You heard about how great is the Angkor Wat. They told you that you must go there one day. They even told you that visiting it worth the whole trip to Cambodia! Well, they were kind of right. But let me go beyond the Angkor Wat here.
The Angkor Wat is really great. It is so great that we are going to start our list with it. But you’ll love to know that there is many other interesting places to visit in Cambodia. If the Angkor Wat is the cherry, Cambodia is the cake. You won’t eat just the cherry, right? Of course no. You wan’t the whole cake! Help yourself.
1 – Angkor Wat
The famous Angkor Wat is one of the Angkor temples in Cambodia. It is considered the largest religious monument in the world. Founded as a Hindu capital for the Khmer Empire, the Angkor Wat was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple’s balance, composition and beauty make it one of the greatest monuments in the world. Hinduism.
The Angkor Wat is a representation of Mount Meru, the home of the gods. The central quincunx of towers symbolises the five peaks of the mountain. The walls and moat represents the surrounding mountain ranges and ocean. The temple rises up through a series of three rectangular terraces to the central shrine and tower at a height of 213 meters (669 feet). It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.
While around the complex, be sure to also check out Angkor Thom. It was made famous by Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider films.
Now let me show you why Cambodia is not just about Angkor Wat.
2 – Bayon Temple
The Bayon is a famous and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. It was Built in the late 12th or early 13th century.
The Bayon’s highlight is the multitude of over 200 massive stone faces looking in all direction. The curious smiling image has been dubbed by some the “Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia.” Theses images are thought by many to be a portrait of Jayavarman himself. There are 51 smaller towers surrounding Bayon, each with four faces of its own.
3 – Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei is a 10th-century Cambodian temple. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Located in the area of Angkor in Cambodia, the Banteay Srei lies near the hill of Phnom Dei. Although officially part of the Angkor complex, it lies 25 km of the main group of temples. Due to the distance it is often considered a separate Cambodia attraction. The temple is built largely of red sandstone, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings. These carvings are still clearly visible today.
The buildings themselves are miniature in scale, what have made the temple extremely popular with tourists. These factors have led to its being widely praised as a “precious gem”, or the “jewel of Khmer art.”
4 – Koh Ker
Koh Ker is a remote archaeological site in northern Cambodia. It is located about 120 kilometres from the ancient site of Angkor. The place is a very jungle filled region that is sparsely populated. More than 180 sanctuaries were found in a protected area of 81 square kilometres. Most of the sanctuaries are hidden in the forest and the whole area is not fully demined. Only about two dozen monuments can be visited by tourists.
Koh Ker was briefly the capital of the whole empire (928–944 AD) Due to this the region an ambitious building program. An enormous water-tank and about forty temples were constructed under his rule. The most significant temple‑complex, a double sanctuary (Prasat Thom/Prang), follows a linear plan and not a concentric one like most of the temples of the Khmer kings. Unparalleled is the seven‑tiered and 36-metre high pyramid. The shrines with the two‑meter high lingas are impressive too.
Since 1992 the site of Koh Ker is on the UNESCO tentative world heritage list.
5 – Kratie
Around 38000 people live in the small town of Kratie. The city is dominated by a central marketplace surrounded by old French colonial buildings. Red-flower trees grows in rows along the riverbank.
While in town you will see the big islands with white sand beaches that bends in the river. The stretch of river north of the city is home to a group of rare Irrawaddy dolphins. The dolphins are the town’s main tourist attraction.
It is estimated that there are between 66 and 86 dolphins left in the upper Cambodian Mekong area.
6 – Bokor Hill Station
Bokor Hill Station is a French ghost town in southern Cambodia. Construction started in 1921 on Dâmrei Mountains. It was used as the location for the final showdown of the movie City of Ghosts (2002) and the 2004 film R-Point.
The town was built as a resort by French settlers to offer an escape from the heat. The place is now abandoned. Most of the buildings are still standing. The strategic importance of the location is that the Cambodian authorities maintain a ranger station there. The only other historic building currently in use on the site is a small temple. There is also a waterfall which tends to be dry in high season and in full flow during rainy season.
7 – Silver Pagoda
The Silver Pagoda is located on the south side of the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh. The temple’s official name is Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot. Its name is commonly shortened to Wat Preah Keo in Khmer.
The place houses many national treasures. These include gold and jeweled Buddha statues. One of the most notable is a small 17th century baccarat crystal Buddha (the “Emerald Buddha” of Cambodia). Another is a life-sized gold Maitreya Buddha decorated with 9584 diamonds.
8 – Tonle Sap
The Tonlé Sap is a combined lake and river system of major importance to Cambodia.
The Tonlé sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. It is an ecological hot spot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997.
This water system is highlighted for two reasons. The first is that its flow changes direction twice a year. The other is that the portion that forms the lake expands and shrinks dramatically with the seasons. From November to May the Tonlé sap drains into the Mekong River. However, in June, the Tonlé sap backs up to form an enormous lake.
See? I told you the Angkor Wat wasn’t the only amazing thing to visit in Cambodia. I hope you like our tips and that you love doing tourism in Cambodia.
Are you going to Cambodia? Roaming charges are still most notably the biggest hassle for overseas travelers. Fortunately there is a way to get rid of any roaming charges, make and receive unlimited calls from all over the world and even use local mobile number while you are overseas. Want to know more?