CAMBODIA - Oasis Highlights
The Temples of Angkor
The temple complex of Angkor is made up of so much than just the iconic Angkor Wat. The complex is in fact a huge city where you will find grand residences, hospitals and places of learning as well as place of worship. It was constructed between 8th and 13th centuries by a succession of both Hindu and Buddhist kings and their legacy of intricate architecture and elaborate carvings makes it, in our opinion, the most fascinating ancient site in Asia. Give yourself more than a couple of days as even if you are not overly interested in visiting temples you will inevitably kick yourself for not staying longer!
Located just a stone’s throw from the temples of Angkor, this remarkable lake is home to a wide variety floating villages and wildlife. Uniquely, the area of the lake changes by up to ten fold throughout the year as the Tonle Sap River reverses its flow due to the waters from the Himalaya flooding the Mekong River. As the lake expands and contracts the local inhabitants just literally “move house” by floating their wooden stilt dwelling to a new spot! Whole villages relocate throughout the year numerous times.
This historic city is more like country town than a capital city and even though developing quickly even the newest buildings fail to top 15 storeys! In stark contrast to its more illustrious neighbours of Bangkok and Saigon it still manages to exude a colonial charm and elegance. Spend a few days exploring the city and you will discover a multitude of hidden treasures including fascinating palaces, temples and markets as well as harsh reminders of the cities modern history.
Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng
Whilst we at Oasis Travel recognise a trip to the grim remnants of Cambodia’s past is not for everyone we would recommend taking in at least one of the above. You will witness firsthand the degrading conditions everyday people were confined in as well as the eerie place of their ultimate execution. It can be upsetting but we feel to begin to really know and understand the country, its people and its modern history you should not ignore such places on your visit.
Bokor Hill Station
You will not find reference to Bokor in most tour operators Cambodia programs as it as little known as it is out of the way and hard to get to. However, your endeavour is ultimately well worth the effort as the views are stunning, the temperature cooling and experiencing the ghost town atmosphere of this odd place will live long in the memory!
In a perfect spot in the Gulf of Siam, this sleepy, emerging beach destination is the ideal place to head to for a few days R&R after exploring the cultural heartlands of Cambodia. It is an undeveloped (at the moment) and charming destination reminiscent of how Thai beach resorts must have been many years ago.