Angkor Wat and its marvels attract each year several million tourists willing to unveil the mysteries of the millenary gathering of Khmer temples, rediscovered by the French explorer Henri Mouhot in January 1860. Over more than 400km², Angkor is the largest temple congregation in the world, and sits close to the small city of Siem Reap, in North West Cambodia, which profits enormously from the incredible tourist pool offered by the site.
Siem Reap is the perfect base to spend the three or four days that it takes to visit Angkor, and after the mix of amazement and painstaking marching under the well known pitiless Cambodian sun, its bars and restaurants are the best places to sit back and relax… How good is the first sip of a chilled draft Angkor beer in a frozen glass after the massive heat of the day!
In Siem Reap, the choice is yours… Traditional Khmer Amok in front of a dance show full of traditionally dressed dancers, Mexican food for a little change of scene, or a laid back bamboo garden to avoid the hectic rhythm of the crowded streets – the variety is huge.
Walking down the central Pub Street, a quick glance upwards to the top of the building will lead you to the massive X lighting up the night sky. Follow your instinct, or the sound of the music, and step up the two stories to access one of the most laid back and exceptional places in town.
Created in 2007 by a couple of guys fond of BMX and skateboarding, the X Bar offers an atmosphere mixed of street culture and rock. Hear the sound of the music as you walk up the stairs, and completely forget what you usually experience in Siem Reap. The location overlooks the whole city and its busy streets. Sip a fresh Anchor draft beer and have a free game of pool or table football, or enjoy a movie on the big screen eating popcorn. Every Wednesday night, there’s a jam session with local musicians or travelers – everyone is welcome to play guitar, bass, drums, or any other instrument. And if that wasn’t enough, just look around and you’ll find even more…
Located in the X Bar, there is a tattoo shop run by French tattooist Lex Roulor. Specialized in traditional old school designs, the resident tattoo artist will be more than happy to just have a chat about travelling or to tell you a part of his story… If you’re not quite ready to suffer the woes of the needles, you might be interested in the very first skate half-pipe in Cambodia, which sits on the top of the bar and offers a great view over the city roofs – and probably the most unusual sunset in the whole country.
So, to spend a nice moment above Siem Reap’s buzzing and busy streets, just get to the X Bar, and enjoy the moment.
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