Cambodia really is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The setting for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and home to one of the Wonders of the World, Cambodia is an often overlooked holiday destination with so much to offer.
Image Source: Dennis Jarvis
Most tourists head straight to the capital city of the Siem Reap Province. It’s located in the northwest of the country and boasts nearly 150 hotels catering to every budget. There’s lots to see and do in and around the city so you could spend your whole trip here. Admittedly that would be a bit of a shame. Cambodia has a host of sights and experiences on offer that you don’t get a real feel for until you work up the courage to step off the tourist trail. But while you’re still on it, there is tons to see:
Angkor Wat: Built as a palace for a dead king in the twelfth-century, this amazing site has been classified as one of the world’s wonders. It’s best to see this place at sunrise, although every other tourist in the city will have the same idea so be warned, it gets busy!
Angkor Thom: Not quite the 7th Wonder of The World, this palace has not been restored like Angkor Wat, which is half its attraction. It was looted in the Vietnamese War and the majority of the fifty-four stone warriors lining the entryway are missing their heads as a result.
Sunset Tour: An opportunity to get out and see the country, this one is not for the faint hearted. A small group of tourists on quad bikes (accompanied by guides) make their way through the tracks meandering between villages and rice fields. You will see the most spectacular sunset of your life. You will also come back brown from the dust of the road and adept at dodging cattle. Well worth doing but book in advance, it’s another popular option.
Image Source: Dennis Jarvis
Off The Beaten Track
To really get a feel for the country, I would advise seeing it as part of a guided tour or tailored itinerary. There is literally too much to do here to tackle it on your own – unless you are a hardened traveller willing to spend a few months here! Cambodia tours & holidays are an incredible experience, whatever you choose to see and do. Some of the sights you can look forward to exploring away from the masses of tourists include:
Beng Mealea: Only an hour outside of Siem Reap, this temple complex is often overlooked in favour of Angkor Wat. This twelfth-century temple is in the process of being claimed by the jungle and is well worth the effort to get out to see it.
Koh Russei (Bamboo Island): Once a small resort, the island is now mostly abandoned. You feel like an explorer just landed on an undiscovered island walking across its white sand beaches. This is the kind of place you go to lose hours just sitting on the beach and marvelling at the beauty around you.