A provincial market town until the tourism explosion of the post-Pol Pot era, Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. Over a million visitors pour through here each year and most stay in or around the town. The upside is a wide choice of quality hotels, restaurants and bars, as well as a plethora of shopping opportunities.
A few pockets of authentic Cambodian atmosphere also survive in the local fresh produce market, and numerous performances of Khmer Apsara dance, music and shadow puppetry are staged in the evenings. Visitors interested in traditional Cambodian arts and crafts may also visit workshops of the renowned Artisans Angkor company, which has spearheaded the revival of silk-making, stone and wood carving, lacquering and painting in the area.