Ascend to the realm of the gods, Angkor Wat. Descend into the hell of the Khmer Rouge at Tuol Sleng. Thanks to a history both inspiring and depressing, Cambodia delivers an intoxicating present for adventurous visitors.
An Empire of Temples
Contemporary Cambodia is the successor state to the mighty Khmer empire, which, during the Angkorian period, ruled much of what is now Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The remains of this empire can be seen at the fabled temples of Angkor, monuments unrivalled in scale and grandeur in southeast Asia. The traveller’s first glimpse of Angkor Wat, the ultimate expression of Khmer genius, is sublime and is matched by only a few select spots on earth, such as Machu Picchu or Petra.
The Comeback Capital
Just as Angkor is more than its wat, so too is Cambodia more than its temples. The chaotic yet charismatic capital of Phnom Penh is a hub of political intrigue, economic vitality and intellectual debate. All too often overlooked by hit-and-run tourists ticking off Angkor on a regional tour, the revitalised city is finally earning plaudits in its own right thanks to a gorgeous riverside location, a cultural renaissance, and a wining and dining scene to rival anywhere in the region.
Siem Reap and Phnom Penh may be the heavyweights, but to some extent they are a bubble, a world away from the Cambodia of the countryside. This is the place to experience the rhythm of rural life and timeless landscapes of dazzling rice paddies and swaying sugar palms. The South Coast is fringed by tropical islands, with just a handful of beach huts in sight. Inland from the coast lie the Cardamom Mountains, part of a vast tropical wilderness that provides a home to elusive wildlife and is the gateway to emerging ecotourism adventures. The mighty Mekong River cuts through the country and is home to some of the region’s last remaining freshwater dolphins. The northeast is a world unto itself, its wild and mountainous landscapes a home for Cambodia’s ethnic minorities and an abundance of natural attractions.
The Cambodian Spirit
Despite having the eighth wonder of the world in its backyard, Cambodia’s real treasure is its people. The Khmers have been to hell and back, struggling through years of bloodshed, poverty and political instability. Thanks to an unbreakable spirit and infectious optimism, they have prevailed with their smiles intact. No visitor comes away without a measure of admiration and affection for the inhabitants of this enigmatic kingdom.
Best places to stay in Cambodia
Cambodia travel guide
Ascend to the realm of the gods at Angkor Wat, and descend into the hell of the Khmer Rouge and its killing machine. Welcome to the conundrum that is Cambodia: a history both inspiring and depressing, a future yet to be shaped.
Top secret(s): the truths behind 10 of the world's great wonders
Ever visit an incredible site in some exotic land and wonder how it was built? The notice board just lists a few meaningless dates, or a guide rattles off a bunch of jargon-packed phrases, but you want the real dirt...
Volunteering in Cambodia
Cycling in Cambodia
Angkor Wat & Siem Reap Encounter guide
There is no greater concentration of architectural riches anywhere on earth. Choose from the world’s largest religious building, Angkor Wat; one of the world’s weirdest, Bayon; or the riotous jungle of Ta Prohm.
Phnom Penh: the name can’t help but conjure up an image of the exotic.
Most action-packed jungles
Make like Tarzan and take on one of these truly original rainforest adventures. This article is adapted from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Adventures. Battlefield crossing, Kokoda Track, Papua New Guinea Hiker on the Kokoda Track. Image by Andrew Peacock / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images...
Cambodia - Plan your trip (Chapter)
Your journey to Cambodia starts here. You’ll find the tools to plan your adventure: where to go and when, how much to budget, plus indepth info on exploring jungle-covered temples and travelling with children.
Touchdown in Vietnam amid the chaotic streets of Ho Chi Minh City, travel through Cambodia and arrive in Thailand's vivacious capital. In Cambodia, visit the spectacular temples of Angkor Wat and Siem Reap, and reflect on Cambodia's tragic history at the sobering sites of Phnom Penh.
Discover the heart and soul of Indochina on this tour of four very diverse countries. Encounter history, both ancient and modern, and witness the unbelievable splendour of Angkor Wat. Our CEOs will ensure your accommodation and transportation are covered—so you can choose the activities that interest you. Experience Halong Bay by boat and cycle around Vang Vieng.
Set-jetting: top 10 movie and TV destinations for travellers
Rather than dreaming about the sometimes stunning, often gritty destinations in your favourite flick, why not get off the sofa and experience it yourself? Set–jetting, visiting the places where movies and TV shows are shot, is easier than ever thanks to dedicated tours and heaps of rabid fans willing to point you in the right...
Cambodia - Siem Reap (Chapter)
The life-support system for the temples of Angkor, Siem Reap was always destined for great things. It has reinvented itself as the epicentre of cool Cambodia, with everything from backpacker party pads to hip hotels, world-class wining and...
Sights in Cambodia
Activities in Cambodia
Tours in Cambodia
Restaurants in Cambodia
Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Back in the 1960s, Siem Reap (see-em ree-ep) was the place to be in Southeast Asia and saw a steady stream of the rich and famous.