Angkor Wat info
The name Siem Reap can be translated to Defeat of Siam and is commonly taken as a reference to an incident in the centuries-old conflict between the Siamese and Khmer kingdoms. According to oral tradition, King Ang Chan (1516–1566) had named the town Siem Reap after he repulsed an army sent to invade Cambodia by the Thai King Maha Chakkraphat in 1549.
Temples of Angkor
In the mid-19th century, the Angkor Wat temple was effectively rediscovered by the French naturalist and explorer Henri Mouhot, who popularised the site in the West through the publication of travel notes, in which he wrote: “One of these temples, a rival to that of Solomon, and erected by some ancient Michelangelo, might take an honourable place beside our most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome.”
This lake and river system is quite unique for many reasons. Firstly, the lake is filled with water from the Mekong river each year, growing and shrinking with the seasons. Secondly, the river’s flow changes twice a year with the monsoon and dry seasons, which creates a rich biodiversity of fish, birds, reptiles and mammals around the lake – all protected by UNESCO. Thirdly, Tonle sap is home to thousands of people living in floating villages and communities built on either stilts, wooden barges, or boats.
Angkor Shopping Experience
A more traditional sense of shopping would mean looking for locally handcrafted products. Siem Reap prides itself especially for its quality silk, which begins with the growing of silk worms, then the silk is extracted and dyed into a colour of your liking, only to finish it with a full-fledged weaving process before it’s made into scarves, shirts, blankets, etc. For a more immersive experience, we recommend visiting the Artisans d’Angkor apprenticeship school – one of our lovely social activities on the schedule, click here to register for the tours.
If you want all of your senses to be activated during your shopping experience, we highly recommend visiting the Senteurs d’Angkor. Buy local raw materials for a bargain to make soaps, tea, coffee, spices, etc. Perhaps if you have some more time, they also provide wonderful workshops.
After having a great time we all like a memento of our visit to wondrous Cambodia, so naturally we’ll all pass one day or another through Angkor’s Night Market, as it is open all days of the week. Explore the stalls and become entranced by all the local crafts, live painting, music performances, cocktail bars and refreshing drinks in the lively city – all closely packaged together for your convenience.
Getting around in Siem Reap is fairly easy as it is quite a small city and most of the main attractions are within close reach. While the easiest way to explore the historical town itself is by walking, local transportation options such as remorks (Cambodian tuk-tuks), motorcycle taxis and bicycles are available everywhere at affordable prices.
Remork (Cambodian Tuk-Tuk)
Essentially a trailer attached to a motorbike, the remork is the most popular way of getting around in Siem Reap, especially for those travelling in groups as they can accommodate up to four people at a time.
For $ 1 a day to rent a bike, you can’t go wrong with this option! It’s easy, compact and good for your health. Of course they also include a helmet and safety lock.
Streets in Siem Reap are absolutely packed with these taxis and are a fun experience as well. A word of caution: negotiate for a final price before setting off as many are known to overcharge tourists.
A full-day of touring the area should cost about US$25-30, the Angkor Wat grand circuit tour should be about US$40 and trips to more remote temples like Banteay Srei should be about US$50. The drivers are often simply driving their own cars without any meters, so please negotiate well beforehand.
We recommend you to not change your money to the Cambodian currency, for the US Dollar is much preferred even by locals. You can take your own or get them from most ATMs in Siem Reap.
Vendors often don’t have enough change, so make sure to replenish your $ 1 bills often. You can also use these bills to purchase bargains in markets or tip outstanding services from drivers, masseuses and waitstaff.
Angkor. Code of Conduct.
Welcome to Angkor
Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire (9th to 15th century) and once the largest city in the world (12th century). Today, Angkor is still an active spiritual site for Buddhists and citizens who engage in daily worship, prayer and meditation. Angkor is also a living site where over 130. 000 inhabitants have lived for many generations.
The APSARA National Authority has been responsible for the conservation and sustainable development of Angkor since 1995. One of our goals is to harmonize tourist experiences with public safety and respect towards our community. This official Visitor Code of Conduct was designed to support this goal. It was developed in cooperation with local communities, visitors, tour guides and restoration teams.
To enhance your experience and to preserve Angkor for generations to come. We kindly urge you to observe the following points:
Revealing clothes such as shorts and skirts above the knees and showing bare shoulders are prohibited in sacred places. Dress respectful is strongly encouraged in Angkor.
Touching carvings, sitting on fragile structuresor leaning on temple structures, moving or taking archaeological artifacts and graffiti are strictly prohibited. Backpacks, umbrellas with sharp tips, tripods and high heels are discouraged from being brought or worn inside the temples.
Monks are revered and respected. If you want to take pictures, please ask for permission first. Women should not touch nor stand or sit too close to monks.
As Angkor is a sacred site, loud conversation and noise and other inappropriate behaviour in Cambodian culture is considered to be offensive and may disturb other visitors. Please keep calm and be respectful.
For your own safety and for the conservation of Angkor, Please comply with all signs on the site and be mindful of your steps at all times. Do not climb on loose stones.
Smoking and littering
As a member of the World Health Organization, Angkor has been a smoke free site since 2012. Smoking cigarettes disturbs others and cigarettes can start bush fires. To protect the environment, please do not smoke and litter.
Candy or Money to children
Buying items, giving candy or money to children encourages them not to attend school but to beg. If you wish to help the children, please consider donating to a recognised charity.
Any act of looting, breaking or damaging Angkor, or exposing sexual organs and nudity in public area is a crime punishable by law.