From the magical temples of its crowning glory, Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, to the tragic Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, Cambodia stirs the emotions of all who visit it. The hundreds of mighty monuments that remain in the vast Khmer temple complex of Angkor are quite simply astounding and will create everlasting memories in any who visit them. A trip to the Killing Fields will stir a much sadder set of emotions, but is nevertheless an important insight into the utter atrocities that occurred during the terrifying Pol Pot reign and act of remembrance for those who lost their lives.
Though it is the undisputed temple capital of Asia, there’s much more to Cambodia than its former terrors and temples. The nation’s busy capital, Phnom Penh, prettily perched alongside the banks of the mighty Mekong river, has an impressive wining and dining scene and packs plenty of cultural attractions; from the magnificent Royal Palace where the Cambodian King still resides, to the splendid stupas of the Silver Pagoda, ancient Khmer artifacts at the National Museum and harrowing accounts of the horrors of recent past at Toul Sleng Genocide Museum.
Travel to the Cambodian countryside and you’ll be rewarded with vistas of resplendent rice paddies, friendly authentic homestays and a wealth of natural beauty. Large sections of sweeping coastline and offshore tropical islands remain relatively unspoilt, making the beaches here a quieter alternative to that of neighbouring Thailand’s. The rugged wilderness around the Cardamom Mountains are great for adventure and ecotourism is gaining popularity here thanks to the range of exotic wildlife. The waterways in Cambodia provide a livelihood for fishing communities who live along the banks of the magnificent Mekong river and in floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake.