Cambodia is not typically at the top of the usual vacation destinations, and that's exactly how intrepid travelers like it. The Southeast Asian paradise welcomes almost 2 million visitors a year (compared to 80 million for France, 20 million for Italy, and 30 million for England), but every one of those 2 million guests is satisfied with Cambodia's legendary hospitality and granted to a vacation like no other. To make your trip to Cambodia as fulfilling and memorable as possible, make sure to stop at these three spots.
Siem Reap . The "Great Gate to Angkor" is, of course, home to the beginling UNESCO world heritage site, Angkor Wat. The magnificent ruins, towers, and intricately carved walls of the Khmer civilization never fail to inspire awe, but they are only the beginning of what Siem Reap has to offer. Featuring a mix of colonial and Chinese-style architecture, the city offers craft shops, silk farms, museums, and traditional Apsara dance performances. In the surrounding countryside, you can see rice-paddies, fishing villages, and an array of exotic birds. Siem Reap is not to be missed.
Sihanoukville. 230 kilometers from Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, is the port town of Sihanoukville. A journey to Cambodia in the dry season between November and April demands a trip to the dazzling water and clear skies of Sihanoukville. The sandy white beaches offer excellent opportunity for swimming, diving, and plenty of great sunbathing. You can tour the nearby islands by boat or enjoy seafood at one of the local restaurants. If you have ever dreamed of escaping to a tropical paradise, this is your chance.
Phnom Penh. A four hour drive from the sandy shores of Sihanoukville is the capital city of Phnom Penh. If you love the peace and tranquility of the harbor town, Phnom Penh is probably not for you. This city, because of its oppressive heat, humidity, and ever-present crime, is not a destination for the casual leisure traveler. For those who want a vacation worth talking about, though, Phnom Penh holds many treasures, including the National Museum of Cambodia, the Royal Palace, the attractive Sisowath Quay boulevard, and majestic ruined temples. Phnom Penh is also home to the chilling Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. While these will not be the most "pleasant" parts of your Cambodian adventure, they do give you terrific insight into the history and culture of this fascinating country.
Cambodia is a remarkable destination for those who want to travel off the beaten path.