6th June 2012
Flocks of tourists visit Cambodia every year to Angkor Wat; the famous temple is one of many within the Angkor Archaeological Park. You will never forget the first time you see it. It’s truly spectacular as it’s on such a grand scale. When I travelled in Cambodia I spent three days visiting the temples and managed to see the major temples such as overgrown Ta Prohm, where huge Kapok trees grow from the terraces, as well as the lesser known temples of Preah Khan, Preah Neah Pean and Ta Som.
My guide Mr Thaya who was excellent I hasten to add, informed me proudly that there are well over 1,000 temples, but many of them are now barely standing, if at all. More than 200 of the Angkor Temples have been restored in some way or another, mainly to give tourists some perspective of how the kings lived and how the gods were so important. Indeed most temples were dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu such as Angkor Wat. I loved immersing myself in all this and I would definitely go back and camp by the temples on our temple safari.
Moreover, Cambodia has a lot more to discover than just Angkor temples. The Elephant Valley Project in the north east of the country rescues and treats domestic elephants who have suffered injury and abuse. It welcomes visitors to stay and learn with the support of the Bunong villagers. To enjoy a unique experience, you will be introduced to the herd of elephants and get to know more about their history, character, behaviour, body language while walking alongside them in their natural environment. You will be able to feed the elephants buckets of bananas and afterwards use the same buckets to bathe the elephants before watching them cover themselves in mud again.
Also, you can visit some of the tribal villages in the same area such as Domrei Choan. This area offers a typical Mondulkiri experience as you follow trails used by the local tribal villagers to venture into the lush forest. Your local guide will lead you through the forest to Pnong villages where you will learn about their traditional way of life.
More recently Cambodia has put its mark on the map buy building two amazing luxury properties; the 4 Rivers Floating Eco Lodge near the Thailand border where you can sleep in a luxury tented camp on the edge of the river Tatai, listen to the birdlife, chill out or go on a canoe down the river. It’s pretty cool as you can only access the lodge by boat, so it’s so peaceful and quiet. Also, a private resort called ‘Song Saa’ has been built on two separate islands in the Gulf Of Thailand. With this property Cambodia can now officially offer an ultimate luxury islands escape and due to its accessibility after your tour in South East Asia you could add it on as a beach extension. Stay in style and choose from one of its opulent Jungle villas over the water villa or a beach villa.
Each stay at the Song Saa’ resort includes all food and drinks, be it a lazy breakfast in your villa, a romantic picnic on the beach or fine dining in their world-class water restaurant. Also, the exquisite Khmer-inspired cuisine of renowned chef Neil Wager, a 15 minute foot massage, use of kayaks, sailing boats, kite boarding and lots more. Apparently high speed internet (Wi Fi) is available all over the Island! Personally I feel the this resort has made a huge effort to make its clients stay a personal and memorable one.
If you have already been to Cambodia do return as it has so much more to offer than you think!