Cambodia, situated on the Indochinese mainland of Southeast Asia, is home to numerous ancient ruins of the Khmer empire that give a rustic charm to this country. It's home to ancient temples, beautiful islands, beaches, pristine lakes, waterfalls and bountiful nature. Cardamom mountains is a paradise for nature lovers, whereas Angkor Wat is a treasure trove for history buffs. The melange of nature, culture, ethnicity, history and traditions make Cambodia an ancient treasure of Asia.
Phnom Penh is one of Southeast Asia's most dynamic cities. You must try the scrumptious local street food in the Phnom Penh Night Market. The Central Market also known as Phsar Thmei is one of the largest markets in Asia. You'll find everything in the market from antique coins, clothes, electronic goods to intricately designed golf and silver ornaments. Poipet is one of the best places in Cambodia for casinos and karaoke bars. If you want to witness the rural scenery in Cambodia then you must visit Battambang. Brimming with colonial buildings and ancient temples such as Phnom Sampeau, Wat Ek Phnom and Phnom Banan, Battambang is a tranquil escape from the bustling cities.
Angkor Archeological Park also known as Angkor Wat is an epitome of the Angkorian period's architectural brilliance. Built between AD 802 and 1432, this temple city is rated as one of the world's must see ancient sites. In addition to Angkor Wat Temple; Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom, Preah Khan and Bayon Temple are the major highlights of this historical place. Sitting atop the Dangrek Mountains, Prasat Preah Vihear is a monumental temple complex as mystical as Angkor Wat. The temples of intricately carved pavilions have a magical aura that captivates you. Angkor National Museum is one of the most beautiful places in the country. It is home to several Angkorian artifacts such as Buddhas made of jade, wooden and metal, and ancient ornaments. There is an amphitheatre as well housed within the museum that screens a short video about the museum's history. Cambodia National Museum displays the world's finest collection of Khmer sculptures. Different artifacts displayed here tell a lot about the Angkorian eraIf you are interested in landmines and weapons, you must visit the Landmine Museum. Located in Kampong Thom province, Sambor Prei Kuk is a sight to behold. This architectural site is known for pre-Angkorian ruins, the cluster of ancient temples from before the Khmer period, that make this place mystical above all. Banteay Chhmar is a mammoth temple complex with some of the most intricately detailed walls and stones you'll see in Cambodia. Built in the 12th century, the eastern walls displaying the war battle scenes is a prime example of Angkorian era's artistry. This national treasure links to the rich cultural heritage of the Khmer people. The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh is an exquisite architectural wonder displaying the traditional artistry of Khmer architecture. The Silver Pagoda, Chan Chhaya Pavilion and Throne Hall are major attractions of this palace. Bokor Hill station is a compilation of French colonial buildings. Besides its historical importance this hill station is also famous for its golf courses and casinos. Koh Ker, Tuol Sleng Museum, Ta Prohm Temple, Choeung Ek, Independence monument, Old Catholic Church, Civil War Memorial, Kbal Spean are a few other historical places of interest in Cambodia.
Beautiful scenery and pleasant weather have made Popokvil one of the popular tourist destinations in Kampot Province. You can have immense fun having a picnic near the waterfalls with friends or family. Tatai Waterfall is one of the most famous waterfalls in Cambodia. Enjoy your tuk-tuk or boat ride on your way to this scenic beauty. Chaa Ong Waterfall and Ka Tieng Falls offer scenic views and an amazing opportunity for landscape photographers. Ka Choung Waterfall, Phnom Kulen, Katieng Waterfall, Kbal Chhay Waterfall will leave you spellbound with their indescribable beauty.
Located in Siem Reap, the Tonlé Sap Lake is Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake. It's home to many floating villages and is also an important tool for Cambodian irrigation. Exploring the houses, churches, temples, schools directly built on the water is a one of a kind experience. The prime attractions are Kompong Luong village and Chong Kneas village. The Royal Palace Park in its close proximity is the best place to enjoy picnics after boating. Located at the foot of the Elephant Mountains, the Kampot River is an ideal place to enjoy sunsets. Besides sunset cruises, different water activities offer an exciting element to the visitors. Yeak Laom Crater Lake, situated in Ratanakiri, is a tranquil swimming spot. This emerald-hued crater lake is famous for its location amid vivid greens of the surrounding jungle.
Islands in Cambodia have a rustic charm that makes them unique. It offers a laid-back tropical bliss which is rapidly depleting from the world. One such scenic island is Koh Rong Sanloem. It's home to the sandy Saracen Bay and dozens of beach hut resorts to offer a nature-filled reprieve. Scuba diving and snorkeling are also quite famous here. Koh Thmei is home to different species of birds and animals such as fishing cats, civets, and monkeys. The white sand beaches enhance the beauty of this island. With its serene ambience, Koh Ta Kiev is the best island for sleeping in a hammock. Jungle walks, beachcomber and snorkeling fill the day in peace away from the chaotic cities. Some other scenic islands include Bamboo Island, Koh Tang, Koh Totang, Song Saa and Koh Rong. Sihanoukville Beaches in Kompong Som Province is home to some of the most vibrant beaches in Cambodia. Sokha Beach, Independence Beach, Ochheuteal Beach and Serendipity Beach are some of the most happening beaches with luxury hotels and popular sandy strips. If you seek serenity then Otres Beach to the south is ideal. Ream Beach, Sner Beach in Koh Kong, Kep Beach are a few of the other beautiful beaches of Cambodia.
Wat Phnom is a famous Buddhist temple in Cambodia. Several visitors come here for its tranquil ambience and to pray for good luck. Phnom Cave Temple is the only cave temple and one of the oldest places in Cambodia. This Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is also known because of the ruins of the pre-Angkorian period. Banteay Srei is home to a 10th century Hindu temple which is almost isolated because of its location. Surrounded by peaceful countryside, this majestic structure is famous for its intricately decorated walls. Koh Ker is another ancient place of worship that Cambodians hold close to their hearts. This temple complex boasts 42 majestic religious structures. Wat Langka, Wat Ounalom, Phnom Kulen are a few other serene temples where you can attain peace.
You can cover prominent places in Cambodia in 5 to 7 days. You can spend a day or two exploring Phnom Penh city enjoying its architectural wonders and nightlife. Moving upwards, you can spend two days in Siem Reap. The first day you can have a day trip to Angkor Wat and Prasat Preah Vihear for their historical significance. Next day you can visit the pristine Tonlé Sap Lake and its floating villages. From here you can spend a day relaxing in the quaint Battambung city. You can end your trip by spending a day in Sihanoukville exploring the islands and tranquil beaches or you can rest amidst nature in the Cardamom Mountains.