August 21, 2012


            Cambodia is a Southeast Asian country which is most often than not, overlooked. Being sandwiched by Thailand and Vietnam, 2 popular countries for shopping and countryside views respectively, it’s not surprising that people aren’t too enthusiastic about this pious kingdom. Even though it does not receive its due appreciation in the worldwide market, the people who have visited the country loved and adored the simple laid back country. 

from Indochina Odyssey Tours
            Geographically, Cambodia is located in the Indochina Peninsula. It is bordered by Vietnam to the East, Laos to the North, Thailand to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the South.

            Just like the Philippines, Cambodia is a tropical country with 2 distinct seasons, the dry and the rainy season with temperature ranging from 21 to 35 degrees Celsius. The landscape is also similar that while traveling, it’ll almost feel like home.

Cambodia also has the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, known as the Tonle Sap or the Great Lake. The Tonle Sap’s normal size is 2,700 km² but on the rainy season, it expands up to 16,000 km². A lake almost the size of CALABARZON Region.

There are 2 Major destinations in Cambodia. The most famous is the Angkor Wat Complex in Siem Reap and the capital city, Phnom Penh.

Royal Palace's Throne Hall
Phnom Penh’s name means Penh’s Hill from the legend of Lady Penh building Wat Phnom, the first temple, in the highest point of the city.  

Fish Amok, Cambodia's National Dish
The capital’s urban center is not as big as what you’d expect. If by comparison, the urban city of Phnom Penh is just as big as the capital city of a province in the Philippines. Buildings and structures are relatively small and there are only a few skyscrapers. Tuktuk’s (similar to the tricycle, with the motorcycle in front) and motorcycles dominate the roads.

Brown Coffee and Bakery
National Museum, Phnom Penh
PhnomPenh is considered as young city for it only started in 1866. Nevertheless, PhnomPenh looks flourishing with grand temples and parks every few hundred meters, outstanding restaurants serving both local and international cuisines, lots of coffee shops and striking architecture.

Central Market or Phsar Thmei
The laid-back atmosphere also makes you just want to slow down and savor the tranquility.

Siem Reap

Sanskrit Inscription on a column in Angkor Wat
Tourism is the 2nd largest income contributor in Cambodia’s economy with the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap as the key attraction.

In the mid to late 1900’s, Cambodia’s tourism industry shutdown due to the Civil War. But in 1993, with international urges, Cambodia’s tourism opened again. There were 7,000 tourist arrivals in 1993 but through the years, it has risen dramatically. Just last year, 2011, there were over 2.8 million tourist arrivals in the country.

Presently, Cambodia is almost synonymous with the famous Angkor Wat, that it’s even depicted in the country’s national flag.

Siem Reap is a small city in the Siem Reap province in northwestern Cambodia. About 5 km to the north of the city is the Angkor Archaeological Park. The Angkor Archaeological Park consists of numerous temples dating back from 9th to the 15th century.

Angkor Wat
The most famous of the temples is the Angkor Wat.

North of Angkor Wat is Angkor Thom, a bigger fortress but with scattered temples much smaller than Angkor Wat. The most famous temple in Angkor Thom is the Bayon with its distinctive features of large stone faces.

Ta Prohm
East of Angkor Thom is another temple made famous by Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider: Ta Prohm.

Life in Siem Reap is slow but invigorating. Furthermore, the temples are overwhelming that you’ll feel goose bumps at first sight. Defiinitely a must-see site before you die.

Siem Reap

P.S. I’ll update this list as soon as I’ve finished the other posts

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1 comment:

  1. Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia’s climate is hot and warm almost all year round.