Beyond Angkor Wat: The Other Side of Siem Reap, Cambodia

The last time I visited Siem Reap, about ten years ago, there was pretty much one thing to do: the famous temples of Angkor Wat (which were even then feeling the strain of overtourism). I went for a few hours each morning, spent afternoons by the hotel pool, and one evening went out on a very brief tour with a local guide to see the “real city,” which I remember as being just a few streets. It was probably bigger, but luxury tourism seemed to be oriented around the temples.

What a difference a decade makes. Now the Cambodian city is alive with creativity and hope. There’s a thoughtful international community, and all sorts of innovative and artistic projects. Angkor Wat is still a magnificent sight, but for someone who has already been, there are many more interesting ways to spend a few days.

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