Cambodia is a South-East Asian nation that is famous for its Ancient Temples and the remains of the Khmer Empire, the lovely sandy beaches, authentic Buddhist architecture, scenic beauty, a variety of special Tea along with delicious Cambodian cuisines. Charmingly, people of Cambodia are polite and soft-spoken and maintain chivalry with their visitors. Major towns to attract tourists to Cambodia, which flock in large numbers are listed below-
A. Phnom Penh, Capital of Cambodia
Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia is a globally famous tourist attraction. Situated on the banks of rivers Mekong, Bassac and the Lake Tonle Sap, this city provides a mesmerizing view to its visitors along with a number of historical architecture. It is the economic, industrial and cultural center of Cambodia, what’s interesting is that this city still holds the marks of the French Colonialism in a number of buildings. Some interesting sites in Phnom Penh that you must check out are listed here.
1. The Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Royal Palace is situated in the capital city of Phnom Penh, which serves as the residence for the King Of Cambodia. With the gleaming gold roof,this is the most beautiful example of architectural wonder of Phnom Penh. However as compared to the Khmer Architectures of Cambodia, the event of building this palace is quite recent as it was built in the 1860’s. This Palace is situated at the old site of the town near the rivers Mekong and Tonle Sap Lake.
2. National Museum Of Cambodia, Phnom Penh
The National Museum of Cambodia, situated at Phnom Penh is the largest museum of Cambodia. This museum is associated with the Cultural History of Cambodia and gives interesting insight into the Khmer Empire in the 21st century. This museum has the world’s largest collection of Khmer Art and Sculptures including over fourteen thousand items preserved from the Prehistoric age, before and after the Khmer Empire. For people who love art and history this place is a treasure .
3. Killing Fields of Cambodia, Phnom Penh
Cambodia is also famous or infamous, for its horrific sites of various Killing Fields which are reminders of a terrible time. The Killing Fields contain the remains of numerous skeleton of the people who were brutally executed under the dictatorship of of the Khmer Rogue. The idea that the country did this to its own people is truly sad and horrific. It is believed that Cambodians were massacred with “Palm Knife” made of Palm leaves that had edges sharp as a razor. Though these sites are horrific, these killing fields serve as tourist attraction.
4. Prison Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Prison Museum in Phnom Penh, usually visited alongside the Killing fields, is important in understanding the terrible recent history of the region, in understanding the functioning of the cruel Khmer Rouge. The museum, located in a school used as a prison during the regime, contains artefacts such as the torture devices and weapons used, along with the preservation of some rooms used as cells in that time. You might even run into some of the 4 remaining survivors of that particular prison.
5. Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Wat Phnom is a Buddhist Temple (Pagoda) situated at the city of Phnom Penh. This Temple has its own story about a wealthy widow who found a statue of Buddha made of Bronze inside a large Koki Tree, which led to the construction of the shrine in an artificial hill. The interior of the Temple has a large statue of Buddha made of bronze in a seated posture, and is surrounded by many other statues depicting the Khmer version of Ramayana. Wat Phnom is the tallest religious structure in the city and is surrounded by a serene, peaceful environment.
B. Siem Reap, The City of Angkor Wat Temple
Siem Reap is located at the North-West of Cambodia and is considered the gateway to the famous Angkor Wat Temple. This place is all about Silk farms, Rice paddy fields, Chinese-Style architectures, Old markets, Bird Sanctuary near the river Tonle Sap, nearby Fishing Villages and a number of beautifully decorated resorts that offer Cosmopolitan Drinking and Dining for its tourists. What’s more interesting, is that Siem Reap offers a number of dance shows, which include the traditional dance of Cambodia, the Apsara Dance that has been the part of Cambodia since the Khmer Empire. As Apsara means the dance of the divinities, the women dress themselves as graceful goddesses and depict the tales of Cambodian culture through their elegant moves.
1. Floating Village, Siem Reap , Cambodia
Floating Village known as Kampong Phluk in Cambodia is a must visit. The Floating Village is located on the river Tonle Sap and can be reached through a boat from Siem Reap. It is also popular as a Fishing Village . This village is a unique and unusual as the houses seem floating on water .The place includes a church,school, cottages,restaurants, wooden cages containing Crocodiles. This Floating Village is a perfect site for fishing and watching beautiful sunsets.
2. Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia
The Pub Street in Cambodia is a part of Siem Reap Province and is largely famous among tourists for lively nightlife scenes. This place reflects the traces of French Colonialism and has numerous bars, nightclubs, restaurants, a perfect place for “party people”. So when you visit Siem Reap, make sure you check out Pub Street and enjoy the fun experience.
3. Cultural Village, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Cultural Village in Siem Reap is also widely famous, it is a theme park and museum that depicts the traditional, cultural and ethnic style of living of the people of Cambodia. Each village here contains wood houses, carvings and artists who present traditional dance shows such as the Apsara Dance and Peacock dance . Together these villages display the varied culture of Nineteen ethnic groups of Cambodia.
4. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is a globally famous tourist attraction of Cambodia. The Angkor Wat Temple is considered to be the largest religious monument in the world which was originally constructed in the 12th century as a Hindu Temple devoted to the Lord Vishnu and later on transformed into a Buddhist Temple during the 16th century. Angkor Wat is considered as the Seventh Wonder of the World, and you surely don’t want to miss this wonder that mingles the culture of Hinduism and Buddhism. The scenic and artistic beauty of Angkor Wat is surely going to mesmerize you and would make you travel back to the Khmer Empire.
5. Phnom Kulen, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Phnom Kulen is a range of mountains, and is considered as Holy Mountains in Cambodia as it preserves the remains of Khmer Empire. It is located at the Siem Reap province and is symbolic to the Hindus and Buddhists for pilgrimage.
Phnom Kulen has a National Park which is a protected area, a famous waterfall named Chup Preah , and the KuLen mountain with two Waterfalls. This place offers trekking to its famous Waterfalls that have carved Lingas in them. Phnom Kulen has a fresh, peaceful and holy ambience.
C. Preah Vihear, Cambodia
88 kilometres away from Siem Reap ,Preah Vihear in Cambodia is also one of the remains of the Khmer Empire. Preah Vihear is a mountain , which was built for the purpose of serving Lord Shiva.
It is believed that it took about 300 years to complete this temple by Khmerian Kings. This Temple is situated at the cliff of Dangrek Mountains across the border of Saket (Thailand ), and offers an eye soothing view from the top. If you are fascinated with heights, this place is a must visit.
D. Mondulkiri, Cambodia
Mondulkiri is an Eastern Province of Cambodia which is popular for its dense forests, mountains, powerful waterfalls, a whole set of serene scenic beauty. Mondulkiri also has a Wildlife Sanctuary that include Elephants, and also offers trekkings in its mountains.
The Bou Sra, Senmonorom and Romnea are the three Waterfalls in Mondulkiri. There is an interesting sport offered by the Maurya Hill Resort called Ziplining over the Bou Sra waterfall which gives a lifetime experience to the people bitten by the adventure bug.
E. Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Sihanoukville is a sea-side town and has the best beaches of Cambodia. These beaches are calm and peaceful, not very crowded and hence these places are the best to connect with nature. The beaches include the Victory Beach, Independence Beach, Sokha Beach, Ochheuteal Beach, Serendipity Beach and the Otres Beach, these beaches are as interesting as their names.
A 3$ drive from the Otres Beach leads to an evening market named the Otres Market, which is an interesting place for the tourists. The market offers a number of Live Music shows, with an arrangement of various Food Stalls which offer delicious Wraps and other snacks including alcohol. These beaches offer Scuba Diving, Island trips, Spas, Fishing with a number of beautifully decorated resorts near the beach.
F. Kep, Cambodia
Kep is one of the newest province of Cambodia and is famous for its beautiful white sandy beaches. Kep is often termed as an archipelago, as this place has a number of nearby islands, such as the Rabbit Island which is named after its shape, Egret Island, Chilli Island, Mango Island, Milestone Island, Dry Fish Island, Wild Mango Island, Sarang Island, Pura Island, Makprang Island, Angkrong Island, Horseback Riding Island and lastly the Dry Island.
All of these islands have their own speciality and interesting facts and offer beautiful sites. Apart from this, Kep has its individual beach, offers Jungle Trekking, and also has a Zoo. Kep is also famous for its Crab Market and delicious Sea food, you surely do not want to miss the Crab Curry here. Give it a try.
G. Battambang, Cambodia
Battambang is a popular tourist destination of Cambodia. This city has a number of Ancient Temples, Buddhist Shrines and the unique, Bamboo Railway, the traditional style of running a bamboo cart through the rail tracks, which is fun, and offers a beautiful tour of Battambang.
Battambang has a museum and a number of other interesting places, along with its Central Market and a variety of Cafes. Battambang is the second most popular city in Cambodia.
With this wide range of attractions, Cambodia deserves that you grab your luggage, camera, beach hats and flip flops, and reach this beautiful and diverse land and explore its rich history and culture.
A Student of Literature who has a passion for writing,traveling and spreading happiness. During her trips, good books and cups of coffee are her constant companions. She also is very enthusiastic about photography and loves to click even the simplest things in day to day life. She aspires to travel the World someday and write Novels