Siem Reap is more than just the Temples of Angkor

Siem Reap is known for its ancient temples. But these photos will show you that this laid back city has more to offer than just the temples of Angkor.

Srah Srang 

dsc_0127This reservoir is across the east entrance of Banteay Kdei. It once served as a royal bath of the Khmer King. Its shoreline is lined with tall trees. There are benches too where you can just sit and watch the locals or tourists go by or just breathe in the calmness that emanates from its waters. I bet it is also a good spot to watch sunset. (Image credit: Sheryl Pesito)

The Pond at Neak Pean (Nak Pwan)

20161201_135009This is another good spot to watch sunrise or sunset if you want an alternative to the famed Angkor Wat and Phnom Bakheng. The leafless trees give an autumn vibe, except they are sunken. Siem Reap is in the countryside Cambodia so you’ll expect a lot of nature treats. (Image credit: Mary Lyn Tenorio)

Floating Mangrove Forest at Kompong Phluk

dsc_0862The floating forest in Kompong Phluk is inundated by the Tonle Sap Lake. It seems like an almost magical encounter  as the canoes padded their way into the forest. (Image credit: Sheryl Pesito)

Sunken Trees in Kompong Phluk Village

dsc_0778The sunken trees look like mini islands. (Image credit: Sheryl Pesito)

Towering Trees

20161130_111303I was very particular with the towering trees. There are lots of them. (Image credit: Wanders of Eve)

The vast Tonle Sap Lake

dsc_0897Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia that it can look like an ocean. It can become waterless during the dry months from April to June. (Image credit: Sheryl Pesito)

The Lotus Flowers in Angkor Wat

20161201_075653Celebrate the little things. The white and pink lotus flowers in Angkor Wat pond when in full bloom are a beauty to behold. (Image credit: Mary Lyn Tenorio)

The serene landscape at Prasat Kravan

img_20161205_125514Visiting small temples like is worth it. Facing the 10th century Prasat Kravan Temple is this small body of water afloat with yellow flowers and surrounded with tall trees. There’s the chirping of the birds too. (Image credit: Mary Lyn Tenorio)

Exotic Fruits

20161203_110859It looks like Lanzones at first glance. But this yellow fruit is called Burmese Grape, cultivated across Asia, commonly in Malaysia and India.In Cambodia it is called Plae-Phnhiew. It tastes like cotton fruit (santol) and it can be used to treat skin diseases. (Image credit: Mary Lyn Tenorio)

Exotic Food

headzone-netThis is not for the fainthearted. Street food comes in skewered baby snakes, scorpions, crickets, grasshoppers or grubs. These served as a survival food during the Khmer rouge and eventually became part of the tourist draws in Cambodia. (Image credit: headzone.net)

Gemstones

20161202_231904_llsCambodia has a wealth of beautiful gemstones which has an international reputation for their quality. This is a synthetic peridot  I bought from Phsar Chas or Old Market in Siem Reap. Though it is not real, the brilliance resembles that of the natural stone. (Image credit: Wanders of Eve)

The Cambodian Creativity

20161201_142736I observed that the Cambodians have unique inclination towards art. This is very evident in the intricate designs and carvings in their temples. As young as this child is, look at how impressive are her drawing son the sand. (Image credit: Mary Lyn Tenorio)

20161130_091805Their paintings are impressive. Travelers usually bring them home as souvenir. (Image credit: Mary Lyn Tenorio)

And of course, the Cambodian Hospitality

dsc_0067I felt instantly at home in Siem Reap because of the similarities in our culture. Their hospitality is pretty much the same as ours. The warmth and kindness of their people gave me a separation anxiety when we were about to leave the country. (Image credit: Sheryl Pesito)

20161130_102108

So on your visit to Siem Reap, I hope you also take time to look for beauty that lies beyond the grandeur of the walls of Angkor Wat. As much as you are going to see the splendor  of Siem Reap’s landscapes and culture, I hope you will also discover the beauty and strength that rest behind the warm smiles of their people. —

 

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