Cambodia is quite often overlooked as a destination. Its neighbouring countries often steal the limelight, but if you are looking for something a little off the beaten track then Cambodia is definitely a destination you should add to your bucket list.
With any South East Asia trip, it is so easy to pair up two countries together. I visited Thailand and Cambodia in the summer and can safely say it has made it into my top 3 holidays. I started in Bangkok and stayed there for three nights. I then flew down to Siem Reap which was a huge contrast in every aspect. I left the hustling bustling city behind and stepped into the beautiful untouched landscape. I stayed on the outskirts of Siem Reap which meant I was closer to all the temples and further away from the buzzing atmosphere in Siem Reap. The actual city centre is great in the evening, with lots of bars and restaurants including the famous pub street which is a great place to take a stroll down. If you are daring enough, put your taste buds to the test and sample some of the local ‘exotic’ cuisines including deep fried scorpion!
The main reason to visit Siem Reap is to see all the incredible Hindu temples, including the famous magnificent Angkor Wat. If you can force yourself to wake up early enough, then head there for sunrise and you will be blessed with breathtaking views of the sun rising over the temple. Make sure you bring your camera for that Instagram snap, waking up at the crack of dawn seems so worth it once you are there. There are lots of other temples which are worth visiting too. We had a tuk-tuk driver who took us on a temple tour. We stopped at so many different temples, each had a uniqueness to it which kept it interesting. My favourite was Bayon. This temple was actually used as the setting for a scene filmed in the Lara Croft film Tomb raider. You feel like Angelina Jolie as you walk through the temple which has been overgrown with enormous trees with roots sprouting through the walls. It was unlike anything I have ever witnessed, the wildlife had made its home in this ancient temple.
We then headed to Phnom Penh which is the capital city. This had a very lively atmosphere but my visit also had a sombre element to it. You must visit the Killing Fields when you are there to understand the horrors of Cambodia’s past and the troubles the country went through with the Khmer Rouge. You get a sense of how much the past has influenced the people of Cambodia today, and how they appreciate everything they have and are very gracious people.
There is more to Cambodia than you think. In the south, there is a lovely beach area called Sihanoukville which has some lovely 5-star beach resorts which is perfect if you are looking to add in a bit of rest and relaxation into your holiday.
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Cambodia has a very unique culture, with a huge history for you to discover during your visit. The trip starts in the capital city of Phnom Penh where you will discover Cambodian culture. You will venture on a sunset boat tour, and will visit the main historical sites the city has to offer. After you will visit Siem Reap, where you will explore the many temples it has including the famous Angkor Wat.