Become your own Indiana Jones in Cambodia?
Siem Reap and the Angkor Temples in Cambodia. Just like when Harrison Ford in the role of Indiana Jones goes into a temple to find a precious treasure, in Siem Reap you have the opportunity to explore fantastic temples on your own. Here it is not snakes or other hostile creatures that you fight against. Here, however, a battle is fought against the strong Cambodian sun and the other tourists for the best vantage points. Armed with cold water, sunscreen and a little patience, it’s a manageable struggle that’s definitely worth fighting.
Siem Reap is a city in northwestern Cambodia that, despite its small size, is the absolute biggest mecca for tourists in Cambodia, if not all of Southeast Asia. It is also clear that it is a city that is used to dealing with tourists. The main streets are jam-packed with good restaurants, bars, discos, and lots of places where you can get a massage for a price that sounds so cheap that the western ear will not believe it. The center of nightlife is concentrated on a large closed street surrounded by signs indicating that you are entering ‘Pub Street’. Here are countless options for how to spend your evening, as long as you can handle a large number of people.
Siem Reap’s Night Market in Cambodia
If you are looking for a more subdued way to enjoy your evening, Siem Reap’s Night Market offers just that. Every evening stalls are opened where you can buy all kinds of clothes, bags, souvenirs and something to drink. You can also just enjoy the good atmosphere in the warm evening hours. Scattered around the market are restaurants and hotels, and the noteworthy Bugs Café is only a few minutes’ walk away. Here, as the name indicates, they experiment with insects and they even advertise a form of insect tapas for the culinary adventurers. Stalls with a similar assortment are scattered around the streets here. You can catch a glimpse of a roasted tarantula on a skewer, or a dish of cockroaches. There is, however, a significant preponderance of more traditional restaurants, which prepare both local and international dishes – and do both well.
You can safely explore Siem Reap and find interesting shops or visit some of the hotels that have daily shows with traditional dance, which is definitely worth seeing. If you move east from the center you can even find an extra small market that is somewhat less touristy than the night market. But no one visits this city without making their way past the legendary temples of Angkor.
Angkor is located a few kilometers north of Siem Reap and houses the temples that UNESCO has designated to be part of the world’s cultural heritage. Virtually all hotels in Siem Reap will offer guided tours to the temples, but you can also choose to take the tour yourself on a moped. Regardless of the approach, it is necessary to plan your time and select the temples you want to see – because there are many temples and they are spread over a large area. However, it is worth the effort when you see the magnificent temples.
Tomb Raider Temple Ta Prohm in Cambodia
In the temples, you have great freedom to explore the farthest nooks and crannies and the strangest rooms you can find. Famous for its appearance in the classic Tomb Raider, Ta Prohm Temple is like a vast maze of overgrown ruins, with huge trees and impressive root systems growing on the temple’s ancient walls. You can get completely lost in this world of silence and contrasts, where small intricate patterns are replaced by huge figures and beautiful nature. A quiet hum and the smell of incense transport you to another time and culture, and the sight of the orange-clad monks quietly milling about adds to the magic you experience here.
As a beautiful and idyllic end to your day, you can enjoy the sunset from the top of one of the high temples such as Baphuon Temple. For those early in the morning, it is also recommended to watch the sun rise over the largest religious monument – not only in Angkor but in the world: Angkor Wat.
Siem Reap There are a host of other fantastic temples that you shouldn’t fool yourself about. The most difficult task to take care of is precisely the prioritization, as it requires an ambitious and enthusiastic traveler to get all the way around in the three days that you typically buy access to. Siem Reap is equipped with a small airport, so one does not have to worry about transport to and from the capital of the country. The road is thus paved to the highest degree for an adventurous trip to Cambodia.
You can also read about Phom Pen, the capital and the country’s moving history and how the capital looks today.