The Angkor Botanical Garden is nestled near the iconic Angkor area in Cambodia, which includes an impressive old-world city with many temple complexes. The Angkor Botanical Garden (សួនរុក្ខជាតិអង្គរ) is previously known as the Angkor Spice Garden and has been undergoing upgrades for some time. It's a 14-hectare site featuring local traditional medicinal plants & spices, flowers, a palm garden, a Khmer inspirational garden, and an Angkor forest garden. A haven of botanical delights that beckons to all who appreciate the magic of nature's artistry. A blend of vibrant blooms, lush greenery, and serene landscapes creates a paradise for flower and plant enthusiasts and admirers alike.
Angkor Botanical Garden Is Cambodia's First Botanical Garden
The garden was created with the goal of stopping the encroachment of forest land, protecting natural resources, promoting tourism, preserving the Angkor archaeological site, promoting environmental education, and preserving rare and indigenous species. The garden has more than 500 different species of plants and is developed to show the relationship between plants and animals. Therefore there is also an area for turtles, peacocks, and wild chickens, plus you can also let the kids feed the fish, rabbits, and birds in this area. In the future, the garden is planned to be expanded into an area of 130 hectares. From delicate orchids to hardy ferns, each species holds a unique place in Cambodia's natural tapestry.
The garden hosts loads of selfie opportunities, and there's also plenty of seating around the garden area in places and amenities including a restaurant and toilets. The plants are labeled so, there’s also much to learn, and many might find the medicinal garden interesting on that point. Time-wise, you can easily spend ninety minutes or more exploring plus there is an on-site restaurant and cafe in the center of the garden.
As the garden is quite new, Cambodia officially inaugurated the Angkor Botanical Garden in Siem Reap on May 19, 2022, many plants and trees are not really big yet. One can only imagine how this Botanical Garden in Siem Reap will look in a couple of years.
Visitors can visit the garden free of charge.
The Rich History of the Angkor Area
The allure of the Angkor area around the city of Siem Reap extends far beyond its enchanting Angkor Botanical Garden. The area holds a rich history deeply tied to the majestic Angkor civilization. It spans from the 9th to the 15th century when the Angkor Empire flourished as a center of political power, cultural innovation, and architectural magnificence.
At its heart lies the iconic Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest religious monuments in the world. This awe-inspiring temple complex stands as a testament to the ingenuity of the Khmer people, showcasing intricate carvings, towering spires, and a deep spiritual connection. The Angkor area, with its temples, reservoirs, and other architectural marvels, provides a window into the grandeur of a civilization that once ruled over this breathtaking landscape.
Unveiling the Botanical Treasures of Siem Reap Botanical Garden
At the Angkor Botanical Garden in Siem Reap, they want to collect as many plants as they can to exhibit, research, and try to breed because they want the area to be a botanic garden, a collection of unique and different plants from all over the world. The garden ought to be beautiful, natural, and biodiverse. A garden must be set up to a high quality, and planting and caring for it also requires talent, perseverance, and love. The launch of the garden has been applauded by the public and experts as a significant step to conserve rare plant species.
Biodiversity researcher Sok Vichea said that originally the botanical garden was a collection of all living plants and was created to show the relationships between plants in different plant groups. The garden was designed in five sections:
- The first section is a spice and medicine garden. This gathers rare plants for cooking and traditional medicine that Cambodians believe in to cure diseases.
- The second section has a collection of ornamental grasses and sunflowers, veils, cauliflower, and many more. These flowers are grown according to the season.
- The third section is a palm garden, which is a collection of palm plants, various types of coconuts, and various kinds of snails, all set in hills.
- The fourth section is the Khmer garden, which combines fruit trees such as mango trees and imported fruit trees such as kao lak.
- The fifth section is the Angkor forest and wildlife area. The park is part of the forest in the Angkor area but has been transformed into a walkway with a waterfall. Tourists can walk in the forest and see the wildlife.
Celebrate Floral Diversity in Cambodia
So, besides going to the temples of Angkor, make some time to go to the Botanical Garden of Siem Reap, and immerse yourself in the captivating embrace of it—an oasis of tranquility surrounded by the grandeur of Angkor Wat.
After the visit, most wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to friends at all. Of course, as it is relatively new, the plants and flowers aren’t super organized or well-grown but they will eventually!
Spacious, green, and clean, this Angkor Botanical Garden is a place to recharge your batteries after a hectic temple adventure. The best time to visit is either early in the morning or in the evening as Cambodia’s Sun isn’t super forgiving during the day. If you’re super active, your trip can take 2-3 hours or a half day if you’d like to take a slow pace.
It is now open to the public from 7.30 am to 5 pm, closed on Mondays.
Getting to the Angkor Botanical Garden
It is located along the way to Angkor Archeological Park at the corner of Benoit Street and Charles De Gaulle with the entrance on Charles De Gaulle opposite “Rte du petit pont” road here. A tuk-tuk from the city center will cost around 6-8000 riel ($1.5-2) one way and you can also easily include it on the way to or back from the central temple area and Angkor Wat.
You can find out more on their Facebook page សួនរុក្ខជាតិអង្គរ-Angkor Botanical Garden.
Header and feature image by Angkor Botanical Garden.