Siem Reap, a cluster of small villages lying along the river of the same name, just 4 miles south of the temple at Angkor Wat, is one of Cambodia’s most popular attractions for visitors to Southeast Asia. Named for the historic battles between Siam (now Thailand) and the Khmer of Cambodia, Siem Reap means the “Flat Defeat of Siam.”
When France took control of nearby Angkor Wat in the early 20th century, Siem Reap grew into a major tourist hub for Cambodia. During the Vietnam War, in 1975, the city was evacuated by the Khmer Rouge, and Siem Reap’s residents were driven into the countryside.
Today, Siem Reap is Cambodia's fastest growing city, yet it still retains its rich Cambodian culture and traditions. If you choose to visit Siem Reap, before or after your cruise, don’t miss an Apsara Dance performance, and maybe spend time exploring neighboring fishing villages and the Siem Reap bird sanctuary. Other options: Discovering local craft workshops and silk farms, or taking a bicycle tour of the rice paddies in the Cambodian countryside.