Siem Reap City
The Capital of Siem Reap Province
Kingdom of Cambodia
The name Siem Reap means the “Defeat of Siam” (today’s Thailand) and refers to a centuries-old bloodbath, commemorated in stone in the celebrated bas relief carvings of the monuments.
In 1907 Angkor, which had been under Thai control, was returned to Cambodia. In the same year, the first tourists arrived in Angkor - an unprecedented 200 of them in three months. Angkor had been 'rescued' from the jungle and was assuming its place in the modern world.
Siem Reap was little more than a village when the first French explorers re-discovered Angkor in the 19th century. With the return of Angkor to Cambodian, Siem Reap began to grow, absorbing the first wave of tourists. The temples of Angkor remained one of Asia's leading draws until the late 1960s, luring visitors like Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Kennedy.In 1975, Siem Reap population, as well as many other cities including capital city Phnom Penh, was evacuated by the maoist Khmer Rouge and driven into the countryside. As with the rest of the country, Siem Reaps history is colored by specter of the brutal Khmer Rouge Regime, until Pol Pot's death in 1998.
Today, Siem Reap is undoubtedly Cambodia's fastest growing city and serves as a small charming gateway town to the world famous heritage of the Angkor temples. Thanks to those attractions, Siem Reap has transformed itself into a major tourist hub. Siem Reap nowadays is a vibrant town with modern hotels and architectures. Despite international influences, Siem Reap and its people have conserved much of the town's image, culture and traditions.
The town is a cluster of small villages along the Siem Reap River. These villages were originally developed around Buddhist Wats. These are almost evenly spaced along the river from Wat Preah En Kau Sei in the north to Wat Phnom Krom in the south, where the Siem Reap River meets the great Tonle Sap Lake.
The main town is concentrated around Sivatha Street and the Psar Chas area (Old Market area) and Angkor Night Market where are old colonial buildings, shopping and commercial districts.
There are a wide range of hotels, ranging from several 5-star hotels and chic resorts to hundreds of budget guesthouses. A large selection of restaurants offer many kinds of food, including Italian, Indian, French, German, Russian, Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Burmese. Plenty of shopping opportunities exist in the Angkor Night Market and around the Psar Chas area.
Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport in Siem Reap now serves the most tourist passengers to Cambodia. Most tourists come to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, (about 6Km north of the city), and other temple ruins.
While those are still the main attractions, there are plenty of other things to experience, such as a dinner in amazing Island Bar located in the botanical jungle garden in Angkor Night Market, Apsara Dance performance, a trip to fishing villages and bird sanctuary, a visit to a craft workshop and silk farm, or a bicycle tour around the rice paddies in the countryside.
Text was partly assumed from Wikipedia