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About Siem Reap

Kampong Cham, Cambodia

The capital of an identically named province in Cambodia, Siem Reap translates to “Siam defeated.” The name refers to a century-old battle between Cambodia and Siam—contemporary Thailand—an event commemorated in prominently displayed stone carvings.

Siem Reap is the gateway to the temples of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important archeological sites in the world. During the 20th century, its popularity as a tourist destination grew steadily—Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Kennedy both visited the Angkor temple complex—until the late 1960s, when the Khmer Rouge put a stop to it. Today, tourism is back and bigger than ever, making Siem Reap Cambodia’s fastest-growing city with a large expatriate community.

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