Until the 90s decade, the common perception of Cambodia was that of a war-ravaged nation. However, in the last 15-20 years, this country has made rapid progress on the economic front. Tourism is the second-largest source of income for Cambodia after the textile industry. Scenic beaches, prehistoric temples and other forms of architecture and the natural wealth of this country have made this country one of the tourist hotspots of South Asia. There are many interesting things to do in Cambodia and this article presents readers with an overview of the tourist attractions.
Attractions for Tourists in Cambodia
The interesting things that you can do in Cambodia are listed down on the basis of regions that tourists can visit. Different parts of this beautiful country have something unique to offer. Beaches and national parks attract tourists in large numbers. Let us have a look at some interesting facts about Cambodia in order to obtain information about some of the tourist attractions.
Dolphin spotting is one of the main attractions for tourists visiting the Kratie province. The Mekong river which lies to the north of Kratie is home to the Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins. Tourists generally stay for 1-2 nights in the city of Kratie to plan their trips to the river and other places; the Phnom Sambok Resort is amongst the interesting places to visit in Kratie. There also are other places like the Kampy Resort and the 100-Column Pagoda. The Kampy Resort lies 15 km to the north of Kratie and offers a spectacular view of green water plants.
This Cambodian province lies 115 miles to the southwest of Phnom Penh - the capital city. It takes a 3-hour drive from Phnom Penh to reach Sihanoukville. There are many exciting and fun things to do in Sihanoukville. The beaches of Sihanoukville offer a lot of fun activities for tourists which include snorkeling, scuba diving, dirt biking, mountain biking, etc. Simply relaxing and soaking on the sun at these beaches also is an option to consider. For wildlife enthusiasts, the Ream National Park is a nice place to visit. This park is home to over 150 bird species, dolphins, flying fish, monkeys and many such creatures.
The main attractions for tourists in and around Mondulkiri are the elephant ride, Monorom Falls and Bou Sraa Falls, etc. The Monoram Falls and Bou Sraa Falls have a height of 9m and 25m respectively. The elephant ride is best enjoyed when you are touring the Ratanakiri jungle. Only an elephant ride (and not any other means of transport) can make your experience of the tour fulfilling and memorable.
The temples of Angkor present a scenic setting for those interested in photography. A guide should explain the history of these temples in a better manner. You would find the place even more interesting after knowing the history and related facts. There is another way to enjoy the scenic beauty of Angkor region; a helicopter tour offers a spectacular view of this place. You can also take a 15 minute ride on a tethered hot-air balloon for a similar experience.
This province of Cambodia is known for its quiet life and countryside tours. Despite the peaceful and disturbance-free atmosphere, Kampot has in store a lot of exciting and fun activities for tourists. Jungle trekking, island trips, river cruises, etc. are some of the activities the tourists would enjoy. Apart from countryside tours, you might enjoy visiting the Bokor Hill Station, Rabbit Island and Kep Beach.
Shopping in Cambodia
Cambodia offers a lot for an avid shopper. The markets in Cambodia have a great variety of artworks on display, which range from textile items to carvings. The krama is one such special item - a scarf made of cotton and decorated with a checkered pattern. The cities of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are popular tourist destinations for shopping. Buddhism-themed shopping items is one of the specialties of markets in Cambodia. Baskets, plates, bowls and other such handmade items created from reed are also popular.
The number of tourists who visited Cambodia in 2007 was 2 million. This number went up to 3 million in 2010 and the estimate for 2015 is 5 million. Going by these numbers, we can say that people from all over the world find Cambodia an attractive tourist destination, where there is a lot to do.