With peace and political stability, along with much improved infrastructure, is now much easier to explore, making it a truly exciting destination. This wonderfully friendly and intriguing country offers so much to visitors from majestic temples and bustling cities, to divine cuisine and exquisite beaches.
No visit to Cambodia would be complete without exploring the Temples of Angkor. Built between the 9th and 14th centuries by the Khmer Empire, they are without doubt the most impressive attraction in Cambodia, if not the whole of South-East Asia. From the 15th Century, the temples were abandoned and it wasn’t 1861 when they were rediscovered by the French naturalist Henri Mouhot. The very scale and beauty of the ancient city, that includes the most famous temple of Angkor Wat and the 200 carved smiling faces of the Bayon, will leave you awe-struck. Yet despite being one of the finest archaeological sites in the world and attracting large numbers of visitors their jungle setting, with banyan trees still coiled around many of the ruins, gives you the wonderful feeling that you have just discovered this site for yourself – like your own Indiana Jones movie!
The staging post for the temples is the city of Siem Reap and with its quirky boutiques, floating markets and art galleries is well worth a visit. Then do travel onto Cambodia’s relatively small capital, Phnom Penh where you can enjoy the cultural highlights including the Royal Palace and National Museum. Colonised by the French, the city has a faded Parisian feel to it with symmetrical street designs and old colonial buildings on the shores of the Tonle Sap and Mekong River. The Tonle Sap is South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake and, together with the Mekong, perhaps the most scenic river community. There is so much to see including floating markets and villages as well as countless temples.
With its incredibly friendly and welcoming people and a landscape made of stunning white beaches, jungle and rice paddies, this is a truly vibrant country to visit.