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Cambodia Travel guide & Map


Cambodia lies in the heart of Indochina and is famous for the Angkor temples, one of mankind’s most extraordinary artistic achievements. After a turbulent time in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Cambodia is a peaceful kingdom, offering its own style of beauty: the faded French-colonial building at sunset, the unique architecture of the Royal Palace and a lush green countryside studded with sugar-palms.


Dominated by the waters of the mighty Mekong, Cambodia is a country whose breathtaking cultural heritage, staggering natural beauty and at times tragic past cannot fail to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

 

 

The local people welcome visitors with open hearts and arms to this glorious and mythical land, from the expansive waters of Tonle Sap, the jungle temples of the Khmer Empire at Angkor to the haunting Killing Fields of the later 20th century, this is a land of unforgettable memories.

Whether you seek luxury travel, an adventurous journey, or a classic tour of Cambodia’s main sites Viet Highlights Travel knows the best program for your holiday.

 

When to go in Cambodia?
The winter months (October to February) are the best time to travel to Cambodia as the air is cool and the skies are clear. However, the dust at this time of year can be irritating and the crowds at the Angkor temples are at their highest numbers. March to May sees hotter temperatures and dry skies, and the heat continues in to June through August when the monsoon season starts. The rains, however, do not usually cause a major problem for travelers as they tend to be short- but hard- afternoon showers.
 
The Cambodian water festival in October is a lively affair with 3 days of dragon boat racing taking place in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and Buddhist New Year in April as well as Pchum Ben Festival in September see families gathering at temples to celebrate. Although all of these are spectacular events, several restaurants and shops are closed meaning slight disruptions may occur in your travel plans.

 

Top Highlights

Phnom Penh:
Cambodia's capital is located at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonlé Sap rivers. The centre of the city is an area made up of narrow lanes, markets, stalls and shops. This French built city still retains its colonial atmosphere with wide boulevards, leafy parks and cafes. The riverfront area has become a very popular place for travellers with its swaying palms, billowing flags and numerous restaurants and bars.


Must see's are the Royal Palace where the Throne Room is still used for coronations and ceremonies; the Silver Pagoda which has over 5000 silver tiles covering the entire floor and a life-size Buddha made of solid gold and bedecked in jewels; the National Museum; and the Japanese Friendship Bridge which spans the Tonlé Sap river.

Psar Tuol Pong (aka the Russian Market) is the place to shop and bargain for souvenirs, clothing, textiles, antiques, gold & silver jewellery.

The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are 15 km south-west of the city and are a shocking reminder of the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge. 17,000 people were killed here, and more than 8000 skulls, arranged by age and sex, are visible behind a glass panel.
 

Siem Reap:

Gateway to the temples of Angkor, Siem Reap (see-em ree-ep) with its Old French architecture and shady tree-lined boulevards is located north of Tonlé Sap lake.
 


The perfect base for travellers to explore the surrounding temples, like Angkor Wat which are only 6 kms away Siem Reap has become a popular stop on the tourist trail of Asia. Once a sleepy town full of farms and small shops, the increase in tourists over the past 15 years has brought an international feel to the town. Modern hotels, internet cafes, and international restaurants are a welcome treat after a day spent exploring the temples in the Cambodian heat. Yet, Siem Reap retains its small town charm and visitors who take the time to explore the town and its surroundings are rewarded with a deeper insight in to Cambodian culture and lifestyle
 

Temples of Angkor Wat:
Built in the first half of the 12th century by King Suryavarman II, with an estimated construction time of the temple being 30 years. Most of Angkor was abandoned in the 15th century and the temples were gradually covered by jungle forest.

The site became the source of scholarly interest in the late 19th century and efforts were undertaken to clear away the jungle vegetation that threatened to completely destroy the monuments - restoration still continues today.
 


Angkor Wat occupies an area of approximately 500 acres with over 100 temples and remains of an administrative and religious city.

Apart from Angkor Wat, two other magnificent temples to visit are The Bayon with its 1.2km of bas-reliefs incorporating over 11,000 figures; and Ta Prohm, one of the most atmospheric ruins of Angkor as it has been left to be swallowed up by the jungle.
 

Sihanoukvile:
Cambodia’s only port, located 232 km from the capital, is a good place to explore the nearby beaches of Sokha, Ochheuteal, Serendipity and Victory. The area has become very popular over recent years with travellers, and also gives an insight into the local fishing communities. Most visitors stay in the riverside town of Kampot with its colonial French architecture or the beachside town of Kep.
 


Bokor National Park (aka Preah Monivong NP) is the country’s largest protected area, visit an abandoned French hill station and the two-tiered Popokvil Falls.


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