Cambodia is one of the most under-explored and adventurous tourist destinations in the world. Therefore, if you want to go out of the box and explore one of the less known parts of the world, holiday in Cambodia is your ideal destination. Starting from breathtaking landscapes, to national parks, historical sites and tropical adventures, your holiday in Cambodia is bound to be a thrilling experience.
So, take a look at the following lines to get an idea about what this country in the South East Asia has to offer.
History of Cambodia:
The history of Cambodia is as interesting as its culture and landscape. In the 15th century, the country was ruled by the mighty Khmer Empire. However, after the empire fell, the neighbors kept on plundering the country. In the 19th century, Cambodia became a French colony. It gained freedom in 1953; but soon civil war broke out. In 1970s, the country suffered heavy bombing from the USA.
Photo Credit: Travelpod.com
Finally, the UN took the initiatives to bring back peace and order and in 1993, a general election was conducted. Since then, Cambodia has slowly got itself back in the mainstream.
Still, most of the people of the country are poor. Tourism is one of the major aspects that earn revenue for the country. Today, all the amenities are available for the tourists visiting Cambodia to spend their vacations.
Cambodia has two International Airports – Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Almost all the countries in the Southeast Asia, China, and other Asian countries are well connected to Cambodia through these airports. There are several Airlines that operate flights to Cambodia. Another great way to reach Cambodia is by road. You can enter the country by road from Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. You can also enter Cambodia by boat from these three countries. However, while entering the country by road, you should be aware of the scams. Try to pay them in US dollars and make sure that they are not charging you more than the appropriate fees.
Places to see in Cambodia
There are several important places to visit in Cambodia. However, the most unmistakable tourist destinations during your holiday in Cambodia is bound to be the magnificent historical sites some of which are included in the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Angkor Wat is undoubtedly the most famous tourist spot in Cambodia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site contains more than one thousand temples that were built between 9th and 15th centuries. The magnificent archeological park was rediscovered in 1800s and in the last century or so, it has attracted millions of tourists all across the globe.
There are several temples. However, most of the tourists tend to visit the main 15 to 20 temples in the complex. The most important of them all is the Angkor Wat temple. Try to climb to the third level of the temple. You can walk through the hallways and once you reach the top, you can enjoy a breathtaking view from there.
Photo Credit: Southeastasianarchaeology.com
Angkor is in close proximity to Siem Reap where you are likely to stay in your holiday in Cambodia. You will get taxis, and tuktuk to reach the temple complex. The tickets are available at the front gate. Generally, the tickets are sold on the basis of one day, three day and one week blocks. The visits must be paid on consecutive days. You have to submit a photo that must be taken on the spot and the service is available free of cost.
It is important that you visit the temples from the principal entrance so that you can understand the decoration and space of the constructions.
Phnom Penh, a city situated at the confluence of Tonle Sap, Mekong and Bassac rivers, is a wonderful site in Cambodia. Also the capital of the country, it is one of the important tourist places in Cambodia. Here, you can visit the Royal Palace and see the Throne Hall, Napoleon III Pavilion, Chan Chaya Pavilion, the residential quarters of the king and queen etc.
Photo Credit: Phnomcambodia.com
Another interesting place to visit in Phnom Penh is the National Museum. It has a stunning collection of Khmer art that are mostly built in sandstone. The museum is also a great display of the Cambodian architecture. Other important tourists attractions in the Phnom Penh include the Silver Pagoda, Wat Phnom, Wat Ounalom, Choeung Ek, Tuol Sleng genocide museum, Koh Dach, Baset, Mekong Island, Oudong, and Mekong sunset cruise.
If you want to experience the scenic beauty of Cambodia in a calm and relaxing ambience, you must visit Kampot during your holiday in Cambodia. Not a very popular tourist spot, this charming small town is located on the banks of a beautiful river. The mountains, waterfalls, landscapes, and beaches everything here will mesmerize you.
Photo Credit: Tripadvisor.com
If you want to explore the country further during your holiday in Cambodia, you must visit Koh Kong, a small island off the South West coast of Cambodia.
Photo Credit: Wikia.com
The island can be reached from Sihanoukville by border. A bridge from the mainland is under construction. Located near Thailand, the island will give you a nice small break during your trip to Cambodia.
If you are looking for a hideout in your holiday in Cambodia, head to Battambang. Built by the French people, this major town has certainly preserved the subtle French taste. The best place to stay in Battambang is the six bungalows that are located round the pool. You can find some hotels on the west side of the market as well. However, the rainforest-like ambience surrounding the bungalows is really nice and relaxing.
If you are planning a holiday in Cambodia, try to schedule it between November and March as the weather is most comfortable in this time of the year. It is also important that you show respect to the local customs, especially if you are visiting places of religious importance. Don’t wear shorts while visiting temples.
Photo Credit: Wallpaper4u.org
Most of the people of Cambodia speak Khmer, a local language that is closely associated with Mon language. However, with the number of urban Cambodians is increasing rapidly, more and more English speaking people can be found. Some of them can even speak French. However, language can be a problem if you want to visit spots that are not very popular without a good guide.