French Quarter Siem Reap Cambodia


Siem Reap Stupa

Exploring Siem Reap is a lovely 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, although 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 some spectacular architecture – Chinese, Cambodian, French Colonial – and the tropical gardens are lush and fragrant. It was difficult finding a good vantage point for photos as some of the old buildings are huge and the streets are flat. Restoration is in process all around the small town.

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 biggest pagoda in Siem Reap and a “cultural hub”. During the reign of King Sisowath it was a palace. Buddhist Monks live in the pagoda, a “landmark” on the eastern side of the Siem Reap River.

Hotel Taphul Village

Hotel Taphul Village

Vishnu

Vishnu Statue

I chatted with a few of the locals, and 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.

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

If you follow Siem Reap River you can’t get lost, although I managed to a few times.

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.

Pagodas