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Siem Reap is the gateway to the temples of Angkor, which are clustered together within Angkor Archaeological Park, the entrance of which lies about five miles north of the city. Though it seems like a chaotic sprawl of hotels and markets, Siem Reap actually follows an orderly grid of city blocks. The tourist action lies west of the Siem Reap river, but a walk across any bridge brings you right back to the authentic Cambodian flavor of the east side neighborhood of Wat Bo.

Angkor Neighborhoods

Old French Quarter

The golden pagodas of the royal residence shadow Siem Reap’s colonial downtown from their location between Sivatha Boulevard and the Siem Reap river. The few compact blocks of this neighborhood are lined with lively outdoor restaurants, bars, and art galleries, as well as Siem Reap’s only post office and several banks.

Phsar Chas (Old Market)

The south side of town is a cluster of souvenir shops, inexpensive but tasty food stalls, (legitimate) massage parlors, and a giant covered market that lures tourists with its silk and handicrafts.

Wat Bo

The right bank of the Siem Reap river takes its name from the ornate 18th-century Buddhist temple of Wat Bo. As you head east toward the local market and the bus station, things start to feel more urban. In the past 15 years or so, a number of quality hotels and restaurants have sprung up in this area.

Taphul Village

Siem Reap’s southwest quadrant is a bustling residential neighborhood with lots of local flavor and a few emerging hotels. If you’re looking to see the real, unrehearsed Cambodia, this is where you’ll find it.

Airport Road

National Route 6 bisects Siem Reap from west to east. A steady stream of cars, tour buses, and tuk-tuks pass the establishments that line the road: grand hotels, tour agencies, airline offices, and the town’s most exclusive restaurants.

Angkor Archaeological Park

This UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses over 200 acres of jungle and the bulk of the Angkor temple complex, including Angkor Wat, Ankor Thom (the ancient Khmer capital), the Ta Prohm palace, and Preah Khan, a sprawling monastic complex.

Tonle Sap

The silver waters of the Tonle Sap beckon visitors with their magical, historic appeal. Float past palm-covered houses on stilts and witness ancient fishing rites along the banks of Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, which fluctuates in size between 1,500 square miles and 8,000 square miles depending on whether you’re in the dry or wet season. Most hotels can arrange a boat tour and there are plenty of safe, quality options on the lake shore, but if you want to book ahead, check out Tara Boat (

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