Siem Reap is a calm, welcoming destination with a distinctive, laid back charm. Proximity to the Angkor Temple complex is the main reason to visit, but the city also boasts a range of appealing attractions, from an enchanting cultural village and fascinating land mines' museum to balloon rides over the ancient temples.
Shops, cafés and bars line the central streets with markets stalls selling colourful local arts, crafts and souvenirs. In the evening, to complement the fine local and international fare, traditional Khmer dance performances take place at various venues around town.
A number of activities in and around Siem Reap benefit the local environment. The Prek Toal bird sanctuary on the Tonle Sap Lake and the Ang Trapeng Thmor reservoir northeast of Siem Reap are both home to rare and threatened species. Visitors can also experience and support the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB).
It's easy to spend a week in Siem Reap combining culture and nature with daily visits to the nearby protected UNESCO World Heritage site and its centrepiece Angkor Wat, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Southeast Asia.