Tropical Cambodia is a country located on the southern tip of the Indochina Peninsula, bordering Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Famous not only for its breathtaking beauty but also for the indomitable spirit of its people, Cambodia is a country atop many travellers' favourites lists.
Depending on which direction you come from, Cambodia holidays are most likely to start in the capital Phnom Penh. Once known as the 'Pearl of Asia', the city is full of post-colonial remnants of the French influence in Indochina and still today houses many mansions and even more authentic French baguette sellers.
Phnom Penh's multiple museums and royal buildings give visitors a good overview of the country's turbulent past but to experience life like a local it's worthwhile exploring the ever-present markets and sampling some spicy street stall delicacies.
Don't miss awe-inspiring Angkor Wat
Some travellers choose to skip the hustle and bustle of the cities altogether, opting for regional Cambodia tours instead. Among its lush green landscapes of rice paddies, palm tree groves and mighty rivers, the gorgeous countryside hides many of the leftover splendours of the Khmer empire, which used to extend throughout much of Southeast Asia.
As every Cambodia travel guide will hasten to inform you, Angkor Wat is the foremost sight drawing in visitors from across the globe and is often referred to as the eighth Wonder Of The World. This supremely beautiful and mysterious temple complex is the most extensive of its kind and features moats, galleries and towers.
Wandering around the structures will take you back to another era, and it's worth doing so with a local guide who can share some of the history of the place and point out hidden details you might otherwise miss.
Explore Siem Reap and reap the benefits
Just a short drive away is Siem Reap, the perfect place to stay while exploring the temples.Though largely popular with backpackers, modern Siem Riep is rapidly expanding its accommodation options, with boutique hotels popping up in-between the old European-style shop fronts.
Siem Reap also features tree-lined boulevards in the French Quarter, as well as traditional Chinese architecture and plenty of local arts and crafts to explore. After dark the small city has some of the best nightlife in Cambodia.
The introduction of budget airlines means that flights to Cambodia are relatively inexpensive and increasingly frequent these days, especially from Asian hubs such as Bangkok.
If you have time to explore, consider a visit to one of the country's beaches or adding Cambodia to a tour of Southeast Asia, which includes stops in Thailand, Laos and/or Vietnam.