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CAMBODIA ATTRACTION
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Tourist Attraction
I. PHNOM PENH AND HER SURROUNDING:
PHNOM PENH AND HER SURROUNDING:
Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia. It is found at the conjunction of the Four Branch River (the Upper Mekong, the Low Mekong, the Tonle Sap and the Bassac River.) Phnom Penh serves as the center cultures, economy, society and politics in Cambodia. This city is populated by approximately 1.5 million unique destination. The tree-lined streets congested with cyclos and the growing number for motorbikes make the City one of Asia’s bustling spots. With attractions such as the Silver Pagoda, Royal Palace, the rivers and other interesting sites, Phnom Penh is a fascinating city. Phnom Penh has progressively developed with many new parks and gardens and gleaming streetlights. To celebrate the city’s 567th Anniversary, the city council is now implementing its beautification policy, which will enhance the city’s greenery even more. Phnom Penh is selected to host the Asean Tourism Forum (ATF) in 2003.
KAMPONG THOM AND SAMBO PREI KUK:
Kampong Thom is situated in the central part of Cambodia. It is one of the five provinces located on th lower part of eastern side of the Tonle Sap Lake. Rice, fishery production and forest products are the major resources of the province. It is also rich in historical sites with countless temples from the pre Angkorian era. The famous Sambor Prei Kuk is also found here. This ancient city has almost two hundred clay brick temples in it. It was built during the time of King Isanavarman when he successfully united the territory (ChenLla Kork) and the Khmer water territory (Chenla Toek). Sambo Prei Kuk was used as the capital of the Khmer Empire for centuries. It is interesting to visit Sambor Prei Kuk before visiting the splendid Angkor complex, as its design and style are the foundation that inspired the Angkor civilization.
KAMPONG CHAM:
This is one of the most population provinces in Cambodia. Its red-soil land makes it the most fertile land in the country and perhaps resulted in it geing the richest province in Cambodia. Tobacco, Soya-beans, Rubber and other tropical producer are planted and exported from here. The Kizonal, the longest bridge in Cambodia across the Mekong River was built and completed in 2002. This bridge connects the country’s northeastern regions. Kampong Cham is home also to a number of amazing 12th century temple such as the Nokor Ba Chey, the Han Chey and the Phnom Pos-Phnom Srei, all of which are fascinating places to visit.
KAMPONG CHHNANG:
This is a province will known for its fine clay pottery, as the name of the province says it all in Khmer. Kampong Chhnag in Cambodian means “Port of Pottery”. The people in this province enjoy making pots, vases and various others types of ceramics during the season when they are neither planting nor harvesting rice. While visiting this charming little town, it is a good idea to try a boat tour to the floating village where hundreds of floating homes can be seen.
II. NORTH WEST:
Battambang and Pailin:
a). Battambang
is located on the upper western region of Tonle Sap Lake. It is famous for its rich natural resources and tertile soil, on which virtually anything can be grown with incredibly productive results. Battambang alone has the potential to feed the entire country with good quality rice. Rubies and garnets are among some of the precious stones mined in this province. The province’s wealth of natural resources complemented by their legacy of cultural richness makes it even more attractive not only to the tourist, but Cambodians as well. Battambang is home to many ancient temples dating back to between the 10th and 13th Centuries. these are certainly worth as visit as part of an interesting cultural excursion.
b). Pailin is a small town just a mere 25 kilometers from the Thai Border. It is about 80 kilimeters from Battambang by road, it takes approximately an hour and forty-five minutes. Here I Pailin, there are a few interesting sites for the tourist too. Wat Rattanak Sorphorn, at 570 years of age., this beautiful pagoda has Burmese characters inscribed on its gate at the entrance. This is evident of early Burmese colonists in this area. Indeed, the Burmese were the first people to discover that Pailin is a precious gem-mining goldmine and it became the largest mining center for sapphires and rubies in Indochina then. Phnom Yat is one of a good number of places where visitors could still see the gem-mining activities today. Pailin is also not denied of her fair share of natural beauties and while visiting, it may be worth the while to visit the famous waterfalls at Ou Cheur Krom (8km from town. There are beautiful sceneries of mountains and lush bamboo forest.
SIEM REAP, ANGKOR:
This is a must-visit destination for all visitors to Cambodia. It is where the famous Angkor Wat temple is located. The 12th century Angkr Wat is the largest religious building in the world and it is honored as one of the Wonders of the World. Siem Reap is located on the northern bank of the Tonle Sap Great Lake and it can be easily accessed by boat as well. Apart from the legacy of many great temples, Siem Reap also has much more to offer to tourists. The spectacular floating village on the lake, the natural heritage site of Kulen Mountain, Kbal Spean, Beng Mealea gateway to Koh Ker and the silk weaving village are all very interesting sites to visit. There are also several Buddhist monasteries in the province and there are open to tourist too. Indeed, Siem Reap offers the tourist an totally different experience from anywhere else in the country.
BANTEAY MEAN CHEY:
Located in the northwest of Cambodia, it leads to one of the most important border check points Cambodi/Thailan. The Capital of this province is Serei Sophon (also known as Sisophon). There are two ancient temples in this province, the 12th century temple Banteay Chhmar and the Prasat Banteay Torp, a small temple on top of a little hill, enclosed by a 2km long wall. It was built in the same period as Banteay Chhmar.
PREAH VIHEAR:
This is one of the most isolated provinces in Cambodia with a very small population. However it mus have been an important place in the past since the three famous groups of temples, The Koh Ker, Preah Khan Kampong Svay and the Preah Vihear are all found here. Koh Ker used to be a capital of the Khmer Emperor King Jayavaman IV who built this city in the year 921AD. Some parts of the temples are still hidden in the jungle and now only these three famous temples are accessible. Preah Vihear is also home to many different hills tribes with divers ethnic groups.
ODOR MEAN CHEY: It is the province where the former Khmer Rouge made their last stand. The town of Anlong Veng is located here. The Royal Cambodian Government has earmarked this location a historical site as this is the last home town of Pol Pot and this is also where Pol Pot died and buried. Plans are underway to promote this as a tourist destination and there are now signs showing where Pol Pot house was, his opinions headquarters and network of command posts, etc.
III. SOUTHWEST:
KAMPOT:
Kamot shares border with Vietnam to the east and extends into the Gulf of Siam to the south. Because of abundance in limestone, the province produces cement. The paradise here comes in the form of a 1040 meters high Bokor Mountain. Bokor Hill station used to be one of the most popular recreational places during the French colonial period. The resort was established in the 1920s. On top of the mountain, an old Catholic Church built in French colonial style, hotel and a casino all abandoned to the wind, leaving evident of pas glory to the place. There are holiday villas and a Buddhist monastery built on a verge of the mountain cliff. A magnificent panoramic view of the Gulf of Siam can be seen from up here. The trip up the mountain provides a completely different travel experience. Also in Kampot, is Kep city which was established in 1908. Kep is popular holiday destination to both local and foreign tourists. There is a regular crab market that itself serves well as a tour-attraction as fishermen come onto the beach with baskets after baskets of freshly caught crabs attracting a huge gathering of interested buyers. The beach here is sandy and the open sea breathes a welcoming breeze quit difficult for the sea-loving tourist to resist.
SIHANOUK VILLE:
Sihanouk Ville is a three and half hour drive from Phnom Penh. It is Cambodian finest beach resort and it offers an exceptionally well preserved natural environment. This tropical beach with pristine clear water and glittering white sand is naturally decorated by splendid rock formations. The warm and tranquil water is perfect for swimming, sunbathing or just relaxing after tiring sightseeing. Besides the good beaches, the air in Sihanouk Ville is fresh and the place is famous for the seafood restaurants dishing out fresh and mouth-watering seafood cuisines. There are also many secluded islands where one can hire a boat to visit and perhaps practice diving in lovely underwater environment.
KOH KONG:
Koh Kong shares border with Thailand in the west. Much of its area is covered by mountains and forests (70%), and the rest opens up to the sea. Only a small percentage of the province is float surface. However, Koh Kong is enjoying quite a few tourism development projects. The newly built National Road 48 provides visitors yet another option to access the province by road. Although some effort has been made to improve the conditions of the road, the journey to Koh Kong can still be quite a breathtaking experience. It is highly recommend only to those who love nature and looking for something really adventurous. For the adventurous, the natural scenery along this road is absolutely stunning. Tall green mountain that touched the cloud. Amidst thick forest, streams and charming waterfalls make interesting sites for stopovers and photography.
PURSAT:
Located on the western side of Tonle Sap Lake, Pursat has a mountainous forest covering much of the region. Although the province does not have many ancient temples like the rest of Cambodia, the highlight of this province is the interesting history of the war between Siamese and the Khmers that took place just before the French Colonial era in Cambodia. Interesting historical sites include the Tomb of the Cambodian hero known as Oknha Klang Meung, who led the war against Siamese. Much of Cambodian history evolves here.
IV. NORTHEAST:
RATTANAKIRI:
This Northeastern province had left isolated from the rest of the country for many decades due to poor road conditions in the past. Conditions today have improved though certain sectors may require some careful maneuvering. The province boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes and is home to several settlements of ethnic hill tribes. It has also many interesting natural sites that are unique to the territory. There is an incredibly beautiful waterfall, a tranquil volcanic lake and a dense rain forest rich in a variety of flora and fauna. A distinct contrast from 21st century opulence, this province remains largely uncorrupted as the majority of the population here is made up of ethnic minority groups all living harmoniously to the complement the natural ambience that makes the province very attractive to urban dwellers. Each tribe has its own territory and town structure, some of these are hidden deep in the jungle making it even more interesting for the tourist since getting there means trekking and this can be done on elephant rides as well. Early at dawn, men are usually out hunting for food while women stay at the village picking fruit or working in the rice the fields. Goods and services are paid for through an exchange process or bartering system so money is sometimes considered worthless in these communities. Experiencing these people’s way of life can certainly be a rewarding experience for visitors to the Northeast.
MONDULKIRI:
Traveling eastward from Kompong Cham, we come to Sen Momorm, the capital of Mondulkiri, one of the largest provinces of Cambodia. The hill top town is surrounded by many scenes of natural beauty – dense forests, lush green hills and beautiful waterfalls. Ten different ethnic hill tribes are found to be setting here; the majority is the Phnong minority peoples. They live off the land, planting rice, fruit trees and a variety of vegetables. Others grow strawberries and maintain small plots of coffee, rubber, cashew and avocado trees. The province is proving to be an ideal eco- tourism destination and satisfies travelers who are out for adventure. Recommended activities are elephant trekking, mountain biking, fishing and swimming. At the moment, the only way to access this town is by road from Kampong Cham, which is now passable all year round.
STEUNG TRENG:
Steung Treng is a nice little province on the border with Laos. The provincial capital sits on the Sekong River and nearby Mekong River. A boat trip across the Mekong takes the visitor to the Thalabarivat, a pre-Angkorian temple made of bricks. This quiet river town is only 40 kilometers away from Laos. The border between Cambodia and Laos is now open and this is the only gateway to get to Laos by boat. The journey to Laos by boat is only possible during the rainy season, when the water level is high enough to allow boats to pass easily through the upper Mekong sector.
KRATIE:
Kratie Province, located on east bank of the Mekong River is rich logging and fishery. This section of the Mekong River that runs through this province brings fertile soil and diversified marine life. Fishes harvested in this part of the river are said to be of high quality and are ideally good for export. The province is also home to an endangered species of freshwater dolphin- the pink dolphins. They live in this part of Mekong River and Cambodia is proud to conserve them.
V. SOUTHEAST:
TAKEO:
Takeo is one of the oldest provinces found in the Southern part Cambodia. It is where the ancient Kingdom of Funan was established in around 1st Century AD. Funan is Chinese meaning wealth of the south. Takeo has a few temples including the famous Phnom De temple, which dates back to around 5th century and is the most interesting province to visit for those interested in understanding the roots of the Khmer civilization.