Must Things Travellers To Do

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Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

Tourists can experience a vast amount of activity in Cambodia. This article suggests top things to do when travelling to Cambodia.

Angkor
Angkor, the former capital of the ancient Khmer Empire, is one of the greatest and most spectacular Hindu religious sites in the world. Construction of this elaborate temple complex – built in honour of the god Vishnu – began in AD 879 during the reign of King Suryavarman II and was completed in 1191. It lay concealed for many years, however, until the site was discovered by Frenchman Henri Mahout in 1860. The central complex, Angkor Wat, features an elaborate, unmortared 66-metre (215-foot) central tower surrounded by four smaller towers. Stretching around the outside of the temple complex is an 800m-long (2625ft) bas-relief, the longest in the world. This is Cambodia’s most iconic sight, and particularly popular at sunset among tour groups. The temple is so synonymous with the country that it dominates the national flag, and to visit it today is to marvel at the scale of its ambition, built as it was in the 12th century.

Bayon

Bayon Temple
Bayon Temple

Another of the most distinctive Angkor temples, Bayon is characterised by a series of colossal stone faces, gazing out serenely in all four directions, as well as some painstakingly detailed bas-reliefs. Bayon was built at a similar time to Angkor Wat.

Bokor Hill Station

Bokor Hill Station
Bokor Hill Station

An abandoned French hill station in the south of the country, Bokor was built originally as a weekend sanctuary for settlers stuck in stifling Phnom Penh. Today, the hotel and casino complex stands as an eerily derelict reminder of days gone by.

Cycling around Angkor
Hire a bike and spend a few days exploring the myriad glories of the jungled Angkor Temple Complex. The showpiece architecture of Angkor Wat makes it the best known of the temples, but there are dozens of others to discover.

Dolphin spotting

Dophin Spotting
Dophin Spotting

The claim to fame of the Mekong town of Kratie is its population of Irrawaddy river dolphins. Various tour operators organise early-morning boat trips to observe these peaceful creatures in their natural habitat.

Feast on fresh seafood

Fresh Seefood in Phnom Penh
Fresh Seefood in Phnom Penh

Cambodia’s coastline offers the chance for the archetypal Asian beach experience, but no amount of sea and sand is complete without sampling its ocean-fresh seafood. The stretch around Kampot and Kep is excellent for just-caught crab.