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Siem Reap

At the foot of Phnom Krom, not far from Angkor Wat, the river vessel lies at anchor in the inundated forest.

In the floating village of Chong Kneas, poverty is the by-word. But the pungent odors and atrocious road don't stop the children from smiling.

A bit behind the times, with its endless dike leading to stable terrain, is Siem Reap, a small city of 130,000 inhabitants.
The city is surprisingly active and business oriented. Along both sides of the dirty little river that flows through it are stately walkways, empty lots, miscellaneous hotels, buildings under construction, colonial style streets, the old market and even a small post office where, as a precaution, you can even post stamp your own mail.

Siem Reap has but one objective: bring in the tourists! Guesthouses, colonial bars, top-of-the line restaurants, cheap eating places, souvenir or silk shops, art galleries and massage parlors are flourishing more or less.

In the downtown area, the old market has kept a measure of authenticity; to the east, the big modern market.

Depending on your trip, the promise... or the souvenir of Angkor Wat.
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