Cambodia, kingdom of wonder
Since the signing of the new constitution in 1993, Cambodia has increasingly become a destination not to be missed in South East Asia. Its thousands of temples, its fascinating people and its tropical climate make it a particularly attractive country. The cost of living is still relatively low. The currency of Cambodia is the riel. However, transactions are settled widely in U.S. dollar (USD)
The visit Cambodia is not confined only to the fabulous temples of Angkor, protected by UNESCO and a few sandy beaches site. Many sites contain other splendors over seven or eight centuries, the Khmer countryside, another time, where land is still worked by animal power, offers a typical Asian picturesque charm. The floating villages along the Tonle Sap or the Mekong, Phnom Phen, the teeming capital, particularly lively during the water festival or the beaches and islands of the South, have serious assets to attract visitors Kampuchea.
Although tourism is one of the most prosperous areas of the country ( garment industry is number one industry), many places are not yet crushed by mass tourism. This makes Cambodia a destination with two faces, one where tourists face a very strong mercantile aspect , the other almost intact, highlights timeless landscapes, dotted with coconut palm sugar, rice fields, old or new temples (mainly Theravada Buddhist), solid buffalo wading in the marsh. Here the population reveals his true face, that of the land of smiles.
Siem Reap, a road to Angkor Wat
Indeed, Siem Reap derives most of its income from tourism. According to the Ministry of Tourism, Siem Reap province attracted 2.06 million international tourists in 2012. In Cambodia, International Tourist Arrivals = 4,210,165 in 2013.
That quiet and small city provides lots of accommodation (from the cheapest to the very lavish). Its Pub Street, not far from the river and near the Old market (Phsar Chas) is a good place to stay around for travelers to mingle. The city name "Siamese defeated" shows an important victory of the Khmer Empire over the army of the Thai kingdom in the 17th century.
The nearby ruins of Angkor deeply increase the activity of the city in the space of 10 years. Hotels and guesthouses have grows at high speed. The real estate values have soared to dizzying levels and tourism has become a huge windfall profit. Siem Reap is no longer quite the same face.
This radical change, whether he knew contributed to some economic comfort of a portion of the population has left the most fragile tile, including farmers and fishermen who are now suffering the collateral damage of the surge cost of living.
However, Siem Reap is a quiet town, friendly and pleasant, enjoying booming tourism industry.
Good to know: A 6 months valid passport is required for travelers. You can get a Cambodian visa (1 month) at the airports or at the border.
Tip: Don't drink other water than bottled water and drink a lot.
Want to try Khmer food: Come to visit us at Lilypop.
UNESCO World Heritage
Angkor Archaeological Park lies just outside Siem Reap. Covering hundreds of square kilometers, the main tourist areas are Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom (made famous in Tomb Raider) and Pre Rup, a crumbling Khmer temple from the 10th century. Each of these sites is worth at least a full day's exploration and all are best seen in the early morning or late afternoon, as sub-tropical heat and crowds can make sightseeing in the middle of the day quite challenging.