A Quick Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia

A Quick Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia

When in Manila, explore the neighbouring countries. Cambodia, part of the Indochina and known for the spectacular Angkor Wat is just a short 3-hour plane ride. To those who are not that familiar with this enchanting country yet, The Kingdom of Cambodia was once known as the powerful Khmer Empire.

The grand architecture of Cambodia’s ancient temples with all the high-skilled, jaw-dropping details is concrete proof of how wealthy and majestic the Khmer Empire was. Exploring Siem Reap, home of the Angkor temples, will leave you in awe. It’s quite hard to get over a country this rich in history and culture. To fully soak in the wonders of Cambodia, here is a quick guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Get a Tour Guide – A trip to Cambodia is a good opportunity to learn more about your neighbours in the Southeast. However, in order to fully understand and appreciate the history and culture of this country, you will need help from a very knowledgeable person. Every part of the ancient structures in Siem Reap has a deeper meaning, thanks to Buddhism and Hinduism and a tour guide will be able explain those bas-reliefs in the Angkor Temples as they depict historical events, everyday life in Khmer and religious scriptures. If you head to the River of Thousand Lingas, your guide will tell you why Shiva’s symbols were carved on the river bed. Without a tour guide, all these interesting carvings will just turn into meaningless eye candy.

Dancing Apsara

Dancing Apsara

Bas-relief in Angkor Thom

Bas-relief in Angkor Thom

Temple Hop – There’s a reason why tourists flock to view and marvel at the architectural beauty of the Siem Reap temples. Don’t just stop at Angkor Wat, though; try to see them all! Angkor Wat may be the most popular one, but many have easily preferred the jungle temple Ta Prohm or the temple with the many faces, Angkor Thom. Even the small, lesser-known temples have their own distinctive charm, so go on and try to see them all!

The many faces of Angkor Thom

The many faces of Angkor Thom

Lara Crofting at Ta Prohm

Lara Crofting at Ta Prohm

The five towers of Angkor Wat

The five towers of Angkor Wat

Avoid Tourist Traps – On our last day in Cambodia, we were scheduled to go the Silk Farm and the Floating Village; but since we were enthralled by the country’s ancient history, we decided to immerse ourselves more in it. Instead of falling into those tourist traps and spending all our vacation money buying over-priced local crafts, we talked our tour guide to take us to the River of Thousand Lingas.

It was situated deep in the jungle in Kbal Spean and going to the River of Thousand Lingas was a long and bumpy ride; but upon seeing this unique Cambodian landmark, we knew that it would be well worth the trip.

The carvings of the River of Thousand Lingas

The carvings of the River of Thousand Lingas

Monk at a Buddhist temple

Monk at a Buddhist temple


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