Cambodia
Cambodia
Attractions
21-09-2023 6.637 Views

Cambodia, it is Phnom Penh, a capital full of charm and history, it is also the North-East and its very beautiful countryside landscapes, its vestiges that go from the pre-Angkorian era, like Vat Nokor, to the colonial era… and it is also, of course, Angkor, the hallucinating spectacle, «dream of stone arose there in the heart of the rainforest» that assails it; incessant combat of men with nature to save the testimony the Khmer peoples’ genius. Cambodia it is also a people that has suffered a lot and whose serenity is matched only by the kindness they show to foreign visitors.

THE ATTRACTIONS

Phnom Penh

Sihanoukville

Angkor

Tonle Sap Lake

Battambang

Kratie

PHNOM PENH

The city occupies a strategic geographical position, since it is located at the point of convergence of 3 rivers: the Mekong, the Bassac and the Tonle Sap. Once a bustling trading center during the French occupation, Phnom Penh is now Cambodia’s new political and financial center. Its rich historical past of Khmer and French influences is visible in many temples and colonial buildings of all kinds.
 

 
The visits :

Silver Pagoda: the Silver Pagoda, also known as the Emerald Buddha Pagoda, thanks to the statue there, was created by King Norodom in 1892. The ground of this pagoda has the particularity of being composed of more than 5,000 blocks of silver, weighing in total nearly 6 tons!

The National Museum: the National Museum, built in the Khmer style in the 1920s, houses an impressive collection of Khmer statues and art objects. One of the most remarkable pieces of this exhibition is a bronze statue dating from the 6th century and depicting the Hindu god Vishnu.

Tuol Sleng Museum (Genocide Museum): this museum is a testimony to the human tragedy that Cambodia experienced in its recent past. This building was originally a school, and was transformed from 1975 into a place of detention and torture by the Khmer Rouge. From this building, then called «S-21», the victims (children and adults) were transported outside the city to be executed at the Killer Fields.

Wat Phnom: it was there that a monastery was founded by a rich lady named Penh in 1372, after she discovered 4 statues of Buddha in the trunk of a tree on the banks of the Mekong. The hill ("Phnom") on which the monastery is located is the only hill in the capital.

The Independence Monument: this monument was built to commemorate those who died during the Cambodia War, following the acquisition of independence from France in 1953. It was erected in 1958 in the style of the Angkor monuments, and is decorated with 100 snake heads. The best time to admire this monument is at the end of the afternoon, where the sunset light causes shadows highlighting the fine architectural details, and gives orange tones to all the structures.

The Central Market: built in 1937 by the French, it is the largest market in Phnom Penh. It houses incredible amounts of souvenirs, decorative items, jewelry and goods of all kinds.

The Royal Palace: quite recent, this palace was inaugurated in 1870 by King Norodom I. Khmer-inspired, it was built by Khmer and French architects. The site covers an area of 16 hectares. Several buildings are forbidden to the public. The Silver Pagoda is probably the most visited site inside.

The Night Market (Phsar Reatrey): the new night market in Phnom Penh, located near the banks of the river, is a touristic place offering a wide range of handicrafts from Cambodia such as silks, trinkets and other souvenirs. The atmosphere is completely relaxed and perfectly suited to any type of audience. In this market, local products manufactured using traditional methods can be found.

SIHANOUKVILLE

Sihanoukville in Cambodia is above all very clean white sandy beaches, clear ocean and palm trees at 4h from Phnom Penh the capital.

A seaside stop before or after the discovery of the Kingdom of Cambodia, with shaded beaches equipped for rest, relaxation and farniente. These beaches slowly enter the ocean with transparent blue waters, unpolluted of trash or other waste. Sun loungers and umbrellas (not for a fee), many huts in huts and small restaurants that serve fresh fish, complete these beaches little known of the great tourism and only occupied on weekends by the inhabitants of Phnom Penh. Several hotels of all categories will provide you with quality accommodation. It is an ideal place for relaxation and safe swimming!

ANGKOR

The Khmer Empire extended over a period of about 600 years, and this civilization reached its zenith at the beginning of the 12th century with the construction of Angkor Wat. The founding kings of this empire from the 9th century on considered themselves as Devaraia (or God-King) with divine powers. This involved the creation of ever larger temples dedicated to the worship of the Khmer kings. One of the oldest structures that can be visited today is that of the Rouluos, east of Siem Reap. There, a reservoir (or baray) was built by King Indravarman, and he established there the temple of Preah Ko. The son of this king preferred to build a temple on a nearby hill, today known as Phnom Bakheng. This hill, which bears the same name as the temple there, is nowadays a favorite site for visitors who want to admire the dense tropical vegetation and the temple of Angkor Wat when the sun goes down.

The visits :

Angkor Wat: the formidable set of Angkor temples was rediscovered by the French anthropologist Henri Mouhot in 1,860 when he accidentally fell on the ruins of Angkor Thom, the former Khmer capital, during one of his expeditions. Among the 400 temples that make up this complex, the most famous and best preserved is that of Angkor Wat.

Angkor Thom: Angkor Thom is the royal city built by the Buddhist king Jayavarman VII.

The Bayon: the main temple of this City is popular for its columns adorned with more than 200 smiling Buddha faces. The faces look in all directions, which gives a mysterious atmosphere.

Terrace of the leprous king: it is one of the many mysteries of Angkor. This terrace owes its name to a small asexual statue that is thought to be the statue of King Yasovarman who died of leprosy. But the other explanation is that this statue would represent Yama, the god of the dead, and the terrace would actually be a royal crematorium. On the side of the terrace is a narrow and long trench and a quantity of superb and well preserved sculptures, representing Apsaras, geniuses and monsters, quantity of divinities, surprising freshness and beauty. This very long corridor has been completely restored, and each sculpture dismantled and replaced on the new walls.

Elephant Terrace: built in the early 13th century, this terrace on the edge of the Jayavarman VII Royal Palace is 350 m long. It was certainly built to attend the performances on the main square. Elephants carved on part of the walls (and recently restored) gave their name to the place (to be seen in the morning preferably).

Ta Prohm: a Buddhist temple invaded by the roots of trees, very well known by photographers, it is a place full of serenity.

Phnom Bakeng: 1st state temple built in Angkor, it is an ideal viewpoint to admire the sunset all over the site.

Kbal Spean: this wonderfully preserved 10th century temple is the most enchanting in Angkor! It is a jewel carved in pink sandstone that changes color according to the sunlight. Several very well preserved pavilions on the facades are finely carved with a multitude of floral motifs and scenes from Hindu mythology. The archaeologist Maurice Glaise describes it as "the prettiest of Khmer temples" (it was also made famous by the flight of an 800 kg lintel by André Malraux...). Named "the citadel of women", it is entirely decorated with reliefs of surprising perfection. You can admire the carvings of the door lintels and their magnificent details.

Prasat Kravan: dedicated to the god Vishnu, this temple was built in 921 and restored about forty years ago. Built entirely of clay bricks, it is famous for its many representations of the god Vishnu. The northern towers are decorated with bas reliefs depicting the goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu.

The Eastern Baray: monumental water tank, the Eastern Baray was built around 900 BC during the reign of King Yasovarman. It is the 2nd largest Baray of the Angkor site, measuring 7,150 m long and 1,740 m wide, it could contain 50 million cubic meters of water.

The Western Baray: the largest of all the Barays of the site, it is 8 km long and 2.1 km wide.

TONLE SAP LAKE

For those who love a deep discovery of a country, the route of Lake Tonle Sap, as well as a boat trip to meet the floating fishing villages, are essential visits in the same way as the temples.

It is one of the places where we find ourselves as close as possible to Cambodian life and in contact with their everyday reality. Here, all life takes place around the water. Very fishy, fisherman’s paradise, it shelters lake villages since the dawn of time. A large part of the goods arrive by the lake and this is the lung of Siem Reap, because the main roads to reach the other cities are in too bad condition. It is the largest lake in Cambodia and its "foster mother". On Lake Tonle Sap there is also an important ornithological reserve, with among the many birds pelicans, storks and big marabouts.

BATTAMBANG

Battambang is the 2nd city of the country, located in the province of the same name, very close to the border with Thailand. Legend has it that a giant threw his club in order to kill his rival, but he fell back on the site and created the Battambang region, meaning «lose the stick». A statue of this giant can still be admired at the entrance to the city. The city was greatly influenced by the arrival of the French, who built the city centre that we know today. Battambang has become a centre of trade in the region and is also a cultural mosaic, bringing together many different ethnic groups and nationalities.

The visits :

Wat Ek Phnom: built in the 11th century during the reign of Suryavarman I, the temple is famous for its well-carved lintels and pediments. Buried in the lush vegetation of the surrounding area, the site is a popular destination for nature getaways and for pilgrims, especially during religious celebrations.

Wat Sla Ket: the pagoda was the former Khmer residence of the Venerable Buddhist clergy.

The Great Market (Psar Nat): in the center of the city, the market will reveal, from the early morning, all the local life with the merchants of the surrounding villages gathering to sell their goods.

The regional museum: opened in 1968, the museum houses a beautiful collection of archaeological finds made in the region.

Wat Sangker Gate: located on the east bank of the Sangker River, the gate is all that remains of an ancient Angkorian temple. A relic of the past in the heart of the city!

KRATIE

A small town in eastern Cambodia, Kratie is best known as the ancient city of Chenla royalty. You will appreciate this charming city whose rich history is still present in the streets of today. The French, who are at the origin of the current name of the city, have also left their mark in the architecture of the city. In the surrounding area, the many villages, typical of the region, add to the special charm of the small city.

The visits :

The surrounding villages: a serene and relaxing setting around the city, you can fully admire the typical landscapes of the Cambodian countryside.

River dolphins: probably one of the most awaited rendezvous of travelers, you may have the opportunity to observe this rare species on the banks of the Mekong.

MANDARIN ROAD VOYAGES
NEWSLETTER
Be informed in advance of all our travel offers
© MANDARINROAD.COM