5 places to see in Cambodia

Once known as the 'Pearl of Asia', Phnom Penh is filled with French colonial buildings and has a picturesque riverside promenade. Photo / 123RF
Once known as the 'Pearl of Asia', Phnom Penh is filled with French colonial buildings and has a picturesque riverside promenade. Photo / 123RF

1 Phnom Penh

Once known as the "Pearl of Asia", Phnom Penh is filled with French colonial buildings and has a picturesque riverside promenade. The city houses the Royal Palace, the National Museum and hosts night markets, the best place to bag a bargain.

2 Kep and Koh Tonsay

Kep is a small seaside resort town that was used as a colonial retreat for the French elite in 1908. The town is full of ruined villas destroyed during the Khmer Rouge era. A perfect destination for snorkelling, Kep is only a short boat ride from Rabbit Island or Koh Tonsay, a virtually untouched paradise.

3 Tonle Sap Lake and the floating villages

The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Tonle Sap swells during the wet season to almost five times its size, flooding the surrounding forests and plains. Several villages have to take measures to stay above water during this time and it makes for a fascinating sight to tour by kayak.

The Tonle Sap swells during the wet season to almost five times its size. Photo / Getty Images
The Tonle Sap swells during the wet season to almost five times its size. Photo / Getty Images


4 Crafty

Cambodia is undergoing an artisan renaissance, with charities organising programmes that help locals financially as well as ensure that traditional Khmer culture doesn't fall by the wayside. Silk weavers and ceramic artists are just some of the talented people worth seeing in action and it is possible to visit and even stay in villages to experience the daily life surrounding craft production.

5 Temples

Angkor Wat temple complex needs no introduction. While Angkor Wat is the best preserved temple in the complex and is super-impressive, checking out the lesser-known temples is worth doing too, so that you can soak up the atmosphere minus the crowds. The Bayon temple at Angkor Thom is spectacular, with a multitude of massive stone faces.

The Bayon temple at Angkor Thom. Photo / Getty Images
The Bayon temple at Angkor Thom. Photo / Getty Images

- NZ Herald

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