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Due to its politically and economically shaky position Cambodia is one of the least known and traveled to destinations in the South East Asia. Since the 1800s, the country has endured French rule, the Lon Nol government, the Khmer Rouge regime and Vietnamese rule.
Cambodia shares borders with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, but it can be rough to travel overland between these countries. The most comfortable way to travel to Cambodia is to fly directly to its capital, Phnom penh. Phnom Penh was the home of the Khmer Rouge Regime from 1975 to 1979. Travelling to Cambodia should definiyely include a visit here. The city is renowned for its beauty, especially the area surrounding the Royal Palace with the magnificent Khmer towers and the French villas overlooking the banks of the Tonle Sap river is worth a visit.
Angkor wat is the key tourist attraction of Cambodia. The nearly 900-year-old temple has been described as the jewel of the country, transporting visitors in time and spirit. Since it’s rediscovery in the late 19th century it has been competing with monuments like the Taj Mahal to be listed as the eighth world wonder.
Another popular destination is Kampong Som (Sihanoukville) on the South Coast. Here paradise-like bays and empty white sand beaches lined with palm trees are waiting for you to relax and sunbathe.
Other major cities are Battambang, the second largest city. Kampong Cham, Kandal, Prey Veng, Takeo, Kampung Thom, Svay Rieng and Kampong Speu.
Cambodia has three seasons. The rainy, monsoon season, lasts from May to October. November to April is the dry season, this is split into cold season from November to January and the hot season is from February to April. Temperatures change can be very slight between each season and can range from between 21 to 35 degrees celcius. For continuing travelers, there are shuttle services between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City. The cost is cheap but the ride is extremely long and uncomfortable until you reach the paved roads of Vietnam. There is at least one land crossing between Laos and Cambodia though foriegners may have an unpleasant time making a go of it.
The food in Cambodia can be a little disappointing, particularly after visiting Thailand. There are some very good retaurants & some fine food, but overall it is not as good as Thailand. Local beer, such as Angkor or Anchor, is good and cheap!
The safety aspect of Cambodia is largely overplayed. Most people are as friendly as any others in SEA. Take sensible precautions, don't wander around looking like a lost tourist, don't flaunt your perceived 'wealth' & don't walk in Phnom Penh after dark. But most of all - relax & enjoy yourself!