Cambodia is a country in Southeast Asia of incredible beauty, with famous breathtaking temples, fertile plains dotted with rice fields, and a history unlike any other. The dominant religion is Buddhism, which places value on hospitality and kindness. Each year, Cambodia draws millions of tourists who come to enjoy the country's breathtaking sights and enter the walls of Cambodia's Angkor Wat - one of the seven wonders of the world.
The stunning temples of Angkor are the obvious draw for most visitors, but the country has much else to offer: a smattering of undeveloped golden beaches, unspoilt forests, a balmy climate, and a relaxed atmosphere that's refreshingly low on hassle. Most tourists make for the cosmopolitan capital, Phnom Penh, at some point during their visit to Cambodia. A pleasing, low-rise city graced with leafy boulevards, the capital offers the chance to take in the splendour of the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, while the cream of ancient Khmer art is housed a stone's throw away at the National Museum.
Arrival in Phnom Penh. Transfer - Sightseeing in Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh is a chaotic, energetic and always fascinating city. Graceful tree-lined boulevards and riverfront promenades are reminders of bygone eras; today they teem with life and activity, as motorcycles weave in and out of traffic, vendors hawk their wares, and pedestrians go about their business. Start your tour with an insight into Cambodia's cultural heritage with a visit to the Royal Palace, still the official residence of King Norodom Sihamoi and the adjacent Silver Pagoda, also known as the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha. Continue to the elegant National Museum, which contains a comprehensive collection of Khmer Art. Finally, explore the modern-day city, visiting one of Phnom Penh's two great markets, the Central Market, located in a distinctive domed Art Deco building, and the sprawling Russian Market, a labyrinth of stalls selling everything from CDs and DVDs to silks, crafts, jewelry and more. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Transfer - Flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - Transfer - Sightseeing in Angkor.
Visit Angkor Thom. The fortified city of Angkor Thom covers an area of 10 square km. Enclosed by a wall and wide moats, the city includes many of Angkor's most popular sights. Enter by the monumental South Gate over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant naga. Continue to the Terrace Of The Elephants and the Terrace Of The Leper Kings, former spaces for public cermonies, both adorned with dramatic bas reliefs. Visit the ruined Baphuon, Royal Enclosure and Phimeanakas before continuing to the mysterious Bayon Temple. In this temple, one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor, explore the galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where you will find giant stone faces smiling enigmatically down at you from every angle. Visit a temple for sunset. Watch the sun set over the Cambodian countryside from the upper terraces of an ancient Angkorian temple. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Sightseeing in Angkor. The crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat is the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. To approach the temple, first cross the vast moat, continuing along a broad causeway lined with naga balustrades. As you enter the main building, ascend through a series of galleries and courtyard before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. On the way, stop to enjoy the intricate stonecarvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along the outer gallery walls run the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones.
Visit Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm is one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them.
Visit Banteay Srei Temple. Seemingly miniature in comparison to the other Angkor temples, Banteay Srei is considered to be the jewel of classical Khmer art. Built in pink sandstone, the walls are covered in exquisitely preserved carvings of unusual delicacy. Because of its small size, fairy-like atmosphere and extraordinary examples of Khmer sculpture, this temple is often a favorite with visitors. Transfer.