Origin of the name of the city of Siem Reap is associated with a literal translation of the phrase “Siam defeated,” meaning the victory of the ancient Khmer civilization over invaders from Thailand. According to another version Siem Reap means “Siam Defeated” or “Shine Siam”, so far, have not formed a consensus on this issue. The first tourists came in Siem Reap in 1907 thanks to the efforts of the French, who, literally, pulled 172 thousand population of the city from the hands of enterprising and warlike Thais. The first 200 tourists visited the city after only 3 months after its official opening. Thus, after centuries of strife with Thailand (formerly Siam) in the region, custody of Cambodia took a weakened France with its colonial tradition and the new European culture for the Cambodian people. The architecture of the first modern buildings Siem Reap formed under the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism, and the ancient buildings of the early 20th century, century, made in Chinese and colonial styles, are still preserved around the Old market in the Old French Quarter. Grand Hotel d’Angkor – In 1929, the city hotel first opened. Since all guests Angkor had to drive through the city, its rapid economic growth and world fame became a matter of time.
Rapid development of Siem Reap was preceded by protracted periods of decline and decay in the 1970s, when the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia became the main ruling party. One of the main features of their policy was aggressive agricultural development forces urban residents who are forcibly taken away in the province. Destruction and belittling the importance of educated people in order to build an agrarian society had a pronounced negative effect not only for Siem Reap, Cambodia but also in general. The end of the XX century became a real challenge for the city and its inhabitants had to feel on itself: the destructive power of social upheaval, famine, and a protracted guerrilla war. In the 1990s – early 2000s, Siem Reap was an opportunity for another round of economic development.
Today, Siem Reap is listed in the list of the country’s fastest growing cities with a vibrant tourist life and hundreds of hotels.