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The Surprises of Siem Reap

by Gaycation Magazine

Editor Edmund takes you on a journey through Siem Reap – Cambodia’s Gateway to the Past

In my never ending quest to see as much of the world as possible, I recently found myself trekking through Cambodia and straight into the tourist mecca of Siem Reap. Located a quick flight from most Asian capital cities, I decided to take a 5-hour bus ride from Phnom Penh (Cambodia’s capital), so that I could check out the truly rural, countryside of Cambodia.

Upon arrival in Siem Reap, you feel as if something has shifted. A time warp of sorts seems to occur and you feel as if you are really in a magically place. Being the tourism capital of Cambodia, people come here for the famous Angkor Wat.

And, famous they should be! The whole complex of temples  is breathtaking and can literally take you the whole day to even grasp the enormity of the place. The ancient Khmer society once reigned supreme across this region and the detail and nuances of these temples are astounding.

Angkor Wat

Majestic Angkor Wat shines bright on a warm day.

You can begin your day by taking a tuk tuk into the complex and watching the sun rise high above the temples then meander your way through the afternoon as you take a leisurely boat cruise on the well manicured moat that surrounds the largest of the complex.

What can you do once you’ve finished exploring these famed walls?  Don’t worry, Siem Reap has lots more to offer. You can make your way into the city, heading down to the infamous Pub Street, and explore the local markets that light up the night. With everything from local crafts, foot massages and delectable local faire, you’re senses will be satisfied. And, if you get the chance, check in to one of the many restaurants that put on a traditional Aspara dance show and take in some local storytelling through the art of dance.

Apsara Dance

Traditional Aspara Dance Show

With Siem Reap, you’ll go for the temples but you’ll want to stay for so much more. The people and the ambience of this country are quite unique in comparison to its surrounding neighbors. A calmness perseveres that you won’t quite get in Thailand or Vietnam.

So, kick back, relax and reap the benefits of Cambodia because it is truly a place like no other.

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