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Siem Reap town is small, quaint and centred around the small river running through it. Right next to the river is the Old Town, known as the French quarter, which is nestled around the Old Market. Though the country went through its own self-destructive turmoil under the rule of the Khmer Rouge (1975-1979), today the country is developing: roads are being built, electricity runs continuously and streets are not flooded any longer. Yet, this new modernization has not spoilt the natural beauty of the Cambodian scenery, as farmers work the rice fields, children skip to school and palm trees dot the landscape. In the city center you can lose yourself in the small side streets and browse through the many small boutiques. At night the area comes alive and the main street is full of people. Have a cold beer, enjoy a foot massage or wander through the gift shops.
Even if Siem reap isn't a big city it has a lot to offer. Be inspired by the Apsara dancing, Khmer traditional art and by ancient temples surrounded by ancient trees in an eloquent collaboration between art and nature. Transportation is readily available so feel free to visit whatever is on offer, as nothing is too far or too hard to access. The entrance to the Angkorian temple complex is just a simple drive away on a road magnificently lined with ancient trees.
Khmer food is neither too spicy nor bland, and is mainly based around fish and meat. To find local food, look around the main market and on the other side of the river, where there are many food stands. Breakfast consists of noodles, soups and rice with some type of meat. In the evening you can smell the barbecued beef fumes rising through the air, which most locals have with the local Angkor beer.
Siem reap is centred around the small river running through it. Have a cold beer, enjoy a foot massage or wander through the gift shops and do it all at a leisurely pace. Have a coffee break and enjoy some of the lovely fruit from the area. The town is a haven for fruit lovers – from mangoes of all shapes and sizes to delicious mangoustines.
Most of Siem Reap’s nightlife is located around the Old Market area, concentrated on Pub Street. This street gets full of people in the evening. The choice of nightspots is growing as the city caters to an increasing number of tourists. You can enjoy the lovely surroundings and warm evenings by simply walking around the town centre.
Siem Reap has a lot to offer in terms of local products, from hand-woven silk scarves to carvings. If you are looking for typical local souvenirs head to the Old Market, where you will find a mix of small crafted silver objects, traditional musical instruments, hand-woven scarves and baskets.
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