Cambodia conjures up images of Lara Croft and the exquisite ancient Temples of Angkor, and triggers thoughts of the horrific genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge during the 1970s. However, whilst these two elements inform any trip to Cambodia, this small country packs in so much more besides. From laid back seaside towns to lush jungle treks, fascinating cultural boat rides to intoxicating cities full of history, you will be constantly amazed by Cambodia. At Destination Seekers our specialists love Cambodia’s charm and are excited to share this passion and knowledge with you to design your perfect adventure.
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Phnom Penh, like many cities in the region, is an intoxicating mix of ancient and new, linked together with French mansions from its colonial past. On the outskirts of Phnom Penh is Tuol Sleng, also known as S-21. This former high school became a prison under Pol Pot for interrogation, torture, and death. Of the 17,000 people who entered the prison only seven survived and the building is now a museum educating people on the Khmer Rouge regime. A memorial to the people who died can be found at the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, definitely worth a visit.
One of the most interesting and laid-back towns in Cambodia, Battambang is an excellent addition to your itinerary. Situated on the Sangker River, Cambodia’s second city consists of many charming colonial buildings. Originally a small market town, Siem Reap has developed into a dynamic busy destination to support the high level of tourism created by the nearby Temples of Angkor. However, traditional Cambodian life continues to resonate throughout the town, which you can experience on a peaceful stroll through the streets. Sat on the Teuk Chhou River, and once Cambodia’s main port, Kampot is a relaxing town offering tiny cafes serving excellent local dishes. Synonymous with pepper, which has been grown here for a thousand years, a highlight here is a pepper plantation tour. To fully explore the area, hire a bike – the perfect mode of transport for most towns in Cambodia.
In 2019 the Temples of Angkor received approximately 2.2 million visitors, all excited to discover the staggering collection of temples hidden inside twisting jungles. The most famous temple, Angkor Wat, has a splendour which cannot be overstated. Other spectacular temples include Ta Prohm, a crumbling example, engulfed by the jungle. If you like visiting the untouched, cycling is a fabulous way to tour the complex and reach less frequently visited temples.
A short boat ride away from the coastal town of Sihanoukville, Koh Rong offers beach lovers glistening sandy beaches lined for miles with shimmering blue waters on one side and feathery palms on the other. This provides the opportunity to relax and indulge after touring the rest of the country. Under the water, you can experience a magnificent world of shimmering fish and bright corals.
For the adventurous, Ban Lung in the Ratanakiri Province, and Virachey National Park, are fabulous destinations to visit. Ban Lung itself feels like a cowboy town, with red dirt roads and one main street. The largely untouched national park gives visitors the opportunity to explore the jungle whilst feeling like you are really venturing off the beaten track.
For the smallest country in the region, Cambodia is an exceptionally diverse destination, and we are excited to discuss your escape to this magnificent location with you.
Please contact Destination Seekers today to start planning your Cambodia adventure