Cambodia is home to the magnificent temples of Angkor, whose very name is synonymous with Asian mysticism, jungle temples and the exotic architecture unique to the region. Beyond Angkor lies the vibrant capital of Phnom Penh, a vibrant mix of wide boulevards, Khmer style temples, crumbling colonial buildings and lively riverside cafes. The unspoilt south coast is scattered hidden beaches and empty islands. A holiday to Cambodia is a great cultural add on to any Asia holiday and is sure to leave a lasting impression.
WHY TURQUOISE HOLIDAYS LOVES CAMBODIA
‘Nothing can prepare you for the sheer scale of the magnificent Angkor complex – an awe-inspiring collection of temple ruins and definitely an experience to top anyone’s bucket list. With regular flights from Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur it is easy to tag on a few nights stay in Siem Reap as a side trip on and Asian beach holiday and I’d encourage anyone to go.’ - Rachel Gleave, Asia Product Manager.
THINGS TO DO IN CAMBODIA
1. Beyond the temples of Angkor visit one of the floating villages on the banks of the Tonle Sap Lake, just an hour from Siem Reep. Cruising down a narrow waterway, you’ll enter these medieval floating villages, where the houses stand atop stilts as much as seven metres above the water. Everything lives on the water, pigs, dogs, crocodiles and people, all jockeying for space in these incredible floating town.
2. Enjoy a late afternoon ATV ride through the ricefields, past quiet pagodas, an ancient temple and a series of backroads through the pretty countryside and rural villages around Siem Reap. The late afternoon sunset ride will take you into the ‘real’ Cambodia and will include a look across the ricefields to Phnom Krom as the sun sets on this beautiful rural scene.
3. Learn the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine in a half day cooking class! You will start with a guided trip to the local market where you will learn about the Cambodian ingredients before returning to your class room for a hands on cooking lesson and then enjoy your creation!
4. On one of the evenings of your Cambodia holiday head out to the home of the innovative circus performers from Phare Ponleu Selpak. Their regular modern circus show under the Big Top is proving very popular in Siem Reap and in each show they display a variety of disciplines including acrobatics, choreography, juggling, clowning, live music and much more.
5. Take a guided trip in Phnom Penh to gain an over view of the capitals history and culture. Begin at Opulent Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda and continue to the national museum to explore antiques and artefacts.
6. Biking the island of Phnom Penh – Enjoy a leisurely bike ride through the country side discovering the diversity of the rural landscapes, passing small villages, schools and silk weaving houses. Then travel by boat and ferry to river islands and pedal on small roads with no traffic and stopping to meet the friendly locals along the way
Holidays to Cambodia – Exploring the Angkor Temples
With over a thousand temples in various states of decay and covering an area over one hundred square kilometres, discovering Angkor can be a daunting task. Our local guides have all undergone expensive training to become specialist in the fascinating history, architecture and culture of this amazing site and will tailor a flexible itinerary taking in all the key temples but avoiding the crowds.
Out of the many temples it is possible to visit, Angkor Wat is the most iconic but other highlights include the jungle temple of Ta Phrom, The Bayon with its giant smiling stone faces and the exquisitely carved Banteay Srei. We’d recommend spending a few half days exploring, starting in the early morning to avoid midday heat and allow you to relax around the pool at your luxury resort for the afternoon or try one of the many other activities in and around Siem Reap. Take an AYV ride or cycle through the pretty countryside and rural village around Siem Reap or fly through the jungle by zipwire.
Turquoise recommends – Hotels in Cambodia
The town of Siem Reap is nearest to Angkor and in recent years has seen an influx of stylish hotels and resorts. Amongst our favourites are Navutu Dreams, a cool, chic and contemporary resort just a short tuk tuk ride from the centre of town, Belmond La Residence D’Angkor, a classic Khmer style boutique hotel with a fantastic central location or the utterly unique Sala Lodges, a collection of traditional Khmer wooden houses on stilts which have been collected from the Cambodian countryside and lovingly restored in the countryside just outside Siem Reap. A really unique and special place, Sala Lodges boasts contemporary bar, restaurant and swimming pool making it a perfect retreat.
What undoubtedly lies in Angkor’s shadows is Cambodia’s beach scene. Sihanoukville and Kep have a back-to-basics rustic feel but it’s the Koh Rong archipelago that ups the style stakes, home to the intimate and seductive Song Saa Island Resort.
Visit our Cambodia honeymoons page for full details about honeymoons here.