A trip to Cambodia promises you a world of ancient history and a scene of urban lifestyle, all in one.
If you're tired of those many trips to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Bali, then Cambodia would be the perfect south-east Asian destination for you to visit next. A trip to Cambodia promises you a world of ancient history and a scene of urban lifestyle, all in one. Below we’ve compiled a list of places you should mark on your map while planning your path in Cambodia.
1. Angkor Wat in Siem Reap
The first place you visit on your trip to Cambodia should most certainly be the magnificent temple complex of Angkor Wat. Originally created by the Khmer empire as a Hindu temple, today this iconic temple is a symbol of Cambodian national pride in Cambodia. One of the world’s greatest archaeological sites, this legendary ‘lost city of the Khmers’ consists of over a thousand temples ranging from piles of rubble to the majestic Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is not only the largest temple in this ornate complex but also the largest in the world. Other important sites in this complex include the Ta Prohm Temple, a jungle-submerged temple that was featured in the film ‘Tomb Raider’, and the Bayon Temple with its giant stone carved faces.
The popular resort town of Siem Reap is the gateway to the Angkor Wat. Over the years this place has developed into a tourist hub. Enjoy the Khmer-style entertainment at the huge night market; get a fish pedicure, and head out to the Pub Street.
2. Phnom Penh
Known as the ‘gem of Asia’, the nation's capital and largest city, Phnom Penh is known for its beautiful French colonial architecture and historic sites. The city has an old world charm— with scenic riverside esplanades, numerous Buddhist wats, palaces and artefacts. The innermost part of the city, known as the riverside is where most tourists will go, as it hosts plenty of cafés and restaurants. Phnom Penh is a worthwhile destination for those who enjoy an edgy experience as well as those interested in authentic Southeast Asian people and culture. The eminent city landmarks include the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and Wat Phnom. The Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and the infamous Killing Fields provides an insight into the country’s tragic history, during Pol Pots reign of terror.
3. Beaches of Sihanoukville
Referred by tourists as Snooky or Snookyville, the town of Sihanoukville features Cambodia’s best-known beaches. Besides its exotic beaches, other fun places to visit here is the Otres market at the Otres beach, the Ream National park, the Bamboo island and the Buddy Land Water Park.
Kampot is another riverside town that flaunts its beautiful colonial French architecture and promenades. The Kampong Bay river serves as an excellent backdrop for watching sunrises and sunsets, water-sports, luxurious boutique resorts and simple backpacker inns. The town is the perfect base for the Bokor National Park, the impressive Phnom Chhngok cave temple and the lush green landscapes of the nearby area.
The famous French seaside retreat of the early 1900s, although overshadowed by the hustle and bustle of tourists in Sihanoukville, remains a popular holiday destination among tourists. The place is well known for its beautiful sunsets, seafood and the butterfly-filled Kep National Park.