Cambodia Travel Guide, Khmer Country

by

cambodia

Even if Cambodia is one of the littlest countries in southern Asia, when it comes to marvelous sights, must see ones, it plays in the big league to say the least!

Yes, Cambodia was out of luck in the last hundreds of years, there were wars and what not, but today Cambodia is a country who secured its place on the “once in a lifetime” places to see while in Asia.

The country is split in two by the Mekong River and it’s home to magnificent freshwater lakes, boasting with luxurious yachts and iconic waterways.

With a population of ~15 million souls and a land surface of 181,035 square kilometers, the Kingdom of Cambodia is neighbored by Laos on the northern border, Vietnam on the eastern one and Thailand/Gulf of Thailand on the southwest/northwest.

Being a developing country with a magnificent scenery, Cambodia makes for the perfect travel destination if you’re on a low budget, because everything here is on the cheap side.

The main city and also the capital is Phnom Penh and a trip on the majestic Mekong River is an iconic journey on an epic waterway making for one of the most desirable pleasures to be enjoyed whilst visiting Southeast Asia.

Cambodia is world renowned for its Killing Fields, the place where millions of people suffered under the oppressive regime of the dictator Pol Pot.

Cambodia is the “end result” of the centuries old Khmer empire and the country is filled with the crumbled remains of the former kingdom, making for an awesome collection of ancient temples/architectural complexes, the most notorious being Angkor Wat, one of the biggest religious monuments on the planet.

Phnom_Penh_aerial

What to see and what to do while in Cambodia

 

Angkor is THE place to visit here, being the former capital of the Khmer empire and one of the most spectacular/greatest religious (Hindu that is) sites in the entire world. The architectural complex of Angkor Wat was raised during the reign of King Suryavarman the 2nd, starting from 879 AD, in honor of Vishnu (a local deity) and the “job” was completed in 1191. This impressive site was first discovered by a French archeologist in 1860, namely Henri Mahout. The piece de resistance is provided by a huge central tower surrounded by smaller ones (4 of them) and the construction was made from unmetered stone (the main tower is 66 meters tall!)

Angkor-Wat

Outside Angkor Wat you’ll be in awe discovering a 2625 feet long bas-relief, which is the longest in the world and the place makes for Cambodia’s most interesting place to visit for architecture buffs like yours truly.

Another temple that must be visited while in Cambodia as an once in a lifetime opportunity is Bayon, also located in Angkor, again, made of huge stones and featuring impressive bas-reliefs, built basically in the same period as Angkor Wat.

While in Angkor, do what Angkor people do, i.e. go cycling around the site and explore the jungle complex, there are lots of places to discover for an aficionado!

Bayon-Temple-Cambodia

Bokor Hill Station was abandoned by French colonialists a long time ago and It’s located in the south of Cambodia, built initially as a weekend retreat or sanctuary for the people in Phnom Penh. Now you can see the old hotel and casino as a derelict reminder of old times…

Just like in Laos, dolphin spotting is a local “delicacy” while boat tripping on the Mekong river, the same Irrawaddy endangered species that is.

If you like to play with guns, Cambodia offers firing a rocket launcher as an “option” if you choose to visit a high-grade shooting range , along with machine guns and other rather unusual weaponry. If you’re from Texas, you’ll feel just like home!

Phnom Penh’s National Museum is Cambodia’s largest and leading historical/archeological museum,  boasting with its impressive collection of Khmer art, constructed back in 1917 by the French.

Royal_Palace,_Phnom_Penh_Cambodia

The Royal Palace is another architectural masterpiece in the country’s capital, built in 1860 and making for a spectacular view with its gorgeous murals, stupas and towering spires. In the south of the city Phnom Penh you can admire the Phnom Tamao wildlife sanctuary, which harbors numerous species of elephants, tigers and gibbons, the “best of” Cambodia’s fauna.

Take a cruise by boat from the capital to Siem Reap or an elephant ride at the Angkor Temples, visit Ta Prohm (featured in Tomb Raider-the movie) or visit the port city Sihanoukville, Cambodia is a land of diversity and archeological wonders.

siem-reap-Ta-Prohm

 Food and Drink

Cambodian cuisine is a mélange of local, Chinese and Thai, rice based and dirt cheap. Specialties include balut (duck egg), fermented fish paste called prahok, coconuts, bananas, durian fruit, longan, pineapple, fried spiders!(crispy), amok trey, pork with rice noodle porridge, fried rice with sausage garlic and herbs, sticky rice dish, fried beef Cambodian style with eggs and fries, noodles and various meats in oyster sauce and for drinks coconut juice, rice wine and green tea. Beer is available too!

cambodia-cuisine

Visa Requirements

 A valid passport and a visa are required for visiting Cambodia, easily obtainable in advance or at the airports.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: