Siem Reap is a popular resort town in Cambodia and the best possible base for exploring the Angkor temples of Cambodia. Angkor Wat, the most important temple and symbol of the nation, is located only 6 Km from the centre of town.
Europeans started visiting the town in the mid 19th Century and according to records of the École Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO; French School of the Far East), the first tourists visited in 1901. The Grand Hotel d’Angkor opened in 1929 and was a popular tourist destination until the late 1960s.
Civil war and Vietnames occupation, discouraged all but official visitors and journalists in the 1970s and 80s. But some limited tourist travel was resumed towards the end of the 1980s and fully re-opened in 1998 after the death of Pol Pot.