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Welcome to Cambodia

Cambodia is a small country located in South-East Asia bordered on three sides by Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. The population is just over 14 and a half million people; 90% of which are ethnic Khmers. The rich Cambodian culture is shaped around the beliefs and teachings of Buddhism, the primary religion of Cambodia. Buddhism’s doctrines of respect for others, especially the elderly, and emphasis on traditional family values, are integrated into Khmer people’s everyday life.

Cambodia is best known for being home the World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, situated just outside Siem Reap town; this architectural marvel is a proud testament to the strength, passion and devotion of the Cambodian people. Built in the 12th Century it took over 37 years to complete; all the rock for its construction had to be brought down from the mountains by elephants. Angkor Wat, though the largest and most famous, is by no means the only temple at Angkor; there are over 100 temples in the Angkor Complex.

The most well known temples are Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm and Banteay Srei; Bayon temple is known for its hundreds of face towers depicting King Jayavarman VII’s wise and knowing smile. Ta Prohm Temple, which has been reclaimed by the jungle; massive trees have embedded their roots into the walls of the temple itself. Then, there is Banteay Srei ‘the citadel of women’ which was only discovered just under 100 years ago by French explorers. Banteay Srei has some of the most beautiful and intricate carvings left over from the era.

Siem Reap is also home to the unique Tonle Sap Lake; the largest fresh-water lake in South-East Asia. Every year when the monsoon season begins in Cambodia, the Mekong River, which feeds the lake during the dry season, reverses direction making the lake expand to a colossal size. The lake is home to many endangered animals and is a UNESCO Biosphere.

Siem Reap (Angkor) is just one of the tourist destinations in Cambodia; Phnom Penh, the busy bustling capital city, also has much to offer visitors; from a tour around the exquisite Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda to a harrowing visit to the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge.

Just four hours from Phnom Penh is the coastal town of Sihanoukville; this small town is developing quickly and has found its way onto many people’s must-see list. The white sandy beaches, tropical islands and wide range of delicious seafood makes this, the perfect get away.

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