Cambodia: The Big Four

Tag: Cambodia, Travel itineraries   
July 5, 2011   No Comments

The big draw in Cambodia are the temples of Angkor and it’s worth visiting the country at least once just to experience them. The other three main tourist hubs of the country, in particular Phnom Penh, are also very worthwhile and provide a rounded picture of the nation.

View The Big 4 Sights of Cambodia in a larger map

  • Siem Reap
    We flew into Siem Reap from Pakse, Laos and enjoyed the comforts of the western bars in ‘pub street’ but the big attraction is Angkor Archaeological Park – an amazing collection of diverse temple mountains, intricate carvings, architectural marvels and mind-boggling man-made feats. Worth visiting Cambodia just for this one sight.
  • Battambang
    We then moved on to the town of Battambang where we wanted to see a less touristy side of Cambodia and that’s exactly what we got. Although we didn’t love the town we liked the Bamboo Train, enjoyed another fine temple, and had our first introduction to the harrowing Khmer Rouge regime – and the chance to see a bit of the real Cambodia.
  • Phnom Penh
    Our next stop was Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh where we enjoyed some of the sights of this resurgent city. Losing a game of pool to one of the street children wasn’t part of the plan though!

    Phnom Penh is also the base for visiting the most renowned sites of the Khmer Rouge atrocities (in this part of Cambodia) – the Killing Fields and the S21 prison, in the suburbs of Phnom Penh. They are disturbing places to visit but worthwhile to not only learn about the wrongs of the past but also to put the current day Cambodia into a better context.

  • Sihanoukville
    Our last stop in Cambodia was on the coast in the beach resort of Sihanoukville. We searched hard to find a nice spot away from the beggars, hawkers and the litter but the effort wasn’t really worth it. The islands off the coast did hint at a quieter time away from all the noise though.

Cambodia Summary
After 2 months in Thailand and travelling from north Laos to the very south over 6 weeks, our time in Cambodia was comparatively short (at around 3 weeks). However, with large parts of the country quite difficult for travellers we stuck to the 4 big sights and were very well rewarded, with the highlight being the magical temples of Angkor.

The jungle enveloping the intricately carved temple - magical!

The jungle enveloping the intricately carved temple - magical!

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