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Siem Reap Province សៀមរាប

Siem Reap Province

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Siem Reap
Country: Flag of Cambodia Cambodia
Division: Province
Area: 10,299 km²
Inhabitants: 696,164 (1998)
Pop. density: 68.1 inh./km²
ISO 3166-2: KH-17
Map of Cambodia highlighting Siem Reap Province

Siem Reap, is a province located in northwestern Cambodia, on the shores of the Tonle Sap lake. The provincial capital is Siem Reap. The name literally means Siamese defeated referring to the victory of the Khmer Empire over the army of the Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya in the 17th Century. Today it is most widely known for being the closest city to the ruins of the temples of Angkor.

[edit] Overview

Statues on the bridge leading to Victory Gate, Siem Reap, Cambodia (January 2005).
Statues on the bridge leading to Victory Gate, Siem Reap, Cambodia (January 2005).

Located in northwest Cambodia, Siem Reap is the major tourist hub in Cambodia, as it is the closest city to the temples of Angkor. The most recognizable of the temples, Angkor Wat, literally Capital Temple, built by King Suryavarman II the early 12th century provides the largest tourist draw. Recently the city has seen a great deal of expansion, hundreds of hotels, restaurants and shops, catering to both international and Cambodian tourists have opened to serve the influx of visitors. Also, King Norodom Sihamoni and the Cambodian royal family maintain a residence in the town. The Angkor temple complex is north of the city.

Siem Reap
Siem Reap

Other sites of interest near Siem Reap include Angkor Thom built by Jayavarman VII, Banteay Srei, Ta Prohm, as well as hundreds of other temple ruins. Angkor, and the surrounding area that would later become known as Siem Reap, faced repeated invasions from the Thais, and ceased to be the capital after a seven-month siege in 1431. The capital was moved to Phnom Penh in 1432, and then to Lovek and Oudong, before moving back to Phnom Penh in 1866. The temple ruins were visited by Western explorers and missionaries before the 19th century, but Henri Mouhot is generally seen as having "discovered" Angkor Wat in 1860.

While under Siamese control, the province was named Siam Nakhon (Siamese City), and was renamed to Siem Reap (meaning Siam defeated) after Siam had to cede it to French Indochina in 1906.

[edit] Subdivisions

The province is subdivided into 12 districts.

1701 Angkor Chum District អង្គរជុំ
1702 Angkor Thom District អង្គរធំ
1703 Banteay Srei District បន្ទាយស្រី
1704 Chi Kraeng District ជីក្រែង
1706 Kralanh District ក្រលាញ់
1707 Puok District ពួក
1709 Prasat Bakong District ប្រាសាទ បាគង
1710 Siem Reap District សៀមរាប
1711 Sout Nikom District សូត្រនិគម
1712 Srei Snam District ស្រីស្នាម
1713 Svay Leu District ស្វាយលើ
1714 Variin District វារីន

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