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SIEM REAP (Khmer : ក្រុងសៀមរាប, pronounced ; Thai : เสียมราฐ) is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia
Cambodia
. It is a popular resort town and a gateway to the Angkor
Angkor
region.

Siem Reap
Siem Reap
has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter, and around the Old Market. In the city, there are museums, traditional Apsara dance performances, a Cambodian cultural village, souvenir and handycraft shops, silk farms, rice-paddies in the countryside, fishing villages and a bird sanctuary near the Tonle Sap Lake .

Siem Reap
Siem Reap
today—being a popular tourist destination—has a large number of hotels, resorts, restaurants and businesses closely related to tourism . This is much owed to its proximity to the Angkor
Angkor
temples, the most popular tourist attraction in Cambodia.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Re-discovery of Angkor
Angkor

* 2 The Wat
Wat
and the river * 3 Economy

* 4 Attractions

* 4.1 Angkor
Angkor
Wat
Wat
* 4.2 Angkor
Angkor
Thom * 4.3 Other temples * 4.4 The Cambodia
Cambodia
Landmine Museum and Relief Center * 4.5 War Museum Cambodia
Cambodia
* 4.6 Angkor
Angkor
National Museum * 4.7 Markets * 4.8 Artisans Angkor
Angkor
* 4.9 Cambodian Cultural Village

* 5 Notable sites near Siem Reap
Siem Reap

* 5.1 Phnom Kulen
Phnom Kulen
* 5.2 Floating Villages * 5.3 Tonlé Sap * 5.4 Phnom Dei * 5.5 Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei

* 6 Local specialty

* 6.1 Rice wine

* 7 Climate * 8 Transportation * 9 Sister cities * 10 References * 11 External links

HISTORY

Sisophon, Battambang
Battambang
"> Nightlife in Siem Reap
Siem Reap

The Thai army managed to defeat the Burmese, who quickly retreated through the pass. Maha Chakkraphat's thoughts then turned to Cambodia. Not only had Ang Chan attacked and looted Prachin Buri, turning its people into slaves, but he also refused to give Maha Chakkraphat a white elephant he had requested, rejecting even this token of submission to Siam. Maha Chakkraphat ordered Prince Ong, the governor of Sawankhalok , to lead an expedition to punish Ang Chan and recover the Thai captives. The rival armies met, and Ang Chan killed Prince Ong with a lucky musket shot from elephant back. The leaderless Thai army fled, and Ang Chan allegedly captured more than 10,000 Siamese soldiers. To celebrate his great victory, King Ang Chan supposedly named the battleground "Siem Reap", meaning "the total defeat of Siam". Pub Street in Siem Reap
Siem Reap

In reality, surviving historic sources make this folk tale appear very unlikely, since they date the decline of the Angkor
Angkor
kingdom to more than a century before this, when a military expedition from Ayutthaya captured and sacked Angkor
Angkor
Wat, which began a long period of vassal rule over Cambodia. The 1431 capture coincided with the decline of Angkor, though the reasons behind its abandonment are not clear. They may have included environmental changes and failings in the Khmer infrastructure.

From the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, infighting among the Khmer nobility led to periodic intervention and domination by both of Cambodia's more powerful neighbors, Vietnam and Siam. Siem Reap, along with Battambang
Battambang
(Phra Tabong) and Sisophon , major cities in the northwest of Cambodia, was under Siamese administration and the provinces were collectively known as Inner Cambodia
Cambodia
from 1795 until 1907, when they were ceded to French Indochina
French Indochina
. In fact, during the 18th century, under the rule of the Ayutthaya Kingdom
Ayutthaya Kingdom
, it was known as Nakhorn Siam
Siam
(Siam's city), not as "Siam's Defeat".

RE-DISCOVERY OF ANGKOR

A part of Sivutha Blvd in the downtown area

Siem Reap
Siem Reap
was little more than a village when French explorers such as Henri Mouhot "re-discovered" Angkor
Angkor
in the 19th century. However, European visitors had visited the temple ruins much earlier, including António da Madalena in 1586". In 1901, the École française d\'Extrême-Orient (EFEO; French School of the Far East) began a long association with Angkor
Angkor
by funding an expedition into Siam
Siam
to the Bayon . The EFEO took responsibility for clearing and restoring the whole site. In the same year, the first western tourists arrived in Angkor, a total of about 200 in just three months. Angkor
Angkor
had been 'rescued' from the jungle and was assuming its place in the modern world. Grand Hotel
Hotel
d\' Angkor
Angkor
was built in the mid-1920s.

With the acquisition of Angkor
Angkor
by the French in 1907 following a Franco-Siamese treaty, Siem Reap
Siem Reap
began to grow. The Grand Hotel d\' Angkor
Angkor
opened in 1932 and the temples of Angkor
Angkor
became one of Asia's leading draws until the late 1960s. when civil war kept them away. In 1975, the population of Siem Reap, like all other Cambodian cities and towns, was driven into the countryside by the communist Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
.

Siem Reap's recent history is coloured by the horror of the brutal Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
regime. Since Pol Pot
Pol Pot
's death in 1998, however, relative stability and a rejuvenated tourist industry have revived the city and province. Royal Residence, Siem Reap
Siem Reap

Siem Reap
Siem Reap
now serves as a small gateway town to the world heritage site of Angkor
Angkor
Wat. It is a vibrant town with modern hotels and restaurants, still managing to preserve much of its culture and traditions. Siem Reap
Siem Reap
ranked fourth in the World's Best Cities of Travel and Leisure survey in 2014.

THE WAT AND THE RIVER

A covered pedestrian bridge over the Siem Reap
Siem Reap
River, next to the Old Market in Siem Reap
Siem Reap

The Town is a cluster of small villages along the Siem Reap River
Siem Reap River
. These villages were originally developed around Buddhist
Buddhist
pagodas (Wat ) which are almost evenly spaced along the river from Wat
Wat
Preah En Kau Sei in the north to Wat
Wat
Phnom Krom in the south, where the Siem Reap River meets the great Tonle Sap Lake.

The main town is concentrated around Sivutha Street and the Psar Chas area (Old Market area) where there are old colonial buildings, shopping and commercial districts. The Wat
Wat
Bo area is now full of guesthouses and restaurants while the Psar Leu area is often crowded with jewellery and handicraft shops, selling such items as rubies and woodcarving. Other fast developing areas are the airport road and main road to Angkor
Angkor
where a number of large hotels and resorts can be found.

ECONOMY

Dancer performing for tourists at a restaurant

Tourism
Tourism
is a very important aspect of the economy of Siem Reap
Siem Reap
- it was estimated in 2010 that over 50% of jobs in the town were related to the tourism industry. The city has seen a massive increase in tourist trade in the couple of decades after the end of the Khmer Rouge era, and businesses centered on tourism have flourished due to the tourism boom. Visitor numbers were negligible in the mid-1990s, but by 2004, over half a million foreign visitors had arrived in the Siem Reap
Siem Reap
province that year, approximately 50% of all foreign tourists in Cambodia. By 2012, tourist number had reached over two million. A large number of hotels have sprung up in the city, these range from 5-star hotels and chic resorts to hundreds of budget guesthouses.

Most tourists in Siem Reap
Siem Reap
come to visit the Angkor
Angkor
Wat
Wat
, Angkor
Angkor
Thom , (about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) north of the city), and other Angkor ruins. There are many shopping opportunities around the Psar Chas area, and there are also a number of western-styled pubs and bars catering to tourists.

A large number of NGOs and other not-for profits organizations operate in and around Siem Reap, and they play a vital role in the economy, as well as helping to develop it for the future. Thousands of expatriates call the city home and they also have a significant impact on the economy.

ATTRACTIONS

Satellite view of Siem Reap
Siem Reap
(to the left in the satellite image) in relation to Angkor
Angkor
archaeological sites such as Angkor
Angkor
Wat
Wat
and Angkor
Angkor
Thom

ANGKOR WAT

Main article: Angkor
Angkor
Wat
Wat
Buddhist
Buddhist
monks in front of Angkor
Angkor
Wat
Wat

Angkor
Angkor
Wat
Wat
( Wat
Wat
temple) is the central feature of the Angkor
Angkor
UNESCO World Heritage Site containing the magnificent remains of the Khmer civilization. Angkor
Angkor
Wat's rising series of five towers culminates in an impressive central tower that symbolizes mythical Mount Meru
Mount Meru
. Thousands of feet of wall space are covered with intricate carving depicting scenes from Hindu mythology
Hindu mythology
. The most important are the Carved Bas reliefs of the Hindu narratives. They tell a story about gods fighting demons in order to reclaim order which can only be achieved by recovering the elixir of life known as amrita . The gods and demons must work together to release it and then battle to attain it.

ANGKOR THOM

The towers of Bayon in Angkor
Angkor
Thom Main article: Angkor
Angkor
Thom

Angkor
Angkor
Thom is an inner royal city built by the end of the 12th century and is renowned for its temples, in particular the Bayon . Other notable sites are Baphuon
Baphuon
, Phimeanakas , The Terrace of the Elephants and The Terrace of the Leper King . The city can be accessed through 5 city gates, one on each cardinal point and the Victory Gate on the eastern wall.

OTHER TEMPLES

A number of significant temples are dotted around Angkor
Angkor
Wat
Wat
and Angkor
Angkor
Thom within the Angkor
Angkor
Archaeological Park, including Ta Prohm , Preah Khan , Banteay Kdei
Banteay Kdei
, Phnom Bakheng , Ta Keo , Ta Som , an . These temples may be visited along the grand circuit or the small circuit routes. Other sites are the Roluos group of temples located to the east of Siem Reap.

THE CAMBODIA LANDMINE MUSEUM AND RELIEF CENTER

The Landmine Museum offers tourists and Cambodians the chance to see (safe) landmines up close, understand how they work, and what they can do to help rid Cambodia
Cambodia
and the world of their continuing threat. It is located approximately 25 km north of Siem Reap
Siem Reap
(30 minutes by tuk tuk), just 7 km south of the Banteay Srey Temple complex in Angkor National Park. On the way to the museum there are quaint countryside villages, rice paddies and wide views of locals working their fields, as well as local handicrafts "outside the hussle and bussle of town." Some two dozen at-risk Khmer children are educated and live, along with staff, at the Relief Center located on the museum property. The organization has plans for building a farm behind the Center sometime in 2016.

WAR MUSEUM CAMBODIA

The War Museum Cambodia
Cambodia
covers the last three decades of the 20th century when the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
was active in Cambodia. There is a vast array of vehicles, artillery, weaponry, landmines and equipment on display. The museum is making use of guides who are war veterans who fought for the Cambodian army, the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
or the Vietnamese army. Angkor
Angkor
National Museum

ANGKOR NATIONAL MUSEUM

Opened on 12 November 2007, the Angkor
Angkor
National Museum offers visitors a better understanding of the area's archaeological treasures. The Golden Era of the Khmer Kingdom is presented, including the use of state-of-the-art multimedia technology. The museum covers Khmer history, civilization, and cultural heritage in eight galleries.

MARKETS

A view of the Old Market (Psar Chas) in Siem Reap
Siem Reap
Main article: Psah Chas

The Old Market or Psah Chas is located between Pub Street and the Siem Reap
Siem Reap
River, and offers a mixture of souvenirs for tourists and a variety of food produce and other items meant for the locals.

Other markets in Siem Reap
Siem Reap
include the Angkor
Angkor
Night Market which is located off Sivutha Street, Phsar Kandal (The Central Market) located at Sivutha Street which mainly caters to tourists, and Phsar Leu (The Upper Market) which is located further away along National Road 6 but is the biggest market of Siem Reap
Siem Reap
used by the locals. The Made in Cambodia
Cambodia
Market (initially called "Well Made in Cambodia") is a night market for tourists in Siem Reap
Siem Reap
where all the products sold should be made in Cambodia. The market hosts daily shows and other events in King's Road. Craftsman at Artisans Angkor
Angkor
creating Buddha images in stone

ARTISANS ANGKOR

Main article: Artisans Angkor
Angkor

Artisans Angkor
Angkor
is a semi-public company founded in 1992 which aims to revive traditional Khmer craftsmanship and provide employment for rural artisans. It is also associated with a silk farm where visitors may learn about sericulture and weaving. It also participates in the restoration of historical Angkor
Angkor
sites by repairing and replacing damaged sculptures.

CAMBODIAN CULTURAL VILLAGE

Opened on 24 September 2003, the Cambodian Cultural Village assembles all the miniatures of famous historical buildings and structures of Cambodia. There are 11 unique villages, which represent different culture heritages, local customs and characteristics of 21 multi races.

NOTABLE SITES NEAR SIEM REAP

Lingas carved into the riverbed of Kbal Spean.

A number of notable sites further away from Siem Reap
Siem Reap
are also accessible from the town.

PHNOM KULEN

Main article: Phnom Kulen
Phnom Kulen

The Phnom Kulen
Phnom Kulen
National Park is about 48 km from Siem Reap
Siem Reap
and contains a number of attractions such as its two waterfalls and the Kbal Spean 's "river of 1000 lingas". Floating Village of Kampong P'luk

FLOATING VILLAGES

There are three floating villages around Siem Reap
Siem Reap
- Kompong Khleang, Kompong Phluk, Chong Kneas, with Kompong Khleang considered the most authentic.

TONLé SAP

Main article: Tonlé Sap

The Tonlé Sap, Khmer for "Vast Body of Fresh Water" and more commonly translated as "Great Lake" is a combined lake and river system of major importance to Cambodia. It is located in the heart of Cambodia
Cambodia
about 30 minutes south of downtown Siem Reap
Siem Reap
and has many attractions. The area around the Tonle Sap including the province of Siem Reap
Siem Reap
is part of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve . Phnom Dei

PHNOM DEI

Phnom Dei is a hill near Siem Reap.

BANTEAY SREI

Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei
is a 10th-century temple located about 30 km northeast of Siem Reap. It is notable for its fine intricate decorative carvings on rose pink sandstone.

LOCAL SPECIALTY

Painted bottles of Sombai Liqueur with pictures of Angkor temples

RICE WINE

Traditionally rice wine may be made by the Cambodian households or villages for their own consumption. Some are also produced commercially or inspired by this tradition, an example is the Sombai Infused Cambodian Liqueur ( Sombai ) produced in Siem Reap. This beverage takes inspiration from the Sraa Tram (or soaked wine) that Cambodians drink traditionally and the infused rums from the islands. The particularity of the bottles of Sombai is that they are hand-painted making it attractive to tourists visiting Cambodia
Cambodia
. The workshop and its tasting parlour installed in a traditional Khmer wooden house, has become a tourist attraction in town.

CLIMATE

According to the Köppen climate classification , Siem Reap
Siem Reap
features a tropical wet and dry climate . The city is generally hot throughout the course of the year, with average high temperatures never falling below 30 C in any month. Siem Reap
Siem Reap
has a relatively lengthy wet season which starts in April and ends in November. The dry season covers the remaining four months. The city averages approximately 1500 mm of rainfall per year.

CLIMATE DATA FOR SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA (AVERAGES: 1997-2010, EXTREMES: 1906-2010)

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

RECORD HIGH °C (°F) 35.0 (95) 36.7 (98.1) 38.9 (102) 39.4 (102.9) 40.6 (105.1) 38.9 (102) 35.6 (96.1) 35.0 (95) 34.4 (93.9) 33.9 (93) 34.4 (93.9) 34.4 (93.9) 40.6 (105.1)

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 31.7 (89.1) 33.5 (92.3) 34.9 (94.8) 35.8 (96.4) 34.8 (94.6) 33.6 (92.5) 32.9 (91.2) 32.4 (90.3) 31.7 (89.1) 31.5 (88.7) 31.2 (88.2) 30.6 (87.1) 32.9 (91.2)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) 26.0 (78.8) 27.8 (82) 29.5 (85.1) 30.5 (86.9) 29.9 (85.8) 29.2 (84.6) 28.9 (84) 28.8 (83.8) 28.1 (82.6) 28.0 (82.4) 26.9 (80.4) 25.6 (78.1) 28.3 (82.9)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 20.4 (68.7) 22.4 (72.3) 24.1 (75.4) 25.4 (77.7) 25.4 (77.7) 25.1 (77.2) 24.9 (76.8) 25.1 (77.2) 24.7 (76.5) 24.5 (76.1) 22.6 (72.7) 20.7 (69.3) 23.8 (74.8)

RECORD LOW °C (°F) 9.4 (48.9) 12.8 (55) 15.0 (59) 17.8 (64) 18.9 (66) 17.8 (64) 18.9 (66) 18.9 (66) 20.0 (68) 17.2 (63) 12.2 (54) 10.0 (50) 9.4 (48.9)

AVERAGE RAINFALL MM (INCHES) 3.7 (0.146) 4.7 (0.185) 29.0 (1.142) 57.3 (2.256) 149.7 (5.894) 214.1 (8.429) 192.6 (7.583) 208.9 (8.224) 287.7 (11.327) 199.6 (7.858) 51.3 (2.02) 7.3 (0.287) 1,405.9 (55.351)

AVERAGE RAINY DAYS (≥ 0.1 MM) 1.5 0.7 3.2 7.6 17.0 18.0 17.6 17.6 17.4 15.4 6.4 2.0 124.4

AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%) 59 59 58 59 66 70 71 73 75 75 68 64 66.4

Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst
Deutscher Wetterdienst

TRANSPORTATION

Siem Reap International Airport
Siem Reap International Airport

The town is 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from Siem Reap- Angkor
Angkor
International Airport (IATA code REP) and is accessible by direct flights from many Asian cities, and by land from Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
and the Thai border. It is also accessible by boat (via the Tonle Sap lake) and bus from Phnom Penh and Battambang. A new airport is planned 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Siem Reap. The boat from Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
to Siem Reap
Siem Reap

It is possible to get from Bangkok
Bangkok
to Siem Reap
Siem Reap
via Poipet
Poipet
. The road from Poipet
Poipet
to Siem Reap
Siem Reap
is newly paved and sealed as of 2013. If travelers take a taxi from Bangkok
Bangkok
to Poipet
Poipet
and from Poipet
Poipet
to Siem Reap, it is possible to complete the whole journey in 6–10 hours, depending on border-crossing times. This journey is also possible by bus and minibus. Tickets can be bought online via the official Nattakan website. Getting to Siem Reap
Siem Reap
from Bangkok
Bangkok
is also possible by train via the Aranyaprathet station to the border with Cambodia
Cambodia
and later via shared mini-buses or taxis to Siem Reap.

SISTER CITIES

* Bagan
Bagan
, Myanmar
Myanmar
* Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
, France, since 11 June 2000 * Sankt Goar , Germany, since 13 May 2015 * Kōta, Aichi , Japan
Japan

REFERENCES

* ^ Glasser, Miranda (14 September 2012). "Temple Town, Cambodia\'s new ladyboy capital". Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Post. Retrieved 14 December 2015. * ^ "Chapter 2: Spatial Distribution and Density of Population" (PDF). Statistics Japan. * ^ Joachim Schliesinger (2012). Elephants in Thailand Vol 3: White Elephants in Thailand and Neighboring Countries. White Lotus. p. 32. ISBN 978-9744801890 . * ^ Zhou Daguan (2007). A Record of Cambodia. translated by Peter Harris. University of Washington Press. ISBN 978-9749511244 . * ^ Paul Spencer Sochaczewski (29 January 2009). The Sultan and the Mermaid Queen: Surprising Asian People, Places and Things that Go Bump in the Night. Editions Didier Millet. pp. 100–. ISBN 978-981-4217-74-3 . * ^ John Stewart Bowman (13 August 2013). Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture. Columbia University Press. pp. 511–. ISBN 978-0-231-50004-3 . * ^ Stone, R. (2006). "ARCHAEOLOGY: The End of Angkor". Science. 311 (5766): 1364–1368. ISSN 0036-8075 . PMID 16527940 . doi :10.1126/science.311.5766.1364 . * ^ Gerald W. Fry; Gayla S. Nieminen; Harold E. Smith (8 August 2013). Historical Dictionary of Thailand. Scarecrow Press. pp. 362–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7525-8 . * ^ Higham, The Civilization of Angkor
Angkor
pp. 1–2. * ^ Robin Biddulph (January 2015). "Limits to mass tourism’s effects in rural peripheries". Annals of Tourism
Tourism
Research. 50: 98–112. doi :10.1016/j.annals.2014.11.011 . * ^ "Executive Summary from Jan–Dec 2005". Tourism
Tourism
of Cambodia. Statistics & Tourism
Tourism
Information Department, Ministry of Tourism
Tourism
of Cambodia. Archived from the original on 13 April 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2008. * ^ " Tourism
Tourism
Annual Report 2012" (PDF). Ministry of Tourism. * ^ " Angkor
Angkor
Temple Guide". Canby Publications. * ^ Where we are located - Cambodia
Cambodia
Landmine Museum and Relief Center * ^ Cambodia
Cambodia
Landmine Museum and Relief Center * ^ Land Mine Museum video by Al Brenner * ^ Poem of the Land Mine Museum by Al Brenner, additional video footage of Museum * ^ " Angkor
Angkor
National Museum website". Angkornationalmuseum.com. Retrieved 2011-01-31. * ^ "Psar Chaa". Lonely Planet. * ^ " Angkor
Angkor
Night Market". Lonely Planet. * ^ "Local markets in Siem Reap". Siemreap.net. * ^ "Shinta Mani “Well Made in Cambodia” Market". Siemreap.net.

* ^ "Laura Mam and Krom performing in town". The Phnom Penh Post
The Phnom Penh Post
. * ^ Walter E. Little (2011). Textile Economies: Power and Value from the Local to the Transnational. AltaMira Press. pp. 207–208. ISBN 978-0759120617 . * ^ "Restoration of Angkor
Angkor
site". Artisans Angkor. * ^ " Siem Reap
Siem Reap
floating villages: What to expect and why we choose to go to Kompong Khleang". Triple Adventure Cambodia. * ^ Beverley Palmer. The Rough Guide to Cambodia. Rough Guides. p. 196. ISBN 978-1848368897 . * ^ Nicky Sullivan "Fruit-flavoured infused rice wines make a splash". The Phnom Penh Post
The Phnom Penh Post
, 7 September 2012, * ^ "Associated Press: Rice wine spirit is rebranded as a tourist tipple". Retrieved 2015-08-03. * ^ Lara Dunston "Cambodian rice wine revival". Australian Gourmet Traveller, 11 July 2014 * ^ Lara Dunston "Taste Siem Reap’s Own Brand of Infused Rice Spirit". Afar (magazine) * ^ Nick Ray "Sombai". Lonely Planet Online * ^ Peter Olszewski "Cambodian Fusion". Management Insider * ^ Robyn Eckhardt "36 Hours in Siem Reap". The New York Times
The New York Times
, 22 July 2015 * ^ Dana Ter"Searching for serenity in Siem Reap". , Taipei Times , 19 August 2015 * ^ Miranda Glasser "Taste Sombai rice wine purveyors open new showroom". The Phnom Penh Post
The Phnom Penh Post
, 1 August 2014 * ^ "Klimatafel von Siemreap- Angkor
Angkor
/ Kambodscha" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 23 January 2016. * ^ " Cambodia
Cambodia
eyes new airport for Siem Reap". Retrieved 2010-09-22. * ^ "How to get from Siem Reap
Siem Reap
to Bangkok?". tripsget.com. Retrieved 2016-05-31. * ^ "?". Myanmar.gov.mm. * ^ "Local Government International Exchange: Sister city information Database". Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Retrieved 21 November 2015.

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikimedia Commons has media related to SIEM REAP .

* Official Siem

.