Monks posing for a picture in front of a temple ruin……
Siem Reap is home to dozens of temple ruins and the famous Pub Street with restaurants and bars.
Angkor Archaeological Park
You must purchase a pass to visit the Angkor Archaeological Park. There are 3 pass choices: $37 for one-day, $64 for three-day, and $72 for seven-day. Because the temples are sometimes miles apart you won’t be able to see them all in one day. We chose the three-day pass which you have a week to use. We ended up going twice, two different temple routes in a three day period, with a break in between. We are split on the level of interest and the number to see, as Renee would see them all and Don gets temple overload. Obviously, your visit will be based on time and level of interest.
We visited about a dozen temples & ruins and took 200+ pictures. Following are a few of our favorites:
Our favorite temple is Banteay Srei meaning “Citadel of the Woman”. The stone has a pinkish hue and has some of the finest carvings. Construction began in the late 10th century.
Receiving a blessing from a monk inside the ruins of Angkor Wat.
Angkor Thom & Bayon
Angkor Thom is a three kilometer walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian empire. Bayon is the temple inside of Angkor Thom. Bayon was constructed in the late 12th century.
Pub Street is only a block long but has it all. Great place to eat, drink, shop and people watch.
Khmer Wedding Reception
We were invited to attend a Khmer Wedding Reception with Sorn, our tuk-tuk driver.
We stopped at a roadside stand where a woman was making palm sugar. The sweet juice extracted from the palm’s stalk is either drunk fresh or fermented to produce palm beer. Also made into sugar by boiling the juice in a cauldron. Once the liquid thickens it is then poured into molds to form round pucks that can be eaten like candy or used in Khmer cooking.
Tips and Recommendations for visiting Siem Reap
- Stay close to the downtown area to be within walking distance to virtually everything.
- Transportation is a must to get to the temples as they are often miles apart and a good distance out of town.
- We chose not to hire a guide and driver for the day. Instead, our hotel arranged a tuk-tuk driver. He spoke great English, was knowledgeable of the temples and surrounding areas and was always waiting for us.
- You can also hire a tour guide at each temple, but we chose not to. A little research prior or a guidebook will give you the basic knowledge of the temple, save you money and maybe keep you from information overload.