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10 Reasons to Visit Cambodia

10 Reasons to Visit Cambodia

When you think of the best tropical getaway in Southeast Asia, what springs to mind is the Kingdom of Cambodia. It may be a small country, but it has everything to offer.

Certainly, there’s more to Cambodia than the Angkor Wat. Often regarded as the eighth wonder of the world, this largest religious monument on earth is just one of the must-visit places in the country.

But before planning your Cambodian trip and applying your Cambodia visa check out these 10 reasons why this land of spectacular ruins should be on top of your bucket list.

1. Archaeological Gems

Every year, two million tourists visit Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat – the iconic architecture in Cambodia that has become UNESCO’s World Heritage Site since 1992.

Dating back to the 12th century, the sprawling Hindu temple complex was built by the Khmer King Suryavarnam II to dedicate to god Vishnu.

While Angkor Wat gets all the attention internationally, there are several nearby sites to discover such as:

Bayon - Marvel over 200 faces looking in all directions in this temple that is nestled at the heart of the royal city.

Ta Prohm – Explore a temple that once home to 12,500 people, and then abandoned after the fall of Khmer’s regime. It has become a backdrop for the first Tomb Raider films.

Angkor Thom – Take a tour around an ancient walled city with four different gates topped by massive stone faces.

Angkor National Museum – Gain insights into the country’s archaeological wonders in this place that will take you back tothe Khmer Empire.

2. Good Food

Never to miss in this country are the culinary delights including:

  • Fish Amok
  • Beef Lok Lak
  • Kampot Pepper
  • Noodles
  • Crab Specialties
  • Rice Dishes

Deep-fried tarantulas, crickets, and other exotic food become popular snacks in the place for the adventurous locals and tourists. Food tours and cookery classes are available for those who want to explore the flavors of Cambodia.

3. Remote Islands

Being cast away in Cambodia’s far-flung islands gives you an experience like no other. Relish in the serenity of these remote jewels:

Koh Rong – Bash and splash in this party island with lots of fun-filled activities.

Koh Rong Samloem – Loosen up in this island paradise with pristine powder sand flanked by tropical flora.

Koh Thmei – Unwind in this oasis with some private beach areas, restaurants, and bars.

Koh Ta Kiev – Take pleasure in sleeping outdoors and walking around the long stretch of powdery white sand in this serene retreat.

Koh Totang – Delight in this eco resort, often called, ‘Nomads Land,’ with some cool snorkeling and kayaking and for family beach time fun.

4. Affordable Markets

A vacation in Cambodia won’t strip your wallet bare. There are many great finds here at reasonable prices. Get the fresh catch of the day and find other best buys like clothes, souvenir items, music and DVDs, food products, household goods, and vehicle parts, from the following markets:

  • Russian Market
  • Central Market
  • BKK1 Market in Phnom Penh
  • Angkor Night Market and Old Market in Siem Reap

5. Picturesque Landscapes

Oh, the breath-taking countryside scenery. Be wowed by panoramic views from deep jungles, turquoise sea, pristine white sand shores, emerald green paddies, you’re sure to stop, stare, and take Insta-worthy snaps.

6. Festive Celebrations

Here are some note-worthy public holidays in the Cambodian calendar:

  • Khmer New Year – main holiday in April
  • Pchum Ben Festival – a religious celebration in September where Cambodians remember the dead and give offerings to monks
  • Water Festival – people flock to the riverside in November to watch a colourful display of boat races in Tonle Sap River in Phnom Penh

8. Arts & Crafts

Some of the amazing galleries in the capital, Siem Reap, Battambang, and Kampot are:

  • Phnom Penh’s Sa Sa Bassac
  • Java Café and Gallery
  • Meta House
  • Theam’s House in Siem Reap
  • Constable Gallery at Large
  • The 1961 Coworking Space and Gallery

9. Jungles and Wildlife

Dense jungles and rain forests are among the favorite adventure destinations of locals and tourists. Many are coming here for camping, kayaking, cycling, and hiking.

The Cardamom Mountains, in the northwest of Cambodia, is a home to many species and have been natural wildlife habitats.

10. Friendly Faces

Upon entering the Kingdom, you will be greeted by warm welcomes and smiles that are gentle nature of Khmers. From the tuk tuk drivers, tour guides, service staff, stall owners, to passersby on the street, hospitality is at its finest in Cambodia.

Author: Syed Ameer   

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