Cambodia is still recovering from the effects of the Khmer rouge’s reign but the major problems like land mines, devastated infrastructure and poverty in the country. But the construction is in process and the major attractions of the country are now attracting the tourists from all around the world. The beautiful temples of Angkor are the major attraction of the country, but there are some other attractions like tropical beaches, natural attractions and colonial buildings. Let’s check out the top 10 best travel places in Cambodia.
1. Angkor Cambodia:
Angkor is the number 1 tourist attraction of the country and is one of the most spectacular and stunning ancient remaining on the earth. Angkor features a vast temple complex with the remains of several ancient capitals of the Khmer empire from 9th to 15th century AD which includes the world famous Angkor wat temple, which is known as the world’s largest religious monument, ta prohm, the Buddhist temple in ruins entwined with many towering trees and finally the Bayon temple which is at Angkor thom with many massive stone faces.
2. BanteaySrei Cambodia:
It is officially a par of Angkor temple complex, but it leis 25 kms in the north east from the group of temples of Angkor which makes it as a separate attraction in Cambodia which you must take a look at. The temple construction was completed by 967 AD and the main element used in the construction is the red sandstone which allowed the artists to create decorative wall carvings all over the temple which are still visible clearly. The major temple of Angkor is the BanteaySrei, which is not for king. Instead it was built by one of the counselors of king Rajendravarma, Yajnyavaraha.
3. Kratie Cambodia:
Kratie, a small town which is situated on the banks of the river Mekong and is a place full of central marketplace which is surrounded by old and French colonial buildings. The place doesn’t attract tourist in large scale but still there are still many tourists in the peak season. The place hosts the sightings of the rare Irrawaddy dolphins, which are the inhabitants of Mekong Riverand are presently diminishing in numbers. According to the charts, there are only 66 to 86 dolphins left in the upper Mekong area.
4. Koh Ker Cambodia:
The capital of the Khmer empire from the year 928 to 944 AD, Koh Ker is the place filled with many spectacular buildings and beautiful sculptures and is the place that was dominated by the Prasat Thom which is a 30 meter/98 feet tall temple pyramid that rises above the surrounding forests. There is a gain garuda, a mythical half man and half bird carved into the stone of the temple which is said to be guarding the temple and is situated on the top and is partially covered now. The temple was left to the forests for a millennium which makes it the country’s most remote and inaccessible temples. Due to recent de mining and a new toll road, this was changed. Now you can take a simple trip down the toll road to the destination.
5. Siem Reap Cambodia:
Siem Reap is one of the fast growing/developing cities in Cambodia and the word siem Reap means- Siam defeated. The place acts as a small entrance town to the most famous destination of the country- Angkor temples. Thanks to these Angkor temples, the city is now transformed into a major tourist destination of the country. The life style of this city is laid back and you can get a pleasant place to stay while you complete your tour of the temples. Siem Reap also offers a very good range of hotels from 5 star range to budget guesthouses while you can choose among many different restaurants, selling different cuisines.
6. Silver Pagoda Cambodia:
Located in Phnom Penh within the royal palace, the silver pagoda is a place filled with many different national treasures like gold, jeweled Buddha statues. Among these treasures, the most prominent one is a small Barra carat crystal Buddha of 17th century which is called as the emerald Buddha of Cambodia. Other important treasure is a life sized gold maitreya Buddha which is decorated with 9584 diamonds. The internal part of the silver pagoda walls are richly decorated with colors and very detailed murals of the epic Ramayana by 40 Khmer artists in 1903 to 1904.
7. Bokor Hill Station Cambodia:
Located near Kampot and built by the French in 1920s, Bokor hill station is used to be a retreat from the summer heat of Phnom Penh. Since then the place was abandoned twice, in 1940s when the Japanese invasion of Cambodia and in 1970s during the Khmer rouge in the country. But today, this fascinating place with its abandoned buildings gives out an eerie, ghost like town feel for the tourists. The road to the place is closed but there are hiking ways arranged by the local travel agents.
8. PreahVihear Cambodia:
A Khmer temple located on top of a 525 meter/1722 feet cliff in the DangrekMountains between Cambodia and Thailand, the preahvihear is a spectacular and scenic setting of all the temples of Khmer. The temple was constructed in 11th and 12th centuries during the reigns of Suryavarman I and Suryavarman II. The place was dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. The place is subjected to be a long running territorial dispute between the two countries and several soldiers were killed in the clashes during 2009.
9. Sihanoukville Cambodia:
Popularly known as the Kampong Som, Sihanoukville is the port city of Cambodia and also a beach resort on the gulf of Thailand. The major attraction of Sihanoukville is the white sandy beaches and underdeveloped tropical islands. The place is best known for giving peace and relaxation to tourists though you must be prepared to battle the many crows of the region during the high season.
10. Tonle Sap Cambodia:
The largest fresh water lake of south East Asia, the Tonle Sap is one of the major attractions of the country and the lake expands and shrinks down according to the seasons. In the dry season, from November to May the lake drains into the Mekong River and from June, with the heavy rainfalls the direction of the water flow changes. There are ethnic Vietnamese and Cham communities living in the floating villages of the lake.