Cambodia is so special in its own way. As a captivating blend of lost centuries, temple and palace ruins, dark history and stunning coastal towns, Cambodia vacations are the perfect choice for travelers who long for broadening their horizons as well as indulging in some rest and relaxation. So what are top experiences while being in Cambodia?
Below are our top picked ones for a full exploration of Cambodia’s magic.
1. Rowing on the Tonle Sap at sunrise
Tonle Sap is a must on any Cambodia holiday. And one of the best ways to discover this region is rowing around the floating villages of the Tonle Sap at dawn. From 5 am the villages bustle into life: kids head to school, fishermen to work and fruit and veg fill the floating markets. The whole village is covered in glorious light and transformed into a beautiful painting with a bright color palette. To catch a glimpse of this, you should prepare for an early start. School starts at 7 am and finishes around 1 pm (to avoid the heat of the day), so to see the morning run you have to be in the area pretty much at sunrise. This experience will definitely not let you down.
2. Koh Ker
The temple well off the tourist trail Koh Ker is nestled in rural Cambodia, and hide inside a mystic charm with a long history. There aren’t many places left this beautiful that don’t have the coach loads of tourists arriving, but the distance from Siem Reap means it’s still quite off the beaten track. It’s fantastic to spend a morning getting lost among the rambling ruins.
3. Elephant Valley Project, Mondulkiri
An NGO-run elephant project that not only provides employment for local people but is also a wonderfully ethical way to encounter elephants. Set in a beautiful natural environment, the Elephant Valley Project runs a number of schemes to ensure the welfare of elephants. These include elephant research and monitoring, veterinarian support, eco-tourism training and, most importantly, elephant care and rehabilitation. You can’t ride or touch the elephants, which is best for the animals and the locals, but you can get quite close to these amazing creatures as they roam freely around the project grounds.
4. Coastal relaxation in Kep
Formerly a destination for Cambodia’s elite, the coastal resort of Kep is dotted with relics harking back to the country’s Golden Age of the 1950s and 60s. Today, it remains a popular spot with Cambodians during public holidays, with the small stretch of a beach full of families eating freshly caught fish bought from the nearby Crab Market, or wading in the water or playing on the sand. Here you can find a collection of upmarket boutique resorts, restaurants in style and excellent clubs with excellent cocktails.
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