Catch the sunrise over Angkor Wat, chill out on golden beaches, connect with the locals or get lost in the beauty of the natural landscapes and seascapes. Plan a weekend in Cambodia.
Romanticised in a number of Hollywood movies, the majestic Angkor Wat is just one of the phenomenal sights to visit in Cambodia; a breathtaking beautiful country with a stunning coastline. Get lost in the mesmerising complex of Angkor Wat – the realm of Gods or wonder at the depravity of humans visiting the Tuol Sleng Prison – a descent into hell… there is lots to discover in this Asian country. Cambodia is as intoxicating and mystic as its history is depressing. Cambodia is bordered by Thailand and Laos on the north and Vietnam on the east and south. The Gulf of Thailand is off the western coast. The country consists chiefly of a large alluvial plain ringed by mountains with the Mekong River to the east.
The remains of the mighty Khmer empire which ruled much of what is now Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, can be seen at the fabled temples of Angkor, splendorous monuments which are unrivalled in scale and grandeur in Southeast Asia. And if the ancient splendour of the temples is spellbinding, the chaotic yet charismatic capital of Phnom Penh is equally captivating with its gorgeous riverside location, a cultural renaissance, and a fascinating wining and dining scene. With its classic Khmer roofs and ornate gilding, the Royal Palace a striking structure near the riverfront, dominates the diminutive skyline of Phnom Penh.
Then again there is the rural countryside aspect of Cambodia – where one can get lost in the timeless landscapes of dazzling rice paddies and swaying sugar palms. The South Coast is fringed by tropical islands, with just a handful of beach huts in sight. The beautiful coastal region of Sihanoukville and Ream lie just 220 km from the capital, Phnom Penh. One of the most unspoiled coastlines anywhere in South East Asia, Sihanoukville and Ream is an up and coming destination for those who are looking for the next big thing. Explore the wide range of impressive beaches, each distinct and unrivalled in comparison to the beaches of popular tourist destinations like Thailand and Bali. Sokha Beach and Independence Beach are blissfully peaceful, with stretches of soft white sand. Further east, is the picturesque Occheuteal Beach, backed by a row of Casuarina trees. Water sports such as banana boating and jet skiing are available here. Ream lies 18 km East of Sihanoukville, a charming fishing village with beautiful, long beaches that border Ream National Park, a stunning 150 sq km of primary forest and 60 sq km of marine habitat famous for its crystal clear waters and diving.
Inland from the coast is the Cardamom Mountains, part of a vast tropical wilderness that provides a home to elusive wildlife and is the gateway to emerging ecotourism adventures. The mighty Mekong River cuts through the country and is home to some of the region’s last remaining freshwater dolphins. The northeast is a world unto itself, its wild and mountainous landscapes a home for Cambodia’s ethnic minorities and an abundance of natural attractions.
Read more about Cambodia on LonelyPlanet