Friday, May 7, 2010

Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Siem Reap is a small town in Cambodia and is still developing. Lots of construction work are underway. Siem Reap is famous because of the Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap Lake nearby. I am going to tell you on these two places.

The Tonle Sap Lake is really big. They were hundreds of floating boat houses in there forming a community by itself. It has schools, health clinics, grocery shops, restaurants, community halls, religious centres etc. All these facilities are on boats. 

Tonle Sap is a freshwater lake. It is connected to Mekong River which is also running into Vietnam. It is considered as one of the Natural Heritage Sites. In dry season, Tonle Sap stretches for approximately 150 kilometres in length and average around 20 kilometres in width. At peak of wet season, it can stretch or expand to 250 kilmetres long and 100 km in width. Its depth is shallow, measuring only 1-2 metres at its deepest in dry season and rising 10 metres in wet season. The main occupation here is fishing. For those who like to watch sunrise or sun set, Tonle has a beautiful sun set panorama.

Angkor Wat is a lost city, remnants of the Khmer civilisation. Angkor Wat, the city pagoda was not just the grandest of all Khmer temples, but also a settlement or town. It was built during Jajavarman II Dynasty, the ruler dedicated to Vishnu. The area is around 200 hectares. The building is made of stones, carved in a certain way and it is big and tall.

If you like to visit Tonle Sap, you need to take a taxi or tut-tut to the edge of the Tonle Sap. You will reach a check point, a midway point to the lake, where you need to pay entrance of USD10. Once you reach the lakeside, a boat will be waiting and you just hop in.The travel time from the town to  the lake is around one hour.

Angkor Wat is closer to the town. You need to pay USD 20 at a toll booth, 2 km from the Angkor Wat. It is a country ride. By the way, Cambodia is still a " rural" country.

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