THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
Cambodia has always made us curious, seeing photos on instagram, videos on youtube and even snaps on IG Stories, we've definitely put it on our list of places to visit. The amazing temples in Siem Reap was the cherry on top of our stay, seeing age-old temples, and being in the presence of calm and peaceful energy is what makes our trip memorable. Nothing excited us more than learning new things, experiencing a new culture and being surrounded by a different energy.
Considered the biggest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat is the heart and soul of Cambodia and is a great source of national pride. Visiting Angkor Wat will definitely leave you in awe because of its grand size and amazing detail. Angkor Wat is also famous for its incredible sunrises which you can also experience (and is something we recommend) when you visit Cambodia.
- Wear proper attire when inside the temple premises (Clothes covering the shoulders and legs)
- Nudity and exposure of private parts is not allowed and is punishable by law.
- Respect the Monks.
- Flying of Drones is not allowed unless a permit is secured.
- No Smoking or use of electronic cigarettes inside the temple.
Just minutes away by tuk-tuk, car or bus is Angkor Thom. It is also part of the Angkor group of temples in Cambodia. Angkor Thom means "Great City" in Khmer, and was built in a perfect square with north, south, east and west sides and is surrounded by a square wall 8m high and 12km in length. Others find Angkor Thom to be more majestic than Angkor Wat, but it is for you to decide.
TOMB RAIDER TEMPLE (TA PROHM)
Ta Prohm is known for the biggest and oldest trees that surround the temple. Each tree is majestic and has grown around the temple, slowly becoming its strong trait. Ta Prohm has also been named Tomb Raider Temple because it was used as a main location in the movie Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie. Each temple may look similar to each other, but they have their own special characteristic that makes them unique.
PHNOM KULEN NATIONAL PARK
Phnom Kulen is a holy mountain for Cambodians and houses a pilgrimage site called Preah Ang Thom. The reason why this place is a holy mountain is because it is the location for the biggest Buddha in Cambodia. It is an 8m long reclining Buddha enclosed in a wooden house. You must take off your shoes to pay respects when visiting this place.
There are many other locations within Phnom Kulen National Park that are worth visiting including the waterfalls which are split into 3 levels, one of them with the height of 20 meters. The water is considered holy and Khmers like to bottle it to take home with them. The source of water eventually flows in to Tonle Sap Lake and is thought to bless the water ways of Cambodia.
You can find Beng Mealea 68km northeast of Siem Reap. Enclosed by the forest, Beng Mealea is still magnificent in its ruin. This temple, like all other temples has been built solely for the gods of the Cambodians. As you go around Beng Mealea you will be able to see collapsed sandstone blocks, dark chambers, hanging vines and intricate wall carvings that make this temple more magical than it already is.
TONLE SAP LAKE
Tonle Sap Lak is an amazing place to watch the sunset. To be able to get to the main lake itself you will pass through the floating village that houses many Cambodians who make a living by fishing. Considered to be the "poverty" area of Cambodia, to be able to visit the floating village really opened our eyes to the living situation of many Cambodians. Located at the end of the winding river is a big open space that can be easily mistaken for the sea, but the lake is so big that you cannot see what is in the horizon and at sunset it is a magnificent place to be.