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From the white sanded beaches of Sihanoukville in the south, to the jungle villages of Rattanakiri in the east and from the largest fresh water lake South East Asia’s – the Tonle Sap Lake – to the impressing world wonders of Siem Reap Angkor Wat, the colorful country of Cambodia with its friendly and welcoming charm offers its visitors a variety of things to see, venues to be visited and experiences to be made.
Surely the best known and most visited destination in Cambodia is the world-renowned Angkor. These stunning temples are witnesses of the amazing history of the Khmer and are attracting more and more visitors from all over the world each year. But Angkor is just one piece of the Cambodia experience as this beautiful country will offer so much more to its guests.
The breath taking white sanded beaches of Sihanoukville with the beautiful islands along the coastline are the perfect setting for a wonderful beach holiday in one of the new high class hotels.
A totally different world is waiting in the much less touristy influenced province of Rattanakiri. With its undiscovered jungles, the diversity of species and people who are still living in the bosom of nature, this part of the country tells a story of a Cambodia 100 years ago as time seems to stand still.
The perfect stopover for city tourism is Phnom Penh. This city was once the most beautiful and modern as well as charming city in Southeast Asia and has kept most of it until today. The beautiful French colonial buildings which have been renovated in the last years, the Mekong River flowing through the city and surely the kings palace make Phnom Penh a must seen city.
Without a doubt Cambodia offers everything for everyone just come and discover yourself. But what is it that makes Cambodia so unique and outstanding? Find out right now, click through the destinations and pick out your personal favorites.
MAJOR TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN CAMBODIA
Battambang: (292 km from Phnom Penh)
The second largest city in Cambodia, Battambang is located on a rich and fertile plain, which provides much of the rice and other important crops for the country. The Sangker River cuts through the town center, which is filled with colonial and shop house architecture. The region has numerous Angkorian and post-Angkorian sites. Some of the most interesting are the Wat Ek and Phnom Banon (both 11th century – Suryavarman I).
Sihanoukville (Kompong Som): (230 km from Phnom Penh)
Cambodia’s only deep-sea port is located here and considerable international aid has been spent to improve the infrastructure in the province. Although tourism has increased over the past few years, the lovely beaches of Sihanoukville are some of the most unspoiled in all of Southeast Asia. It is a perfect tropical getaway, with facilities for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving or just sun-bathing. Boat trips are also available to many of the nearby islands. There are several hotels and local restaurants serving fresh, delicious seafood on the beach.
The capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia is located at the confluence of three rivers: the Mekong, the Bassac and the Tonle Sap. Once considered the loveliest city of Indochina, the city still maintains considerable charm. There is plenty to see in this small colonial capital. The many sidewalk cafes, established along the riverfront, invite the visitor for a rest. In addition to such tourist sites as the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, the National Museum and Wat Phnom, there are several markets selling silk, silver, gems and antiques. Also worthwhile is a visit to the notorious “Killing Fields” and Tuol Sleng Museum, which chronicle the unfortunate years under the brutal rule of the Khmer Rouge.
The Southern Temples: (approximately 80 km from Phnom Penh)
A one-day excursion from Phnom Penh allows the traveler to visit some of the major archeological sites of Cambodia. Ta Phrom temple (12th century) can be found near Tonle Bati Lake and the fine Angkorian temple of Suryagiri (11th century) is located on top of Phnom Chisor Mountain. Other interesting stops include Angkor Borei, the first capital of the Pre-Angkorian Kingdom of Chenla, Phnom Da temple (6th century) and Asram Maharosei, a unique Indian-style sandstone temple. These excursions also give the visitor a chance to discover the Khmer countryside with its traditional villages and handicrafts.
Kampot – Kep: (148 km from Phnom Penh)
Kampot is a pleasant town on the banks of the lovely Kamchay River. The nearby seaside resort of Kep (formerly known as Kep-sur-Mer) is located 30 km from Kampot. This beautiful coastal area was once the favorite holiday spot for Cambodia’s French-influenced elite during the turn of the century. The town is once again developing a reputation as an appealing retreat with quiet beaches and wonderful seafood. Kampot is also a base for excursions to Bokor, in the Elephant Mountains. The National Park is famous for the beauty of its forests and waterfalls and from the long abandoned hill resort of Bokor, the visitor can enjoy an amazing view of the Gulf of Siam.
Siem Reap: (314 km from Phnom Penh)
Home of Angkor Wat, one of the greatest religious monuments in the world, Siem Reap is a charming tree-lined city with a narrow river flowing through the center of town. While most visitors spend their time exploring the ancient temple ruins, there are plenty of other diversions in town. The Tonle Sap Lake (and river), considered the heart of Cambodia, is located near here and boat tours offer visitors a glimpse into the traditional Khmer way of life. Floating villages, sunset cruises and tours of the bird reserve of Prek Tuol are all worthwhile.
Kompong Thom: (168 km from Phnom Penh)
Kompong Thom is a small town located on the banks of the Stung Sen River. It is the base for excursions to the archaeological site of Sambor Prei Kuk. Located 35 km from the city, the ancient capital of Chenla still contains 100 temples from the pre-Angkorian period (7th century) which are surrounded by lush forest.
Kompong Cham: (124 km from Phnom Penh)
This lively port on the banks of the Mekong has some good examples of colonial architecture, as well as some interesting temples (including Wat Nokhor and Wat Kohear Nokor). Outside the provincial capital, on the other bank of the Mekong River, is Chhup, a rubber plantation that was first established in the region by the French tire maker Michelin.
Mondulkiri & Ratanakiri: (600 km from Phnom Penh)
There are over 20 different ethnic groups, each with their own distinct language, culture, traditions and handicrafts, in these two provinces. These highland people still practice a way of life untouched by progress. Various birds, elephant and tigers living in the dense jungle are protected from hunting. Trekking through the forests to the waterfalls, lakes and villages provide an alternative insight.
Kratie: (315 km from Phnom Penh)
Kratie is a port town on the Mekong River, roughly halfway between Phnom Penh and the Laos border. This small provincial town has good examples of sumptuous colonial architecture and is home to a rare and endangered species of river dolphins. Traveling around Kratie provides an interesting opportunity to discover a peaceful rural Cambodia with beautiful villages, lush vegetation and serene monasteries.
Koh Kong (Conservation Corridor): (278 km from Phnom Penh)
The southern Cardamom Mountains are an exceptionally beautiful area and a biodiversity hotspot. They are one of the last remaining elephant corridors and large predator ranges in the region. The mountains host more than half of Cambodia’s 2,300 bird species and are home to 14 globally threatened mammal groups. Explore the inhabited islands, isolated beaches, pristine rainforest, mangrove-lined rivers and remote waterfalls. Ecotourism is starting to open up the Koh Kong Conservation Corridor.