Angkor sunrise - Siem Reap
Siem Reap is the capital of Siem Reap Province in Northwestern Cambodia. The name Siem Reap literally means “Siam Defeated”. It was because of the victory over the Thais which King Ang Chan (1516-1566) counter-attacked, shot Prince Ong dead on an elephant’s back, and routed the Thais and captured no less than 10,000 Thai troops. Siem Reap is best known as the gateway to the incredible ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat and the remains of the Khmer Empire’s former capital.
Angkor is rightly considered to be one of the world’s most spectacular and important historic areas, and is featured on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Some 400 square kilometers of land is included in the region, from forested areas to the Angkor Archaeological Park, where the temple of Angkor Wat and the Bayon Temple can be found.
The province’s capital, Siem Reap, was little more than a village when French explorers first stumbled across Angkor. Siem Reap has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter, and around the Old Market. In the city, there are traditional Apsara dance performances, craft shops, silk farms, rice-paddy countryside, fishing villages and a bird sanctuary near the Tonle Sap Lake.
Today, Siem Reap is a popular tourist destination which has a large number of hotels and restaurants. Siem Reap also boasts several vibrant night markets, where souvenirs like silk scarves and wood carvings can be purchased.
Siem Reap has a hot and humid tropical climate. It is dominated by the wet southwest monsoon from May to October and the dry northeast monsoon from November to April. Temperatures are between 23 degree Celsius and 26 degree Celsius at night and 30 degree Celsius to 35degree Celsius during the day most of the year, but April sees temperatures of 40 degree Celsius occasionally. September and October are the wettest months. The best time of year to visit is during the dry cool season from mid December to mid-February.