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ORTEN & SEHENSWÜRDIGKEITEN

 

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  • Believe it or not, Siem Reap isn’t the second biggest city after Phnom Penh - it’s Battambang! Though a popular destination for travelers, Battambang manages to avoid an overly touristy vibe, and remains a perfect place to experience a more local side of life in Cambodia.

    There are quite a few ancient temples nearby to explore while in Battambang such as Wat Banan (also known as the mini-Angkor Wat) and Phnom Sampeu, which is a former killing cave network for the Khmer Rouge, now home to a moving memorial monument, or you can try the risky bamboo railway since French era! If you are lucky enough to be there on a Thursday, Phare Ponleu Selpak is a performance school that trains young locals in the performing arts, and puts on weekly performances which are spectacular. Sunset is the best time to visit The Bat Cave, where you can see hundreds of fruit bats flying out in an impressive stream for almost an hour.

  • ‘Kep–sur-Mer’ came to prominence with the French of the early 20th century, before becoming a popular weekend retreat for the Khmer elite in the 50’s. Tragically the town suffered more than much of Cambodia during the 1970’s, witnessing some of the most ferocious fighting between Khmer Rouge and the forces loyal to the government. The city lay all but deserted for the following few decades before intuitive expats began to rebuild and remodel the town into the Kep you see today.

    The town does not boast the fine beaches of Sihanoukville, however it is exactly this that makes the place so special. There's not a tacky seaside shop to be found, the local wood shack restaurants serve some of the finest seafood in Asia and the hotels have been created or restored by innovative expats with an eye for some unique Khmer-Colonial flare!

    Rabbit Island is just a short boat ride away and makes for a great day trip or even overnight stay on the beach. In addition, the nearby province of Kampot is home to a large National Park and Bokor Mountain, both of which can easily be reached on a day trip. There region is well suited for cycling and there are several Angkor-era ‘cave-temples’ to be explored.

  • The south-western corner of Cambodia is a nature lover's paradise. To reach the region, you have to drive south-west from Phnom Penh, and then up along the Koh Kong Conservation Corridor. This area is rich in nature and bio-diversity, thankfully protected by the Cambodian government. The Cardamom Mountains are home to gibbons and monkeys, amongst other primates, and a wide variety of birdlife, such as hornbills. You may even spot an elephant if you are very lucky. The stunning range makes an impressive backdrop to much of the drive, and can be reached by a small detour from the main road south.

    The remote village of Chi Pat, only accessible by dusty track, has joined forces with several neighboring settlements to form a community-based eco-tourism project. Founded by the Wildlife Alliance, the project consists of a few basic guesthouses and home stays. The villagers are also participating in administration, cooking and guiding. Activities on offer range from relaxed cycling to overnight camping in the hills and full-on five day treks. Mountain biking and boating are both available, and your program will be arranged to suit your preferences.

    Travelling further south, across the Tatai Bridge and through the small town of Koh Kong, there are a number of interesting spots to explore, the most popular probably being the Peam Krasaop Mangrove Forest and the town itself.

  • Far East Travel provides best travel deals for your vacation. You can choose to travel at various levels of comfort, staying in anything from deluxe to budget accommodation, using various forms of transportation, and dining in authentic and international restaurants or in more local style eateries. Take your pick of our offered tour packages and contact us today for proposal or to customize your own tour.

  • The capital of Cambodia, situated on the lazy banks of the Mekong River, was once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’ and is still famous for its beautiful colonial architecture. If Siem Reap is the city to learn about Cambodia’s ancient history, Phnom Penh is undoubtedly the place to learn about the modern. It was only 1979 when the Vietnamese army liberated the city from the Khmer Rouge, and the city still bears some of the grit from the past. With tragedy in its past, Cambodia is still coming to terms with its future, and Phnom Penh represents the economic and diplomatic growth of the country as a whole.

    Two of the most popular sites for tourists are the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, also known as S-21, and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Tuol Sleng was a high school that had been converted into a prison during the Khmer Rouge’s occupation of Phnom Penh when the majority of the city’s population had been exiled to the countryside, and Killing Fields was where S-21’s prisoners were later killed and buried in mass graves. If you have more than a day in Phnom Penh, you can take a city tour to see the Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace, the astonishing collection of skilled Khmer sculpture and art at the National Museum, Wat Phnom (where Phnom Penh gets its name) and the buzzing Russian Market.

  • What better to start international disputes over than...a temple? Preah Vihear is an 11th century site that sits on the border between Thailand and Cambodia, and has been the source of debates and controversy over ownership since the beginning of the 20th century. The site itself is completely unique, a series of sanctuaries that represent a particular masterpiece of Khmer architecture, so it’s easy to understand why each country wants to claim the temple as their own. In the end, the International Court of Justice in the Hague eventually had to get involved, and awarded the temple to Cambodia. During our Stray tours, we explore the site by motorbike to get the best views over both countries’ borders, so that you can get a sense of how tightly woven this site is in the history of the land around it.

  • Siem Reap is home to none other than the well-known Angkor site - a sprawling, overgrown temple complex of 400 km2, which is rightly considered one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Before that, Siem Reap and the Angkor temple complex was the centre of the Khmer Empire, which lasted from the 9th to the 15th centuries CE - and was once the most powerful empire in Southeast Asia. After the Angkor temple complex was opened to tourists in the beginning of the 20th century, Siem Reap’s popularity grew by leaps and bounds, and is now the heartland for exploring the ancient Khmer Empire.

    Most tourists are up bright and early to visit the nearby Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Banteay Srei, and other temples which form part of the Angkor temple complex and which are a highlight in any visit to Siem Reap. However, the Angkor temples aren’t the only thing to see and do in Siem Reap. The heart of the city is easy to explore by foot or bicycle, with most of the action centered on Pub Street. Check out the Chinese and colonial style architecture around the Old Market and the Old French Quarter, then head over to Les Artisans d’Angkor to watch artists create skilled traditional Cambodian handicrafts. There are silversmiths, wood and stone sculptors, lacquer artisans, weavers and silk painters who you can watch at work in their studios, and free guides to take you around. The nearby Tonle Sap Lake studded with floating Vietnamese and Cham fishing villages, offers a wonderful insight into local life on the water and a peaceful diversion from ground-based tourism. In the evenings, head to the Pub Street area just north of the Old Market, where you’ll have your dinner choices of everything from street food to fine dining. Nightlife abounds in this district, with bars and clubs around every corner

  • Sihanoukville is the best known of the coastal towns and certainly home to some of Cambodia's finest beaches...four to be precise. The beaches of Independence, Serendipity, Otres and Ocheateal are each located in separate bay's, with most visitors enjoying at least two or three during their stay.

    There are numerous day trips available into surrounding areas, including Ream National Park, which conducts boat tours around mangrove forests which feature all manner of diverse bird and mammal species. The islands of the coast are also popular, with excellent snorkeling and scuba diving prospects, as the marine life is profuse and the waters generally very clear.

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