Located in northwestern Cambodia, Siem Reap, the capital of Siem Reap Province, is known as the gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park. In addition to being a town with comfortable accommodations from which you can access the historic Angkor temples, this charming place is worth a stop in your Cambodia travels for its own sake. You'll see French colonial and Chinese-style architecture, traditional Apsara dance performances and craft shops. Traveling outside the city, you can find rice paddies, fishing villages, silk farms and a bird sanctuary
Majestic waterfalls and forested hills are Moldolkiri's claim to fame. This eastern province of Cambodia is the country's largest, but its least populated. Only 40,000 people live here. Ten tribal minorities make up the bulk of the population. The main town, Sen Monorom, with a population of 7,000, is sometimes compared with an American Wild West town. Visitors to the area can enjoy the waterfalls, trekking in scenic areas, and the indigenous hill culture.
Кер, in southwestern Cambodia, was the premiere beach destination for the French and Cambodian elite from the early 1900s until the 1960s. Today, most of the villas are abandoned, but their former glory is evident, and travelers can visit a collection of buildings from the period. The beaches are mostly mangrove and rock. Visitors can enjoy excellent seafood at the oceanfront seafood stalls. A national park is nearby, and boat rides are available to nearby islands with white sandy beaches and fine swimming.
Members of ethnic communities often sell their wares in Ban Lung City, the capital of Ratanankiri Province, population 150,000, in northeastern Cambodia. The province, bordered by Vietnam and Laos, is one of the poorest in Cambodia, and most of its indigenous residents are subsistence farmers. Many of them use a barter economy. Commercial activities include gem mining, logging, and rubber, cashew and coffee plantations. The province is known for its many species of plants and animals and its diverse biology, including rain forest and mountain regions. Half the province is designated as protected area. But, even in the protected areas, the province has been subjected to illegal poaching, logging and mining.
The charming town of Battambang in northwestern Cambodia, population 250,000, is the second largest community in Cambodia. Its French-style colonial houses along the picturesque Sangker River are extremely well- preserved. Visitors will also enjoy its provincial museum and wooden pagodas. A kayaking trip on the Sangker River or a cooking class offered by one of the town's restaurants are other attractions.
Located in the heart of the rice bowl, Battambang offers travelers easy access to several ruins of ancient temples and several caves, including the Killing Caves of the Khmer Rouge. Also popular with tourists is the bamboo train, which provides a 20-minute ride through picturesque countryside on railway tracks established by the French many years ago.
Sihanoukville, on the Gulf of Thailand 185 km southwest of Phnom Penh, is also Cambodia's newest city, founded in 1960 as a port. It was the site of the last U.S. battle during the Vietnam War. Today, Sihanoukville is a growing urban center, and also a popular beach destination. It offers miles of white sand beaches that look out upon lovely islands. Snorkelers and scuba divers will delight in the coral reefs and colorful fish. Visitors will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and fabulous seafood.
Kratie is one of Cambodia's eastern provinces with a smaller population, they make their lives on the riverbanks of the Mekong. Beyond the riverbanks it is a remote place with almost no population and thick-forested areas to calm down. The stretch of the river around Kratie town is home to a group of rare sweet water Irrawaddy dolphins. Therefore the dolphins are the main tourist attraction of the province and the town. The river also has hundreds of green islands, and circling water, which is also attracting new tourists to the area. Whether you are just on a trip seeing the river towns along the Mekong or taking a full circuit trip around the east and northeast, Kratie is a nice place to spend a night or two. The river scene of Kratie has a beautiful river boulevard with dozens of snack and drink stands in the late afternoon and evening, making this a nice spot to chill out and watch the people parading by. There are also a few big concrete decks along the river scene. The river road is a great place for a stroll or jog. Enjoy the dramatic sunsets over the Mekong.
The magnificent temple of Angkor Wat, located near Siem Reap, is among the stunning treasures to be seen in Angkor Archaeological Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The temple, which features soaring towers and extraordinary bas-reliefs, was erected in the 12th century in honor of Vishnu. The park itself stretches over 400 square kilometers and contains some 100 temples and the remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire dating from the 9th to 15th centuries, among them the largest city of the preindustrial world. Also in the park is the fortified city of Angkor Thorn. There, visitors can see the famous Bayon temple, where 54 towers display more than 200 massive carved faces. Other highlights include the unrestored Buddhist temple of Та Prohm, which
looks the same as did when 1860s French explorers came upon it.