The Kingdom of Cambodia has seen some turbulent times in the latter half of the 20th century but now, once again it is at peace and is set to take its place as one of South-East Asia’s most fascinating and rewarding destinations.
Cambodia lies in the heart of South-East Asia bordering Vietnam to the east, Laos to the north and Thailand in the west. Despite being much smaller than its neighbours Cambodia’s unique Indian-influenced Khmer culture has remained very much in tact. The once mighty Khmer Empire flourished during the Angkorian period between the 9th and 14th centuries when it was the cultural centre of the region and exerted its influence over Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. For many of today’s travellers the incredible architectural legacy left from this period of history, the temples of Angkor, are without doubt the main reason for visiting Cambodia. The base for exploring the temples of Angkor is the provincial capital, Siem Reap.
The modern day capital of Cambodia is Phnom Penh, once considered one of the most beautiful cities of the Orient, it still retains much of its original charm with the exotic roof lines of Khmer temples contrasting with some classic European architecture from the French colonial years. Sihanoukville, also known as Kompong Som, is a beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand that is now beginning to attract visitors in increasing numbers.