - floating villages, towering stilted houses, huge fish traps, and an economy and way of life deeply intertwined with the lake, the fish, the wildlife and the cycles of rising and falling waters

The lake is located about 15 km south of Siem Reap town.
 
 
Chong Khneas Floating village - Tonle Sap Lake

Chong Khneas is the name of famous floating village at the edge of the lake. It locates at Southern part of Siem Reap town about 15 Km, and takes only 30 minutes by vehicles to the boat dock where there are always boats waiting for visitors. The boat trip through the floating village takes approximately two hours. You will explore the different of Khmer, Muslim and Vietnamese floating households and the floating markets, fisheries, clinics, schools, basketball course, pigsty and other boatloads of tourists.
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