Cambodia: A slice of ancient Southeast Asia

Apart from the stunning temples of Angkor and its long and often terrible history—lies a country of stunning coastlines and fascinating wildlife, dotted with busy towns that offer authentic eating and boutique shopping. Many visitors head straight to the temples, staying in the country just a few days, but those who delve deeper find that Cambodia, with its balmy climate and laid back attitude to life has much more to offer: white-sand beaches and relaxed off-shore islands, forest-clad hills and impenetrable jungle, a dynamic, yet beguiling, capital and sleepy provincial towns, in many of which colonial houses and shop house terraces are now slowly being restored. For those who wish to experience a slice of ancient Southeast Asia, Cambodia is your ultimate go-to place.

Here is a list of Top 10 Things To Do in Cambodia:

1. Marvel at the Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the largest, the most magnificent and the best-known of all Angkor temples. It’s the jewel in the crown of Cambodia’s attractions. So quintessential is the site to the image of Cambodia that even the country’s flag features it.

2. Visit the Bayon Temple

The Angkor Wat may be the most famous, but to many it is Bayon temple that remains the instantly recognizable icon of Cambodia. Or more precisely, the icons are the Bayon’s giant stone-carved Buddha faces. Their massive silhouettes jut out from the intricate towers of the temple, their mysterious smiles enchanting all who come to see the silent witnesses to the centuries of history.

3. Soak in the atmosphere at local markets

Siem Reap, being the touristic capital of Cambodia, is also one of the best places in the country for shopping. The Old Market or Central Market offers everything from the famous Cambodian silk to freshwater pearls and glassware—no doubt your haggling skills will come in handy.

4. Witness the passage of time at Ta Prohm Ruins

The 12th century ruins’ most distinctive feature is the roots and branches of trees that clasp the massive walls of the temple, slowly reducing them to rubble. Deliberately left in a maintained state of neglect, Ta Prohm is a nostalgic, picture-perfect sight.

5. Enjoy Khmer Food

The tantalizing Khmer cuisine will introduce an extraordinary variety of taste and flavour to your palate. Healthy and delicious, the traditional recipes have been influenced by Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Chinese and even French culinary trends.

6. Explore Siem Reap on a bicycle

One of the best ways to see the sights of Siem Reap and around is by bicycle. All the major sights in the area are within easy biking distance from the town, but more importantly—given the tropical climate—the terrain is flat as a pancake, making cycling simply fun. No pedaling up steep hills in the heat!

7. Experience the traditional Apsara Dance Show

The apsara dance is an ancient art form that have played a major part in Khmer culture for more than thousand years. The tradition has seen a great revival in the last decades. Apsara Dance draws its inspiration from the mythological court of the gods and from its celestial dancers, the Apsaras.

8. See the great Lake Tonle Sap and Floating Village

Close to the southwest part of Siem Reap lies Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. Part of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve, it’s one of the most important breeding ground in Southeast Asia for large water birds. Black-headed Ibis, Painted Stork, Milky Stork, Spot-billed Pelican and Grey-Headed Fish Eagle can all be spotted here.

9. Ride in a Tuk-Tuk

There is no more authentic Southeast Asian experience than hitching a ride in a Tuk-Tuk. It’s also the best way to get a feel for Cambodia: Tuk-tuk is our preferred method of transportation in the country.

10. Explore the beautiful tropical beaches of Cambodia

The port city and beach resort town of Sihanoukville is the best place for discovering this side of the Cambodia experience. Sihanoukville is surrounded by white-sand beaches and remote islands, including the Song Saa Island, occupied by the newly opened boutique all-villa resort.

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