Renowned as the home of the Angkor complex, Cambodia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The history of this country contains some of humanity’s greatest artistic accomplishments and also the most horrific deeds. However, this doesn’t mean that this country’s strong suit is its history only; Colombia has more to offer that choose to explore more than just temples. The white sandy beaches, Jungle-swathed countryside, and the lively capital Phnom Penh contain a variety of things that every traveler is sure to love.
Here are ten places that you must visit in Cambodia
Angor Wat is the most popular attraction of Cambodia; many travelers visit Cambodia just to see this massive temple complex. This largest religious monument is stunning no matter how much you see it and whenever you see it. However, watching the sunrise from behind the temple’s iconic towers is a whole different experience that you must do at least once. However, don’t think that you will get the temple to yourself by visiting the early morning as this is the peak time when not only people but thousands of birds flock to see this breathtaking moment.
Source: Lonely Planet
Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, is the most vibrant city of the country. The city might look chaotic at first sight with its street filled with motorbikes and car horns, but this city has a lot to offer to its visitors. This is the most cosmopolitan destination, with markets, cafes, and restaurants unlike in any other parts of the country. It is also home to lots of country’s important historical sites that help you to learn about Cambodia’s both modern and ancient history. Here, lies the National Museum that houses a number of Khmer sculpture that shows the nation’s history from the pre-Angkorian period, the Royal Palace that shows the examples of traditional history, Tuol Sleng Museum, and the killing fields that shows the brutality of the people of this country suffered during Khmer Rouge rule.
Sihanoukville encompasses some of the most attractive beaches in Cambodia. The city has two halves; vibrant central district and shoreline with gorgeous beaches. The beaches in Sihanoukville is popular among both locals and tourists. This city has every kind of beach that any beach lovers will love. For those seeking to spend time in luxury hotels overlooking the sea, Sokha and Independence Beach are the great ones. Most of the backpackers wanting to spend the time in beaches on budget, Ochheuteal Beach, and the Serendipity Beach area are the optimal choice. And, for those looking to spend some quiet time in a secluded beach, the ideal one would be the Otres Beach.
Ratanakiri is one of the most attractive places in Cambodia that is great for travelers seeking for some adventures. This city is home of some of the best trekking trails like Veun Sai-Siem Pang Conservation Area, where you can make overnight trips and sleep in hammocks and rise early to spot gibbons. Virachey National Park is also one choice where you can see various wildlife like elephants, sun bears, and tigers. If you want a peaceful atmosphere, then Yeak Lom Crater might be your option. This tranquil lake lies right outside of Ban Lung Town and is a great swimming spot with a calm atmosphere.
Source: V-Happy Travel
A former French colonial hill station resort, Bokor Mountain in Kampot was popular as Colombia’s elite’s escapade. The hotel at the top was a major highlight of the mountain where visitors were able to explore the spooky shell and get stunning views out across the Vietnamese island, Phu Quoc. However, it recently reopened as Le Bokor Palace, so only guests are allowed. Still, it doesn’t stop travelers from visiting the mountain as you will get to visit some gorgeous waterfalls, Buddha statues, an old church, enjoy the refreshing breeze, and lots of other beautiful spots to enjoy your journey.
Source: Angkor Wat Private Tours
Angkor Temples aren’t the only Cambodian temples in the World Heritage list. Making a tour through off the beaten track of Cambodia, you will reach the Preach Vihear temple, a series of magnificent structures built between the 9th and 12th centuries by several kings. The temple is also empty most of the time, so you can have the temple all to yourself while exploring. This temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, sits on the border of Thailand and has been a center of conflict for decades.
Source: Lonely Planet
Battambang’s countryside and small villages contain gorgeous rice fields and the most serene rural scenery in Cambodia. The region is also home to Cambodia’s historic riches. All these attractions has made the city itself quite a popular travel destination. For history lovers, temples like Phnom Sampeau, Phnom Banan, and Wat Ek Phnom are a great choice that you can make a day trip. Then, you can also have a unique experience by traveling on a bamboo train. The train goes between Battambang’s east bank and the small village of O Srav; this path has also become quite popular recently.
Source: Miles of Happiness
Koh Rong Samloem contains the beaches that rival its Thai counterparts to the west. Unlike developed islands of Koh Samui and Phuket, Cambodia’s islands are laidback where you can enjoy a secluded escape from the hustle of the city. The island is still underdeveloped and sees very fewer visitors. Among the islands of Cambodia, Koh Rong Samloem is one of the most beautiful islands with long sandy Saracen Bay that encompasses dozen beach hut resorts. Here, you will be spending much of your time on hammock with abundant of diving opportunities.
Source: Hue Travel
Tonle Sap Lake, the most important waterway of Cambodia and also the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. The lake is a primary source of food and a critical tool for Cambodian irrigation. The lake itself has over 150 floating villages whose major occupation is fishing, with houses built directly on the water. The houses, churches, shops, schools, and temples on the lake are built on rustic buoy foundations of lashed together barrels and bamboo, and the only transportation is the boat. It’s an interesting place to explore; the fascinating village is Kompong Luong that lies near the town of Pursat on Tonle Sap’s western shore.
At Kratie, you will get to enjoy the full Mekong experience. Kratie is spread along the shore of the might Mekong and is now a popular destination, thanks to its dolphin-watching tours. Here, you will get to see the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins, and now there have been many measures to preserve these beautiful creatures. To see the dolphins head to Kampi, just north of Kratie.