Ascend to the realm of the gods, Angkor Wat. Descend into hell at Tuol Sleng prison. With a history both inspiring and depressing, Cambodia delivers an intoxicating present.
Despite having the eighth wonder of the world in its backyard, Cambodia’s real treasure is its people. The Khmers have been struggling through years of bloodshed, poverty and political instability. Thanks to an infectious optimism, they have prevailed with their smiles intact. No visitor comes away without a measure of admiration and affection for the inhabitants of this enigmatic kingdom.
Contemporary Cambodia is the successor state to the mighty Khmer empire. The remains of this empire can be seen at the fabled temples of Angkor, which are unrivalled monuments. The traveller’s first glimpse of Angkor Wat, the ultimate expression of Khmer genius, is sublime and is matched by only a few select spots on earth, such as Machu Picchu or Petra.
Cambodia is more than its temples: its urban areas can surprise with their sophistication. Chaotic yet charismatic capital Phnom Penh is a revitalised city earning plaudits for its gorgeous riverside location, cultural renaissance, and world-class scene. The second city is Siem Reap, with cosmopolitan cafes and a diverse nightlife. Up-and-coming Battambang, reminiscent of Siem Reap before the advent of mass tourism, charms with graceful French architecture and a thriving contemporary art scene.
Experience the rhythm of rural life and landscapes of dazzling rice paddies in Cambodia's countryside. The South Coast is fringed by tropical islands dotted with traditional fishing villages. Inland from the coast, a vast tropical wilderness provides a home to elusive wildlife and a gateway to emerging ecotourism adventures.
The mighty Mekong River cuts through the country and hosts some of the region’s last remaining freshwater dolphins.