With its majestic temples, turbulent history and vibrant energy, the intoxicating atmosphere of Cambodia will uproot and transport you to a place of humility and wonder. Home to the 8th wonder of the world – Angkor Wat – Cambodia’s real treasure is actually its people. Despite having struggled through years of torment and political warfare, the resilient spirit and optimism of the locals have triumphed, leaving behind a sense of admiration and affection.
The vast landscapes offer a unique experience in each city. The unrefined capital of Phnom Penh is the economic heartbeat of the nation. With its cosmopolitan flair in the way of upmarket hotels and riverfront dining, the city has bounced back from its former days of decay, home to the Royal Palace and National Museum. A day trip out of town will reveal the horror and brutality of the killing fields of Choeung Ek and Tuol Sleng S21 Prison.
Siem Reap is the much-loved jewel of Cambodia, with its regal temples and charismatic night markets. After a day touring the main temples of Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm, treat yourself to a heavenly foot massage. The glittering night markets are teeming with rich fabrics and wooden carvings, while the aromas of traditional cooking spill out into the streets.
Intrepid travellers can visit Cambodia’s outback along the dusty roads of Ratanakiri to ethnic villages, gibbon conservation parks and adventurous jungle trekking. The laidback lifestyle and charming architecture of Battambang and Kampot make it impossible to leave. Explore the floating villages along Tonlé Sap, with its rustic churches and schools fashioned out of bamboo.
Head south towards the scattered beaches and island of Koh Rong. Spend your days lazing in hammocks and going scuba diving, while the tropical nights are made up of pulsing beach bars and restaurants.
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