Global Destination Reviews: The Wonders of Cambodia
Let us introduce you to the Kingdom of Wonder! This gem at the heart of South East Asia leaves visitors amazed by its ancient beauty. Cambodia is equipped with magnificent architectural ruins, a quirky charisma, a history that will move you and a host population that will have you leaving with a genuine smile on your face. Cambodia is a country where motorbikes rule the roads, perfect for those with an adventurous spirit. Take a look at some of the zillion treasures the country has to offer.
A first good taste for exploring is the capital Phnom Penh (ភ្នំពេញ), which is the cultural, commercial and political centre of the country and home to more than one million people. Explore the wondrous Buddhist pagodas, dreamy royal palaces and vibrant local markets. Phnom Penh, once the ‘Pearl of Asia’, was ripped apart because of war and revolution. However, the city has successfully risen ever since and you can see everything slowly but surely building up again.
Next, a true piece of the raw Cambodian history which is considered to be a must-visit. Because, sometimes, travelling is not all rainbows & butterflies. The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are located 15 km from Central Phnom Penh. These fields refer to the genocide which took place after the takeover of power in the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979. 2 million people were executed, which was almost a quarter of the total Cambodian population. For many travellers, it’s one of the most humbling places they have ever visited. It’s a majorly significant piece of history, and visitation is an essential component for understanding the violent past and modern Cambodia with its promising future.
Hitch a ride and head up north to Siem Reap. This is a city filled with magical surprises. Discover the hidden ruins of Angkor Wat in the Cambodian jungle. Hundreds of ancient and formerly forgotten temples cover the city of Angkor, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and truly a dream destination.
Tip: If you visit in the off season, very early in the morning (it opens at 5 AM), or at lunch time you have the best chances to avoid the big crowds. Next to this you can change up the classic tourist routes.
As if Angkor Wat isn’t enough reason to visit Siem Reap already, there is more in store for their visitors. There are loads of markets full of unique products. Another very important aspect: food! There is an overabundance of excellent street food, which has generally stayed under the radar in comparison to the fame of the Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. One more spectacular must see in Siem Reap is the Phare Circus. Watch in awe as Cambodian artists perform with theatre to tell traditional folk tales. Intrigued by a mixture of drama, circus tricks, emotion and talent? This is just the place for you!
Time to kick back, relax, and hit the snooze button in Kampot! This sleepy, tiny riverside town could just be what you need in your busy travels. It’s far from the daily busyness of Phnom Penh. A true oasis of tranquility to fall in love with. Here are some of the dreamy & budget friendly activities that are our faves in Kampot:
- Always looking to travel the unbeaten path? Take a trip to the Secret Lake. Being away from the tourist crowds you can feel the serenity in the air.
- Ready to get active? Kayak down the river in Kampot. A perfect activity if you’re on a budget. Also, when going the right time you can even see the magical sunset over the river from your kayak.
- Feeling adventurous? Visit the beautiful surrounding caves. You can actually climb in them or just explore. Quick tip: take a tour guide, the caves can be somewhat tricky to navigate & a guide will only cost you about USD$2!
So there you have it. Loved by so many travellers, Cambodia really is a destination for all. What are you waiting for? Start your adventure and click on the button below!