Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Siem Reap 1995/2013

Filtering through old photos I took of at Angkor in the 90s I found a few of Siem Reap Town I took in 1995. Unfortunately the photos are not in great shape, but good enough for a couple of comparison shots. The April 2013 photos were taken today, standing in the approximately the same spots I did 18 years ago.

 Wat Bo Road, April 1995. At the time Wat Bo Road had several wooden guesthouses, catering primarily to budget travelers, but there were no hotels or restaurants along Wat Bo.
Wat Bo Road, April 2013.


Corner of National Route #6 and Wat Bo Road, looking east down Route #6, April 1995. Route #6 at the time was in very poor shape. There were no buses or regularly schedule road transportation from Phnom Penh. It was possible to hire a taxi, but due to road conditions the trip could take 9-14 hours, there were dubious military checkpoints along the way and the KR was still about. Most travelers from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap took the river ferry or the plane. Even the trip from Siem Reap to the Roluos Group (only 13km) was a chore, that stretch of dirt road particularly trenched and pot-holed.
Corner of National Route #6 and Wat Bo Road, April 2013. It's a smooth, paved 5-6 hour drive to Phnom Penh. Buses rule. The river ferry only runs part year now. Roluos is an easy 15 minute drive.


 Garden House Guesthouse on Wat Bo Road. Fan, bed, net, shared bathroom, $4/night. April 1995.
Garden House Guesthouse on Wat Bo Road. April 2013.


The Ya Tep Statue in the center of town, in the middle of National Route #6, near the Hotel Grand d'Angkor Park. April 1995. Ya Tep is a neak-ta (powerful spirit) local to Siem Reap and is said to help bring protection (and winning lottery numbers) to the faithful. At the time people told me that she likes "ugly things" and she always used to be surrounded by stinking chicken skins left by worshipers. I haven't checked thoroughly, but these days the offerings seem to consist mainly of incense, flowers and fruit.
The Ya Tep Statue in the center of town, April 2013.


  1. So interesting Casey. Thanks.
    Nothing stays the same.
    Cheers, ic

  2. What a coincidence, I've been browsing the internet all day yesterday on the hunt for some pictures of Siem Reap in the 90's and early 2000... The best I could find was 1 picture of Pub Street taken in 1999!

    These pictures are truly breathtaking... If possible, I would love to see more from your archives!

    Would you mind if I share them on my forum http://www.siemreap.net/forum/? (Of course with your credits and link back to this post.)

    1. I'll see what I can dig out. Back then I took a lot more of Angkor than the town. In hindsight, I would do it differently. Angkor is pretty much the same, just more people. But the town has changed considerably.

      Feel free to share on your forum. Thanks for the credit and link.

  3. Nice coincidence.So interesting Casey. Thanks.

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