Wanderlust – Siem Reap

The Angkor Wat Temple at dawn.

Despite not being the capital of Cambodia, Siem Reap is probably more famous than the capital city (which is Phnom Penh by the way!). Why you ask? Well simply because of the world famous Angkor temples that lie a few kilometres on the outskirts of the town. In fact, almost all of the tourist traffic to this town is driven by these stunning testaments to humanity’s devotion to the gods.
Interestingly, although the iconic Angkor Wat temple is featured in most travel brochures for Siem Reap, they are but a fraction

of the complete set of temples located in the Angkor archaeological park. Owing to their gargantuan geographic expanse, the temple complex opens its doors even before the sun rises and stay open till sunset. Access to the park is provided using tickets that bear an image of the ticket holder and let you leave and enter the complex for the duration that the tickets are valid.

The Iconic Angkor Wat Temple.

Possibly the second most prominent temple after the Angkor Wat, The Bayon is truly an architectural marvel. Pictures cannot do justice to the grandeur of this structure.
The artwork on some of the temple structures is simply breathtaking. The details are simply astounding.
Most of the temples are still in the state of ruins. However there’s a certain charm in the rubble as well!
Owing to the huge tourist crowds that pour into this town all year around, there are a gamut of retail and refreshment options aimed at the travelling lot. Chief among these is Pub Street which is absolutely a must stop after a day long walk in the Angkor complex.
As the name suggests, Pub Street is a street lined with loads of bars, restaurants and lounges intermingled with trinket shops and some massage parlours, the legitimate kind 😉
Just so there are no doubts about the name of the street, they’ve put a big-ass street sign for all the tourists!
The Temple, the most crowded and noisiest joint on Pub Street. Be prepared to experience deafness!

Madam Wong – One of the recommended bars in the Pub Street area.

And if you’ve noticed the prices in the menu, alcohol and food are super cheap in the Siem Reap, in fact in all of Cambodia. An indulgent night out with friends won’t run beyond 25 dollars per person.
In the same vicinity you’ll also find the central local market which houses both the wet market and trinket stores. If you plan to shop for souvenirs, you’ll be spoilt for choices here.
These adjoining shops had some great deals on luggage items. We ended up buying a massive suitcase at dirt cheap prices!

This piggy shouldn’t have gone to the market.

The town butchers have no qualms on displaying their fresh meat for everyone to see.

The wet market is frequented by locals and tourists alike. It’s in fact a stop for most cooking classes aimed at tourists.

You could spend days living in Siem Reap and not get bored. The temples alone can cause your stay to extend for a week. Siem Reap is an absolute must on your South East Asian itinerary. Not just because of the world famous Angkor temples, but because of the warmth the town exudes. 

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