Cambodia Tourism is slowly rising, since the dark years of Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror and massive killings. This country of 15 million people is opening to the world and has many temples and monuments worth a visit.
Cambodia also known as Kampuchea is located in Southeast Asia bordered by Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, practiced by approximately 95 percent of the population.
The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economic, and cultural center of Cambodia.
Royal Palace in Phnom Penh the Capital of Cambodia
Phnom Penh, the Capital of Cambodia, full with tuk-tuk drivers and street food vendors, attract many tourists to this city once part of the French Empire. See some colonial grandeur while sipping your favorite drink at the banks of the Mekong River, which runs through the city.
Angkor Wat is the # 1 attraction of Cambodia Tourism
This is the # 1 tourist attraction and largest temple in Cambodia. Meaning “City Temple” it was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II.
It rises through a series of rectangular terraces to the central shrine and tower at a height of 215 meters.
It has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and thousands every year make this trip to see this magnificent temple. Do not miss the sunrise. Waking up at 5:30 is worth the effort for such a great event.
Sihanoukville beach on the Gulf of Thailand
This is a port city and beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand where the best attractions are its white sand beaches and several tropical islands some of the underdeveloped. Please visit our page on Cambodia Beaches in our sister website.
Sihanoukville, also known as Kampong Som, and nicknamed “Snooky” is an ideal place for relaxation, although it may be very crowded during weekends and during the high season.
Amazing Beaches on the island of Koh Rong, Cambodia
The new discovery in Southeast Asia is an island that can compete with famous Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi in Thailand. It has more than 23 beaches and described in full on our page on Cambodia Beaches.
Bayon Temple one of the attractions of Cambodia Tourism
Built in the 12th century this is one more of the Angkor Temples. It features over 200 stone faces looking at all directions. Some say they are the faces of King Jayavarman VII himself or combinations of him with Buddha.
The Bayon, built on the center of the royal city is part of an expansion of Angkor Tom.
Angkor Thom one of the Angkor temples in Cambodia
Locals pronounce the name as “Uncle Tom” is second to Angkor Wat. It features an entrance flanked by 54 stone warriors.
As opposed to the latter it has less to do with the afterlife and more of the day to day aspect of this one; men playing chess, women cooking and having babies.
Koh Ker is the former capital of the Khmer Empire
It was the capital of the Khmer Empire from 928 to 944 AD and in such a short period witnessed the building of a few important temples, like Prasat Thom, a 30-meter-high pyramid rising above the jungle, with a giant Garuda, the mythical half man half bird creature, carved in the stone blocks, guard the temple at the top.
For a thousand years it was undiscovered and almost covered by the jungle until new developments and new roads made it more accessible.
Located about 25 Km northeast of the group of temples it is part of the Angkor complex. This is why it is offered as a separate tourist attraction. It is the only one of the temples not built by a King but for one of the king’s counselors.
Preah Vihear and Khmer temple in Cambodia
Located on the border of Cambodia and Thailand this Khmer temple is built on top of a 525 meters high cliff. Its setting is the most magnificent of all Khmer temples.
It was built in the 11th and 12th century during the reigns of Khmer kings Suryavarman I and Suryavarman II. It was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
During the years Preah Vihear is the subject of a long-running territorial dispute between Thailand and Cambodia.
The "Tomb Raider" Temple, which was left as found - crumbling walls intertwined with tree roots
Although not an important tourist site, this small town located on the banks of the Mekong River is dominated by a huge market surrounded by French colonial buildings.
Silver Pagoda is part of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh
This is part of the Royal Palace compound houses many national treasures such as life size gold Maitreya Buddha decorated with 9584 diamonds; a baccarat crystal Buddha called “The Emerald Buddha of Cambodia” dating from the 17th century.
The internal wall of the Silver Pagoda courtyard is decorated with a richly colored and detailed mural of the Ramayana myth, painted at the beginning of the 20th century by Khmer artists.
This is the actual hub one arrives in order to visit the Angkor temples. It features a night market where you’ll find many bargains. Then head to Pub Street for drinks and entertainment. There are many restaurants and bars to choose from. During daytime go to Wat Bo Village and relax in the gardens of the oldest Buddhist temple.
Tonlé Sap is a fresh water lake in Cambodia
This is the largest fresh water lake in all of Southeast Asia. The lake shrinks and expands according to the seasons. From November to May, which is the dry season, the lake drains into the Mekong River at Phnom Penh; and when the heavy rains start in June, the waters change direction and flow back to the lake expanding the lake considerably.
The Killing Fields
Just outside Phnom Penh lies one of the largest mass graves in the country where supposedly more than one million Cambodians rest after the massacres of the Khmer Rouge regime.
The visit to this site gives you an idea of Cambodia’s violent past and is deeply moving.
Flag of Cambodia
Since around 1850, the Cambodian flag has featured a depiction of Angkor Wat in the center. The current flag, with a blue border and red central was adopted following Cambodia's independence in 1948.
Map of Cambodia and its neighboring countries
images for cambodia tourism
toyal palace by adif gulza
angkor wat by charles sharp
bayon by charles sharp
koh ker by thomas wanhoff
preah by tetsuya kilahata
silver by michael gunther
all courtesy of wikimedia commos