Siem Reap is Cambodia's greatest tourist destination, drawing more than 2 million visitors every year, not least of all because it serves as the gateway to the ruins of Angkor.
The seat of the Khmer Empire, the city that was Angkor encompassed an area of over 1,000 square kilometers and produced some of the most astounding examples of architecture and infrastructure in history.
Construction on the temples that the region is known for began in the 9th century, but after the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 13th century, Angkor was left to the decay among the dense jungle that surrounds it. Restoration work on the temples began only in the late 19th century.
Today, visitors can tour the temples by hiring a car, a tuk tuk (three-wheeled motor carriage) for the day or several days, or renting a bicycle in Siem Reap. Although Cambodia has its own currency, USD are generally preferred.
All of the temples charge admissions fees: USD20 for a one-day pass, USD40 for a three-day pass, and USD60 for a seven-day pass. Due to the size of the 1,000 sites (the most well-known and largest of these, Angkor Wat, occupies 820,000 square kilometers itself) and the distance between them (up to two hours by tuk tuk), visitors are advised to spend at least three days exploring the temples. Each pass is valid starting from the evening prior, so visitors can catch one of the infamous sunsets over the ruins the evening before Day 1.