Cambodia is an Asian destination with neighboring countries such as Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Cambodia’s long history shows that the country has been through a lot. Already during the Khmer Empire there was a struggle for power and wealth in Cambodia. This translated into beautiful temple complexes such as we see today at Angkor Wat. The peak of that time was between the eleventh and twelfth centuries. After the fall of the center of power Angkor, Cambodia fell into a turbulent period with many internal conflicts. Later the French arrived and invaded many neighboring countries and eventually Cambodia. The worst period is probably during the Vietnam War, followed by the Khmer Rouge and its leader Pol Pot. The atrocities that the country had to endure at the time are indescribable. However, the strength of the country and especially the inhabitants has become clearly visible afterwards. Cambodia has with the limited resources and all the trauma incurred, put its shoulders to the wheel and for several years now the country has been on the map as a new tourist destination. The tropical monsoon climate translates into temperatures of about thirty degrees all year round. It can, however, regularly rain heavily. Tourists in Cambodia can enjoy a lot of culture, beautiful temples, beautiful beaches, untouched nature and a lot of authenticity. Check topmbadirectory for how to get to Cambodia.
Cambodia ‘s Top 10 Things to Do
#1. Angkor Wat
The most famous temple complex in Cambodia is Angkor Wat, which is located just outside Siem Reap. Although the complex was originally built for the Hindu religion, it has been turned into a predominantly Buddhist temple complex from the late twelfth century onwards. The architectural style of this more than four hundred square kilometers area can best be described as classical Khmer architecture. But over the centuries there are also other styles to discover. The main structure of Angkor Wat is the mausoleum of King Suryavarman II. He was also the initiator of the building of Angkor Wat. But the Bayon temple and the Ta Prohm temple are also very beautiful. Unlike other temples, the temples of Angkor Wat are not built towards the east, but towards the west. There are several theories about this. The towers of Angkor Wat are now world famous and a symbol of Cambodia. It will come as no surprise that the Angkor Wat in Cambodia is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Check simplyyellowpages for mass media and culture of Cambodia.
The fifty-four towers of the Buddhist Bayon temple in Angkor Thom were built by order of Jayavarman VII. Thanks to this exuberance, the temple can be called quite impressive. In the decoration of the Bayon temple all kinds of passages from the life and warfare in Cambodia can be recognized. And each tower again has four faces, about which all kinds of speculations are conducted. Other beautiful temples in the area are Banteay Srei, Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm temple.
#3. Royal Palace
The Royal Palace of Cambodia is located in the capital Phnom Penh. This huge complex consists of various parts that together form the residence of the king of Cambodia. The Royal Palace was built in 1866 on the remains of an old citadel. The entire complex is divided into four parts: Silver Pagoda, Khemarin Palace, Throne Hall and Moonlight Pavilion. The Throne Hall is still used for ceremonial events. the ‘Silver Pagoda’ on the southern side of the complex fulfills the role of “treasury”. The ‘Khemarin’ palace is mainly the residence of the king. And the ‘Moonlight Pavilion’ is used for state banquets and speeches.
#4. Angkor Thom
One of the most beautiful parts of the archaeological site and temple complex Angkor Wat is Angkor Thom. It was the last city of the Khmer Empire. This area of more than nine square kilometers was built at the end of the twelfth century. The order to build Angkor Thom came from King Jayavarman VII. In the central part of Angkor Thom is an older building, the Royal Palace.
#5. Silver Pagoda
Around 1892, the Silver Pagoda was built in the center of the city of Phnom Penh. This ‘Wat Preah Keo’, as the pagoda is also called, was made of wood at the time. It was not until 1962 that it was decided to build a sturdier pagoda. The new Silver Pagoda now consists of marble, concrete and more than five thousand silver tiles. In the interior are a number of Buddha statues. One is a ninety kilo gold specimen, which is set with thousands of real diamonds. The Silver Pagoda of Phnom Penh in Cambodia is within walking distance of the Royal Palace.
#6. Killing Fields
Much suffering has taken place in the area known today as ‘Killing Fields’. The ‘Killing Fields’ or ‘Choeung Ek’ as it is originally called, was a place where prisoners were tortured and/or killed during the reign of the communist Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot. For example, there is a tree on the site, where children were hit with their heads, until death followed. Also, before and after photos of the people were taken and this was registered later. The former S-21 school became the headquarters for torture and interrogations at the time. During the liberation of Phnom Penh in 1979, only a few survivors were liberated here. After that, the Tuol Sleng Museum was established on this spot, which for a long time was managed by one of the last prisoners. The stupa of Choeung Ek is a monument in which hundreds of skulls of various prisoners from that time are kept. The whole thing can come across as shocking, especially for young children.
#7. Tuol Sleng Museum
Cambodia’s genocide museum is officially called the Tuol Sleng Museum. This museum in Phnom Penh is located in the area known as ‘Killing Fields’. Thousands of people were brutally slaughtered here during the reign of the Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot. In the museum you can see through photos and other visual material which deeds this Pol Pot has on his conscience. On the property is a stupa filled with human skulls. Many of these skulls were found during the excavations in this area. It is certainly not a suitable museum for young children.
#8. Banteay Srei
Just outside the Angkor Wat complex you can admire the Banteay Srei temple. This tenth century temple is a beautiful example of Khmer architecture. The temple was discovered around 1914 by a French archaeologist. The temple Banteay Srei is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The decorations in the red sandstone are exceptionally beautiful both inside and out. In addition to the Banteay Srei Temple, the site also includes a cemetery and two buildings on which all kinds of stories and scenes from the past are depicted.
#9. National Museum of Cambodia
The most important episodes and cultural facts from the history of Cambodia are exhibited in the National Museum of Cambodia. The museum houses a lot of archaeological objects, which were excavated during various expeditions. Certainly during the excavations around Angkor Wat, many valuable pieces were transferred to the museum. But the National Museum of Cambodia also has beautiful Khmer art, bronzes, ceramics and carvings. The National Museum of Cambodia is housed in a beautiful traditional building designed by George Groslier, a French archaeologist and architect.
#10. Koh Rong
The lovely island of Koh Rong, is also called ‘Monkey Island’. This part of Cambodia is filled with idyllic beaches, pristine jungle, waterfalls at Sok San and lots of tranquility. A very nice destination as a counterpart to the busy cities such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Srei Saophoan. Here you can fill your days snorkelling, sipping a delicious cocktail or adventurous in the untouched nature.