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Officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, this nation found within East Asia was actually quite a mystery for centuries. This was largely due to the fact that its terrain is quite forbidding. However, this very same qualities belies a natural beauty which cannot be matched in other portions of the world. Majestic mountains, lush tropical jungles, uncharted rivers and truly ancient temples are some of the features which dominate this land. However, we also need to mention that Cambodia has experienced a massive leap forward in terms of technology and its international presence. It is now a truly multicultural nation and it is unsurprisingly one of the top tourist attractions in the world. If you are planning to take a flight to the other side of the world, it is likely that you have a few questions. What does this country have in store and what should you make it a point to see during your stay?
The history of this land can be traced back at least as far as the third century BCE although it is highly likely that humans inhabited the entire region for millennia. Then nation is currently populated by over 15 million citizens and its predominant religion is Buddhist (although there are large swathes of Christians and Muslims). In fact, many associated this country with its ancient and stunning Buddhist temples; some of which have yet to be fully explored. Since Cambodia gained independence in 1953, it has enjoyed a significant amount of economic growth; particularly thanks to trade with other nearby nations such as Japan, Indonesia and China. This wealth is expected to grow well into the future.
Much like other nations found within East Asia, the climate of Cambodia tends to be governed by the annual monsoons. There are yearly wet and dry seasons although in truth, the weather here can change frequently. The rainy season generally occurs between May and October (let's not forget that the seasons here are reversed in relation to the northern hemisphere). From November to April temperatures can reach as high as 40ºC; ideal for those who are looking to escape from the winter doldrums associated with the United Kingdom and Northern Europe.
As you may imagine, Cambodia offers a wealth of attractions. There are nonetheless a few which tend to stand out from the rest. Still, many feel that the most famous is a large aid picturesque temple known as Angkor Wat. While still an active Buddhist monastery, this location is amazing to behold and its confines offer up a timeless view of traditions that have not changed for centuries. There is even a location where visitors can sit down and meditate amongst a kaleidoscope of butterflies!
Tonle Sap is another must-see (albeit lesser-known) destination. This is a small river village which is know to produce many of the fish that are consumed within the country. We should also mention that Tonle Sap is associated with one of the largest freshwater lakes in the nation. Boat rides and local tours are available upon request but keep in mind that these might not be possible during the height of the rainy season.
Phnom Penh is the largest city and the capital of Cambodia. It has undergone impressive industrialisation in recent years and its centre is now home to some large multinational corporations. The nightlife here is splendid and many arrive to enjoy one of the countless casinos interspersed within its centre. Barring modern attractions, this city is also home to the Royal Palace. Initially constructed in 1866, this structure is a stunning example of Victorian architecture and the influence that the British Empire had upon the world at the time.
This is only a small taste of what is in store if you choose to visit Cambodia. Offering up a sultry climate and a host of attractions, this nation can be a great choice for an individual as well as for the entire family. As always, plan your holiday ahead of time and use the power of the Internet to discover which locations will best suit your needs.