A small country, but an impressive player on the stage of world tourism, Cambodia has the air and soil that can change anyone from an ordinary traveler to a deep thinker, courtesy: the mind-blowing empire of temples, compelling history, enchanting landscape and above all its people. Cambodia, once the seat of one of Asia’s most glorious early civilizations, the colossal Khmer empire of Angkor, may have Angkor Wat at its heart, but the soul of the country has been the Cambodian spirit in the form of locals—ever smiling and affectionate like nowhere else in the world. Rarely does a traveler return home unhappy after visiting this mesmerizing country of temples. Have you been looking for reasons why you should go to Cambodia? You don’t really need one, so is the charm of this country. However, here are 5 reasons to visit Cambodia right now.
1. Angkor Wat:
Stepping into Angkor Wat, a temple complex in Cambodia which is also the largest religious monument in the world, is like ascending into the realm of the Gods. A magnificent example of the Khmer genius and a glimpse of the glorious past of the country, Angkor Wat is the sole reason for most travelers to visit Cambodia. A soul-stirring earthly representation of Mount Meru which is believed to be the abode of Hindu Gods, Angkor Wat is one of the most compelling and inspiring monuments erected by man. Built by Suryavarman II, it is 800m-long series of bas-reliefs and the central tower rises above 55m from the ground. Angkor Wat, heaven on earth (quite literally) is one of the top 5 reasons to visit Cambodia right now.
2. Charming Towns and Cities
Be it the charismatic capital Phnom Penh or the chaotic yet charming Siem Reap, Cambodia’s sleepy towns and sophisticated cities full of old world charm and colonial architecture are a delightful surprise to the rest of the world. The sublime setting of Phnom Penh by the banks of the Mekong River and Tonlé Sap Lake is peppered by its cultural allure and garnished by the world class dining and wining scene. Siem Reap is not left behind with the cheery cosmopolitan cafes and a vibrant nightlife. Then, there’s Battambang, a fascinating town with elegant French architecture and a flourishing contemporary art scene.
3. Sublime Countryside with a Dash of Adventure
Although magnificent temples and charming towns are the major tourist attractions in Cambodia, the real fun lies in the countryside. Swaying sugar palms, far-stretched rice paddies, exotic tropical islands, and wilderness, all come together to present to you one of the most exhilarating yet serene landscape of Southeast Asia. Mekong River flows graciously through the country and is home to Irrawaddy, the last remaining freshwater dolphins in the region. Head to the northeast side of the country to explore and enjoy the abundance of natural beauty and wild landscape.
4. Cardamom and Elephant Mountains:
Cardamom and Elephant Mountains is a region of Cambodia and includes the provinces of Battambang, Koh Kong, Pursat, Kampong Speu (or Kampong Spoe), Kampot, Kep, Pailin and Sihanoukville.
One of the least developed regions of Cambodia, Cardamom and Elephant Mountains may not be every traveler’s cup of tea but it certainly is a dream destination for an adventure junkie and explorers. A mountain range which is not only about wildlife and natural beauty but also has a surprising element of history to it. The Cardamom mountain range is home to several 15th-17th-century sites containing rough-hewn log coffins and ceramic jars placed upon natural rock ledges in the remote parts of the mountains. The jar burials are a unique unrecorded practice in Khmer cultural history. Absolutely distinct as an experience, don’t miss visiting Cardamom and Elephant Mountains if you visit Cambodia. The amazing mountain range is most certainly one of the reasons why you should go to Cambodia right now.
5. Cambodian Hospitality and Khmer Cuisine
Believe it or not but unparalleled hospitality and some of the most scrumptious culinary delights are a great pull for the majority of travelers visiting Cambodia. While the locals will make you feel loved and welcomed in most special ways, the food is soul-satisfying without any fuss. Although Khmer food draws inspiration from Thai and Vietnamese cuisines, it has a distinct flavor of its own. Amok, arguably the most famous Cambodian dish is a preparation of shrimp or fish, chicken, and some veggies cooked in coconut milk. If you have a sweet tooth, Cambodia is your destination as it is also home to some of the most delicious sweetmeats in the world including Pong Aime.
It’s time, don’t look for reasons why you should go to Cambodia. Just pack your bags and head to one of the most amazing destinations in Asia, you will not be disappointed. Travel to Cambodia now!
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Wow! I have just added a new destination to my bucket list! Sounds amazing and looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing some of the best things about Cambodia!
Angkor is definitely the reason why people visit Cambodia and I dont blame them.
But can I add a nr. 6 to your list? 🙂 The interesting yet aweful historylesssons this country teaches us.
Have you been to Phnom Penh and visited the tuol sleng museum and killing fields?
I think a trip to Cambodia should include not only Angkor Wat (which is amazing) but also some history!