Cambodia leaves its visitors spell-bound. Travel to Cambodia and be moved by its tragic past, inspired by its spectacular beauty and captivated by its ancient archaeological sites. In Cambodia, Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm Temple, Bayon Temple, Preah Vihear Temple are the most beautiful and top breathtaking places where were established by the kings of Cambodia a long time ago. With attractive and beautiful temples, there are a lot of tourists who come from different countries visit Cambodia. It is not only ancient temples but also natural beautiful places are the best places. And with wild jungles and national parks, pristine southern beaches, and beautiful offshore islands.
1) The Temples of Angkor
People for the first time taking note of the fascinating ancient Khmer civilization often think, Angkor and Angkor Wat would be the same. This equalization, though inapplicable, is venial und understandable, as Angkor Wat evidently is the unsurpassed zenith of Asian temple architecture, landmark of Cambodia, and therefore, on its own, worth long journeys to Cambodia, and to Siem Reap in particular, which is the gateway to this unique monument. Siem Reap is the gateway to Cambodia’s vast and spectacular Angkor Temple Complex, which is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. A minimum of 2-3 full days is needed to visit the main ruins of the fabled Angkor complex.
2) Kulen Mountain
Phnom Kulen offers the rare opportunity to visit historical monuments inside a national park. There can be tours arranged for hikers, but camping overnight stays require special permissions and careful preparations. For bikers Phnom Kulen is the most exciting motocrossing area in the surrounding of Siem Reap and Angkor. The main attractionis the 20 m high waterfalls of Phnom Kulen. The underwater carvings of Lingas represent a fertility cult, water being the elixier of agricultural life in the plains of Angkor. They are within walking distance, close to the village, where Preah Ang Thom is located.
3) Ta Prohm Temple
Other key sites in the complex include jungle submerged Ta Prohm Temple which features in the film ‘Tomb Raider’ and the Bayon Temple with its giant stone carved faces. Ta Prohm is a beautiful temple, bound by massive roots of huge trees. Back in the days it was very different: one could see walls decorated by precious stones, hear beautiful music, and dancing in the halls. When in late nineteenth century Ta Prohm was discovered by French, they decided not to conduct a full-scale restoration of the temple. The decision was made due to the fact that giant trees, such as ficus and silk tree, were so merged with ancient walls that eventually they became whole. So now we can see this unique Cambodia monument in the state it was discovered by the researchers.
4) Tonle Sap lake
Cambodia’s Great Tonle Sap Lake sits only 15 km south of town, a unique eco-system and cultural area offering the opportunity to see a different side of the Siem Reap – floating villages, cultural and nature tours, birdwatching. The largest lake in Southeast Asia provides fish and irrigation water for over half of Cambodia’s population and is well-known for its floating villages and flooded forests. Siem Reap, is one of the most famous floating villages in the area. It is a particularly scenic village, best enjoyed in the light of early morning or late afternoon. Like many floating villages, Chong Kneas moves depending on the season. The friendly village of Kompong Pluk is another popular place to visit.. Tonle Sap Lake is just a short drive from Siem Reap, making it an ideal day trip.
5) Kompong Thom & Preah Vihear
The provinces of Kompong Thom and Preah Vihear in northwestern Cambodia offer a number of unique temples to visit. The provincial capital of Kompong Thom is an easy stopover between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and is the ideal base for visits to the unique sites of pre-Angkorian temples. Sambor Prei Kuk is an impressive complex of 100, mainly brick, temples scattered throughout the forest and are some of the oldest sculptures in the country. Further north near the border with Thailand is Prasat Preah Vihear, an 800m long temple complex perched high atop an escarpment in the Dangkrek Mountains offering breathtaking views of the valley below. The complex was built between 889 and 1152 by seven successive monarchs and dedicated to the Hindu deity of Shiva.
6) Kampot & Kep
The charming riverside town of Kampot is home to some of the finest examples of French colonial architecture in Cambodia. It’s a sleepy place with a relaxed atmosphere, best enjoyed strolling along the streets of crumbling colonial shop-houses and dining along the riverfront promenade. The abandoned French hill station here sits in lush evergreen forests with spectacular views of the coastal plain. Kampot also serves as an ideal base for trips to the languid seaside resort of Kep. Once a retreat for the French elite, Kep is famed for its stunning sunsets and splendid food, with hammocks and popular eateries lining the sandy shoreline.
The town of SihanoukVille is surrounded on 3 sides by the Bay of Thailand. Named after the king at the time, Sihanoukville was hacked from the jungle in the 1950s to create the country’s first and only deep water port though the beaches are definitely the main attraction. From the beaches and surrounding hills, many of the country’s small islands can be seen. Many of the beaches are filled with grass hut restaurants and bars, some of the beaches are rocky, a couple are big resorts, and some are pure sandy beach. A dozen Islands surround SihanoukVille, and these are fairly unspoiled for the moment. Beaches, forest treks, diving, swimming, and chilling are the main activities here.
It may be Cambodia’s second-largest city, but Battambang, a sleepy burg connected to the Tonle Sap by the Sangkor River, retains a unique small-town charm and makes for a great weekend getaway from Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. Battambang province is steeped in dramatic history, with ownership going back and forth between Thailand, Cambodia and the French. The charming and urban-sophisticated town of Battambang combines the resources of a modern city with some of Cambodia’s best preserved French colonial architecture.
9) Bokor Mountain
Built in 1922 by colonial settlers atop Bokor Mountain, the now ghost town has gained increasing popularity with visitors to the southern shores of Cambodia. Located 1080m above sea level and offering commanding views across the Gulf of Thailand, a visit to Bokor is well worth the effort. Currently being considered for major re-development and with a series of new roads being constructed already (at times blocking access altogether) there has never been a better time to visit. Your day will involve mountain roads, passing National Parks and abandoned villas (including a former residence of the King), visiting waterfalls and enjoying magnificent views.
10) Bayon Temple
Bayon Temple represents the intersection of heaven and earth. Bayon is known for its huge stone faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, with one facing outward and keeping watch at each compass point. The curious smiling image, thought by many to be a portrait of Jayavarman himself, has been dubbed by some the “Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia.” There are 51 smaller towers surrounding Bayon, each with four faces of its own. Bayon Temple is surrounded by two long walls bearing an extraordinary collection of bas-relief scenes of legendary and historical events. In all, there are total of more than 11,000 carved figures over 1.2km of wall.