“There’s a magic about Cambodia that casts a spell on many who visit this charming yet confounding kingdom. Ascend to the realm of the gods at the mother of all temples, Angkor Wat, a spectacular fusion of symbolism, symmetry and spirituality. Descend into the hell of Tuol Sleng and come face to face with the Khmer Rouge and its killing machine. Welcome to the conundrum that is Cambodia: a country with a history both inspiring and depressing, an intoxicating place where the future is waiting to be shaped.” Lonely Planet
Phnom Penh is the kingdom’s capital and largest city, and is the centre of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities. Siem Reap is the gateway to the Angkor region, a main destination for tourism is the temple of Angkor Wat and other Angkorian temples. Battambang, the largest province in north-western Cambodia is known for its rice production, and Sihanoukville , a coastal city, is the primary sea port and beach resort.
Prasat Preah Vihear
Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-centuries-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire’s spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles. Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north-south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east, and was obviously built to serve the region to the north
Koh Ker was the Capital of the Khmer Empire for a very brief period from the year 928 to 944 AD. In this short time; some very spectacular buildings and immense sculptures were constructed. Left to the jungle for nearly a millennium and mostly un-restored; this great archaeological site has been rarely visited until very recently.
This remote area has no towns and only a small village in cleared forest nearby. The village of Sra Yong is a few kilometres away.
Battambang is Cambodia’s second most populous city and likely boasts the highest statue to resident ratio in the country. Ah, yes, the Battambang statues – every circle, every park, every plaza sports a statue. While this is hardly unique to Cambodia, Battambang seems to have taken this to a new level. Animals, mythological creatures, divinities, you name it, if someone can carve it out of stone you’ll probably find it in Battambang.
Koh Kong Conservation Corridor
A journey to Koh Kong is a chance to weave through its manifold forest and catch a glimpse of some of the breathtaking sights of the Cardamon Mountains – its lush jungle, beautiful river crossings, rapid waterfalls and the abundance of some endangered wildlife such as the Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), Siamese crocodiles, pangolins and some species of turtles and tortoises
The most beautiful and most mystical natural park of Southeast Asia, it is, of cource, Phnom Bokor. 140 thousand hectare of untouched mountain jungle, the biggest herd of wild elephants in Southeast Asia. Park Phnom Bokor is located in Elephant mountains; a continuation Cardamon mountains (Kravan).
The biggest and best seaside resort town in Cambodia. The main port for the country. Seaside, Hills, Islands, Casinos, Restaurants and more.
Some attractions downtown, besides the riverfront, are the central market, small caves with Buddhist shrines, and the football stadium. Towards the ocean on the East side is the port of Kampot and many Cham Muslim communities and schools. Across the river is Kampot’s Wat or Buddhist Temple which is open to tourists. Past the Wat are Kampot’s salt fields, and further out of town are Kampot’s famous Black Pepper and Durian farms. Along the riverfront, mostly South of downtown’s bridges, are several guesthouses and restaurants, right on the river.
The stretch of the river around Kratie town is home to a group of rare sweet water Irrawaddy dolphins. Therefore the dolphins are the main tourist attraction of the province and the town. The river also has hundreds of green island, and circling water, which are also attracting some tourists. Kratie town is sleepy but picturesque with sandbars and big islands out front and bends in the river. Unlike in many towns around Cambodia, the war years were fairly kind to the French architecture and the roads, at least in the town itself.
All that said, the city is slowly gaining high rise buildings and traffic lights, while still retaining some of the beauty that made it a Paris of the East before 1970. The city’s few French colonial buildings are beautiful: thus a handful of its streetscapes make for a pleasant walk. There are some beautiful wide boulevards, and a parklike riverfront with cafés and restaurants aplenty. The standard tourist sights are few. But as a place to relax, watch the streetlife and absorb local color, Phnom Penh is a worthwhile destination for those who enjoy an ‘edge’ experience
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