Cambodia is fast emerging as a popular destination for intrepid travellers in Southeast Asia. As its neighbour, Thailand, becomes more developed, Cambodia offers a less-explored tranquillity, with many of the same attractions: pristine beaches, lush jungle, waterfalls and rivers and an overriding friendliness and calm. The main draw in Cambodia remains the stunning ruins at Angkor where more than 100 temples from the Khmer empire sit among forests and farmland. Of these, the most popular is Angkor Wat and many tourists book flights to Cambodia to visit this site alone.
While the country’s ancient past is spectacular, its more recent past is less appealing. The rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge between 1976 and 1979 was a devastating time for the Cambodia and one from which it is still trying to recover. During this short time nearly two million people were killed and the country’s infrastructure all but devastated. Most tourists pay a visit to the Killing Fields as a mark of respect to those lost and the country’s struggle to get back to prosperity.
It is a struggle that has already shown huge results, and none more so than in its booming tourist industry. Travellers arriving from Cambodia flights have a huge choice of activities to enjoy. The beaches on the Gulf of Thailand are as beautiful as any to be found in Thailand itself (and far less crowded). The towns of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are lively, throbbing, sophisticated cities where modern day life is vibrant and cheerful, taking place among stunning ancient monuments.
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