Siem Reap is a modest sized provincial town whose main source of income is from servicing visitors to Angkor Wat. But what a joy to be away from the big cities & be able to walk the streets again without constantly swivelling in search of ever-present approaching traffic.
The area around the Old Market & Pub Street, with its associated alleyways, is not as grim as it might sound; its the lively bar, restaurant, cafe, guest house & general touristy area in the heart of Siem Reap. The really cheap & the really expensive places to eat & sleep are mostly further out from the town centre.
The tourism crash of 2008 has hit them hard as its the main business in town. Molly Malone's Irish pub used to have streams of travellers passing through, often on-route to Australia, but now its just a steady trickle. There's quite a bit of construction going on in the French Quarter & many of the old French colonial building are being torn down & replaced by the locally popular modern glass & concrete. But the place has a laid back style all of its own.