What You Need To Know

Siem Reap  is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia. It is a popular resort town and a gateway to the Angkor region. 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 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 temples, the most popular tourist attraction in Cambodia.

 

 

Area: 10,299 km²

Population: Estimate 903.030

Currency

  • The Cambodian riel is the Official Currency.

Economy

Tourism is a very important aspect of the economy of 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 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 come to visit the Angkor Wat, 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.

 

 

Health systems

The health system in Cambodia has undergone several periods of changes. After independence in 1953, the number of health services and facilities rose three-fold. The 1980s saw a period of reconstruction and rehabilitation of the health system following the Khmer Rouge regime, with a special effort on training a new generation of health professionals. In 1993 the first Royal Government took office and began to develop health service infrastructure and established a Ministry of Health (MOH). Private providers and international NGOs have also contributed to strengthening services. The use of traditional medicine is strong in Cambodia, with a culture of robust traditional medicine centered on the Kru Khmer, the traditional healers who are found all throughout the country.

 

Markets

A view of the Old Market (Psar Chas) in Siem Reap
Main article: Psah Chas. The Old Market or Psah Chas is located between Pub Street and the 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 include the 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 used by the locals. The Made in Cambodia Market (initially called “Well Made in Cambodia”) is a night market for tourists in 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 creating Buddha images in stone

Artisans Angkor

Artisans 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 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.

 

Language

Khmer is the Official Language.

 

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. The workshop and its tasting parlour installed in a traditional Khmer wooden house, has become a tourist attraction in town.

 

Transport

The town is 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (IATA code REP) and is accessible by direct flights from many Asian cities, and by land from 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 to Siem Reap. It is possible to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap via Poipet. The road from Poipet to Siem Reap is newly paved and sealed as of 2013. If travelers take a taxi from Bangkok to Poipet and from 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 from Bangkok is also possible by train via the Aranyaprathet station to the border with Cambodia and later via shared mini-buses or taxis to Siem Reap.

 

The Wat and the river

A covered pedestrian bridge over the Siem Reap River, next to the Old Market in Siem Reap. The Town is a cluster of small villages along the Siem Reap River. These villages were originally developed around Buddhist pagodas (Wat) which 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 Sivutha Street and the Psar Chas area (Old Market area) where there are old colonial buildings, shopping and commercial districts. The 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 where a number of large hotels and resorts can be found.

Weather

According to the Köppen climate classification, 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 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.

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