One of the bigger tourist destinations in Cambodia, Siem Reap is an opportunity to experience one the country’s focal points while enjoying ‘modernish’ amenities. For tourists, this town is primarily used as an in-between point from Angkor Wat and some of the other country’s hotspots. However, a lazy-day boat ride along the Tonle Sap, or a day exploring the markets and splurging with exotic meals may be just the ticket between routes from Cambodia’s more provincial and isolated sites.
Most visitors use Siem Reap as a middle-ground between their next destination, so you can also easily find a variety of places that offer countryside bike tours, as well as more structured day tours of the surrounding provinces and popular landmarks, making it a great utility for your stay in Cambodia.
Considered a fairly risky venture, the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh is slowly-evolving city that carries the weight of the Khmer genocide on its back. Whether it is trying to find your way from one place to another through often dangerous traffic conditions on a mototaxi after negotiating the price of your lunch, soaking in the riverside and nearby shops, or joining one of its many temples for an afternoon of learning the ways of Theravada Buddhism, you will not escape Phnom Penh without a mouthful of experiences.
Angkor Archaeological Park
Spanning over 240 square miles, and with a plethora of stone structures including temples, statues and various other buildings, the site is much bigger than one initially suspects. A thorough trip may take as long as a week, so if you have the desire to explore each splendid nook of this once great civilization, be sure to pack your bags. Adorned on the national flag and a finalist as one of the world’s new seven wonders, Angkor Wat is the centerpiece of Angkor, and is amongst the largest Khmer landmarks in existence. The unforgettable walkabout through Angkor Wat will reveal tales of Khmer history as well as structural and natural magnificence.
If you’re looking for a place to relax for a few days in Southeast Asia’s blue-water beaches while enjoying a plentiful nightlife and meeting other travelers, Sihanoukville can provide the comfort and fun of a getaway while sparing you the trip to the more heavily populated Thai or Malaysian waterfronts.
Prasat Preah Vihear
Not for the weary traveler, the temple of Preah Vihear resides 1,500 ft atop a cliff in the Dangrek Mountains along the Thai border, and spans about 2,600 by 1,300 ft, with an almost 400 ft incline. However, if you are an experienced and ambitious hiker, you will have no problems exploring the jungle-bound beauty of this heavily disputed ancient ruin.
Depending on your budget and the amount of time you are willing to commit to getting to Preah Vihear, there are a number of ways to get to the ruins, though the easiest is the path via Thailand, where you can take a car to the foot of the temple. Other methods of travel to the temple, including paths on the Cambodian side, may also prove to be not so difficult to the experienced hiker. No matter how you choose to get there, just make sure you arrive with enough time to enjoy the ancient beauty of this site.