Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation whose landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and Gulf of Thailand coastline. Phnom Penh, its capital, is home to the art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum's historical and archaeological exhibits. In the country's northwest are the ruins of Angkor Wat, a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire.

Since Cambodia reopened its borders to tourists in the early 1990s, visitors from around the world have flocked to this intriguing Southeast Asian country to experience its fascinating cultural heritage, to engage with the wonderfully welcoming locals, and to marvel at the numerous spectacular natural wonders Cambodia has to offer. Phnom Penh, the nation’s bustling capital, is home to a slew of excellent restaurants, lively outdoor markets and a boisterous nightlife. However, most of Cambodia’s most popular attractions are located beyond the capital.

The spectres of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge still haunt Cambodia, but peace and optimism are slowly returning and there’s a frontier-style excitement and entrepreneurial zing to the place.  Take saffron-robed monks, lichen-covered ruins, hard-core moto traffic and clouds of dragonflies, and mix with jasmine-scented sunsets, gracious colonial boulevards, gorgeous silks and rioting bougainvilleas, garnish with the zest of Buddhism and serve at streaming temperatures.

Best time to visit

November to January, when humidity levels are low

Eat

Sticky banana – a baked banana wrapped in rice, inside a banana leaf, fish amok – a coconut fish curry, served in a coconut; fried spiders – by all accounts they taste like…. Chicken

Drink

Soda and fresh lime – nothing beats the heat quite as well; Angkor beer, the award-winning local beer.

Cambodia is not as cheap as other destinations in the region but still very reasonable; the sun goes down between 5-6 pm regardless of time of year; luxury items such as French wines are available in supermarkets.

 

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