8 Things to See and Do in Cambodia

8 Things to See and Do in Cambodia

Over the last two decades or so, Cambodia has lost its dark, dangerous reputation and memories of Khmer atrocities have faded enough to let the beauty of the country and its people shine through. The Khmer culture fascinates its visitors with enticing street food, white sand beaches offering salty sea air, and the steamy, emerald jungle is filled with outdoor endeavors. Cambodians are peaceful and receptive, the history is unlike anywhere else on earth, and the vistas are backed by kaleidoscopic sunsets. Lacking travelers en masse like in Thailand, Cambodia is still unmistakably authentic.

8. Kampot

Travelers are captivated by Kampot, an endearing, sleepy waterfront village with a magnetic, laid-back feel and one of the country’s most impressive examples of French colonial architecture. Anyone hoping to explore the beautiful Elephant Mountains and Bokor National Park will find Kampot not only advantageous, but an interesting and fun base from which to enjoy outdoor adventures. Nearby, the seaside town of Kep, with its magnificent caves and lush, eastern coast, is just another reason to stay. This old trading hub saw its heyday until the 1950s when Sihanoukville gained a favorable position and took over. Kampot is for those looking to enjoy a varied backdrop that’s interesting to explore and perfect to relax in. The Old Market, an aging landmark, has recently seen some gentrification and now features many interesting restaurants and shops—they themselves are attractions, filled with interesting families who begin as strangers but end up good friends.

Kampot, Cambodia

7. Otres Beach

Along the southwest coast of Cambodia is beautiful Otres Beach, the country’s most beautiful stretch of sand. Lining the waterfront are small, traditional bungalows fronted by loungers and brightly hued papasan chairs, with hammocks hung from most big palms and other native trees. There really isn’t any one major attraction here; the biggest sell is the easy-going atmosphere. Most other Cambodian beaches are filled with early morning partiers hanging on to whiskey-filled buckets, looking to get their groove on. Otres is decidedly different. There’s a promising social scene-and plenty of cocktails available—but owners collectively agree to shut down music by 10 pm, making later evenings relaxing rather than rowdy. Though not a hidden gem, Otres Beach is still a little-known favourite among those in the know, but it won’t last so be sure to park yourself on Otres for a few days of pure relaxation and incredible sunsets.

Otres Beach, Cambodia
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