Before Siem Reap was founded, the site where the town is today was occupied by a series of pagodas. From these places of worship a number of quaint villages were formed which eventually amalgamated to form the town which exists today.
The town is only kilometres away from the famous Angkor Wat temples, regarded as one of the wonders of the world. Consisting of five separate towers it was built as a place of worship to the Hindu God Vishnu.
It is thanks to the temples that Siem Reap makes as much money from tourism as it does – it is the stop-off point for those going to visit them. The number of guesthouses, hostels and restaurants has increased steadily over the last number of years and nowadays it resembles a small city.