Siem Reap, located in northwest Cambodia, is one of the country’s major tourist hubs, but on a much smaller scale than its nearby Southeast Asian neighbours. Featuring the world famous Angkor Wat, the city (it’s actually more of a small town, if you ask us) attracts tourists who want to explore the ancient ruins. In other words, you are less likely to find groups of stag do’s and hen parties causing havoc. Don’t get us wrong – Siem Reap has a buzzing nightlife scene, but that’s not why people go there.
Just 20 years ago, Siem Reap was a Cambodian town with few facilities and fewer good roads. The tourism industry catered mainly to hardcore backpackers, willing to brave the tortuous roads from the Thai border to get there. There were only a couple of hotels and a handful of guesthouses. Tuk-tuks and taxis were non-existent.
Thanks to the Angkor ruins, Siem Reap turned into a boomtown in less than half a decade. Luxury hotels have sprung up throughout the town, and more affordable budget hotels have also mushroomed. The Siem Reap of today is a far cry from the Siem Reap of 20 years ago. Fortunately it has kept its authenticity and charm intact, and it’s much easier to access.
INFO: Return flights from Dhs2,677 on Etihad