Most visitors to Cambodia come for Angkor – to see the sunrise at this vast (the world’s biggest), legendary temple complex. Emerging from the jungle is unforgettable (as long as you hire a guide to steer you away from the tourist hotspots).
After you’ve seen the big three temples – Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm – it’s worth seeking out a few lesser known ones such as Ta Keo, Ta Som and the small but exquisite Banteay Srei. These are about 45 minutes by car from Siem Reap, the former Khmer village and gateway to Angkor. Now Cambodia’s second city with several top hotels, it retains a laid-back charm.
Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh is more frenetic with a vibrant riverside area on the banks of the Mekong river and the twin architectural attractions of the Royal Palace and the adjacent Silver Pagoda. Nearby, the National Museum of Cambodia offers peaceful gardens and impressive Khmer artworks.
Away from the famous temples and the main cities, Cambodia is refreshingly undeveloped, and there are many other fascinating spots packed with Khmer culture. At the heart of this welcoming South-East Asian country lies Tonlé Sap lake with its fascinating floating villages and abundant wildlife.
Beach resorts have cropped up in the south, the most well known being Sihanoukville, which has the reputation of a party town. If that’s not your scene, Kampot is a waterside enclave on the Gulf of Thailand. It’s known for its pepper, which pairs nicely with the famed crab from nearby coastal town Kep. Or try the Koh Rong archipelago, where Cambodia’s first five-star private island resort has the bonus of being ecologically friendly and supportive of the local community.
Tempted by what you’ve read? Need a few more ideas about where to go, what to see and how to go about it? Contact us – we’re always happy to help you choose your dream stay.