There is more to Cambodia than Angkor Wat

by Exotissimo, Dec 28, 2009 | Destinations: Cambodia
Sihanoukville Beach

Sihanoukville Beach

Sihanoukville Beach
A cultural experience in Cambodia

To many people, Cambodia is synonymous with Angkor Wat. Many tourists head straight to Siem Reap and make their way around the temples and leave, without discovering the rest of this beautiful country. You will be surprised at Cambodia’s rich culture and other attractions if you experience the country beyond Angkor Wat.

Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia. It is located on the junction where the Tonle Sap and the Mekong Rivers meet. It is also the largest city and an aspiring metropolis. Having been billed as ‘Paris of the East’ in the 1960’s, the city’s charm is still apparent today with its wide boulevards, its riverside location and the city’s Khmer and French influenced architecture. The Royal Palace is a beautiful site to see. The palace houses two pagodas; the Silver Pagoda and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the Palace Grounds. The National Museum of Cambodia is an excellent stop if you want to see art from Cambodia's golden age from the Khmer Empire. A sad but educational experience at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum will remind you of Cambodia’s bloody past and its road to recovery.

Siem Reap is home to Cambodia’s Angor temples. However, there are other things to do there such as visiting Tonle Sap and witnessing the bio-diversity and village life there. The city is also going through an artistic renaissance and you can surely find intricate handicrafts and other arts and crafts in Siem Reap.

Cambodia is also home to nice pristine beaches. Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s main seaside attraction. With long stretches of beautiful beaches and options to dive around the nearby islands, Sihanoukville is emerging as one of Southeast Asia’s must visit beach destinations. Kep is another option for those who love the beach. Once billed as Cambodia’ top beach destination before being surpassed by Sihanoukville, this seaside town is now on the rise and offers you another quiet and peaceful beach getaway.

For a taste of the countryside, try Kratie in northeastern Cambodia. This is also a great spot to try to get a glimpse of the Irrawaddy Dolphin. For cycling enthusiast, Rattanakiri is a great destination. The rich bio-diversity of the area makes for a great biking experience where you can trace the Mekong Discovery Trail and explore the river environment and local communities.

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