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Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)

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Siem Reap is Cambodia’s second-largest city, and boasts an interesting market and colonial French quarter; however, it is best known for its proximity to Angkor. The Angkor temple complex is the largest archaeological site in the world, covering an area roughly the size of modern-day Paris. There are over 1,000 temples in the colossal site, built by a lineage of Khmer kings each wishing to outdo their predecessor. The site was continuously added to between the years of 900 and 1200 AD, leading to the sprawling and intricate complex that exists today.

Highlights of Angkor include Bayon, with its 200 giant smiling stone faces; Ta Prohm, which is being slowly enveloped by the elephantine roots of cotton-silk trees; and Angkor Wat, with its intricate bas-reliefs of mythical and historical epics. 

The city of Seam Reap sees a lot of tourists to Angkor Wat, but still manages to maintain some of its small-town charm. There are a few colourful markets to explore and some peaceful riverside walks you can take. It is also a great place to get a souvenir or a Khmer-style massage.