Siem Reap Tourist Attractions
Siem Reap province is located in northwest Cambodia. It is the major tourist hub in Cambodia, as it is the closest city to the world famous temples of Angkor (the Angkor temple complex is north of the city). The provincial capital is also called Siem Reap and is located in the South of the province on the shores of the Tonle Sap Lake, the greatest sweet water reserve in whole Southeast Asia. The name of the city literally means Siamese defeated, referring to the victory of the Khmer Empire over the army of the Thai kingdom in the 17th century. You will understand more about Siem Reap Tourist Attractions with some main destinations as below:
1. Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is first for Siem Reap Tourist Attraction the most famous ancient temple site in Cambodia, considered one of the ancient wonders of the world. The Ruins of Angkor Wat are located in the Angkor Archaeological Park, about 3 km north away from Siem Reap. The name “Angkor” comes from the Angkorian-era Khmer Empire that dominated the area of present day Cambodia, as well as much of southern Vietnam, Thailand and Laos in military, economy and culture.
The five lotus-like towers rises 65 meters into the sky makes it a true monumental and awe-inspiring sight.This amazing structure is best viewed in soft light and the best lighting conditions are after 14:00 to sunset, as well as sunrise. There is a popular location for sunrise is the northern reflecting pool. To get an amazing picture of the sunrise over the temple, you need to get up early to catch the most beautiful colors before the sun breaks over the horizon.
Opening Hours: 05:00 to 18:00
2. Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom means Big Angkor is second Siem Reap Tourist Attractions, and was the last great capital of the Angkorian Empire. It is a huge walled city built in squared box formation protected by a moat and the walls.
There are five gates around the city, four gates at each of the four points of the compass (north, east, south, and west), and another “Victory Gate” at the north of the east gate, leading to the Royal Palace area. From the South Gate, you can enter to Ankor Wat directly. All the gates were constructed in tower-shaped and topped with Erawan Shrines facing four directions inspecting every people who entering the city. And bridges set there connecting the outside and inside, which lined with 27 statues of gods and spirits. The famous Bayon Temple, Baphuon Temple and other other important sites are located inside the Angkor Thom.
3. Bayon Temple
As the heart of the Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple is thirth of Siem Reap Tourist Attractions, Bayon Temple was built during the reign of the famous King JayavarmanVII in the late 12th century to early 13th century. With its age, beauty and its splendor in the Angkor Kingdom, Bayon becomes the most famous after Angkor Wat attracting millions of tourists come here to visit.
There are some 54 towers within it, which represent the Khmer provinces in the Great Khmer Empire Period, and all with four huge caved faces oriented toward the four points of the compass. It is said that the faces actually represent the face of Bodhissattva or a combination of Buddha and Jayavarman VII. And it also symbolizes the four smiling face as charming smile, sad smile, glad smile and beautiful smile. What should be specially mentioned is that there are still plenty of lively carvings on the walls of scenes of great wars, everyday life and beautiful scenery of Tonle Sap Lake.
4. Tonle Sap Lake
The Tonle Sap Lake is fourth of Siem Reap Tourist Attractions, also known as the Great Lake, is the life river to Cambodia people. It is the largest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia and the richest fishing lake in the World. Rich in fresh water and water wildlife, this area raises more than three million population who earn a living by catching fish and making agriculture.
The edge of the lake was surrounded by forest where kinds of fish can spawned and breeding babies. More than 300 species of fresh water fishes inhabit in this region as well as snakes, crocodiles, tortoises, turtles and otters which keep the people here live for a comfortable. It is a unique ecological hotspot with its size and dimension change twice per year. In the dry season, the lake drains into Mekong River and when the monsoon rains happen in June, it grows from approximately of 2,700 square km to 16,000 square km !
5. Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea means “Lotus Pond” is fifth of Seam Reap Tourist Attractions, and it is the most mysterious temples at Angkor. Built in the same style as the Angkor Wat, Beng Mealea is definitely a site worth to pay a visit. There is completely no evidence for the history of it, but it can be dated by its style, which is of the mid-12th century under Suryavarman II.
It is a Hindu temple, but with some carvings reflecting the theme of Buhhdism. It located 40km east of the Angkor and it is not as crowded as the main temple in the Angkor. With several roads leading to it, the safest way to visit Beng Mealea is to find a local travel service and have a local guide to take you to explore this mysterious site.