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Angkor Wat, Kambodscha, Bild: Intarapong / shutterstock

Cambodia – the land of the ancient Khmer

Cambodia is a very special country in Southeast Asia. Immerse yourself in the millennia-old culture of the ancient Khmer, experience the megacity of Phnom Penh, experience French flair in the small towns or relax on the beaches of Sihanoukville.

Special features in Cambodia

Cambodia was badly shaken in the second half of the 20th century and suffered under the dictatorship of the cruel ruler Pol Pot. Even though the country has since recovered, a visit to Cambodia would not be complete without dealing with the country’s history. Despite their past, Cambodians are now a very hospitable people and warmly welcome visitors from all over the world. Cambodia has an indescribable variety of paradisiacal jungle, venerable culture, snow-white beaches and vibrant life.

Sights in Cambodia

Angkor: The largest temple complex in the world

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat, Image: Guitar photographer / shutterstock

Most people come to Cambodia to visit the abandoned city of Angkor. You should plan at least three days for this. Because the sunken city and the temples, which have since been excavated, are unique in the world. During your visit, immerse yourself in a bygone era. Wander between larger-than-life statues, tree-topped tree roots and filigree handiwork. Among the highlights in Angkor are certainly the temple complex Angkor Wat, the “Tomb Raider Temple” Ta Prohm or the Bayon Temple with its huge faces. The temple complexes exude a special magic at dawn and dusk. The starting point for a visit is the town of Siem Reap, which has an excellent infrastructure. Restaurants, markets, shops and events are just waiting to be explored by visitors.

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Vibrant Phnom Penh

Royal Palace Phnom Penh
The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Image: RPBaiao / shutterstock

A contrast to the dreamy Siem Reap is Phnom Penh. The capital of the country is home to about 1.5 million people and it feels like there are just as many motorcycles and tuk-tuks driving through the streets. It can be a real adventure to cross the street in Phnom Penh. Even in Phnom Penh, probably very few people dare to drive a car. However, cheap taxis and tuk-tuks take holidaymakers comfortably to the sights. Among the most famous sights are the Royal Palace and the historic Buddhist temple Wat Phnom. However, a visit to Phnom Penh is not complete without dealing with the Pol Pot regime. That’s why a visit to the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison is also part of a visit to the capital.

White Beaches of Sihanoukville

If you feel like relaxing after visiting Phnom Penh, you should head to the south of the country. The white beaches of Sihanoukville invite you to relax. The most famous of the beaches is Otres Beach. Since it has long since ceased to be an insider tip, there is a lot going on here. But the whole area invites you to unwind and relax.

Dolphin watching in Krati

Animal lovers should add the city of Krati to their list. From there, boat tours to the Irrawaddy dolphins can be organized. A sighting of the marine mammals is a real highlight on every holiday and is sure to be remembered for a long time.

Small towns with French flair: Battambang and Kampot

If you want it a little quieter, you should pay a visit to the cities of Battambang or Kampot. The city of Kampot with its many cafes is a wonderful starting point for exploring the nature of the surrounding area. From Battambang you can take great boat trips into nature.

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Specialties of Cambodia

Sihanoukville Beach Cambodia
Beach in Sihanoukville, Image: Aleksandar Todorovic / shutterstock

Cambodian cuisine is diverse, colorful and spicy. The classic Asian curry dishes can be found on many menus. A popular curry dish is Amok, which is served with beef, chicken, or shrimp. Lok Lak is widespread throughout the country. This is a seasoned beef dish with a fried egg. You can also enjoy a typical ice-cold Angkor beer. In Cambodia, however, there are also all kinds of curiosities that you can try. The street markets in Phnom Penh offer fried spiders, maggots and all kinds of other insects. And snake meat or frog legs can also be found on many a menu. For dessert, Cha Houy Teuk beckons. The street food dish is a mixture of jelly, coconut cream, sago and mung beans.

Travel time and weather

The best time to travel to Cambodia is when it is winter in Germany , from November to February. The temperatures are then not sweltering hot and, above all, it is dry. If you visit Cambodia at any other time of the year, you have to expect rain and persistently high humidity. However, a visit to Cambodia outside the main travel season has one advantage: Especially in Angkor it is not so crowded and in addition, the vegetation is in full splendor in summer and the rainforest shows itself in full bloom.