Phumi Siem Reab Things to Do

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  • The Ankor Wat balloon.
    The Ankor Wat balloon.
    by cachaseiro

Most Recent Things to Do in Phumi Siem Reab

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    Wat Po Lanka

    by Willettsworld Written Apr 25, 2010

    This temple is located on the eastern side of the river, to the north of the Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor and the Royal Gardens. I can't find any information about this temple on the net but it's worth a visit if you're in the area and have the time.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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    Angkor National Museum

    by Willettsworld Written Apr 25, 2010

    This is really the only worthwhile thing worth visiting in Siem Reap except for the odd temple. The museum opened in November 2007, and its freshly painted, shopping mall-like feel contrasts with the thousand-year-old artefacts contained within it. A visit is a comfortable, air-con experience that serves as a nice educational supplement to the history of Angkor if you visit the park without a tour guide. It's composed of eight separate galleries, all connected by a vaulted corridor with a series of fountains and lined with what seems like all the Angkorian limestone lion and demon heads missing from statues at the temples. My only gripe with this otherwise excellent museum, is the entry price which is whopping $12 - the same price as my hotel room! plus another $3 for a camera. This is expensive even in western countries yet alone in Cambodia but it really has to be visited to see the amazing exhibits on display. The galleries are:

    Gallery 1: 1,000 Buddha Images
    This is the only gallery that's just one large room, rather than a series of maze-like alcoves, and the sight of all these Buddhas at once is striking. Hundreds of small and miniature Buddha figurines, made of metals, jewels and wood, all individually illuminated, line the walls here, identified according to the period they were made during and where they were discovered. In the centre, life-size and larger Buddha characters are displayed. The display includes Buddhas from Banteay Kdei, Bayon, Angkor Wat and Preah Vihear.

    Gallery 2: Pre-Angkor Period: Khmer Civilisation
    This gallery and all the subsequent ones combine mural-size explanations and short films through maze-like rooms explaining Angkorian history. The styles of figurines precede the trademark Angkor style, and there's a large collection of lingas, lintels and colonnettes.

    Gallery 3: Religion and Beliefs
    This room explains several of the most significant Hindu and Buddhist religious stories and folk tales depicted on Angkorian temples, including the most memorable Churning of the Sea of Milk carved into the rear wall at Angkor Wat. Carvings of Buddhist and Hindu religious figures are concentrated here as well.

    Gallery 4: The Great Khmer Kings
    The gallery focuses on King Jayavarman II, Yasovarman I, Soryavarman II and Jayavarman VII, those most responsible for Angkor's greatest constructions. Figures of the kings and relics from the temples they commissioned abound.

    Gallery 5: Angkor Wat
    There's a large film gallery inside this section of the museum. It features beautiful, panoramic images of the temple and explanations of how it was constructed. There are also many restored figures from the temple itself as well as post-Angkorian wooden statues used for worship at the temple until several hundred years ago.

    Gallery 6: Angkor Thom
    In addition to recovered artefacts from Angkor Thom, this gallery includes a history of and artefacts from the vast irrigation projects commissioned by the king who built Angkor Thom with his smiling face looking out from every tower: Jayavarman VII.

    Gallery 7: Story From Stones
    This room is one of the most interesting. It's a collection of stone pallets with ancient Khmer and Sanskrit inscriptions. The writing on each slate is explained on placards below. The writing on them includes the declaration of the construction of a new hospital, lists of slave names, mediations of land disputes and adulations of kings and gods.

    Gallery 8: Ancient Costume
    From Apsaras and kings to princesses and warriors, this room contains the busts and statues of distinct fashions and styles as they evolved throughout Angkor time. There's also a collection of ancient jewellery and headdresses.

    Open: 9am-8pm daily. Admission: $12 plus $3 camera charge.

    Website: http://www.angkornationalmuseum.com/

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Preah Ang Chek & Preah Ang Chorm Shrine

    by Willettsworld Written Apr 25, 2010

    Of particular importance to the locals is the small shrine in front of the Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor and the Royal Independence Gardens, that contains two standing Buddhas with the names Preah Ang Chek (taller) and Preah Ang Chorm (shorter). They are surrounded by stories of power and indestructibility.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Royal Independence Gardens

    by Willettsworld Written Apr 25, 2010

    The Royal Independence Gardens lie in front of the Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor and are quite picturesque with trees, shrubs, flower borders and grass areas. I think I remember seeing a board outside the Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor saying that they were designed with contributions from the hotel. The royal connection, in case you're wondering, is that there's a royal palace across the road from the gardens and the Preah Ang Chek & Preah Ang Chorm Shrine (see next tip).

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    Wat Bo

    by Willettsworld Written Apr 25, 2010

    Wat Bo is located on the eastern side of the river and was founded in the 18th century. It is a large, highly respected pagoda and, like the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh, the vihear of the temple contains very unique wall paintings of the Reamker that are said to date from the late 19th century. Look for the ordinary-life market scenes such as an opium smoking Chinese merchant, the colonial era French officer at the market and the French soldiers attending a traditional dance performance. Also of interest is the large collection of Buddha statues located behind the main Buddha.

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    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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    Stung Siem Reap

    by Willettsworld Written Apr 25, 2010

    This is the main river that flows through the middle of Siem Reap and is named after the town (or the town was named after the river) whichever way! If you walk just to the north of the Angkor National Museum, you'll come across some ramshackle looking stilt houses complete with kids and chickens running around just like you would find in a typical Cambodian village but then this is in the middle of a large town!

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    Fast boat from Battambang

    by Willettsworld Written Apr 25, 2010

    This, for me, was one of the highlights of my time in Cambodia and probably the main reason for going to Battambang. Just to the north of the new bridge across the river are a cluster of moored boats. This is where the ferries to Siem Reap depart and is really a must-do thing as the journey is very scenic indeed. You'll pass by ramshackle stilt houses with young children waving at you from the river banks and boats on their way to school, Chinese cantilever fishing nets, floating villages and local people going about their daily lives on the river. The river flows into a lake called Tonle Sap before ending at the Chong Khmeas ferry dock about 10km south of Siem Reap. From here, you can take a tuk-tuk into Siem Reap itself.

    The trip takes 3-7 hours depending on the weather, the water levels, how overloaded your boat is and the quality of the boat. They leave in the early morning around 7am and I bought a ticket from my hotel in Battambang called the Star Hotel which cost me $17. I've taken some short video clips which you can find on my Battambang page, plus you can find more photos of the trip in my travelogues on the same page.

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    The Bayon temple.

    by cachaseiro Written Feb 28, 2010

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    The Bayon temple is a temple build in the late 12th century and agin a work of king Jayavarmen the 7th.
    It has dozens of towers with faces on facing in all 4 directions and it´s one of the most unique temples in the area.
    The highest tower is rising 43 meters above the ground.
    There is a lake in front of the temple that is filled by the end of the rainy season from september to november and if you come during these times then you can see the temple being reflected in the water.

    The Bayon temple.
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    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography

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    The jungle temple Ta Prohm.

    by cachaseiro Written Feb 28, 2010

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    Ta Prohm is one of the most famous and scenic temples at The Angkor site.
    It´s mainly famous cause it´s over grown by jungle which gives it it´s own atmosphere and the movie "tomb rider" with Angelina Jolie was filmed there.
    It´s a 12th century temple build by the very influential khmer king Jayavarman the 7th.
    Certainly one of the musts when you are visiting the Angkor area.

    The jungle temple. Ta Prohm. Teh tomb raider temple. Ta prohm.
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    • Photography
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    The Banteay Srei temple.

    by cachaseiro Written Feb 27, 2010

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    Banteay Srei is different from most other temples cause it´s made from red sand stone.
    It also have what might be the most impressive carvings in the whole ankor region.
    It´s located around 35 kilometers from Siem reap, but it´s worth the detour to see it in my opinion.

    Carvings at Banteay Srei. Banteay Srei.
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    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

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    Ankor Wat.

    by cachaseiro Written Feb 27, 2010

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    Ankor Wat is the biggest must see in Cambodia.
    It´s a 12th century temple buid by Jayavarman the 7th and the biggest and most impressive temple in the Ankor region.
    It has 5 giant towers and is really enourmous.
    It has some very impressive carvings that are almost intact even if the place is almost a thousand years old and pretty much everything can be visited inside the temple as they have just undergone a huge restoration project on the upper level.

    Ankor Wat.
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    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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    Pre Rup.

    by cachaseiro Written Feb 27, 2010

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    The Pre Rup temple is a 10th century temple dedicated to the hindu god Shiva.
    It´s quite a distance from ankor Wat therefor not so visited, but it´s very scenic and it is becoming a popular place to watch the sunset, but even if you share it with a few then it is really nice anyway.

    Pre Rup temple.
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Architecture

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    See Ankor Wat from a balloon.

    by cachaseiro Written Feb 27, 2010

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    You can see Ankor Wat from a balloon if you want.
    It´s not a hot air balloon, but a big helium balloon that is tied to a steel wire.
    The trip is only around 10-15 minutes, but it also only costs around 15 dollars which is very cheap compared to a normal hot air balloon ride.
    I´d say it´s worth doing even if it´s short as the view is truely fantastic.

    The Ankor Wat balloon. The balloon flying over the Ankor temples.
    Related to:
    • Hot Air Ballooning

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    Angkor Wat, Augkor Thum & Other Monuments

    by victorwkf Updated Dec 14, 2009

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    The main reason why people visit Siem Reap is to visit the world famous Angkor Wat temple, ancient Angkor Thum city with its many monuments, as well as other further away monuments such as Banteay Srei, Roluos Group, Kbal Spean etc. Information and photographs of the above historical monuments are at my VT Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom & Banteay Srei pages, so do visit these pages as well.

    In order to visit all the Angkor monuments, including those further away such as Banteay Srei, all visitors must obtain the Angkor Pass at a ticket booth along the road from Siem Reap to Angkor Wat (or you can get them at the Sokha Angkor Resort if you are stay there). There are 3 types of passes as follows:

    US$ 20 for one day
    US$ 40 for three days
    US$ 60 for one week (7 days)

    Do note the following:
    - This pass is important because there will be checks at the entrances of the monuments, especially the popular ones such as Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Prohm etc. You will not be allowed to enter without the pass.
    - All passes are issued with a picture. They are not transferable to another person.
    - Fees must be paid in US dollars, Cambodian Riel, Thai Baht or Euro. Credit cards are not accepted for payment, but there is a bank counter at the ticket booth where visitors can get a cash advance on their credit card.
    - Entry is free for children under 12 years old. Children 12 and above must pay full price.
    - Entry is free for all Cambodian nationals.
    - There are no discounts for groups.
    - The Angkor Pass is not refundable.
    - Validity of the Angkor Pass is between 5.30am and 5.30pm on the same day.

    The Bayon at Angkor Thum, Cambodia Terrace of the Leper King, Angkor Thum one day Angkor Pass, Cambodia Angkor Wat, Cambodia Banteay Srei, Cambodia
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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  • Visiting Siem Reap's schools

    by justgetmeoutofhere Written Nov 8, 2009

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    Dear all

    thanks for all your forum replies! I am back from my Siem Reap and it was amazing. Beautiful country, lovely people! We were fortunate enough to visit an orphanage, a self-help centre in a village, a government school and a free English school in another village. A lot of the arrangements were assisted by the owner of the guesthouse we stayed in, called Jasmine Lodge. Mr Kunn, the owner, is really a treasure trove of information.

    We managed to get our supplies (stationery, shelving, rice, reading books) though his arrangements and his contacts and a lot was bought at a good local's rate.

    If there is anyone here who requires more information on doing a similar project, do email me via VT mail! I would be most happy to share it.

    Siem Reap, the children and the people have really stolen my heart and I am already missing the place although I only came back a few days ago.

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