The second largest district in Siem Reap, Chi Kraeng is in the southeast of the province bordering with neighbouring Kompong Thom. Several ancient Angkorian roads traverse the district, including the memorably named Route 66 that links the capital Angkor with the remote Prasat Bakan (also known as Preah Khan Kompong Svay) in Preah Vihear Province. There was also an ancient road towards Phnom Penh and early pre-Angkorian settlement of Sambor Prei Kuk in Kompong Thom Province which was recently named as Cambodia’s third Unesco World Heritage Site. There is a beautifully preserved Angkor bridge, Spean Preah Tuos, in the district capital of Kompong Kdei, which is well worth a stop on a journey between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
Chi Kraeng is also home to the huge manmade reservoir of Tom Nob Makak where locals travel to enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the water. One of the largest reservoirs in Siem Reap, it is also possible to take a local boat trip along the nearby river. Tom Nob Makak is part of a vast irrigation system which is connected to the Tonle Sap Lake and this helps make the district a major producer of fish and fish-based products like prahoc, as well as rice cultivation.
Area: 2315 sq km
Population Density: 62 people/sq km
District Capital: Kompong Kdei
This is a large reservoir built during the Khmer Rouge regime that lies about 20 minutes drive north of National Highway 6 on a year-round access road. This site is popular for domestic tourists to enjoy with water during national holidays like Pchum Ben. It does have potential for domestic tourists when self-driving between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. There are already several food stalls here and local picnic huts in which to enjoy local food, particularly fresh fish from the reservoir. There is also potential for boat trips along the local river here.
Originally located on NH6 between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, the main road has been rerouted through the town of Kompong Kdei to allow this Angkor-era bridge to be preserved. The bridge has 21 arches and formed part of an ancient road that connected the capital of the Khmer empire, Angkor, with places to the southeast. This bridge makes an excellent stop for tour groups and tourists with private transport for fresh fruits and homemade desserts.
This is the most spectacular bridge along its route, forgotten in the forest, located on Route 66 that connects Beng Mealea with Khvau Commune. It forms part of an ancient Angkor highway that connected the great walled city of Angkor Thom with the second city of Preah Khan temple Kompong Svay district, Preah Vihear Province. This ancient Angkor highway offers huge potential to connect Siem Reap and Preah Vihear by bicycle along the ancient royal roads.