In spite of Cambodia’s turbulent and tragic history, the country has recovered enough to be named as one of the best places to visit in South-East Asia. Indeed, more than 2 million tourists flock to Cambodia for a holiday every year. From backpacking trips on a shoestring budget to travellers embarking on a luxury holiday, the appeal of Cambodia is universal.
Accommodation in Cambodia tends to be concentrated in the major tourist destinations of Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap. There is an excellent range of accommodation available from inexpensive small hotels and bed and breakfasts to 5-star international chain hotels.
As there is no standardized rating system in Cambodia, be sure to read up on customer reviews as price alone is not enough to determine the quality of a hotel.
The former capital of Cambodia is well-known throughout the world for its impressive temple complex, Angkor Wat, which is the world’s largest religious building. Construction of the complex begun in 879 and took more than 200 years to complete. The temple complex is truly breath-taking and is a must-visit for anyone on holiday in Cambodia. Highlights of the complex include the world’s longest bas-relief and temple’s unusual beehive-like towers.
However, there are plenty of other interesting temples to visit such as Banteay Srei and the Bayon. Banteay Srei is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and features some of the world’s most stunning stone carvings. The Bayon is a 13th century temple which is famous for its many massive stone faces.
Although sometimes overlooked in favour of the impressive Angkor Wat temple complex, Cambodia’s capital city is a captivating destination.
Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace is one of Cambodia’s most-famous attractions. The palace was constructed back in the 1860s and its spectacular spires dominate the skyline of the city. As the palace is the official residence of the King, much of the palace is cut off from the public. However, visitors can access the ornate throne room and the Silver Pagoda complex which is situated nearby.
The Silver Pagoda gets its name from the 5,000+ silver tiles which make up the floor of the pagoda. The pagoda is home to a priceless collection of murals and Buddhas including the Emerald Buddha and a life-size Buddha which is embellished with thousands of gems.
Housed in a distinctive terracotta building, the National Museum is not to be missed. The museum is spread across four pavilions and is home to the best collection of Khmer sculptures on the world and other important artefacts such as religious statues and pottery. In addition, there is a pretty garden at the centre of the complex.