The Kingdom of Cambodia has more to offer than the stunning temples of Ankor; the tropical beaches, colonial buildings and an abundance of natural attractions await you there at this destination which is slowly recovering from the horrors of the Khmer Rouge’s reign. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the major attractions in Cambodia…
Angkor Archaeological Park
The Angkor Archaeological Park, located about four miles north of the city center is a 150-square-mile complex, which includes the famous Angkor Wat Temple. Angkor Wat, the Buddhist temple complex here, is the largest religious monument in the world and sees steady droves of tourists coming in all year. It is estimated that a whopping 2.5 million tourists visit the monument each year. The largest religious monument in the world, covering nearly one square mile, Angkor Wat was built as a Hindu temple by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. It was converted into a Buddhist site in the 14th or 15th century and continues to be an important place for Theravada Buddhists.
There aren’t many temples anywhere in the world that can give Angkor Wat a run for its money, but is one of them. Located in the country’s far north, 800 metre-long Preah Vihear is comprised of five gopura (stone gateways separating the temple’s five sections) with ancient staircases and walkways guiding visitors along the way. It is perched on the edge of a giant cliff, about 625 meters above sea level in Preah Vihear Province, Northern part of Cambodia, 625km from the capital city of Phnom Penh. It is also situated close to the Cambodia-Thai border.
The temple has four levels and four courtyards. Palace Building or Gopuras on the third level was the King’s residence when he came to pay homage to the mighty God, and the two wings were the shelters for the pilgrims. The first level Gopura is a pavilion in Greek architecture style.
Battambang, Cambodia’s second-largest city, is the former capital of Monton Kmer and lies in the heart of the Northwest of Cambodia. It’s a riverside town, home to some of the best-preserved, French colonial architecture in the country. Until recently Battambang was off the map for road travellers, but it makes a great base for visiting the nearby temples, such as Phnom Banon and Wat Ek Phnom, as well as the close by villages. The small museum here has a collection of Angkorian-era artifacts, and beyond the town there’s a number of hilltop temples, yet more Wats and a pretty large lake. One of the more famous hills is Phnom Sampeau (Ship Hill) with the notorious killing caves.
A quiet but beautiful town nestled into the hills; Mondulkiri is a must visit, undeveloped place, with thickly forested mountains, powerful waterfalls and the lush green rolling hills of the western side. The town of Sen Monorom is the best base camp for travelers who want to explore the surrounding areas.
Boo Sra Waterfall, located at Pich Chinda District, is 43 kilometers away and is accessible by red soil road. Boo Sra is the most beautiful waterfall in Modulkiri and shared into three stages: The third stage of the waterfall cannot be reached because it is located in thick forest, lack of transportation and is also very dangerous due to having fierce-wild animals.
Sen Monorum Waterfall, located at Sen Monorum District, is just five-kilometer distance from the provincial town and is accessible by red soil trail. You can see rubber, coffee and cashew plantations on both sides of the trail. Sen Monorum waterfall also has three stages.
Rum Near Waterfall, located at Sen Monorum District, has has five-meter height and 10-meter diameter during rainy season.
Ratanakiri is situated in the highland, along the National Road No19 from Ou porng Moan to the Vietnam border about 200 km. It is bordering Vietnam on the east, Laos PDR on the North, Steung Treng on the West and Mondul Kiri on the South. There are two rivers crossing the province ( Sre Pork and Sresan River).
Yeak Loam Lake is the most beautiful lake of Ratanakiri, which was formed by a volcanic eruption almost 4,000 years ago. Yeak Loam Lake is 50 m. deep, 800 m. diameter and there’s also a walking path around the lake of 2,500 m. Two hundred meters of the track is a quaint wooden building housing tribal handicraft, the Crafts Museum.
Kachang Waterfall, is located in the Kontung stream and flows into the Sre Pok River. The visitors can take a bath or go around to view other attractions on foot or take an elephant ride. Katieng Waterfall is also located in the Koutung Stream, below the Kachang Waterfall, 3 km.
Ou’Sean Lair Waterfall has 4 floors and the height of each floor is 4 m. You can also visit other waterfalls like Ou’Sensranoh Waterfall and Cha Ung Waterfall.
The Veal Rum Plan (stone field), situated 14 km North of Banlung and Virachay National Park, situated 45 km north of Banlung are other attractions worth a visit.