Major problems such as land mines, devastated infrastructure and poverty still exists in Cambodia, but the healing process and reconstruction is well under way these days. The temples of Angkor may be drawing the majority of the crowd, but there are several must see places in Cambodia which include the colonial buildings, tropical beaches and natural attractions.
1. Siem Reap
This charming town is the gateway to the famous Angkor temples besides being itself a major tourist hub. This city offers a great variety of hotels and large number of restaurants, giving a taste of the Cambodian culture to its visitors all in one place.
2. Preah Vihear
Lying on the border of Cambodia and Thailand, this 525m Khmer temple offers the most magnificent setting of them all. Major part of the temple got constructed in the period of 11th-12th century and was dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu god.
The biggest attractions of this place are the numerous under-developed tropical islands and the white-sand beaches. This beach resort and port city is the perfect place for the tourists to unwind and relax and one of the popular tourist places in Cambodia.
4. Tonle Sap
South East Asia’s biggest freshwater lake, Tonle Sap holds a place of great importance for Cambodia. With the change of seasons, the lake shrinks and expands dramatically.
5. Silver Pagoda
The Silver pagoda, located in Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace compound houses infinite number of national treasures including jewelled and gold Buddha statues. The chief among them is the baccarat crystal Buddha from the 17th century and the life-sized Maitreya Buddha in gold and 9584 diamonds.
6. Bokor Hill Station
The French built this back in the 1920s to use it as a haven from Phnom Penh’s heat. The abandoned buildings of this place give a ghost-town and eerie kind of feel nowadays, providing ample fodder for the strong-hearted.
The small town of Kratie is located on the Mekong riverbanks, with a central marketplace dominating the town and is surrounded by French colonial buildings. Here one can see the Irrawaddy dolphins, with the number ranging between 66 and 86.
8. Koh Ker
During the period between 928 AD and 944 AD, some very interesting buildings and sculptures got constructed here. This was the period of the Khmer empire’s capital. This used to be Cambodia’s most inaccessible and remote temple destinations, but thanks to the recent de-mining and toll road opening, this place is now easily accessible.
9. Banteay Srei
Built mainly from red sandstone, this temple got completed back in 967 AD and is one of the must see places in Cambodia.
Cambodia’s biggest attraction, this spectacular ancient site is a massive temple complex. It includes the world-renowned Angkor Wat which is the biggest single religious monument in the world. The place is also home to the Bayon temple and Ta Prohm.