Cambodia travel guide

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Cambodia

Cambodia, or Kampuchea, is a low country in Southeast Asia bordered by Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.  It is very wet with frequent flooding during the monsoons so village homes are all built on stilts so they don’t float away.  They are an agrarian economy with rice being one of their main crops.

Probably one of the most important sites in Cambodia is Angkor – the ancient capital.  A temple is called a wat and frequently the largest religious building ever recorded is referred to as Angkor Wat.  It is considered one of the most incredible sites and tourists come from all around the world to see it.

Siem Reap is the town closest to Angkor Wat and has plenty of new hotels, restaurants, and night life, many of them quite upscale, to help you enjoy your visit.  As the country was under French control for many years, the town has some attractive architecture.

The Angkor Archaeological Park covers 400 square meters and was made a UNESCO World Heritage site.  This is the reason that most people visit Cambodia.  As capital of the Khmer empire it was the site of a major city for hundreds of years.  The early temples were built as Hindu temples but then with the switch to Buddhism, the designs changed.

Also very interesting is Tonle Sap Lake, the largest in Southeast Asia.  It is an odd one as it gets quite small when it is dry but during the rainy season it expands from 1 meter deep to 8 meters deep and people move their villages back and forth so that they can be near the water for fishing and to keep their buildings afloat.  Nearby is also a bird sanctuary at Prek Toal.

Sihanoukville is another new area that has many beaches for your enjoyment.  But when you get into the country it is still fairly rustic.

Cambodia is going through recovery from past wars and changes in government but it is now stable and rebuilding is going on in the major areas.  If you stick to them you will be fine.  If you want to do more back country exploring, who knows what you will find.  Sounds like a challenge.

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