Preah Vihear is a Khmer temple situated atop a 525 meter (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, on the border between Cambodia and Thailand. It has the most spectacular setting of all the Khmer temples. Most of the temple was constructed in the 11th and 12th century during the reigns of the Khmer kings Suryavarman I and Suryavarman II. It was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Preah Vihear is the subject of a long-running territorial dispute between Thailand and Cambodia, and several soldiers were killed in clashes in 2009.
National Museum of Cambodia
The National Museum is home to the world’s greatest collection of Khmer artifacts and is well worth a visit ahead of a trip to the temples of Angkor Wat. A stroll through the attraction takes in a range of sculptures, ceramics, and other ancient objects dating back to the prehistoric, pre-Angkorian, and post-Angkorian periods, offering an intriguing insight into the country’s rich history.
Nestled a short ferry ride from Phnom Penh, this small island sits a million miles away from the capital’s hustle and bustle. Perfect to explore on the back of a bike, Koh Dach, also known as Silk Island, is renowned for its silk weaving, with a center dedicated to ancient techniques open to the public. Looking for Private Home Siem Reap?
In Kompong Som Province, Sihanoukville is a tale of two halves, with a bustling but drab central district and its shoreline area home to a vibrant beach resort. The beaches here are Cambodia’s top destination for sand and sun holidays and are popular with both local and foreign tourists. There’s something for every kind of beach-goer here. Sokha Beach and Independence Beach boast the luxury hotels. Brash Ochheuteal Beach and the Serendipity Beach area are the most popular sandy strips and in recent years have emerged as one of Southeast Asia’s backpacker party areas. For a much quieter scene, just to the south is Otres Beach with beach huts huddled directly on the sand, a sprinkling of classy boutique hotels, and a number of up-and-coming restaurants.
Tonle Sap is Cambodia’s most important waterway and Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. As well as being an important source of food and a vital tool for Cambodian irrigation, the lake itself is home to 170 floating villages that depend on fishing for their livelihood, with homes built directly on the water. The houses, shops, churches, schools, and temples of these villages are built on rustic buoy foundations of lashed together barrels and bamboo, and all transport is by boat. They’re a fascinating place to spend a day exploring. One of the most interesting is the sprawling village of Kompong Luong, near the town of Pursat on Tonle Sap’s western shore, although the most popular village to visit is Chong Kneas near Siem Reap.
This pre-Angkorian temple site dates from the early 7th century when it was the capital of the Upper Chenla Empire. More than 100 brick temples dedicated to various Hindu gods sit within the forest here, many half-swallowed by mammoth tree roots. Archaeologically, the site is extremely important, containing some of Cambodia’s oldest surviving buildings, but you don’t have to be an archaeology buff to appreciate the ethereal beauty of this tree-wrapped site. The most important temples in the area are found in Prasat Sambor, Prasat Tao, and Prasat Yeay Peau, which all have remarkably clear carvings on their temple walls and plenty of ethereal ambience provided by twisting tree trunks and coiling vines. You can access Sambor Prei Kuk from Kompong Thom.
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