Siem Reap Things to Do

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  • floating villages

    by inforesearch Written Mar 22, 2011
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    the great lake also called the Tonle Sap lake,is a huge bell shaped fresh water lake,its home to over 1 million people and consists of 160 different villages,some floating as the water receeds duing the dry season they move there homes out to the deeper part of the lake,chong khneas is the closest village to siem reap with over 6000 people living there mostly in floating homes and mostly fishing community.everything out here floats the schools,homes,churches,police,shops all floating.there are flooded forest to explore,huge water birds and plenty of fish.the environmental centre is well worth a visit also.if heading out for the sunset can recommend the tara riverboat as they serve up free dinner and unlimited drinks as part of there tours.the sunsetting over the lake is a awesome sight.further afield are villages like prek toal the home of 1000s rare water birds.kompong phluk a huge flooded forest and kompong khleang the main homes beening stilted homes rather than floating

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    Floating Villages--Tonle Sap Lake

    by JessieLang Updated Mar 4, 2011

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    Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in SE Asia, and it is unusual: its flow changes direction twice a year, and the portion that forms the lake expands and shrinks with the seasons. It goes from 850 square miles in the spring to 3,200 square miles in the fall. In the dry season, the Tonlé Sap drains into the Mekong River, but when the rainy season begins, the Tonlé Sap backs up to form an enormous lake. The flow actually changes direction twice a year.

    There are about 160 floating villages on Tonle Sap, and some of them are fairly large. The villages move every season—they go to the flood plain when the water rises, and then move back when it lowers again.

    Houses in the floating villages are on rafts. There is usually a separate building beside it for the kitchen, and they may have floating gardens nearby with vegetables or small fruit trees. Other families may have an attached fish farm or a shed with animals. We saw several floating pigpens!

    The villages have no electricity—they use car batteries for power and send them to a charging station (also floating) every few days. They cook with charcoal.

    Elementary school children go by boat to a floating school, but the high school is further away on land. There are floating stores also, selling groceries and gas. There are even a few floating restaurants.

    It's worth finding a boat to take you out there.

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    Banteay Srei

    by JessieLang Updated Mar 4, 2011

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    The Bantea Srei temple is much smaller than Angkor Wat. It was built in 967 from pink sandstone. Nobody knew it was there until 1914, because it was buried in the jungle by a giant termite mound. Bless those termites! Because the temple was protected from the elements for so long, the carvings are in great shape—some are like new.

    Banteay Srei became well known in 1923 when Andre Malraux, the author, was arrested for stealing apsara carvings from its temple. He was broke, and planning to finance his Asian trip by selling them. Except for having to return the carvings, he didn’t face much in the way of consequences—he seems to have avoided jail, and he eventually went on to be De Gaulle’s Minister of Culture in France.

    Before 1998 you couldn’t visit Banteay Srei because of the danger of land mines planted by the Khmer Rouge. Now the mines are gone, and there is a good road. Most of the tourists are gone by mid-afternoon, so it's a good time to visit.

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    Downtown Siem Reap, How to enjoy !

    by Michel69 Updated Dec 8, 2010

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    At Samatoa
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    Avoid the crowd of Pub Street, there is so much more to do !
    - Walk along the river in the South, towards Tonlé Sap. You will discover a traditional Noria and traditional houses on piles.
    - Chill out, drink or eat at Silk Garden, a lovely bar made in bamboo. The owner Anthony is the famous DJ D'Tonn of the town. The place is located in the Lane (50 meters from pub street).
    - order your tailor made silk clothing at Samatoa (close to Silk Garden, in front of the entrance of the provincial hospital).
    - enjoy a celtic concert at Molly Malone's or a techno party at X Bar (end of pub street, opposite the pharmacy Ucare).
    - visit and experience ceramics workshop on the road to the temple.
    - visit the workshop of Senteurs d'Angkor (soap, spices, ...) on road National 6
    - Experience the local night atmosphere at Nightclub Zone One.

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  • tonle sap lake

    by beentherecob Written Jun 9, 2010

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    the best views of sunsets overlooking this huge fresh water lake,tour of the floating village and the environmental center,first class meal and drinks onboard a large riverboat is a prefect way to spend a few hours and relax.the cost was $33 and included pickup and return,3 course meal,drinks including spirits,and guide all in all a top evening

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    Check Out Pub Street

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jun 19, 2009

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    Looking Southwest Down Pub Street
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    Pub Street (Street 8) is only a block and a half long. It runs southwest to northeast between Sivatha Boulevard and Hospital Street. In the evening, tuk-tuk and moto drivers are kept out and the street is only for pedestrians. These days (or should I say nights?) there are more restaurants than bars on Pub Street. I don't drink so I did not try it, but Walking Street, the first alley to the northwest of Pub Street, is where more of the bars (e.g. Silk Garden and Giddy Gecko) are supposed to be located now.

    Molly Malone's Pub, the Rooftop Bar & Grill and Why Not are at the southwest end of Pub Street. The Red Piano Restaurant is in the bottom third. The Temple Club and the Viva Mexican Restaurant are in the upper third. The Soup Dragon is on the corner of Pub and Hospital Streets (northeast end). Believe it or not these Siem Reap streets now have names (see the updated Canby map). Although it is officially Street 8, there is actually a red sign with black letters and a white arrow by the Red Piano that says "Pub Street."

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    Wander the Passages

    by AlbuqRay Updated May 19, 2009

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    Center of Pub Street Alley Looking Southwest
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    Northwest of the Old Market is a rectangular block that some call the Passage. To me it is more appropriately called the Passages. Canby Publications has one of the better maps of the Old Market area. Hospital Street is the northeast boundary. Pub Street runs southwest to northeast along the northwest side. Pub Street Alley runs down the middle parallel to Pub Street. The southeast boundary is the Old Market. Street 11 is the southwest boundary. Perpendicular to Pub Street Alley are three equally-spaced "passages." Although most of the passages are actually open-air, the whole complex seems more like an indoor mall filled with restaurants, bars, shops, galleries and couple of hotels.

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    Wat Thmey

    by AlbuqRay Updated May 18, 2009

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    Wat Thmey Pagoda
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    A "new wat," Wat Thmey, was built at a genocide memorial site in 1997 (I think). Now these unidentified remains of Khmer Rouge victims are preserved in a new stupa and the pagoda is officially named Wat Tep Pothivong; however, it is still generally called Wat Thmey. Not only does Wat Thmey have a memorial to help us never forget those atrocities, it also now has an orphanage for children whose lives have been affected by HIV and a library.

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    Killing Fields Memorial Stupa at Wat Thmey

    by AlbuqRay Updated May 18, 2009

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    Killing Fields Memorial Stupa
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    What is now called the Killing Fields were a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge, who ruled the country they called Democratic Kampuchea from 1975-1979. Their atrocities were only stopped when Communist Vietnam invaded the country to end the massacres. Estimates of the number of victims range from 1.7 to 2.3 million out of an original population of about 7 million. There are many sites in Cambodia commemorating the victims of this horrible genocide. The memorial stupa at Wat Thmey is one of the small ones. These bones were found in a nearby well and on a nearby battlefield, and could not be identified. They can now be seen inside the stupa through the glass windows and help us never forget what happened. I found a very interesting masters thesis by Aafke Sanders called The Evil Within that documents those horrible times and the survivors' memories of them.

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    Wat Bo

    by AlbuqRay Updated May 18, 2009

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    Wat Bo
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    Wat Bo is a serene place on the quiet east side of Siem Reap within walking distance of the Old Market area. It is one of the oldest (1780's) Theravada Buddhist monasteries in Siem Reap. There are beautiful gardens and stupas surrounding it. Stepping through the gate was like going into another world after being in the busy Old Market area. Wat Bo was deserted (I only saw one other person who was not a monk) and quiet except for the music from the primary school across the street that was having a festival. I appreciated it then but little did I know how much more I would appreciate it while among the crowds in the Angkor temple complex.

    The sanctuary (vihara) of Wat Bo has unique wall paintings from the late 1800's that depict the Reamker, a Cambodian poem based on India's Ramayana epic. There are also many scenes from the late 19th century that show ordinary colonial life, including a funny one of a Chinese merchant smoking opium, a French officer at the market, and French soldiers watching traditional Cambodian dancing. There are also interesting pottery displays, including prehistoric funerary pottery, and 9th - 10th century Khmer ceramics. See also a travelogue and three videoclips.

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    Wat Preah Prohm Rath

    by AlbuqRay Updated May 17, 2009

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    Wat Preah Prohm Rath
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    Wat Preah Prohm Rath is relatively new, having been founded in 1915. The main vihara was constructed in 1945. The wat was built in honor of Preah Ang Chang-han Hoy, who lived from 1358 until 1456. He used to travel across Tonle Sap Lake every morning to collect alms at Longwek and would return to Siem Reap to have lunch. One day he was in the middle of the lake when "his boat was cut by shark;" however, by some miracle the two pieces did not sink. One is at Wat Boribo and replaced a standing Buddha; the other is at Wat Preah Prohm Rath and replaced a reclining Buddha. A replica of the boat was built in 2007. The the wat grounds also hold two large cannons said to have belonged to the larger-than-life 20th century warlord, Dap Chhoun. Wat Preah Prohm Rath is a very pretty, quiet place near downtown Siem Reap. See also a videoclip.

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    Wat Preah Prohm Rath

    by balhannah Updated Apr 26, 2009

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    Inside
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    This Wat is located beside the River in the centre of town. It was founded in 1915. In the grounds are two large cannons, said to have belonged to a 20th century War Lord.
    Worth a quick look and is easy to get to.
    The website is a map which will show you where it is located.

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    Markets

    by balhannah Updated Apr 26, 2009

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    On the edge of the Centre Market

    A browse around the local markets is enjoyable and in Cambodia you can look without being hassled much at all. The people are friendly and nice, and understand that you just want to look, or get out of the sun. There are several markets here. The "Old Market" starts near the Old Market Bridge and is on the corner of Pokombor Avenue, it takes up the whole square. There is also the "centre market" which is quite big and located on Sivatha Blvde, and a Night & Noon market, I didn't get to the latter two. Both Markets were within walking distance from my Hotel, or if I was lazy, it cost $1us for a tuk-tuk.
    If you have a look at the website, it gives you a map with all the locations of markets, etc. on it.

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    Floating Market on Tonle Sap

    by georeiser Written Apr 5, 2009

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    Floating Market, Siem Reap
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    The floating Market from Siem Reap to Tonle Sap lake is picturesque. People lives on boats and huts beside the river. The Cambodian people lives at the head of the river. And people from a Vietnamese community lives furthest out, where the river ends up in the lake.

    Guided tours in the floating market with boat cost aprox. 15 USD for each person. But this is not necessary to take part in, because the main riverboat from Siem Reap to Phom Penh passes through the same area. So take the riverboat to Phnom Penh!

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    The Tonle Sap lake

    by georeiser Updated Apr 5, 2009

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    The Tonle Sap lake
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    The river from Siem Reap lead to the big lake Tonle Sap. It is the largest freshwater lake in South-East Asia. In the dry season, Tonle Sap lake drains into a much smaller size. In the rainy season, Tonle Sap lake backs up to form an enormous lake. The riverboat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh goes here.

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Siem Reap Things to Do

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