Why book a tour of Cambodia?
A tour of Cambodia is the best way to enjoy the whole country
Cambodia isn't one of those places that only appeals for one reason - it's got amazing heritage sites, beautiful beaches, stunning national parks, thriving cities and incredible local communities. Naturally, these things aren't all located in the same part of the country, so to truly appreciate its diversity, you need to travel around.
This doesn't mean that you have to slum it and put up with basic conditions while you're moving from place to place though, as there are luxury tours of Cambodia that will allow you to see the sights in all their glory, while staying in high-end modern hotels or in another comfortable form of accommodation.
Another advantage to going on a tour of Cambodia or planning a twin-centre holiday here is that you won't have to worry about the organisation of your trip or arranging transport to and fro, because all of this will be taken care of for you beforehand. That means you can simply enjoy your holiday in Cambodia, without any added stress of planning, and really make the most of the places you visit.
Experience exciting cities
Phnom Penh, the country's capital, is a brilliant place to start your journey of discovery in Cambodia. Immerse yourself in the hectic pace of daily life on the city's streets and enjoy the buzz that comes from being in such a vibrant city.
Among the top sights here are the Royal Palace; a glittering gold building that was constructed in the 19th century, the National Museum where you can see a variety of treasures from the country's past, Ounalom Pagoda - one of the five original monasteries in the city - and the Independence Monument.
The Tuol Sleng prison, which is now a museum, is a fascinating, if upsetting, place to visit too. It offers an insight into the dark period of the Khmer Rouge regime when thousands of Cambodians were tortured and killed by the brutal leadership.
Siem Reap, which is the gateway to the Angkor complex, is another wonderful city to experience on a tour of Cambodia. It is located on the shores of the vast Tonle Sap Lake and many of its main sights relate to the Angkor temples.
There are a couple of interesting museums in the city, such as the Angkor Museum where artefacts recovered from the huge archaeological site are on display, and the Civil War Museum, which provides further information about the Khmer Rouge and the campaign to remove them from power.
From Siem Reap, it is also possible to visit one of the floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake - a fantastic experience that will give you an idea of how people have adapted their lives to fit in with the natural landscape and how they make their living from this huge body of water.
See areas of natural beauty
Tonle Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in south-east Asia and, therefore, is an essential place to visit. There is also a large bird sanctuary here, where all manner of winged creatures harmoniously coexist. Between December and March is the best time of year to see huge flocks of birds, as they come to feed on the fish that spawn in the lake during its flood period.
Bokor National Park, where creatures such as gibbons, leopards and Asiatic black bears roam, is another wonderful place to explore on your holiday. This region in Cambodia's hills is ideal for hiking, while the former French hill fort that sits in a prominent position is a charming addition to the landscape and one that enchants travellers.
Although Cambodia isn't known for its coastline, it does have some truly beautiful stretches of sand, with the most popular of these located in Sihanoukville. Powder-soft sand is backed by waving palms and lapped by crystalline blue water. There's nowhere better to round off your tour of Cambodia or multi-centre holiday and to enjoy a spot of rest and relaxation before you head back home.
Uncover cultural attractions
Of course, Cambodia's most famous attraction is the Angkor Wat complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that, quite rightly, draws in thousands of visitors every year. The temples and other buildings that were constructed by the Khmer Empire between the 9th and 15th centuries are spread out over an area of some 400 sq km.
What's wonderful about visiting Angkor Wat is that, while some of the temples have been restored, others are still in a more run-down state nestled among the jungle - it's a magical place to wander around, as you never quite know what you'll see around the next corner.
The Temple of Preah Vihear, which is located on the plain of Cambodia, is the country's only other UNESCO-listed site, with this relic of the Khmer Empire less-visited than its more famous counterpart, but one that is particularly well preserved due to its remote location.
Tours and multi-centre holidays in Cambodia
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Sokha Hotels and Resorts has announced the soft opening of the brand new Sokha Siem Reap Resort and Convention Centre in Cambodia. The luxury hotel will have 776 guest rooms and suites, and facilities including a swimming pool, fitness centre, spa and several dining venues. Located on the famous Road No 60, the new hotel joins Sokha’s second hotel in the city after the Sokha Angkor Resort.
During the first six month of 2016, Cambodia recorded 2.36 million foreign visitors, according to the Tourism Ministry. The numbers increased by 2.6 per cent compared to the 2.3 million visitors for the same period in 2015. The majority of arrivals came from Vietnam, and Cambodia recorded a 13 per cent increase in visitors from China following improved relations with the country.
As Cambodia becomes an increasingly popular destination for travellers on all budgets, there are more luxury hotels popping up to accommodate visitors looking for comfort and style. Phum Baitang is a five-star hotel located just outside Siem Reap that has 45 thatched villas elevated on stilts, and an idyllic setting surrounded by paddy fields and fragrant lemongrass gardens.