The growth of tourism in Cambodia is a shining example of how a country with a miserable recent history can recover and welcome people from all over the world. Cambodia tours reveal a huge number of historical, religious and cultural attractions to clients who wish to know more about the country and the region as a whole. Indochina was largely under French control until independence in the middle of the 20th Century. In the case of Cambodia the years that immediately followed the Vietnam War were utter misery. Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge ran a regime of terror for a few years before the Vietnamese managed to expel both. In those few years huge numbers were tortured and killed and there are reminders of those days within Cambodia tour packages.
Clients can discuss the content of Cambodia private tours and have all their questions answered. There are some obvious highlights. Overseas tourists are likely to fly into Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh which has direct flights from all over Asia and beyond. Let’s start our look at Cambodia in more detail there.
While Phnom Penh is becoming a modern city with high rise buildings it is not as developed as quickly as many other capitals of Asia. It is a city of wide boulevards, a legacy of French colonial times and great Buddhist architecture. The city sits where the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers meet and is a great place to start Cambodia private tours. Sisowath Quay on the riverside is a popular area with good cafes and shops. The river is a great place to relax in general, especially after a busy day visiting Phnom Penh’s highlights.
• The Royal Palace complex including two pagodas.
• Wat Phnom, a temple built on a hill and Wat Botum, the favourite of the monarchy.
• Cambodia’s National Museum is a place that explains more about the History of the Country.
• Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is a sombre place, and more so the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek just outside the city; the awful record and site of Pol Pot’s atrocities.
• The Memorials of Independence (won from the French) and Liberation (after the Vietnamese deposed Pol Pot).
Siem Reap’s importance grew because of its proximity to Angkor. It is in the north west of Cambodia and contains some interesting colonial and Chinese architecture, museums and temples but the real attraction of the area is Angkor. Having said that it is worth going to Tonle Sap Lake, the largest in Indochina. It expands by five times to 15,000 square kilometres during the monsoon with the depth increasing from a single metre to eight metres. No surprising there are floating villages and this is a great place to observe daily life.
Birdwatchers will certainly enjoy the lake and Cambodia private tours can be tailored for those interested in the nature of Cambodia. Certainly there are large parts of Cambodia that have not been affected by developments that threaten the natural environment.
The site of Ankor covers 400 square kilometres. Its archeological significance can never be overestimated. It chronicles the Khmer Empire between the 9th and the 15th Centuries. UNESCO has obviously designated it as a Heritage site. The main attraction is Angkor Wat; few temples will have been photographed in recent years as much as Angkor Wat though during your visit you will also see the Bayon temple, Praeh Khan and Ta Prohm as fine examples of Khmer architecture. It can be crowded at the height of the tourist season but Cambodia tour packages are available all year round if you wish to visit when it will be quieter.
The region is rural with village life an interesting contrast to life on the lake. Here the villagers are growing rice and vegetables. One of the real delights of travelling in Cambodia and the neighbouring countries is the chance to observe life as it has been for generations.
Few rivers capture the imagination as much as the Mekong, 4,500 kilometres through Myanmar, Laos and Thailand before reaching Cambodia. It rises on the Tibetan Plateau and enters the South China Sea in Vietnam. It is not navigable along its whole length because of rapids and waterfalls but it is possible to cruise from Phnom Penh all the way down to Vietnam.
Actually there is container traffic on the river but freshwater dolphins and fishing villages still feature. Cambodia tour packages inevitably include some aspect of the Mekong and quite rightly so.
Cambodia private tours are exciting and often pack a great deal into a relatively short time. A good way to relax towards the end of your holiday or perhaps to have a break before starting another leg of your Indochina journey is to visit the coast and its lovely beaches.
Sihanoukville is a deep water port but it is the resort area that attracts the tourist. It sits on the Gulf of Thailand south west of Phnom Penh and gets its name from the Prince deposed by the Khmer Rouge. For years afterwards it was fairly deserted and its resurrection was due to backpackers in search of somewhere new. They found great beaches and the word spread. These days there are water sports to enjoy and the chance to simply relax if that is the preference.
Cambodia tours have introduced tourists to a relatively new destination. Numbers seem certain to grow as good quality reliable companies offer their expertise in including the best of the Country to overseas visitors. Cambodia certainly embraces the idea of tourism as a significant boost to the economy. The infrastructure is still catching up countries like Vietnam and Thailand but a slight inconvenience is more than compensated by what Cambodia offers. Tourists are welcome wherever they travel and should remember the importance of respecting the locals, their religion and culture. Tourists who do that are certain of a rich experience, great memories and perhaps even impatience; to come back for more?