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Cambodia

Cambodia travel guide

Cambodia is a captivating land of beautiful temples, wild jungle, unspoiled countryside, colonial architecture and sandy beaches

A cultivated country with something exciting to offer every traveller. Cambodia is still less visited than its neighbours Thailand and Vietnam, but the iconic Angkor Wat – a fascinatingly complex stone temple that is the world’s largest religious monument – draws visitors in their thousands.

Cambodia’s charms though are not confined to Angkor Wat. In Angkor alone there are more than 290 other temples.

The mountain-top Praeh Vihear temple-complex in northern Cambodia is as good as anything in Angkor and in a more stunning setting.

In the south you’ll find Sihanoukville’s paradisiacal beaches and great nature-watching opportunities in Ream National Park. Or head to the wilds of the east for waterfall hikes, elephant treks, dolphin-spotting and hilltribe-visits.

Wanderlust Recommends

  1. Spot tigers and experience community tourism in Kirirom National Park
  2. Take an eco-trail down the Mekong to Kratie to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins
  3. Learn to cook like a Cambodian, with profits going to a local street children charity
  4. Hitch a ride with an elephant and encounter minority cultures in Mondulkiri, in Cambodia’s far east.
  5. Join in the celebrations at the Bom Om Tuk water festival when the current in the Tonlé Sap reverses and the river is filled with colourfully decorated boats.

Wanderlust tips

If you want to avoid the crowds at Angkor Wat, don’t visit at sunrise. Linger there at sunset when most of the tour groups go to Bakheng to look down on Angkor, camera in hand.

Also, don’t just head straight back to Siem Reap. Stick around and discover Angkor’s more remote temples.

For truly majestic sunsets minus the hordes of tourists, travel to the temple of Preah Vihear, which clings to cliffs of the Dangkrek Mountains on the border with Thailand.

I wish I'd known...

Daisy Cropper on the one thing she wished she'd known on arrival:

"Angkor was busy. I would have made more effort to get there earlier in the day, if I'd known. There were crowds of people were everywhere! Search out the lesser-known temples and take the time to explore them, you'll feel more in awe than at the larger/more popular sites."

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