Siem Reap charm and style

Siem Reap Travel Blog

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Siem Reap tuk tuk

While most people come to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor Wat archaeological sites, I came to admire the   bars and eateries that dot the Old Market area. French Colonial buildings preserve the charm of a more recent bygone era than that of temple ruins.

I especially liked the open-air, upper floor verandas at the Warehouse, an American-owned bar-restaurant across the street from the old market. Siem Reap's changing skyline looks fresh and sharp from there when skies are blue. Red-clay tiles contrast with older rooftops that are moldy, gray, and weathered. Palm trees mark the river. Photos of street-side activities from any second- or third-floor veranda are difficult though because of the tangled maze of electrical wires lining the streets.

Skyline toward the river

It's entertaining to watch venders peddling tuk tuk or motorbike taxis, massages, sunglasses, bracelets, or pirated books, yet remain out of reach of their annoying spiels that never stop. They seem more desperate for a sale by the lack of visitors during the off-season. A well-established guesthouse, bar, or restaurant can generate enough income during the high season to survive the quiet months but street venders struggle year-round. I was grateful that their pestering dropped off dramatically after being in town for several days.

At Molly Malone's I sipped a sundown cappuccino to enjoy ground-floor views through columned arches; of night-time eateries coming to life across the street. Travelers and locals gathered at street-side tables for Khmer meals from rows of wood-burning grills, plastic coolers, and glass display cases.

Streets from the Warehouse
Other food venders and entertainers pushed their carts street to street, stopping just until interest waned before shuffling on. Day or night, the view from the X Bar is probably most spectacular, sweeping from 4th and 5th floors down the entire length of Pub Street.

I had been out to the Angkor sites several times on previous visits but found Siem Reap itself to be of equal charm and style. I would highly recommend to anyone who visits the area to spend at least one full daytime to enjoy the old town itself. Unfortunately for this aging traveler though, the dynamic nightlife at the X Bar, Angkor What?, Temple Club, and others did not kick in until late night. By then I was enjoying the even more modern comforts of my guesthouse room.

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Siem Reap tuk tuk
Siem Reap tuk tuk
Skyline toward the river
Skyline toward the river
Streets from the Warehouse
Streets from the Warehouse
Cloudy afternoon
Cloudy afternoon
Siem Reap River
Siem Reap River
French Colonial buildings
French Colonial buildings
Siem Reap rooftops
Siem Reap rooftops
Tuk tuks
Tuk tuks
Molly Malones
Molly Malone's
Staff at Molly Malones
Staff at Molly Malone's
Night-time eateries
Night-time eateries
The Red Piano
The Red Piano
Fish massage
Fish massage
Pub Street eatery
Pub Street eatery
Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling