Old French Quarter Siem Reap Cambodia


Siem Reap Stupa

Exploring Siem Reap is a lovely, exotic experience. It’s smaller and more relaxed than Phnom Penh, and the merchants are entertaining and friendly. It’s also full of tourists – many French. The weather is hot and humid but not unbearable. Noon to mid-afternoon isn’t an ideal time for walking. December through February are the driest months and the best time to visit.Siem Reap

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Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century.”

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Wat Damnak Pagoda

I’ve seen spectacular architecture – Chinese, Cambodian, French Colonial – and lush tropical gardens. It’s difficult finding a good vantage point for photos since the old buildings are huge and streets are flat. Restoration is in process all over the small town. Follow Siem Reap River and you can’t get lost – somehow I did…

Wat Damnak

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“Dozens of Hindu-Buddhist temple complexes and hundreds of smaller structures were once swallowed by the jungle.”

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Wat Damnak – Jonathan Rotondo

Wat Damnak is the largest pagoda in Siem Reap and a “cultural hub”. During King Sisowath’s reign it was a palace. Buddhist Monks live in the pagoda, a major “landmark” on the eastern side of the Siem Reap River.

Hotel Taphul Village
Hotel Taphul Village
Vishnu
Vishnu Statue

I chatted with a few locals. One was keen to practice his English and told me about his life in the countryside near the Vietnam border. Stopped at a pharmacy for allergy medicine and the pharmacist was fun and outgoing. We talked chit-chat for a long time. He gave me great sightseeing pointers.

Bags and Souvenirs – angkornightmarket.com
French Colonial Building
French Colonial Building

Looking for a cool shirt I met a merchant and his wife and three young children in the market. When you buy clothing in the market and want to try something on you have to do it right there on the spot, often with someone holding a cloth up around you while you change – at first it seemed awkward. Now I think it’s funny – no one looks anyway.

Wat Damnak

There are five major areas in Siem Reap:

Siem Reap Night Market
Night Market Siem Reap
Apsara Dancers Siem Reap

Tonight I go via tuk-tuk for a sunset trip to some of the major temples. Later my hotel, Soria Moria, is having a live Apsara dance performance.

Handcrafted Souvenirs – angkornightmarket.com
Pagodas