Cambodia (also Kampuchea, and officially the Kingdom of Cambodia) was once known as the infamous Khmer Empire. Located in the southern part of the Indochina Peninsula, Cambodia is surrounded by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Gulf of Thailand. The capital (as well as the largest) city in Cambodia is Phnom Penh, which is, at present, the cultural, political, and economic heart of the country.
The country enjoys a lovely tropical weather, with monsoons dominating the climate. This means that Cambodia has only two distinct seasons: the rainy season from May to October, and the dry season from November to April. Cambodia is home to a number of terrestrial and aquatic eco-regions, including rainforests, dry forests, evergreen forests, swamps, lakes, rivers, and seas.
Cambodian citizens speak Khmer, French, and Cambodian French, a Creole language. The country has a wide variety of influences, ranging from Hinduism, colonization by the French, Angkorian ideals, to Theravada Buddhism.
Aside from an interestingly unique and colorful culture, Cambodia is home to exciting flavors that will literally take you to another world. As with the other countries in the Southeast Asian region, the Cambodians eat a lot of rice, often paired with freshwater fish from the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers. The abundance of fish from the country’s most important rivers makes for a wide variety of cooking and preparation methods.
If you are seeking a unique culinary adventure, Cambodia has an impressive flavor spectrum to offer you. Most of the dishes are flavored with hard-to-find herbs, spices, and ingredients in the West—including coconut milk, curry, lemongrass, lime, tamarind, and soy sauce. Your holiday in Cambodia will not be complete without having a taste of the country’s delightful culinary offerings.
Aside from partaking in a delightful culinary feast in Cambodia, you can also make sure that your eyes get its fill by taking in the gorgeous sights in the country. The sunrise in the biggest temple complex in the whole world—the Angkor Wat—is a visual experience that you will never forget. However, many other tourists want to see the golden sun peek over the ancient structures, so make sure that you find a good spot on the outpost structures for a great view.
Also in Siem Reap is Angkor Thom, another temple complex that you should not miss out on. The temple is not as gloriously restored as Angkor Wat, but the ruins—as well as the interesting (albeit not child-friendly) sculptures—make for great vacation photos. The film Tomb Raider was shot in Ta Prohm, also in Siem Reap. This temple was not restored, and is a good example of how nature asserts itself after mankind left their structures in the jungle.
TNK Travel Team.