Siem Reap Attraction
Angkor National Museum
Exhibited artifacts are set into 8 galleries in chronological order of the legend evolution through the use of interactive exhibits enhanced by multi-media technology which brings the atmosphere alive. Visitors will develop a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural involvement, including the religions and beliefs of the ancient Khmer Empire. The museum is open every day from 9:00am to 8:00pm and entrance tickets are available at the ticket booth. The price of the tickets are:
|Children under 1.2 metres will obtain 50% discount.
If you would like to take photographs inside then a photography pass is required at US$2 per person. Complimentary services include:
. The museum guide map
. Deposit Box. A number of lockers are provided to store your belongings during your visit.
. Individual tour guides are available in 6 languages: English, Korean, Japanese, French, Chinese and Thai.
The Rebirth of Angkor Arts and Crafts
Artisans Angkor is a Cambodian limited company that was created in 1992, to help young rural population find work in their home villages. It provides them with 6 months high-skilled training and a vocation from which they can make a living. The company employs over 1,000 people, of which 686 involve craftsmen. Twelve workshops are currently operating in Siem Reap province and help to slow down rural depopulation by increasing rural Cambodian families' income. Since its creation, AA has pioneered a new social policy in Cambodia with contracted levels of pay along with social and medical benefits, and 5% of our craftsmen are people with disabilities. The craftsmen have formed an association which holds a 20-percent share in the company. This fully qualifies Artisans d'Angkor as a fair trade company. Artisans d'Angkor thus allows Cambodians to retrieve their cultural heritage so as to build their pride in their roots. It also gives them a sense of well-being, dignity and self-esteem to better approach the future. Discovering artisans and their crafts. Visitors are welcome to experience traditional Cambodian handicraft skills and see how artisans produce unique items based on Khmer national heritage.
A cruise around the workshops, will detail you how craftsmen master ancient crafts, such as lacquer work, stone and woodcarving as well as silk painting. With painstaking care, they reproduce many statues, bas relief and paintings inspired by original models. Thus, a complete free tour will provide you a glimpse into the various and high quality work produced by our artisans that are sold in our on-site space.
In its willingness to showcase the diversity of Cambodian handicrafts, Artisans d'Angkor is also promoting local crafts producers by giving them the opportunity to show their products in our spaces under Artisanat d'Angkor brand.
Chantiers-Ecoles - Stung Thmey, Siem Reap (Main shop)
Stone & woodcarving, lacquering and silk painting workshops
Free guided tours
Daily Open from 7:30am to 6:30pm
The Central Market is located on Sivatha Boulevard. It is a well known market, mainly geared towards tourists who visit Siem Reap with its wide aisles made easy for walking and browsing the stalls. The market is much more comfortable to walk around than the Old Market, as it is much cooler because of its high ceilings. It is also a lot less crowded than the Old Market, which makes it a more pleasant shopping experience. It is well located where there are a number of shops and restaurants nearby, especially on Sivatha Boulevard. You will find many types of handicraft in the Central Market, including silk scarves, handbags, T-shirts, silverware, stone ornaments, silver jewellery, cds, dvds, postcards, rucksacks and plenty of souvenirs too. Prices in the Central Market are generally slightly higher than the Old Market, probably because few locals visit it. There is a food stall at the back end of the market, where you will find a reasonable range of cheap food. The market is open from around 6:00am and closes around 8:00pm. Getting to the Central Market is pretty easy as most tuk tuk drivers and taxi drivers know where it is. It is in a very central part of Siem Reap, so many places in town are within walking distance. You can check with your reception for directions to find out whether or not you are within easy walking distance.
Chong Kneas Village
Chong Kneas is the village which attracts the most visitors from Siem Reap, probably because it is the closest. The price of the boat for visiting Chong Kneas is between US$10 to US$15 per person, although you should get it cheaper if you go in a larger group (this does not include transport to the lake). The boat trip should take about 2 hours. Make sure that you ask the person who you buy your ticket from how long the trip will be, because some boats will try and do it as quick as possible.
Kompong Phluk Village
Kampong Phluk village is a nicer village than Chong Kneas and it also does not get as many visitors as Chong Kneas. Kampong Phluk is further away then Chong Kneas. The trip takes around 2.5 hours and costs between US$15 to US$20 for the boat per person, but again it should be cheaper if you are in a big group (this does not include transport to the lake).
Kompong Khleang Village
Kampong Khleang village is around 35km from Siem Reap, but it is probably the nicest of the 3 villages and as expected it has the least visitors. When going all the way by boat, Kampong Khleang is only accessible when the water is high, which is only at certain times of the year. If you do want to go to Kampong Khleang village during the dry season when the water is low, or if you do not want to spend the full day there, then it is still possible to do so by hiring a taxi. You would need to hire a taxi to a place called Dom Dek (35km from Siem Reap), which should cost between US$35 to US$40 for half a day. Ask the taxi driver to take you to the lake from there, where you can take a private boat to Kampong Khleang village for around US$15 per person with a minimum of 4 people. You should expect to pay a little more if there are less than 4 persons in your group. A visit to the village by taxi will take you around a half day.
Kbal Spean is a spectacularly carved riverbed, located deep in the jungle to the northeast of Angkor. Kbal Spean is often called the place of the thousand lingas. It is about a 45 minute walk from the car park to where the carvings are found. The walk is up a rough path so you will need to be reasonably fit to make the climb. The path eventually reaches the waterfall where you will see the river carvings in the pool below.
Kbal Spean is 18km beyond the temple of Banteay Srey and around 50km from Siem Reap on a rough dirt road in the dry season, but in the wet season it can be near impossible to get there on some days.
Kbal Spean is best arranged on a day tour including Banteay Srey or possibly Beng Mealea and the cost for the day trip should cost around US$80 in a taxi. Entrance to the temple is with your normal Angkor Temple pass and you must enter before 3pm.
Phnom Kulen, or Kulen Mountain as it is better known to most visitors to Siem Reap, is around 60km from town and about 20km from Banteay Srei. It is considered by the Khmers to be the most sacred mountain in Cambodia and is very popular for the local Cambodian tourists, especially on weekends.
Kulen Mountain is best known for its waterfall and pools below, which attracts many visitors. In the pools below you can also see a number of carvings of lingas, although the carvings are not in as good condition as the ones at Kbal Spean. The road up the mountain is a steep climb and it winds its way through some beautiful jungle scenery before reaching the summit after about 45 minutes. A visit to Kulen Mountain will take most of the day, so it will be best to start early in the morning. Getting to Kulen Mountain needs to be done in a taxi or mini bus, as it is not possible in a tuk tuk. It should cost between US$60 and US$80 depending on the season, although many drivers will not go in the wet season if the road up the hill is not so good.
Entrance to Kulen Mountain is US$20 per person and you must start your approach up the mountain no later then 3:00pm.
The new Landmine Museum is located 6km south of Banteay Srey and about 30km from Siem Reap. The museum is run by a former Khmer Rouge soldier called Aki Ra, who was also in the Red Army and Vietnamese Army. Aki Ra spends a lot of his time clearing mines by hand. Both he and his staff look after many children at the museum who have lost limbs through the mines.
The Landmine Museum has many different types of mines, which the children have a great knowledge of and will explain to you how they work. The museum has a US$1 admission fee, but donations are much appreciated to help support the children. You can also buy a number of items from the museum.
To visit the museum you can go by taxi or tuk tuk, but we recommend that you include a visit to the museum as part of a visit to Banteay Srey.
The Old Market is the best known market in Siem Reap, both to the locals and to tourists. It is a great landmark for visitors to Siem Reap due to its location, which has many restaurants, bars, cafes and shops nearby and in the surrounding area.
You will find a large range of items in the Old Market including souvenirs, silks, clothes, gold jewellery, silver jewellery, homewares, electrical items, fresh produce, food stalls and lots more. Haggling or bargaining is normal in the markets of Cambodia, so you can expect to get a good discount on whatever price the vendor starts from.
The Old Market is open from around 6:00am to 6:00pm, but it is very hot and humid during the hottest times of the day so it is best to visit it either early morning or a few hours before closing time. Getting to the Old Market is easy, as every tuk tuk and taxi driver knows where it is, so getting them to understand where you want to go is easy. If you are staying within walking distance, then just ask your reception for directions.
The Old Market area is also a great place if you need money or need to exchange money, as there are plenty of banks, exchange bureaus and ATM machines.
Welcome to the world of Cambodian silk .
Angkor Silk Farm, located 16 km out of Siem Reap, is home to both the National Silk Center (Centre National de la Soie - CNS) and Artisans d'Angkor. The CNS opened in 1993 and received assistance from the French Agency for Development (AFD) from 1994 to 1996. Its aim is the revival of sericulture, of silk farming, as well as teaching the various steps involved in the production of silk goods and seeking ways of improving the techniques used. As an extension of these activities, the arts and crafts network known as Artisans d'Angkor was established in 1998 with support from the European Union, and was also set up on the Angkor Silk Farm. Together with the CNS, Artisans d'Angkor selects apprentices, has them trained at the CNS, and settled back in their home villages at the conclusion of their training where they work in rural workshops.
Angkor Silk Farm offers guided tours of the sericulture operation, from the cultivation of the mulberry bushes to the production of silk goods. Artisans d'Angkor is also promoting Cambodian silk through its new specialty boutique featuring the Artisans d'Angkor Silk Collection, a fitting conclusion to a tour of the facilities.
Production of Silk Goods
The beautiful hol fabrics, often woven with geometric or floral motifs, stand in a class all by themselves. They are probably one of the best examples of Khmer silk fabrics that feature shimmering, harmonious colors. For hol silk, one of the most beautiful of Cambodian silk fabrics, the patterns are prepared in advance by dyeing the weft thread. This is referred to as the ikat technique. The skeins of silk are set up onto a tying-in frame. The strands are tied according to the patterns that are wanted in the final fabric. After each tying-in process, the silk is taken from the frame for dyeing with another color. Ligatures and masking are used to prevent cross coloring or to keep certain parts undyed. The tying-in frame is then reset for the subsequent dyeing operations, enabling the weaver to produce designs that are frequently geometric or floral. The phamung is a self-colored silk fabric, while the anlunh is decorated with cross stripes of many colors. Much like the hol, the phamung and the anlunh are traditionally worn for religious or official ceremonies. Artisans d'Angkor uses these fabrics for items of clothing as well as for furniture upholstery fabrics.
The lboeuk is a brocade with a tiny floral or geometric pattern, while the more complex chorebap is interwoven with highlights of gold or silver thread.
Artisans d'Angkor produces scarves of the lboeuk and chorebap silk cloths, which are very difficult to find nowadays in Cambodia. The hol lboeuk is a weave combining the complex techniques of the both the hol and the lboeuk cloths. These techniques had completely fallen into disuse after the war, but were revived by Artisans d'Angkor, which is today the only producer of hol lboeuk silk scarves in Cambodia.
The Silk Collection by Artisans d'Angkor also showcases ready-to-wear clothing articles for men and women, accessories, scarves, silk cloth by the bolt, and upholstery fabrics.
Angkor Silk Farm - Puok District
Free guided tours
Puok district, 20 mn away from Siem Reap
Open everyday from 7:00am to 5:00pm
A free shuttle bus departs from Chantiers-ecoles (9:30am and 1:30pm)
The Cambodian Killing Fields
On April 17th, 1975 the Khmer Rouge, a communist guerrilla group led by Pol Pot, took power in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. They forced all the people living in the city to the countryside to work in labour camps. During Khmer Rouge rule under Pol Pot, it is estimated that around 2 million Cambodians died by starvation, torture or execution and this was around 30% of Cambodia's population at the time.
The Khmer Rouge banned all businesses and services in Cambodia, including shops, banks, clinics, hospitals, schools and religious or family gatherings. Everyone was forced to work 12-14 hours a day, every day in the labour camps. The people were fed once a day normally a bowl of watery soup with very little rice inside. People were killed everywhere whether they were children, elderly or fit adults who could work in the labour camps. The Khmer Rouge killed people if they didn't like them, if they didn't work hard enough, if they were educated, if they came from different ethnic groups, or if they showed a little disobedience but most were killed without reason.
There are over 18000 killing fields within Cambodia and not just the killing field of Choeung Ek near Phnom Penh that most people know of. You can visit a killing field in Siem Reap at Wat Thmei, on the left fork of the road to Angkor Wat, it has a small memorial stupa containing the skulls and bones of victims of the Khmer Rouge.