Cambodia is, of course, famous for its Angkor Wat temples but this country has also plenty of resources. The landscapes and the Khmer culture are great to discover as this country stay very authentic because tourism is very slowly developing.
Obviously, you absolutely have to visit the Angkor temples, Cambodia’s real jewels. Khmer kingdom’s heritage during the IX and XV century of which Angkor was the capital had not less than 750, 000 residents. Successive kings built magnificent temples of which a large number remain today. The largest and best-known one is Angkor Wat but, for me, the most beautiful temples are those which have been abandoned to nature. The trees’ roots which enclose these old stones give another magical dimension to the temples. During my visit, I chose a three-day pass and honestly, I think it's the best. It leaves you plenty of time to really enjoy the temples without rushing. I decided to ride a bike for the tour on the third day and I recommend you to do so. It allows you to go at your own pace and to go towards the temples that are not on the Tuk-Tuk circuit.
Cambodia's capital is worth seeing and will be certainly the place to visit if you want to see something other than the Angkor temples.
During my journey, I really liked Battambang’s surroundings. The green rice fields as far as the eye can see, a farmer’s life and the buffalos which are basking in the water offer a spectacular show.
The area shelter also has a huge artificial lake which was built to irrigate the rice fields. We can swim and it is rather pleasant to cool off in it. The discovery of this lake is unusual because it was built where there was initially a forest and we can still see the treetops rising above the surface of the lake.
But the event not to be missed is at Battambang! It’s the bats flying out at dusk. A thousand are coming out from a cave and this show lasts for almost an hour. It’s breathtaking to see that! For the record, when the bats fly out, people are trying to catch them throwing barbed wire to them, in order to eat them. But the owner of the cave, who is taking care of these bats for their excrement (that he sells at an expensive price) doesn’t agree with it! Thus, you can see him on his motorbike following the bats to be sure that no one is catching them. For your information, most of the Guest Houses offer a tour which allows you to discover the area. Otherwise, you can easily rent a scooter and wander around.
Ideally located on the banks of the Mekong, this town is a good place to start visiting the district. Many temples to explore as well as the landscape to enjoy. But above all, you have to cross the famous bamboo bridge that links the city to an island located in the middle of the Mekong river. This little island is very nice and pleasant to visit bike riding.
Kep is a small town near the sea that is worth visiting. It is not a heavenly sea there but I advise you to take the boat to go to rabbits’ island that is facing the city. The island is really quiet and this is the dream spot to chill out. Massages on the beach, restaurants, cocktails… “la belle vie” that’s the beautiful life ! You can even stay for the night in one of the numerous bungalows. Back to Kep, I advise you to rent a scooter and to visit the area, the landscapes are magnificent. You can go to Secret lake, pepper plantations, Kompong track caves…
A ride I really like to do is to go to Angkol beach, a beautiful beach in the middle of the coconut trees and to come back to Kep through the salted dumps at sunset.
And of course, you have to taste the famous green pepper crab! Kep specials!
I think Takéo deserve a stop-over just for its market and its crayfishes. You can eat a super crayfishes dish fished in the lake for a very small price.
The Amok fish is a typical Cambodian dish - a real treat! Served with rice, the fish is cooked in banana leaves with coco milk, curry and lemongrass…
If you have the chance to get invited to an evening party or much better to a wedding ceremony, go for it!
In Cambodia, you can often see tents installed in the middle of the road for the ceremonies. Whether for the first year of a newborn, a wedding, a birthday party, all the occasions are good to celebrate! The sound crackles in the loudspeakers but who cares! It isn't the high-quality sound that matters but the power. Late in the evening, you will have to dance and believe me the art of dancing in Cambodia is worth it!
Surely one of the most popular activities in Cambodia! And so enjoyable…
I think that to really enjoy Cambodia, the best thing to do is to rent a scooter and to get lost in the small paths… The richness of Cambodia lies in these landscapes. Each plot of land seems inhabited and exploited, which gives to the rural areas a singular beauty.