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The town of Siem Reap is most renowned for being the gateway to the iconic temples of Angkor, which are a source of national pride and a point of pilgrimage for many Cambodians. These temples have also inspired and featured in films, such as The Jungle Book and Tomb Raider, and have been attracting travellers in their droves over the past couple of decades.

While Siem Reap is the obvious base from which to plan your Angkorian adventures, the town boasts a great deal that warrants it being considered as more than just a launchpad for a sunrise photo at Angkor Wat (the world’s largest religious building). Thanks to its plethora of offerings and opportunities, many foreigners choose to make Siem Reap their home once they're all templed out.

Located about three hours from the border of Thailand, and 315km to the north-west of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap is easily accessible to the Cambodian capital by boat, as well as by road. It is also well connected by air to many international cities and, according to a report by The Ministry of Tourism, Siem Reap International Airport (REP) saw over 1.5 million international tourists arrive in 2016.

As a result of the extensive tourism industry, the Cambodians in Siem Reap tend to speak more English, and the city also boasts a diverse culinary scene to cater to the international taste buds. You can find some fantastic restaurants and cooking schools here, and thanks to a large population of East Asian expats, there are also many great Korean and Japanese restaurants dotted around the town. If you're on a budget, you can also keep it cheap by eating local street food that ranges from US$1 to US$5.

Types of work

At the time of the making of Tomb Raider, which was filmed amidst the temple ruins of Ta Prohm and Bayon in 2001, there were only two international hotels in Siem Reap (fun fact: Tomb Raider was the first Hollywood production to be filmed in Cambodia in over 30 years). However, since the days of Angelina Jolie's explorations, the town has developed significantly and now you can find everything from backpacker hostels and party joints, to luxury boutique hotels and upmarket bars. Furthermore, delectable dining experiences await the foodies, while sumptuous spas abound for anyone in need of pampering.

The city's rapid development means that there are now plenty of opportunities for experienced professionals that work in the service sector and in tourism. There are also many investment opportunities for entrepreneurs in these fields too. So, if you are a qualified chef, hotel manager, sommelier or restaurateurs, and can't resist the cutting edge vibes and the potential of this ever-evolving city, then Siem Reap may be just the place for you.

Siem Reap has had quite the facelift since the turn of the century, and is now widely considered to be the centre of Cambodian chic. Its artistic cultural scene (with the fantastic shopping opportunities that come with it) is booming, and this burgeoning hub of creativity has room for foreigners too — from fashion designers and jewellery makers, to artists and photographers.

If you are fluent in English and have an appropriate teaching qualification, you could also try to find work as an English teacher at one of the many schools, colleges, training centres or universities in Siem Reap.

Siem Reap is the lotus flower that has blossomed from the country's murky history, and has developed into a thriving city that serves as a poignant symbol of Cambodia's rejuvenation and strength.

Finding a job

Finding a job in Siem Reap should be relatively easy if you have the necessary expertise and qualifications for a required position. Having international experience and language skills will go particularly far as these can be hard to find locally.

Start by browsing the internet on recruitment websites or professional networking sites. It's worth also joining social media groups and community forums, such as Siem Reap Job Posting.

If you have a company in mind for which you'd like to work, then visit the website and apply for any appropriate job openings online; or submit your CV to the relevant people in charge and ask them to consider you for any suitable opportunities that arise in the future. Siem Reap is also still relatively small so it's a good idea to go to networking events, make contacts and introduce yourself directly to people who you'd like to work for/with.

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