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Do you find the mysteries of the Hindu and Buddhist cosmology enthralling and enticing? Would you like to witness in your own eyes the largest religious creation of all times? Search for cheap air tickets to Siem Reap, the second most significant city in Cambodia after the capital. Gateway to the ancient city of Angkor, a precious gem of the Khmer era and, for many, the eighth wonder of the world, Siem Reap is a laid-back, idyllic and pleasant travel destination. Book your accommodation in one of the numerous cheap hotels in Siem Reap and discover one of the most impressive, interesting and genuine destinations in the world!
The ruins of the ancient city of Angkor, capital of the Khmer Kingdom from 802 to 1295 BC, ranks among the world’s most majestic sites. The so-called “City of the God Kings” is, beyond a doubt, one of the greatest religious monuments humanity ever created.
“Siem Reap” can be translated into “Defeated Siam”, allegedly referring to the conflict between the Kingdoms of Siam and Khmer; thought the actual origin of the name remains unknown.
Siem Reap, once a quaint little town with not much of a tourist interest, is now going through an extraordinary development, attracting millions of visitors annually.
The main reason is none other than the ancient city of Angkor and the astounding wealth of religious, historical and cultural attractions and archaeological sites.
When you have seen it all and learnt all about the Kingdom of Khmer, you can venture out to the surrounding lush jungle or enjoy some time around the streets of Siem Reap; you won’t be disappointed!
The airport of Siem Reap is located 10 kilometres northwest of the city centre and the recommended way of reaching it is by using the city’s official taxi services.
Getting around Siem Reap
You can get around Siem Reap by taxi, hired cars and local tuk-tuks.
Siem Reap Guide
The primary attraction of Siem Reap is, of course Angkor, the ancient city that stands out from all the man-made religious monuments of this world. An incredibly vast complex of Hindu and Buddhist temples, Angkor stretches to an area of 97 sq.km. and offers you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness a series of majestic architectural masterpieces, to know more on Buddhism and Hinduism and to trace back the history of the Kingdom of Khmer.
On your way to Angkor, you could visit the Angkor National Museum, with particularly interesting exhibitions reflective of the grand history, heritage and culture of the Angkorian era.
As you reach the ancient city, you’ll immediately recognise the first temple that you’ll come across; it’s Angkor Wat, whose four distinctive peaks form the ultimate landmark and symbol of Cambodia.
The Angkor Wat temple was built in the 12th century by the Khmer King Suryavarman II and is considered as the primary example of the Khmer architecture. The temple was initially Hindu, but it was later converted into Buddhist.
Rising 213 metres in height, Angkor Wat symbolises Mount Meru that, according to Hindu and Buddhist cosmology, is the epicentre of all the aspects of the universe; natural, supernatural and spiritual.
The second most impressive religious site, Angkor Thom is mainly famous for the Bayon temple.
A series of gigantic faces are carved on the stones of Angkor Thom, at a height of 45 metres. The faces are arranged in groups of four, each facing a cardinal direction.
Last but not least, Ta Prohm is a place of wild beauty – with which you might be familiar, since it was the filming location of some Lara Croft’s scenes.
Ta Prohm is the proof of nature’s indifference towards the works of humans; enormous roots from the lush jungle have intruded into the 39 stone towers of the temple, with trees growing in the ruins, making up a terrific, fascinating sight.
The official language of Siem Reap is Khmer.
To travel to Siem Reap, you need the following documents:
- a passport, valid up to 6 months after your scheduled journey
- a tourist Visa, issued from the Embassy of Cambodia
When to Go
Siem Reap has a tropical climate with three distinct seasons; the cool (November - January), the hot (February - May) and the monsoon (June-October).
The monsoon season shows frequent and heavy downpours, the hot one comes with high temperatures and humidity.
The best time to visit Siem Reap is the cool season, but you can visit Siem Reap all-year-round, as long as you’ve packed properly and arranged your itinerary accordingly.