The interactions between the separated shear layer and the near wake region of rectangular cylinders of varying streamwise extents in a uniform flow are investigated using time resolved particle image velocimetry. The streamwise aspect ratios (AR) tested were 1 and 5, and the Reynolds number based on the oncoming flow velocity and cylinder height is 16200. The effects of varying AR on the mean flow, turbulent kinetic energy and Reynolds shear stresses are studied. Furthermore, the unsteady characteristics of the separation bubbles are examined in terms of frequency spectra analysis. The mean flow topology shows flow separation at the leading edge is not affected by the streamwise aspect ratios. However, the primary, secondary and wake vortexes show significant differences. Mean flow reattaches over the cylinder at 4.30 cylinder heights in the AR5 case while there is no mean reattachment in the AR1 case. The magnitudes of turbulent kinetic energy and Reynolds shear stress in the wake region are an order of magnitude higher in AR1 compared to AR5. Depending on the streamwise location, the vortex shedding motions in the near wake region reflect the dominant and second harmonic of the shear layer shedding frequency measured near the leading edge.