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Present Add : # 207, Group 1, Chreav Village, Sangkat Chreav, Siem Reap Town, Cambodia. james@jamestoursguide.com, jamestoursguide@archaeologist.com, jamestoursguide@photographer.net
James Tours Guide Co.,Ltd.

destinations around cambodia

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Phnom Penh Capital City

Phnom Penh Capital City,  once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, is the capital and largest city in  Cambodia. It is now a cultural, commercial, and political center that  offers a unique blend of traditional charm and urban bustle. 

Today, Phnom Pemh is a place of diverse economic and urban growth. A swift wave of development has brought in new highrise buildings--including a 30-storey  business center--restaurants catering to every palate, and stylish  hotels promising all levels of luxury. Contributing to this development  are burgeoning culinary and nightlife scenes that can rival any other in  the region. 

The alluring capital city also features a wide variety of historical and  cultural attractions, along with myriad opportunities to sample local  Cambodian culture. Here, classic colonial facades endure alongside sleek  new eateries, golden-spited pagodas, and buzzing markets-- all evidence  of the dynamic energy of Phnom Penh's city streets.  

Phnom Penh's famous riverfront is lined  with trendy pubs, bistros, and restaurants. Stores offering beautiful  Cambodian silk products and chic galleries dot the side streets. Add to  this a blooming arts scene and a heady dusk-to-dawn nightlife and you'll  understand why Phnom Penh has become such a well-loved and compelling  tourist destination.  

Around Phnom Penh capital city

The vibrant streets of Phnom Penh  are full of colorful sights. The city possesses an exciting range of  historical and cultural attractions to tout, along with countless restaurants and nightspots. 

For a taste of Cambodian history and royal life, visitors can tour the  Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda located just next to the palace  grounds. A short walk away, the National Museum beckons with room after  room of Khmer sculpture, ceramics, bronzes, and ethnographic objects. To  get a taste of city life, visitors can walk along Sothearos Boulevard,  sampling local foods and patronising a clutch of ‘antique’ shops that  sell silver trays, betel boxes, belts, ancient coins, silver or wooden  statuettes and famed marble carvings from the province of Pursat, 

Visitors may also find it pleasant to take leisurely strolls around Phnom Penh.  Boulevards peppered by elegant colonial buildings and a bustling  riverfront lined with cafes and restaurants make this a truly beautiful  city to see on foot. 

For those interested in shopping, ‘Phsar Toul Tum Poung’ also known as  Russian Market offers antique pieces, sundry sounvenir items, and  factory over-run designer clothing at hugely discounted prices. Visitors  who prefer air-conditioned comfort may opt to stop in the city's modern  shopping complexes (Sorya Shopping Centre, Sovanna Centre and the City  Mall). 

A sunset cruise down Phnom Penh's Tonle Sap river serves as a perfect,  relaxing end to an activity-filled day. Catch the soft river breezes and  watch as Cambodia's capital begins to light up and shimmer for the  evening. 






 



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Siem Reap Province

Siem Reap province located in northwestern Cambodia, is the gateway to the world-famous  Angkor temple complex, which includes the magnificent Angkor Wat. The  province also contains a vibrant capital city boasting many luxury  hotels, beautifully-aged colonial buildings, a buzzing Pub Street, silk farm, markets, and much more. 

The city of Siem Reap,  also the capital of the province, is a ‘must-visit’ destination for all  visitors to Cambodia. This is where the glorious 12th Century Angkor  Wat temple, the largest religious building in the world, is located.  Situated on the northern bank of the Tonle Sap Great Lake, this  mesmerizing eighth wonder of the world can be easily accessed by plane,  land, and boat. 

The ruins of Angkor, located in thick jungle, are now a UNESCO World  Heritage Site. There are over one thousand temples ranging in scale from  nondescript piles of rubble scattered through rice fields to the  awe-inspiring Angkor Wat--the best-preserved temple.  

Apart from the legacy of the vast Angkor temple complex, Siem Reap has a lot more to offer to tourists, from the spectacular floating village on the Tonle Sap Lake to the heritage site of the Kulen mountain, to the recently discovered Koh Khe ruins. 

In town, there are a bevy of ethnic craft shops, galleries, cafes, eateries and top-notch restaurants serving every type of cuisine. The famous ‘Pub Street’ and the night markets of Siem Reap are now renowned tour destinations in their own rights. Additionally, silk farm, rice-paddy countryside, fishing villages and a very rich bird sanctuary near the Tonle Sap Lake make Siem Reap one of the most captivating places in the world.  

Location  

The province of Siem Reap is conveniently situated 314 km northwest of Phnom Penh, along National Road No 6. It can be reached all year round by National Road No 6 from Phnom Penh, Poipèt Border Checkpoint from BanteayMeanChey, KampongCham Province and KampongThom Province, and by National Road No 5 and 6 from KampongChhnang province, Pursat province and BattamBang  province.  

How to reach Siem Reap Province

Siem Reap  is accessible by direct flights from many major cities in the region  including Bangkok, Danang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Paksé, Vientiane, Kuala  Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kunming, Taipei, etc.  From the capital of  Phnom Penh, Angkor Air operates several direct flights per day to and  from Siem Reap.  

There are also speedboats operating along the Tonlé Sap from Phnom Penhand BattamBang Province. 

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Preah Sihanouk Province

Preah Sihanouk province is Cambodia's most famous beach town. Better known as Kampong Som to locals, it is about 230 km southwest of Phnom Penh and boasts pristine white-sand beaches, unspoiled tropical islands, and a dynamic nightlife.

With its palm-studded shores and warm, clear waters, it hardly comes as a surprise that Preah Sihanouk province attracts crowds of locals, expatriates, and tourists eager for a beach side holiday. Do as locals do and enjoy the stretches of powdery  white sand with a chilled coconut and some toothsome grilled seafood. Or, indulge in a beach side massage, take a dip in the sea, and go for dinner in any of the local restaurants that serve fresh crabs, prawns, lobsters, fish, and scallops in a mouth-watering array of styles. 

There are dozens of untouched islands off the coast of Preah Sihanouk : Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem  both feature blissfully uncrowded beaches with palm-shaded shorelines.  Being a beach town, there are also many sea-based activities for  adventuous visitors, including boating, island-hopping, fishing, diving  and snorkeling in crystal clear waters. For the expert enthusiast who  wants to explore the mysterious underwater world of coastal Cambodia,  the province has PADI Dive Centers and qualified instructors who know  just the right spots to take you. In the evenings, the nightlife heats up,  and those in search of pulsing bars and nightclubs won't be  disappointed. Many entertainment venues, especially those on Weather  Station Hill, stay open well into the wee hours.  



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BattamBang Province

BattamBang province  located in northwestern Cambodia, contains the second most populous city in the country after Phnom Penh. The provincial capital, also BattamBang , has always been a popular destination for its nearby ancient temples, French colonial architecture, and Buddhist shrines.  

Sitting on the Sangker River just south west of the Tonle Sap Lake, BattamBang  town is at the heart of Cambodia's 'rice bowl', and it maintains an  untouched, bucolic feel. The streets are filled with remarkably  well-preserved French colonial buildings alongside traditional Cambodian  houses. The nearby countryside harbors old pagodas, Angkorian era  ruins, caves, waterfalls, and Khmer Rouge period killing fields. 

Places of interest include Phnom Sampao,  a hill with caves of Buddha statues; the 12th Century Prasat Snung, Wat  Banan, an Angkorian temple now occupied as a Buddhist shrine; Wat  Baydamram where thousands of fruit bats reside, and Wat Ek Phnom. 

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Rattanakiri Province

   

Rattanakiri is the mountainous northeastern frontier province of Cambodia that borders Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east, Mondulkiri province to the south, and Stung Treng  Province  to the west.  It extends from the mountains of the AnnamiteRange in  the north, across a plateau between the Tonle San and Tonle Srepok  rivers. Famed for its stunning natural beauty and ethnic diversity,  Rattanak Kiri is full of natural and cultural treasures just waiting to  be discovered. Its capital is Banlung City. 

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Mondulkiri Province

To the south of Rattanakiri is Mondulkiri,  the most sparsely  populated province in Cambodia, despite being the  largest in land  area. This province is known for its thickly-forested  hills, verdant landscapes, and  cascading waterfalls. Its capital is Sen Monorom. 

Though remote, Mondulkiri will awe visitors who make the trip with its otherworldly tranquility  and beauty. To truly appreciate this province, one should arrange for a  trek (or an elephant ride!) through the area's lush jungles to enjoy  unspoiled scenery and the bracing fresh air, not to mention some of the  country's most spectacular waterfalls.  Few visitors will pass up the chance to soak in the rare and dramatic  beauty of a waterfall tucked in the thick of the MondulKiri jungle. Mondulkiri  also offers a handful of unforgettable cultural attractions. Many  visitors enjoy a stop at the Phnong minority villages where they can  observe the rich culture belonging to local hill tribes. There are even  opportunities to experience cultural community life on the edges of the  forest through ‘home stay’ arrangements in the corridor zone of Phnom  Prich Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mondulkiri Protected Forest. 




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Stung Treng Province

Stung Treng  is a beautiful province located on a high sandy bank overlooking the Mekong River. It is about 455 km from Phnom Penh and some 40 km to the Laos border. This charming city is linked to Banlung (Rattanakiri)  and is more than just a ‘stopover’. The Sekong Bridge, itself an  attraction, serves as a convenient passage to the border of Lao country.

There are several noteworthy attractions in the province of Stung Treng.  The incredible Sopheakmith Waterfall never ceases to mesmerise  visitors, and neither does the stretch of the mighty Mekong, which is  home to the incredibly rare Irrawaddy dolphins.

The Thala Barivat is only 4 kilometers from the provincial town. This is  accessible by crossing the Se Kong River. Thala Barivat is the  historical site where the Preah Ko, a 7th century brick temple of King Jayavarman I is located. Preah Ko  is consists of six brick towers arranged in two rows of three towers  each perched on a sandstone platform. This is one of the earliest  temples built during the Angkor era. 

Here in the vicinity are a few other small ancient temples; the Prambuon  Lveng Temple, Srei Temple and the Angkor Kmao Temple. The Hang Kho Ba  Pagoda, a 300 year old temple in the Hang Kho Ba Village, is also only  about 6 Kilometers from the provincial town and worth the while to pay a  visit. 

Stung Treng province is also famous for sweet tamarind Pa Si Yi fish, a local delicacy enjoyed by many tourists. 

  

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Kratie Province

Kratie Province located on the east  bank of the Mekong River, attracts a fair share of visitors, many of  whom wish to catch a glimpse of the last few Irrawaddy Dolphins left in  the world.  The recommended place to see them is Kampi Village, about 15  kilometers from town. Irrawaddy Dolphins are an endangered species and  are extremely rare; it is estimated there are only about 60 living in  this stretch of the river. 

The town of Kratie offers an authentic rural ambience, and therefore serves as the perfect  place to spend a peaceful night or two. It is a nice relief from some  of the country’s more trafficked areas. 

There numerous sites to visit in Kratie. Phnom Sombok is a small temple located on a hill north of town. A long flight of steps lead into a pavilion of Phnom Sombok  that features detailed photos of afterlife punishments to those who  have sinned in the present life. Wat Roka Kandal is a restored pagoda  with an ancient Lao style ‘Stupa’ on the riverfront about 2 kilometers  from the town center. Nearby lies a more modern pagoda where chanting of  the monks can be heard at dawn and in the evenings. About 15 kilometers  from town, there is a large Cham community. This is known locally as  the ‘basket-weaving’ village; it is the biggest in Kratie with over 4000  villagers living here. 

A popular end-of-the-day activity in Kratie is to relax by the riverfront to watch the sun set. 

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Preah Vihear Province

Preah Vihear  province, which borders Thailand and Laos to the north, is home to  three of the most captivating temples of the Angkorian era: the Preah Vihear temple, the Koh Khe temple, and the Preah Khan Kampong Svay temple. It also houses communities of many ethnic hill tribes. 

Koh Khe  used to be a capital of the Khmer Emperor King Jayavarman IV who built  this city in the year 921AD. Some parts of the temples are still hidden  in the jungle and are not accessible. The Preah Vihear temple is most significant in this province. 

The temple of Preah Vihear,  dedicated to Shiva, is situated on the edge of a plateau that dominates  the plain of Cambodia. The temple is composed of a series of  sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases over an 800  metre long axis and dates back to the first half of the 11th century AD.  Nevertheless, its complex history can be traced to the 9th century,  when the hermitage was founded. This site is particularly well preserved, mainly due to its remote location. It is exceptional for the  quality of its architecture, which is adapted to the natural environment  and the religious function of the temple, as well as for the  exceptional quality of its carved stone ornamentation. 

A unique architectural complex of a series of sanctuaries linked by a  system of pavements and staircases on an 800 metre long axis, this  temple is an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture, in terms of  plan, decoration and relationship to the spectacular landscape  environment.

 Preah Khan Kampong Svay, also known as Prasat Bakan, is a complex of gigantic proportions located in the southwest corner of Preah Vihear  province. It covers an area 4 times that of the Angkor Wat with a 3 km  long Baray and a large number of towers or Prasats within the compound.  Largely unknown and rarely visited, the temple had been very badly  looted over the years.  

Through the energetic efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia under  the wise, brilliant leadership of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN  SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Preah Vihear temple was listed and declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO on July 8, 2008. 





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Kampot Province

Kampot,  the third largest coastal province in Cambodia, shares a border with  Vietnam to the east and extends into the Gulf of Siam to the south.  Elegant colonial architecture, spectacular natural attractions, and  bucolic charm make this province a favorite among locals, expatriates,  and more recently, tourists. 

Kampot's  languid atmosphere and quaint, small-town feel are easy to fall in love  with; many who stay in the province do so on the relaxed riverside,  where visitors can swim in waters full of bioluminescent plankton or  take a smooth kayak ride down the river. 

Kampot  is more than just a sleepy riverside town, however. The province offers  plentiful historical and natural wonders to discover, and serves as a  common gateway to Bouk Ko national park, the beaches of Kep, the beautiful rapids of Teuk Chhuo and other attractions in southwestern Cambodia. 

Bouk Ko national parkis  popular for its cool mountain climate and remains a year-round favorite among-st locals and foreigners alike. The scenery from the top  is captivating, especially in the morning hours when one can literally  touch the clouds and take in the bracing mountain air.  

Other attractions include the Popokvil Waterfall where thundering falls  provide a cool, refreshing pool to dip in. A short distance across the  track, the Teuk Chhuo Rapids is yet another popular tourist attraction. The Prek Ampal Resort, Kampong Trach Resort and the Anlong Pring Bird Sanctuary are also worthwhile stops in Kampot. 



 

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Kep Province

Kep (Crab City ) is a province on Cambodia's southern coast, is a former resort town known throughout Cambodia for its relaxed, sun-dappled beaches and  mouth-waveringly fresh crabs. In recent years, the province has  undergone a revival, with many foreign and domestic visitors making the  trip to indulge in its luxurious beach side resorts, tropical islands,  and toothsome seafood. 

During Cambodia's golden years before 1970, this lush coastal region was  a seaside playground for affluent. Although Kep's beaches may not be in  the same league as those in Preah Sihanouk, travelers seek out its tranquil atmosphere and unadulterated coasts. 

A small section of the beach doubles as a regular crab-trading depot and  the Crab Market (Psar Kdam) on the water’s edge serves as a popular  tourist destination. 

Fishermen bring in baskets of crabs by the  boatload, and waterfront restaurants cook them fresh, usually boiled  with a few fragrant sticks of famed Kampot's pepper. Fish, squid and prawns are also on offer, often cooking slowly over coals at the front of all the restaurants. 

For a relaxing day trip, visitors often travel to a nearby island such  as Rabbit Island (Koh Thonsáy), which is only a short boat ride off Kep's coast. Here, you'll find beautiful seaside views, bamboo platforms and  basic bungalows, and plenty of rustic charm. A boat back during the  evening sunset is not to be missed. 

Those looking to take a break from beach-side lounging may wish to visit  some of the local limestone caves, some of which contain holy shrines.
 

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Koh Kong Province

Koh Kong is  a quaint border province that has long had a reputation as a 'Wild  West' frontier location. Situated at the southwestern tip of the country  near the mouth of the Kah Bpow River, the city is only 10 kilometers  from the Thai border. Koh Kong has a long coastline and a large forested interior that embraces part of the Cardamom Mountains and a section of Kirirom National Park. Its tourist attractions include a theme park, beaches, waterfalls and a rich mangrove forest. 

There are many offshore islands nearby Koh Kong,  the most interesting of which is Koh Kong Khoa, a practically  uninhabited jungle paradise with seven magnificent white sandy beaches.  This island is only about a forty five minute water taxi ride from  shore. 

Koh Kong has enjoyed quite a few tourism development projects that have turned  the province into a great tour destination. The province is linked to Penh Penh and KampongSpeu province via Sre Ambel by National Route 4. This newly built road  provides visitors yet another option to access the province by road. A  drive on this road is highly recommend to those who love nature; the  road winds through some of Cambodia's least developed and unspoiled  regions - the Cardamom Mountains. Amidst thick forest, streams and  charming waterfalls, the adventure rewards with scenic sites for  stopovers and great photography. 

Mangroves are spread along the coast from Kep to Koh Kong, and they cover an area of over 50,000 hectares in Koh Kong. Mangroves are specialized tropical trees that live on the edge where  rain forests meet oceans. These ‘rain forests by the sea’ are rich  breeding grounds for shrimps, prawns, crabs, shellfish, snails and  fishes, especially the beautiful Mud skippers that seem to enjoy the  surface more than being in water. They are also nesting sites for many  shore birds, lizards, sea turtles, and many other exotic animal species. 

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KampongThom Province

KampongThom situated in central Cambodia, KampongThom  is one of five provinces located at the lower part of the Tonle Sap  Lake and rich in historical sites such as temples from the pre-Angkorian  era. The famous Sambor Prei Kuk, an ancient  city that has about two hundred brick temples is located here in this  province. The city was built during the time of King Isanavarman when he  successfully united the territories of Chenla Kork and the Khmer water  territory of Chenla Toek. Sambo Prei Kuk served as the capital of the Khmer Empire for many centuries. It is interesting to first visit Sambor  Prei Kuk before visiting the splendid Angkor complex, as its design and  style are the foundations that inspired the Angkor civilization. 

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Kandal Province

Kandal is a province in central Cambodia that completely surrounds Phnom Penh.  It's capital is Ta Khmau, and it contains Udong, the former capital of  the country between 1618 and 1866. A number of kings, including King  Norodom, were crowned in Udong. 

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Takeo Province

Takeo, bordering Vietnam to the south, is blessed with natural beauty and many historical sites. Takeo is often recognized as “the cradle of the Cambodian civilization,” and contains several significant pre-Angkorian sites. 

While heading towards Takeo, make a trip to Phnom Chisuo  to visit a well-preserved 11th century temple from the Angkor era. The  temple is built on the crest of the hill and surrounded by panoramic  views of the countryside. The climb up-- 503 steps-- to the top may be  vigorous, but the stunning view of the countryside at the end makes it  truly worthwhile. This ancient temple is now an active one where  Buddhists make pilgrimages on religious occasions. There are monks’  quarters and a school. Fine carvings of Hindu deities can still be seen  on the towers and at the libraries, and unique carvings decorate the  door of the main temple. 

In Takeo, the Tonle Bati—a  favourite recreational spot for the locals during leisure—is a pleasant  place to stop by for a standard Khmer meal. The nearby Tonle Bati  Temple is a ‘largely intact’ Angkorian-style temple with a picturesque  garden. The Yeay Pov Temple, named after King Ta Prohm’s mother, is  another another historical temple situated near the popular Tonle Bati.. 

For families, a visit to the Phnom Tamao  wild life rescue centre is an enriching trip. The centre was set up to  preserve rescued rare and endangered local wildlife. Eighty hectares of  the area serves as a zoo for visitors. 

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KampongCham Province

KampongCham is one of the most highly-populated provinces in Cambodia and most likely the province with the most fertile land as well. The soil is  mostly red in colour. Tobacco, soya-beans, rubber and other tropical  produce are grown and exported from heThe charming city  is the best place to get a feel of the “real” Cambodia. While remnants  of French colonial rule remain, modern developments have done quite a  bit to give the city a more contemporary look. However, the real charm  of KampongCham lies with its people: hospitable, happy-go-lucky folks who are welcoming to tourists the Kizona, the longest bridge built across the Mekong River, connects the country's northeastern regions to the city. KampongCham also has its fair share of captivating 12th Century temples. The Noko BaChey, the Han Chey and the Phnom Pros-Phnom Srei are all worth a visit. 



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KampongChhnang Province

KampongChhnang is a province well known for its fine clay pottery. The name of the province says it all in Khmer: KampongChhang  means "Port of Pottery". The people of this province enjoy making pots,  vases and various others types of ceramics during the off harvest  season.

Interesting sights in the province include two floating villages and a hamlet famous for its distinctive pottery.

The quiet village of Ondong Rossey is where the area's famous red  pottery originates. Almost every household in this region populated by  serene rice fields dotted with sugar palms is making some form of  pottery or so. The pots, mostly unpainted but decorated with etched or  appliqué designs, are either made with a foot-spun wheel (smaller  pieces) or banged into shape with a heavy wooden spatula (larger  ones). The intricate process is fascinating to observe. 

A short boat ride from the waterfront will take travelers to two amazing  floating villages: Phoum Kandal to the east and Chong Kos to the  northwest. Many of the village inhabitants there are ethnic  Vietnamese. Living on the water, they have all the amenities a mainland  village would have - houses, shops, vendors, petrol station and even a  mosque.  

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KampongSpeu Province

KampongSpeu, west of Phnom Penh  and almost on the capital's doorstep, is a province that’s often  overlooked, but an ideal place to get off the beaten track. Speu is the  Khmer word for “starfruit”, but KampongSpeu is actually famous for its palm sugar, which is considered the best in  the Kingdom. The province also produces plenty of teuk t'not chu, or  palm wine.

Mount Aoral (Phnom Aoral) is tallest mountain located in this landlocked province bordered by Kandal, Koh Kong, Pursat, Kampot, Takeo and KampongChhnang. It is at 1813 meters above sea level.  

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Pursat Province

Pursat province located on the western side of the Tonle Sap lake, Pursat province is covered mainly by moutainous terrain. Although the province is not  home to many ancient temples, the highlight of this province concerns  the history of the war between Siamese and the Khmers that took place  just before the French Colonial era in Cambodia. An popular historical  site is that of the Tomb of Oknha Klang Meung, the Cambodian hero who  led the war against Siamese and defeated them in 1482. 

While in Pursat,  visit the floating town of Kampong Luang, and take in the natural beauty of the Ouda. These are unspoiled attractions that this charming  province boasts. This is also a town known for its top-quality marble.  Besides farming, most of the residents make their living sculpting using  marble as the main medium. 

Kampong Luang, a town floating on the Tonle Sap Lake is just 40 km away from the Pursat town center. The floating village includes a police station, schools, restaurants, a clinic, shops and bars. The town is self-sufficient and is equipped with all the facilities of a grounded city. 

The Ouda, a remote attraction, refreshes even the most tired travelers  with its gorgeous scenery and tranquility. Any stress brought on by the  challenges of work or family life will be carried away in the natural  splendor of the river, which flows from the Arai River in the Cardamom  Mountains. The mouth of the river, approximately 500 meters wide, is framed by thousands of large and small rocks. During the rainy season,  the crystal clear water crashes over the smooth stones, but when the  rains dry up, sentimental travelers can take a seat on the rocks to  reflect on their journey. Opened just a few years ago, Ouda is located  in Rokat Commune in Kravanh district 58 km from Pursat town. 

Pursat and  its surrounding attractions are sure to season even the savviest  traveler. Lunch along the highway, dip into history with Oknha Kleang  Mueng, a floating village tour, and a bathe in the healing waters of  Ouda for an unforgettable trip. 

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OtdarMeanChey Province

OtdarMeanChey which lies in northwestern Cambodia, is the province where the former  Khmer Rouge army maintained their last stronghold. The town of Anlong  Veng, which housed the last home for Pol Pot--the notorious Khmer Rouge  leader--has been earmarked by the Royal Cambodian Government as one of  the country's historical sights. The provincial capital is Samraong. 

Though remote, OtdarMeanChey has several historical sites worth visiting. In Anlong Veng district, along Road 68, about 100 kilometers east of OtdarMeanChey provincial town, is a house once owned by former Khmer Rouge Commander  Ta Mok. From 1979 until late1997, this area was organized and controlled  by the Khmer Rouge armies. Some remaining statues describe the way the  rebels lived and how they arranged their troops during their bloody  struggle against the government.  

Additionally, there is a pile of tires in the forest that is thought to  be the funeral pyre and burial site of Pol Pot, the leader of Khmer  Rouge. Visitors who stop in OtdarMeanChey often make the visit to Anlong Veng to see and photograph the sites associated with the former regime. 

The Cambodian-Thai border check point of Ou Smach is about 41km from the  provincial town. At the border, there are restaurants, casinos and  hotels. 

Pailin Province

Pailin is a province on the northern edge of the Cardamom Mountains in western Cambodia, 25km from the border of Thailand. This province is surrounded  by BattamBang province, and was officially carved out of BattamBang to become a separate administrative division after the surrender of the  Khmer Rouge in 1996. A handful of natural attractions are await in Pailin, including scenic  mountains, waterfalls, and a lush bamboo forest. Its capital is Pailin city. 

Another interesting sites for tourists is Wat Rattanak Sorphon, a  Burmese style pagoda that is more than 570 years old. With beautiful  Burmese characters are inscribed on the gates,  this pagoda is evidence  of early Burmese settlement in this area. Indeed, the Burmese were the  first people to discover the precious gems in the region, and Pailin subsequently became the largest mining center for sapphires and rubies in Indochina. Phnom Yet has a good number of places where visitors can still see the gem-mining activities today. 

BanteayMeanChey Province

BanteayMeanChey province situated in northwestern Cambodia, BanteayMeanChey “Fortress  of Victory” in Khmer--is a charming province that offers a wide  selection of natural and historical attractions, including ancient  temple complexes, wildlife reserves, and a crane sanctuary. Though  primarily known to visitors for its Thai-Cambodian border crossing in  Poipet, BanteayMeanChey is much more than just a passing-through spot. Adventurous travelers  will find the province presents plenty of opportunities to sample  authentic Khmer culture and take in the stunning natural beauty Cambodia  has to offer. BanteayMeanChey's capital is Serei Sophon (also known as Sisophon). 

The main attraction in BanteayMeanChey is the 12th century temple of BanteayChhmar. 

Built under Jayavarman VII between the 12th and 13th centuries, the BanteayChhmar temple complex is a lesser-known, but equally magnificent, alternative to the Angkor Wat temples. Just two hours from Siem Reap, BanteayChhmar is a unique historical treasure: a massive, sprawling temple complex  tucked away in a largely-untouched location, surrounded by lush  vegetation. BanteayChhmar temple is one of the two temple complexes outside of Angkor that feature  massive stone “face-towers” bearing Bayon-style enigmatic smiles.  Abundant sandstone bas-reliefs in the temples depict images of mythical  Cambodian battles along with scenes from daily life.

The enormous complex of BanteayChhmar is  perhaps one of the most intriguing in the Khmer empire, both in terms  of its scale and its relative seclusion. This mysterious temple complex  embodies perfectly the image of a lost Khmer city; ruined structures  with exotic carvings are strewn about in dense forest surroundings,  while the occasional bird call echoes through the temple walls to break  the stillness. Those who visit the temple will find many beautiful  carvings hidden among st the ruins and broken colonnades.  

In the vicinity, there are at least a dozen smaller temples, all in  ruinous state. These include Prasat Mebon, Ta Prohm, Prom Muk Buon, Yeay  Choun, Pranang Ta Sok and Prasat Ciem Trey.

Banteay Chhmar is not on the tourist map, but a trip to this exotic site  is one adventure you will harbor in your memory for a long time. 


Prey Veng Province

Prey Veng is a small but heavily populated agricultural province located on the southeastern banks of the mighty Mekong. The name of the province  literally means ‘tall forest’, but it no longer has those lush forests  as most of trees had been chopped down over the years. 

Tour wise, there is not much to see. However, during the pre-Angkorian  times, this must have been one of the most populated and lively areas of  the country. One of the earliest pre-Angkorian kingdoms is located in  the area around Ba Phnom. 

This is also a good stopover on the way to KampongCham or Vietnam. The town itself preserves a few old colonial buildings,  evident of it being a lively and important center in the old days. It  has its fair share of temples as well. The Chong Srok temple may be  worth a visit. Otherwise, there is the Ba Phnom resort, the Ba Ray An Det resort and Viel Brang to relax at. 

Like the province of Svay Rieng, this province is also off the tourist maps, leaving backpackers the ones benefiting from this quaint province. 



Svay Rieng Province

Svay Rieng may be one of the smallest provinces in Cambodia, but it has the  country's busiest highway running right through town. National Highway  No 1 links Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam just after the Mekong River via the  Neak Loeung ferry point. Here is the international gateway of Bavet  which leads to Vietnam. 

This is a prosperous town reaping the benefits of the border trade  traffic. There is a lively marketplace and the people here are friendly.  The province comes with good food and great accommodation options. 

Nearby, the Waiko River and its vast, scenic marshlands provide pleasant  settings for photography. Not far from town is a bridge over the Waiko  donated by prime minister Hun Sen. 

The allure of this pretty province is not just in its conveniences; its friendly nature, the beautiful Prey Basak lake area just outside of town and the Prasat Prasat temple make this a  worthwhile stopover. There are a couple of little known temple ruins  here in Svay Rieng as well; they are the Prasat Chea Hao and Prasat Basac. 

The province of Svay Rieng is off the tourist maps but it is great for those who want a slice of rural life in Cambodia