Cambodia

Overview

The hectic but surprisingly sophisticated city life of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh with its cosmopolitan dining scene and bustling nightlife coexists with the tropical wilderness of the countryside. With ancient and modern colliding in Cambodia, the resulting blend feels like an authentic adventure. The Mekong River, home to some of the region’s last freshwater dolphins and rich wildlife, attract an increasing amount of ecotourism. Cambodia draws in visitors from all over the world. Learn more about the remnants of the mighty Khmer empire that can still be traced through the breathtaking temples of Angkor.

Top Attractions

  • Explore the iconic temples of Angkor, including the magnificent Angkor Wat, the enigmatic Bayon Temple with its smiling stone faces, and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm, famously featured in the movie Tomb Raider.
  • Discover the historic city of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, with its blend of French colonial architecture, bustling markets, and poignant landmarks like the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek.
  • Visit the picturesque town of Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park, with its charming Old Market, lively Pub Street, and opportunities for cultural performances like Apsara dance shows and traditional Khmer cooking classes.
  • Explore the rural countryside of Cambodia, with its scenic landscapes, traditional villages, and floating communities on the Tonle Sap Lake, as well as opportunities for cycling tours, ox-cart rides, and homestays with local families.
  • Experience the pristine beaches and islands of Cambodia’s southern coast, including destinations like Sihanoukville, Koh Rong, and Koh Rong Samloem, with their white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and beachside relaxation.

Local Cuisine

  • Indulge in the flavors of Cambodian cuisine, known for its aromatic spices, tropical fruits, and fresh ingredients like rice, fish, and vegetables.
  • Sample iconic dishes like fish amok (a fragrant fish curry steamed in banana leaves), beef lok lak (stir-fried beef with a tangy sauce), and kuy teav (a flavorful noodle soup), as well as traditional side dishes like green mango salad and pickled vegetables.
  • Try Cambodian specialties like num banh chok (rice noodle soup with fish curry), bai sach chrouk (grilled pork with rice), and lok lak (marinated beef stir-fry), as well as traditional desserts like sticky rice with mango and coconut milk, and fried bananas with palm sugar.
  • Savor refreshing beverages like sugarcane juice, coconut water, and fresh fruit shakes made with tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, and passion fruit, as well as traditional herbal teas and infusions made from ingredients like lemongrass and pandan leaves.
  • Don’t forget to try Cambodian street food like nom pang (baguette sandwiches), num kachay (vegetable dumplings), and fried noodles, as well as snacks like fried bananas, grilled corn, and roasted peanuts.

Outdoor Activities

  • Go temple hopping in the Angkor Archaeological Park, with opportunities for exploring ancient ruins, hidden temples, and remote jungle trails, as well as sunrise and sunset tours at iconic sites like Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.
  • Explore the natural wonders of Cambodia, including the lush rainforests of the Cardamom Mountains, the scenic waterfalls of the Kulen Mountains, and the pristine beaches and coral reefs of the Koh Rong Archipelago.
  • Take a boat cruise along the Tonle Sap Lake, with opportunities for visiting floating villages, birdwatching in the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, and observing local life along the riverbanks, as well as sunset cruises and dinner cruises in the evening.
  • Visit the Elephant Valley Project in Mondulkiri, a sanctuary for rescued elephants, with opportunities for observing elephants in their natural habitat, learning about elephant conservation efforts, and participating in volunteer programs and eco-tours.
  • Experience outdoor adventures like trekking, zip-lining, and mountain biking in destinations like the Cardamom Mountains, the Elephant Mountains, and the Bokor National Park, with opportunities for exploring remote jungles, hidden waterfalls, and scenic viewpoints.

Cultural Experiences

  • Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Cambodia with visits to museums, galleries, and cultural institutions like the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, the Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap, and the Cambodian Living Arts organization, which showcase the history, art, and culture of the country.
  • Explore the vibrant arts scene of Cambodia, with opportunities to attend traditional dance performances, shadow puppet shows, and art exhibitions showcasing Khmer and contemporary artists, as well as workshops and classes in traditional crafts like silk weaving and pottery.
  • Experience traditional Cambodian music and dance performances, such as the classical Apsara dance, the lively Khmer folk dances, and the ceremonial smot chanting, which reflect the diverse cultural traditions of the country and its rich history.
  • Discover the history and legacy of Cambodia’s ancient civilizations with visits to historic sites like the Angkor Archaeological Park, the Preah Vihear Temple, and the Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site, which showcase the architectural and artistic achievements of the Khmer Empire.
  • Participate in local festivals and celebrations, such as the Khmer New Year, the Water Festival (Bon Om Touk), and the Pchum Ben festival, to experience the vibrant culture and spirit of Cambodia firsthand.

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