Top 5 Awesome Places To Visit In Cambodia
Tourism is on the increase in Cambodia. This beautiful Southeast Asian country, a long-standing backpacker destination, offers tranquil religious sites, untouched verdant landscapes and vibrant, progressive cities. Here are five of its key destinations.
The Temples of Angkor
You’d need several days to thoroughly explore the sprawling Angkor temple complex. Spread over 400 acres, it is the largest religious site in the world, and accordingly attracts droves of tourists. Set your alarm and get there for sunrise to immerse in this sacred site ahead of the crowds. Most visitors make a beeline for Angkor Wat. Surrounded by a large moat, this striking 12th century Hindu temple features intricately carved bas-relief sculptures and 200 foot high sandstone towers. The towers represent the peaks of Mount Meru, a sacred site revered by Hindus as the abode of the Gods.
Explore the atmospheric ruins of the Buddhist temple Ta Prohm, dramatically entwined in tree roots from the encroaching jungle. And don’t miss Bayon Temple, where 216 huge carved faces smile benignly out of the stonework.
Cambodia’s chaotic, energetic capital oozes influences of French colonialism, and boasts a thriving restaurant, bar and café scene. Head to lively Sisowath Quay for a sunset cruise on the Mekong River, and explore the attractive riverside walkway lined with bars and restaurants.
Prasat Preah Vihear
This 9th century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva enjoys a spectacular location. In the country’s northwest Dangrek Mountains off the beaten track, Prasat Preah Vihear teeters on the edge of a cliff, with giddying views over the plains below. A stone’s throw from the Thai border, the temple has been at the centre of numerous disputes between Cambodia and Thailand, as both countries tussle over ownership. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this beautiful Khmer building receives a fraction of the crowds that throng the Angkor temples. A walk through its sacred pavilions (gopuras) is an atmospheric experience, and those incredible views are particularly wonderful at sunset.
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