Hello folks, I am back with complete Cambodia Travel Guide, and in this article, I am going to tell you what to visit and what to do in Cambodia while you are touring in. Many travel agencies and blogger suggest to visit many places in Cambodia but seriously let me tell you very clearly there are only two main cities to visit in Cambodia one it the capital where you have to land and second one is Siem-reap the land of Angkor wat that’s it. Don’t waste your time to go here and there in the country you will lose your time, money and mood all at one time. Now let me give you a brief introduction of Cambodia.
Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation whose landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and Gulf of Thailand coastline. Phnom Penh, its capital, is home to the art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum’s historical and archaeological exhibits. In the country’s northwest are the ruins of Angkor Wat, a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire.
What to Visit?
There are mainly two cities to visit in Cambodia, Phenom Phen and Siem- reap. All famous temple and monuments lie-down in Siem-reap city of Cambodia and it should be on the top of your Cambodia Travel Guide.
What to visit in Siem-reap?
- Angkor wat temple complex
- Bayon temple
- Ta Prohm Temple
What to visit in Phenom Phen?
- Choeung Ek Killing Field
- Royal Palace
Angkor wat Temple
Angkor Wat is an enormous Buddhist temple complex located in northern Cambodia. It was initially built in the first half of the 12th century as a Hindu temple. Spread across more than 400 acres, Angkor Wat is said to be the largest religious monument in the world. Its name, which translates to “temple city” in the Khmer language of the region, references the fact it was built by Emperor Suryavarman II, who ruled the region from 1113 to 1150, as the state temple and political centre of his empire.
Originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, Angkor Wat became a Buddhist temple by the end of the 12th century. Although it is no longer an active temple, it is a famous tourist attraction in Cambodia now. Angkor Wat is located roughly five miles north of the modern Cambodian city of Siem Reap.
However, when it was built, it served as the capital of the Khmer empire, which ruled the region at the time. Initially, Angkor Wat was designed as a Hindu temple, as that was the religion of the region’s ruler at the time, Suryavarman II.
As Angkor Wat’s significance within the Buddhist religion of the region increased, so too did the legend surrounding the site. Many Buddhists believe the temple’s construction was ordered by the god Indra, and that the work was accomplished in one night. However, scholars now know it took several decades to build Angkor Wat, from the design phase to completion. It must be on top of your Cambodia Travel Guide.
Bayon was the state temple of Jayavarman VII, a powerful ruler in the late 13th century. The temple sat at the centre of Angkor Thom, a walled city that served as the capital of the Khmer Empire. Four of the city’s five gates sat on axis with the temple, and the walls of the town substituted for the enclosure walls usually found at Khmer temples. The walls sit at such a distance from the temple that the temple seems to rise abruptly from the ground like an artificial mountain.
The temple was intended to evoke the form of Mt. Meru—the cosmic mountain at the centre of the world in Hindu cosmology. In keeping with this cosmic symbolism, the plan of the temple is based on a ‘yantra’, a symbol used by Tantric Hindu as the basis of mandala diagrams that represent the layout of the universe.
The temple honoured Lord Shiva and many other gods found throughout the Khmer empire. Its central shrine held an image of Jayavarman VII, who perhaps imagined himself as a god-King ruling in the name of the God.
The temple is best known today for the gigantic face sculptures that adorn its thirty-seven surviving towers. Facing in four directions on each mast, the faces are thought to represent Lord Shiva, a Hindu deity that projected benevolence outward to the four directions.
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm was built during the reign of Jayavarman VII, a great king who reconquered the Khmer empire from Cham invaders in the years 1177-1181. The war caused significant damage to the ancient capital of Angkor.The ambitious king set about making it into a proper seat of power by ordering the reconstruction of several temples.
Ta Prohm was the centrepiece of his master plan, located roughly in the centre of the capital. Though the temple covers barely 2.5 acres, its walls and moat encompass 148 acres, which would have sheltered a town attached to the temple. In its era, the temple was known as Rajavihara, the ‘Royal Monastery’.
Ta Prohm housed the deity Prajnaparamita, the ‘perfection of wisdom.’ It was consecrated in 1186. Like many Khmer kings, Jayavarman had it carved in the likeness of his mother. The Prajnaparamita statue was surrounded by 260 lesser divinities, housed in their sanctuaries.
Interestingly, the temple was also the headquarters of a vast hospital network created by the king. From Ta Prohm, supplies filtered out to 102 hospitals located throughout the empire. The Khmer kings seem to have taken the Buddha’s call to mercy into their own hands.
Phnom Penh (city)
Choeung Ek Killing Field
The best-known monument of the Killing Fields is at the village of Choeung Ek Today, it is the site of a Buddhist memorial to the victims, and Tuol Sleng has a museum commemorating the genocide. The memorial park at Choeung Ek has been built around the mass graves of many thousands of victims, most of whom were executed after interrogation at the S-21 Prison in Phnom Penh.
The majority of those buried at Choeung Ek were Khmer Rouge killed during the purges within the regime. Many dozens of mass graves are visible above ground, many which have not been excavated yet. Commonly, bones and clothing surface after heavy rainfalls due to a large number of bodies still buried in shallow mass graves.
It is not uncommon to run across the bones or teeth of the victims scattered on the surface as one tour the memorial park. If these are found, visitors are asked to notify a monument park officer or guide. Don’t forget to list it in your Cambodia Travel Guide.
The Khemarin Palace or in Khmer, meaning the “Palace of the Khmer King.” It is used as an official residence of the King of Cambodia. The Royal Palace serves as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia. The KIngs of Cambodia had occupied it since it was built in the 1860s, with a period of absence when the country came into turmoil during and after the reign of the Khmer Rouge.
The palace was constructed between 1866 and 1870 after King Norodom relocated the royal capital from Oudong to Phnom Penh. It was built atop an old citadel called Banteay Kev. It is situated at the Western bank of the cross-division of the Tonle Sap River. And the Mekong River called Chaktomuk. Make sure to include this place in your Cambodia Travel Guide.
Places to stay
Stay in Cambodia would be a worry-free task. Thanks to the boutique hotels, budget hotels, resorts, luxurious hotels, riverside residences, service apartments, etc. Hotel rates range from as low as INR 200 to as high as INR 18,000 per night.
Cambodia offers beautiful things to buy. Include traditional Cambodian silk, silver jewellery from Siem Reap’s Night market. Basketry items at cheap rates, sculptured works, Cambodian Krama, and Kampot pepper.
Khmer Red Curry, Fish Amok, Beef Saruman Curry, Prahok Kits, Loc Lac, Lort Cha, Kampot pepper crab, and Grilled meat and fish are the most delicious and must-try dishes of Cambodia.
How to Reach
Cambodia has three airports with commercial airline services. The Phnom Penh International Airport, Sihanoukville International Airport, and Siem Reap International Airport. However, the most popular airport is the Phnom Penh International Airport that is regularly served by airlines offering convenient flight schedules.
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