Cambodia has only recently become one of the more visited countries in Southeast Asia, despite its friendly people, beautiful landscapes, and fascinating past. It was once home to one of Asia’s most powerful early civilizations, the Khmer empire of Angkor, which is now one of the most important heritage sites in the world. Then there are the tiny towns, surprisingly cosmopolitan cities, and mountainous highlands. Cambodia is full of surprises!
Chances are if you’re coming to Cambodia, you intend to visit the Angkor site. This massive temple complex stretches over thousands of kilometres and includes Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom City, Ta Prohm, and Banteay Srei. It’s believed to be the largest religious structure in the world, and with its stunning spirituality and surprising symmetry, serves as a true testament to the ancient Khmer empire. While Cambodia’s history does not often paint the country in the most positive light, you can be certain to find a little bit of inner peace at Angkor.
Highlights worth seeing include the South gate at Angkor Thom, built in the late 12th century by the great Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII. Also see the Bayon Temple in the centre of Angkor Thom capital wall, as well as the beautiful Elephant Terrace. The temples are all surrounded by Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, Tonle Sap, as well as Asia’s third longest river, the Mekong River.
Don’t overlook Siem Reap, either. This city is full of life and tends to be a hit among young backpackers and other travellers thanks to its proximity to the Angkor complex. But from here it’s also possible to get out and visit the locals. Drive the country roads and you’ll come across farms, fields, animals, and more. The locals all look forward to chatting with you, and you can even visit the monks to see how they work and live day by day. Visit the Landmines Museum, where you’ll learn the tragic tales of children and families that have been affected by landmines. On a guided tour, find out about the Khmer Rouge reign and the terror it brought to the Cambodian people.Read More ...