Cambodia: Culture and Sugar-white Sandy Beaches

Cambodia: Culture and Sugar-white Sandy Beaches

Cambodia is bordering Thailand to the west, Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. Territory of Cambodia is 180 000 sq.km., ranked 89th in the world, with population of around 16 million (ranked 71st ).

History of Cambodia begins in the 9th century, with the rise of Khmer or Angkor Empire. It reached its zenith in the 12th century, when the largest and most significant sites of Angkor Wat were built, and ended in the 15th century. In the centuries following, it was the dominance of the Thai and the Vietnamese in the region, so in mid 19th century, with the arrival of the French missionaries in Cambodia, it was stated for French Protectorate.

Capital of the country is the city of Phnom Penh – located at the junction of three rivers: Sap, Bassac and Mekong, with a population of around 1.5 million people. The city’s called The Pearl of Indochina, combining typical Asian and French colonial architecture. It dates back to 14th century, and the main touristic landmarks are Wat Phnom temple – oldest remaining structure in the city (14th century), the Royal Palace (serves as residence of the King), the Silver Pagoda Temple with the famous small green Buddha statue (made out of emerald). Another interesting site to visit is the National historical museum – one of the largest Khmer art collections is here – ceramics, sculptures, bronze objects.

The country is experiencing growth in tourism, and there is definitely a reason for this. Cambodia has to offer its visitors unique nature and culture. Beautiful, not too crowded beaches, tropical rainforests, amazing rural areas with small picturesque villages, and of course – world famous temples.

Most popular of them for sure is the Angkor Wat. It’s the largest religious monument in the world! Built in the 11th century, initially as a Hindu temple, later used as a Buddhist one, will leave you speechless. Fascinating surroundings, beautiful decorations, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Other temples, worth visiting are Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei.

Interesting visit is the one to the Floating villages on the Tonle Sap and Mekong river area – where people manage to live normally, while having... village on boats ! Yes, there are shops, school, temple, even hospital on a boat! That’s because of the heavy rains during the monsoon season, that flood large parts of the country, and the local people do not have any option to fight nature – so they decided they’ll live with it.

Make sure you plan a few days for rest on the sugar-white sandy beaches on the shore or on one of the nearby islands of Cambodia like the Lazy beach, Sok San beach and the relaxed Koh Rong island.

Indochina Explorer -Vietnam and Cambodia

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