Prior to the mid-1990's, media and travel guides often described journeys to the mythical Angkor Wat as simply too dangerous for the average tourist.  Their warnings focused on the archaeological park’s traditional lack in security and an abundance of undetected landmines left by the dictatorial Khmer Rouge!  Those same books also condemned nearby Siem Reap as a backwoods town with heart, but not enough resources to appease regular western tourists' high expectations.

Well, the times they-are-a-changing!  Siem Reap is certainly a town “in flux."  You can see this everywhere and in everyone.  Stylish boutiques featuring up-and-coming designers butt up against ramshackle massage parlors and rowdy pubs with awnings constructed from bamboo.  High-end hotels show off from the sides of streets sealed solely by dusty red mud.

Now let’s face it.  If you have come all the way to Cambodia and Siem Reap, you have come to visit the mysterious temples of Angkor.  And yes, you will find yourself here for the lion’s share of your day.  Just make sure to spend some time (and some “riels”) in Siem Reap.  The city, which translates to "Defeat Siam" in Khmer (ironic since the Siamese actually sacked the area in the 1400's), has a pulse that equal parts celebratory and complicated, and yet always poignant.

Cambodia is a land of juxtapositions; certainly more sincere than nearby Thailand, with people who seem quite connected and in tune with the place in which they live.  Your “Set of Drifters” will certainly return here once again and spend more time traveling throughout different parts of this intriguing, often neglected Southeast Asian country.  Come to think of it, can we go back... like now?

For an extended collection of photos from our stay in Siem Reap, check out our Facebook profile page found here!