Siem Reap Photo Diary

My favorite photographs from the ancient temples of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The only thing I expected from Siem Reap was a gorgeous view of the sunrise over Angkor Wat. This bucket-list worthy event exceeded my expectations, but it was only the beginning of an amazing five days in Cambodia.

Before I dive into detail about the ancient temples, Siem Reap’s biggest attraction, I will mention a few other noteworthy perks of this small city.

First of all, the incredible quality and quantity of the food compared to their cheap prices blew my mind. A meal rarely cost more than $3, but I was always impressed with the vibrant flavors of the curries and the heaping plates of rice that accompanied them. I ordered a fresh fruit shake with almost every meal, and splurged on mango and avocado rolled ice cream.

food Cambodia vegan food Asiaice cream food

Our hostel, HI Siem Reap Deluxe, also enhanced our stay. With a rooftop pool, a smiling staff, and affordable organized temple tours by tuk tuk, we were able to conquer as many temples as possible while still enjoying down time. AND, it only cost $4 a night.

hostel Siem reap Cambodia

I had other random and comical observations that completed my experience in Siem Reap.

First of all, the dusty roads lack any form of traffic organization, so tuk tuks, motorbikes, and tour vans basically whiz around in a free for all.

Second, instead of gas stations, locals pour gasoline into empty liquor or soda bottles and sell them on tables at the side of the road.

Stray dogs, slender white cows, locals lounging in hammocks, skinny palm trees, and fallen coconuts always clutter one’s line of vision.

Bartering at the massive street market killed my belief that stuff in Cambodia couldn’t get any cheaper.

Despite the slightly underdeveloped state of the country, the streets still explode with colorful lights at night.

Also, Cambodians cut grass by hand with a small blade, while crouching on their knees, while wearing longs pants and shirts, in the 90 degree heat. Very impressive.

siem reap cambodia

cambodia travel

market cambodia

As for the temples, I figure photos will reflect my experience better than words.

While most temples had certain common traits, like worn gray stones, intricately carved religious images, and towering dome-shaped rooftops, each complex offered something unique.

Rather than struggle to come up with descriptive words to summarize the incredible grandeur and mystery these historical buildings evoked, I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Angkor Wat

Angkor wat temple

Angkor wat temple history

Angkor wat temple art

Banteay Kdei

Angkor wat temple dog

Angkor wat temple

Angkor wat temple Cambodia

Angkor wat temple travel

Chau Say Tevoda

Angkor wat temple backpacking

Ta Prohm 

Angkor wat temple tree

cambodia siem reap temple tree

cambodia siem reap temple nature

Ta Keo (Currently undergoing a very obvious restoration in partnership with the Chinese government)

cambodia siem reap temple

cambodia siem reap temple 2



cambodia siem reap temple bayon

cambodia siem reap temple face


cambodia siem reap temple view


cambodia siem reap temple visit


Pre Rup

cambodia siem reap temple sky

cambodia siem reap temple elephant

Ta Som

cambodia siem reap travel

Preah Khan

cambodia siem reap travel beauty

cambodia siem reap travel detail

cambodia siem reap travel gate

The Elephant Terrace

cambodia siem reap travel elephant terracecambodia siem reap travel animal

Neak Pean

cambodia siem reap travel lake

cambodia siem reap travel nature

Lolei (This entire area was closed off for restoration, so here’s some photos of the gorgeous Buddhist temple right next to it)

cambodia siem reap travel colors

cambodia siem reap travel buddhism

Preah Ko

cambodia siem reap travel Asia

cambodia siem reap travel photo

art cambodia


big temple Cambodia

asia temple

Are you traveling to Cambodia?? Visit to purchase your visa online.

This article has been republished on Huffington Post.


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