Siem Reap - Home of the Angkor Archeological Park
Siem Reap is a province that borders the provinces of Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Kampong Thom, Battambang, and Banteay Meanchey. It is divided into 11 districts and 1 municipality. The municipality of Siem Reap is the largest city and capital of Siem Reap province.
Siem Reap is the 10th largest province in the country based on land area. It is populated by approximately 7% of the country’s entire populace.
The province is part of the 9 provinces that make up the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve. A large part of the province’s southern border is occupied by the Tonle Sap River.
It is also the site of Angkor and the Angkor Wat temple ruins, which is now declared as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites and thus, protected by its’ mandate.
History and Etymology of Siem Reap
Siem Reap means "Siam Defeated", a testament to the conflict between the Siamese and the Khmer in Siam. Both the province and Siem Reap town is called "Siemmarat", meaning "Siam's Territory".
The province is under the control of the Thai kingdom of Siam in 1795 and returned to Cambodia in 1907 after the French government made a treaty with Siam in exchange for Trat and Dan Sai.
The province of Inner Cambodia, which comprises of Battambang, Siem Reap, and Angkor Wat, was split into Battambang and Siem Reap by royal decree of King Sisowath 1795. The Franco-Thai War in 1941 is over the disputed territory of Siem Reap province between France and Thailand.
This war resulted in a victory for Thailand and return to Thai control for most of the disputed territory except for Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. The whole province again reverted to Cambodia in 1946 after the end of World War II.
Where to Live in the Siem Reap
Considering that Siem Reap is a major tourist destination, the demand for real estate has been growing rapidly in the last few years. There is availability in terms of hotels and guesthouses, office and commercial spaces and residential properties catering to any budget.
Depending on your preferences and your individual needs, these are the popular places to consider when renting or buying property in Siem Reap.
This area is a popular expat area where most residential properties, hotels, and commercial establishments are located.
Apartments for rent can range from $200 - $1500/month, depending on the number of rooms, quality of setup and furnishings.
Price of Land can range from $300-$400 sq.m.
Svay Dangkum is primarily a residential area popular with local and long term staying expats and where most of the nice villas are located.
Price range for apartments is between $60 - $900/month, depending on the number of rooms and quality of furnishings.
Villas range from $1000-$2000/month.
Land can be acquired between $300-$1500 per sq.m.
This part of town is mostly commercial, with a few residential properties, and the home of the famous Wat Bo temple. Being a few minutes away from Pub Street, Wat Bo gets the overflow of the tourists that cannot be accommodated by the Old Market/Pub Street Area.
Night Market (Old Market/Pub Street)
It is comprised mostly of small shops and other commercial establishments.
Apartments for rent range from $200 - $1500/month, depending on the number of rooms and quality of setup and furnishings.
Land price per sq.m. is approximately $400-$2,500 on the riverside.
This part of town is the most popular tourist area due to its busy night scene and lively bars that are open 24/7. The area is comprised mostly of restaurants, bars, hotels, and guesthouses as well as a few residential properties.
Apartments can range from $300-$1000, depending on the number of rooms and quality of furniture.
Land can be bought for $600-$2000 per sq.m.
Slor Kram is close to Wat Bo area and also gets the overflow of tourists. Nowadays, it is also becoming popular with locals and long staying expats due to its proximity to the city center.
Apartments are becoming a little higher as well, with apartments ranging from $250-$700/month, depending on the number of rooms and furnishings.
Land can be bought for $250 - $700 per sq.m.
This area is also a popular tourist area best known for the Wat Damnak temple. It is comprised mostly of commercial establishments including bars and restaurants, hotels and guesthouses, shopping centers and apartment buildings for long term expats.
Chreav is a rural area, with lots of rice fields and has the lowest price for the land. However, there will be more development in the coming months because of the new ring road that is being constructed in the area.
A lot of large rice lands in the villagers are being bought and converted into subdivision or boreys and divided into smaller plots for residential developments.
Bakong is a temple area that is popular for their floating villages, rice fields, and rural living. There are no options for apartments but land is available for $6-$30 per sq.m.
This is a semi-rural area located along the road to the floating villages, lake tourism area, and the Psar Kroam markets.
Kouk Chak is also a semi-rural area but slowly becoming more developed in the past few years.
This is another rural area. It has got good access to the ring roads will most likely be more developed in the next few years.
Old French Quarter
This part of town is where most of the commercial establishments including restaurants, bars, banks, and hotels are located.
Where to go in Siem Reap?
Siem Reap is a popular tourist destination and has a large number of hostels, resorts, guesthouses, restaurants, and commercial establishments catering to the tourism sector, primarily due to its proximity to the Angkor Wat temples.
In recent years, there has also been a boom in residential and commercial spaces, attributed mainly to foreign investments and expats wanting to stay long term in the province.
There are many interesting sights to see in the province. Admittedly, the Angkor Wat Archeological Park and the temples surrounding it in the Siem Reap municipality is the most popular destination for tourists and the areas surrounding it is scattered with hotels, guesthouses, and other commercial establishments.
However, the province is also home to other noteworthy tourist attractions including the Buddhist temples scattered around the province, the Tonle Sap Lake, Angkor Silk Farm, Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, War Museum Cambodia, Me Chrey Floating Village, Banteay Srei Butterfly Centre, Lotus Farm, Landmine museum and of course, the Night Life in Pub Street/Old Market.