How To Choose The Best Sights In Cambodia
Cambodias appeal lies in its provincial setting as if its frozen in time. The country is also home to one of Asias earliest civilizations, the Khmer Empire. The temples they build in Angkor have drawn millions of tourists from all over the world. Still, you have plenty of places to visit that many tourists are not aware of. Here are just some of the sights you should see.
Siem Reap is the gateway to the Angkor Wat temples and other tourist destinations. Surprisingly, the town does not look like the rest of the country. Probably because the place is overrun with tourists and most of the local businesses cater to them. At the same time, you have to go there to visit the Tonle Sap Lake floating villages. Its also the gateway to the lush but wild valleys of Phnom Kulen.
Cambodias capital, Phnom Penh survived the dark days of the Khmer Rouge rule. Still, some remnants of their rule are still evident but the city has recovered. Fortunately, many French Colonial era villas still remain but new buildings are rising in the capital. You will find the busy markets are filled with food vendors and traders willing to haggle. The waterside promenade of the Tonle Sap is teeming with people dining in the many western style restaurants and bars.
Located in the Northwest part of the country is Battambang. Unlike Phnom Penh, the architecture and culture of the place is distinctly Thai. This is hardly surprising since both countries share a border here. The town of Kompong Chhnang is famous for its terracotta pots or chhnang. Meanwhile, the nearby town of Pursat is renowned for their marble carvings.
The Eastern Region
The eastern part of the country is the least explored but its the place for boating and nature trips. Despite the logging activities, there is still enough jungle space for the local wildlife. There is also an indigenous people there called the Chunchiet, living in those forested parts. You could also catch a glimpse of those rare Irrawaddy dolphins living at the Kampie rapids. If you prefer nature walks and watching wildlife, visit the town of Sen Monorom located in Mondulkiri province.
Where to Stay in Cambodia
Cambodia welcomes tourists and there is plenty of accommodation for travellers and people on vacation. Lots of people like to stay with locals where possible and home stays can be organised in some villages. There are also guest houses and hotels close to main points of interest in this beautiful and interesting country.
Best Time to Visit Cambodia
Cambodia, like most Southeast Asian countries, has a warm climate. The dry season is divided into cool and hot. The cool phase starts from November and ends on February. Not surprisingly, this is the time when most of the tourists arrive. Meanwhile, the rainy period keeps many of them away.
Cambodia has more interesting sights than Angkor Wat. The capital Phnom Penh still retains much of its French Colonial allure despite the on-going construction works. Meanwhile, in Battambang, you will not fail to notice the contributions that the Thais have left behind. If you prefer the solitude of nature, Cambodias eastern region is the place to be. If you dont mind the crowd, the best place to visit is during the cool period. Otherwise, visit Cambodia during the wet season if you dont mind the rains.