A hidden gem in South East Asia and less traveled than it’s sister Thailand, Cambodia is full of Asian charm, traditional customs and bundles of character. Whether you’re looking for a slice of beach paradise, a jungle adventure or to gain an understanding of the country’s turbulent history through temples and museums, Cambodia has everything you could ask for.
Cambodia’s varying landscape, tropical weather and extremely cheap prices make it a must see destination for those wishing to travel and there are plenty of beautiful areas waiting to be discovered.
- The Cambodian flag is the only one in the world that features a building on it. The building is the temple of Angkor Wat.
- To greet each other many Cambodians press their palms together in front of their bodies and bow, this is called Sompeah and the younger or lower rnaked person will imitate the gesture.
- Most Cambodian young men are monks for some time during their lives.
Travel Highlights in Cambodia
- Discover the ancient ruins of Angkor, one of the most spectacular ancient sites on Earth. Explore the mesmerising Angkor Wat temple, the imposing stone faces of the Bayon temple and the enchanting ruins of Ta Prohm where ancient monuments are intertwined by trees.
- Kick back and relax on the golden beaches of Sihanoukville in the South of Cambodia. With glistening blue waters and beaches for miles this is the perfect place to put down your rucksack and rest your feet! Take a boat trip to one of the surrounding islands for a secluded, tranquil treat.
• Spot Irrawaddy Dolphin in the beautiful town of Kratie along the Mekong River. This lively riverside town boasts beautiful French architecture and arguably the best sunset along the Mekong in Cambodia.
- Explore the local markets of the bustling, vibrant Siam Reap. With a vast array of trinkets, food and traditional clothing on offer at unbelievably low prices you are sure to pick up some original souvenirs for your friends back home. This charming town is also packed full of amazing restaurants and bars to relax at the end of the day.
- Visit the floating villages of Tonle Sap based on the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia. During the dry season the lake drains into the Mekong River, but in the wet season it is a thriving, agriculturally significant lake for Cambodia.
Where is Cambodia?
Situated in the heart of South East Asia Cambodia’s international borders are shared with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It’s fantastic central location makes Cambodia the perfect destination for those wanting to explore this fascinating part of the world as the surrounding countries are easily accessible.
Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is warm to hot year round and the climate is dominated by the annual monsoon cycle with its alternating wet and dry seasons. These cycles are split into two distinct season, the dry season from October to April and the wet season from May to October.
Language in Cambodia
Khmer is the official language spoken in Cambodia and is used in most social contexts including throughout education and in the mass media. Khmer is spoken by roughly 90% of the population which is almost 7 million people.
The People of Cambodia
Cambodia has had it’s fair share of unrest and has only recently emerged from years of turmoil at the hands of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge with the devastating loss of approximately two million lives throughout their regime. Since the invasion of Vietnam and the fall of the Khmer Rouge Cambodia has made great steps forward and has slowly begun to rebuild its economy and sense of culture, however as one of the poorest countries in the world there is still a long way to go, and much of their economic future depends upon it’s increase in tourist development. Despite this Cambodians are some of the most warm and friendly people you are likely to meet and are sure to welcome you with open arms and an inviting smile.
The majority of Cambodians follow a form of Buddhism called Theravada Buddhism. Originated in India Theravada teaches the concept of reincarnation, with the belief that depending on their behaviour in this life they will either come back as a lower or higher being in their next life.
Travelling in Cambodia
There are plenty of temples, jungles and beaches to keep you busy during your free time in Cambodia and the more you discover of this amazing country the further you will want to delve! Whether you fancy catching some rays on a deserted beach or trekking through ancient temples, Cambodia is certain not to disappoint and you will find something for everyone here.
Cambodia’s most famous tourist attraction, and rightly so, are the temples of Angkor Wat, hidden in lush jungle just outside Siem Reap. One of the most important archaeological sites in South East Asia these temples tell the history of the Khmer Empire and is highly significant as a site of cultural, religious and symbolic values. For the best way to view Angkor Wat set your alarm early and experience the awe inspiring sunrise across the temples away from all the crowds. For white sand beaches, deserted islands and amazing diving head to Sihanoukville, a thriving backpackers town on the beach where there is no shortage of fun! Or visit one of Cambodias three floating villages, where the houses are built on bamboo stilts and locals sell food and trinkets from boats.
Gap Year and Career Break Trips in Cambodia
Visit Cambodia and experience one of the most exotic and alluring countries in the world. Explore the lush jungles, enchanting temples and palm fringed beaches that await you and make your gap year or career break the trip of a lifetime!