7 Reasons to fall in love with Cambodia
Speak to any traveller who has been to Cambodia, and we guarantee you if it is not their favourite South East Asian country, it will be very near the top of their list. Friendly and far from being a tourist trap, Cambodia is a perfect place for any traveller, from first timers to the experienced. Here are 10 reasons why Cambodia should be on your list for 2019.
1. The People
Poverty and the scars and landmines left behind from the 1970’s creates enormous hardship for these people, but they shine through with hope, kindness and humility. The Cambodian people are friendly, welcoming and genuinely interested in the visitors to their country making their hospitality and warmth, second to none. More inclusive tour companies will usually organise a home-stay or visit to a local village, to immerse you in the most authentic experience possible.
2. Tumultuous History
While the Angkor complex provides a brief view into the historical glory-days of Khmer royalty, sights like Choeung Ek (The Killing Fields) and Tuol Sleng Prison offer a somber reminder of Cambodia’s more recent history. Truly, you can’t really understand or appreciate the modern Cambodia without stepping into the bloody past of the Khmer Rouge rule. Don’t forget, everyone over forty lived through these atrocities. Even though these dark tourist spots are filled with death, they really just go to show you how much life abounds in this country.
3. Sleepy Towns
Talk about getting away from it all! Lazy little towns like Kampot and Kep will make you forget all your worries, and very likely the time. Something about these kind of Cambodian spots take away that touristy feel and replace it with pure satisfaction. The fact that Kampot is on an estuary river and not a sandy beach has probably spared the town from over tourism, making it the perfect place to explore the mountains & coastal areas.
4. Pristine White Beaches
If you haven’t heard of the little town called Sihanoukville, then get googling ASAP. Situated on the eastern part of the Gulf of Thailand, Sihanoukville is a peninsula and has several beaches and small, offshore islands. Powdery soft, white sand. Bright green, swaying palms. Warm, turquoise waters. These are the kinds of beaches that dreams are made of. Even better, you never have to share with too many tourists, as the beaches in Cambodia are notoriously sparse.
5. Colourful Street Life
No matter where you look, there is a colourful feast for the eyes. From the street vendors and Cambodians chilling on the sidewalks in front of their homes and kids playing, to jaw-dropping sights like a family of six crammed onto a motorbike and vehicles weighed down with crazy loads to amusing T-shirt slogans.
6. Spiritual Experiences
It is hard to forget the sounds of monks chanting through the air in a country blessed by Buddhism like Cambodia. The “hard-to-explain” atmosphere saturated with distinguished culture and religion is a unique experience for visitors itself. The country’s spiritual side has given way to a host of meditation and yoga retreats, where a cool sense of calm is waiting to wash over your soul. You don’t only see things here, but you are able to “feel” the nation.
7. Great Value for Money
Cambodia is still so cheap that all of these things are possible to experience without breaking the bank. You can get by on as little as $10 a day, and for $25 a day you can really play it up quite well. So, quit complaining about travel being for rich people, start putting aside a few dollars a week savings, and get to Cambodia before everyone else finds out and prices go up! We mean it! Go! Now!
If you’ve been procrastinating which Asian country to travel to next, or maybe considering one for your first time – add Cambodia to that list and get exploring this uniquely untouched part of the world.
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