Cambodia Discovery Guide

Overview

Cambodia

Cambodia is located in the eastern half of the Southeast Asian peninsula. The region of Cambodia was known as the Indochina region for many years. Chinese migrated here some 2000 years ago. Along with the Vietnam and Laos, Cambodia was also a colony of French during the 1800s. During World War II, Japan occupied the region and campaigned seek independence. Though the move was robustly resisted by the French, however they were defeated in the war that went on from 1946 to 1954. After that all three countries gained independence.

Cambodia is a mixture of rugged woody uplands and fertile river valleys. The only large lake over here is the Tonlé Sap Lake. Interestingly the lake feeds the Mekong River for seven months and when monsoon comes, the Mekong feeds water into lake making it larger in size by ten times. Cambodia’s largest river, Mekong is the world’s tenth longest river that rises from Tibet. After flowing from China, Burma, Laos and Cambodia, the river ends forming a vast delta in South Vietnam. This is one reason why that most of the Cambodian population dwell in this region and utilize the water of the river to grow rice and other crops. Cambodia has a tropical climate with high temperatures all the year round. The rainy season starts from May to October. Thus Cambodia travel should be planned during the months of December-January.

Cambodia is a backpacker’s heaven. Several activities like cinemas where Khmer and English movies can be seen and public performances of Khmer traditional dances form an integral part of the entertainment industry. There are nightclubs in the capital city of Phnom Penh where you can go partying. Clubs like Rock, Spark and U2 are some of the disco clubs that open after 9:00 pm. There are several pubs and bars too, in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Major tourist attractions include Ratanakiri, Preah Vihear, Sihanoukville, Angkor Wat (7th wonder of the world), Battambang, Banteay Chhmar Temple and Kratie (which is a home to freshwater dolphins). There are various hotels in Cambodia where the backpackers can find good discounts.

Angkor Wat is the most popular tourist destination that attracts thousands of visitors each year. But reaching the temple can be an adventurous especially because the roads and the infrastructure are very poor. However, upon reaching this spectacle, you will see that it surrounded by jungles like Ta Prohm and Prah Khan. The classical dance of Cambodia is based on religious dances that were originally performed in the 12th century temple complex of Angkor Wat.

The best way to come to Cambodia is via flights through Bangkok. Thai airways, Bangkok Airways and the Royal Phnom Penh Airways are the flights that operate regularly between Bangkok and Phnom Penh. Apart from this, the trips via land are also very popular from Thailand. You can take a straight journey by a public transport. While traveling, you have to be careful with your visas and other important documents. Cambodia is well connected from Vietnam too. There are several connecting daily flights. It is better to get your visas stamped before departure because the visas are not issued at the crossing points.
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