3 Top-Rated Places to Visit in Cambodia
The history of Cambodia includes some of the greatest artistic achievements humanity has to offer, most notably the massive temples of Angkor Wat. Most visitors come for this history, but those who stay longer will find that this Southeast Asian country has more to offer than a quick trip to Siem Reap’s temples.
Every sun sloth is enticed by the coastline’s pristine white beaches. The jungle-swathed countryside caters to the more adventurous, while Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s pulsating capital, immerses tourists in the frantic pulse of modern city life. Cambodia is a beautiful Southeast Asia vacation destination that manages to fascinate all who visit.
When making your trip to Cambodia, don’t forget to add these spots to your travel itinerary.
Cambodia’s main attraction is this temple city. The temples of the Angkorian period, which are accessible from the town of Siem Reap, are so large in scale and in the majesty of their construction that Angkor Wat is considered one of the world’s must-see ancient monuments. Built between AD 802 and 1432, this was the world’s largest city during the medieval period. The city’s wooden houses were encroached upon and subsequently degraded by the surrounding jungle, leaving just those massive temples standing today.
The world’s biggest religious structure, Angkor Wat, is merely a fragment of the site’s entire area, and exploring the huge circuit of temples takes three days if you want to grasp the full magnitude of the Angkorian period’s architectural achievements. The tree-root bound temple of Ta Prohm, the Bayon Temple and its 216 stone-carved faces, Preah Kahn, and Angkor Thom are the key highlights for visitors short on time after Angkor Wat.
Koh Rong Samloem
A scattering of islands off Cambodia’s south coast is equally as gorgeous, but far less visited, in comparison to their Thai counterparts to the west. Compared to the developed islands of Phuket and Koh Samui, Cambodia’s islands remain a piece of laid-back tropical bliss, where sun and sand reign supreme and huge resorts have yet to establish themselves.
The long, sandy Saracen Bay, home to a dozen beach hut resorts that give a pleasant escape from the world, is one of the most picturesque of all the islands. It’s all about hammock time here, but for the more active, there are lots of scuba diving opportunities as well.
Kampot, a laid-back riverine village, exudes an exquisite old-world charm. The small centre district, which is full of historic shop-house architecture, some of which have been lovingly restored, is a joy to roam around. Kampot’s allure lies in its laid-back attitude, and many a traveller finds themselves staying longer than anticipated after succumbing to its laid-back pace.
However, if you’re looking for a bit more thrill, this is a wonderful base for seeing the south’s wondrous sights. The abandoned church and spooky, empty shell of a once-grand hotel at Bokor Hill Station, as well as the limestone caves of Phnom Chhnork and Phnom Sorsia, both having historic temples inside, are also an easy day excursion from the town.