10 Reasons to Visit Siem Reap

Updated August 16, 2020.

It’s usually bad when things get ruined. Usually, but not every time. Not in Siem Reap, Cambodia! Angkor Wat, the largest religious complex in the world, is one of the most beautiful and fascinating places I’ve ever visited, and for this Faraway Friday, I’m sharing 10 of my best photos with you in hopes of inspiring YOUR visit to this beautiful place!

10. Super Sweet People

I met some very kind, hard-working people here in Siem Reap. This guy was an incredible tuk-tuk driver, and he was such a quick worker–a true man on a mission! He drove my friend Tiffany and me around all over the place, waited as long as we needed to see the sites, and hopped back on the motor bike to take us to the next place! He was such a sweetheart, making sure we had water and pulling the flaps down when it rained so we wouldn’t get wet! (Don’t worry, he had a rain suit and face shield on his helmet so he stayed as dry as possible, too!)

Siem Reap’s best tuk-tuk driver
More here: How to Embrace Cultural Differences

9. The Monkeys!

You need to know something about me… I love monkeys! They weren’t just everywhere, but they were roaming around the temple grounds. A few of them were posing for the cameras, others were digging in the trash cans for food. One was even straight-up taking food from a guy. They’re so cute!

A monkey and a monk!
Pretty sure his name is Tarzan
Putting on a show
Read on: What to Know Before You Visit Siem Reap

8. Beautiful Villas

We stayed in our own villa in a village just a few miles from the temples, and it was great! They had wonderful breakfasts (Western and Asian style), friendly service, and air conditioning!

Oh, this is just the walk to breakfast every morning.
Asian Breakfast
More here: What to Eat in Cambodia

7. My Elephant Friend

I love this guy! The ruins in Siem Reap are unique because there are few restrictions. You can still climb up on many of the ruins and touch them. It’s all at your own risk, so be careful, but it’s so much fun to truly get to explore such history!

Such a sweetie!
Keep reading: How to Practice Self Care on Travel

6. The Ladies of the Temples

Women are indisputably a symbol of beauty, quite possibly in all cultures. Images of ladies, some of them goddesses, are all throughout the many temples of Angkor Wat, and here are just a few:

The Temple Greeter
Dancing Ladies
Leaping Ladies
Keep reading: Is Solo Travel Selfish?

5. The Faces of Bayon

Angkor was incredible, but the faces of Bayon practically spoke to me.

Sleepy Time?
Every Bayon Face has three other faces attached to it to see all.
More here: Ruined: Beauty in the Broken Places

4. Movie Moments

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and several other films and documentaries have been filmed in Siem Reap, most notably Tomb Raider with several iconic shots from Angkor Thom, within the Angkor Wat complex.

Tomb Raider Temple (aka Angkor Thom)
Proof I was there!
The Temple of Doom?
Read on: 6 Solo Travel Experiences to Have Once in Your Life

3. The Food

I’m a fan of Cambodian food! Asian food in general is almost always my preferred kind of food. The street food vendors near the temples in Siem Reap do a swift business because they sell the only lunch you can find inside the complex, and leaving for lunch to come back in the afternoon is not practical. We had two amazing stir-fry lunches (and inexpensive to boot!), and seriously, there is no better view for your lunch!

Cambodian Street Food
Keep eating: The Most Exotic Foods of the World

2. The Details

All of the details in the hundreds of temples throughout the Angkor Wat complex had to be hand-carved. Some have kept their definition longer than others, and some have been meticulously restored. But hundreds of years ago, in some cases over 1000 years ago, someone spent years learning the skills needed to carve such features, and more years carving them all. The perfection is stunning.

More here: Must-have Solo Travel Skills

1. Angkor Wat Temple

This temple is the reason you visit Siem Reap, Cambodia. It is the largest and most intact. It is also still a functioning Buddhist temple, so be respectful of the monks walking through. It is definitely worth taking a guided tour, and you can be sure you get a good tour with accurate information because it is regulated by the government.

Angkor Wat Temples

Are you ready for a trip to the temples? It’s a trip I will never forget, and I’m sure it will be for you, too!

Want more? Check out my Cambodia Page!

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One response to “10 Reasons to Visit Siem Reap”

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