As in many warm-weather destinations, November through April is prime travel season in Cambodia. Not because those months are warm — Cambodia is always warm — but because the Southeast Asian country is driest during the winter respite from monsoons.
In travel terms, however, Cambodia is sizzling hot. I put the country on this year’s must-see list primarily due to a newly designated UNESCO World Heritage Site — the archaeological temple complex at Sambor Prei Kuk — but as growing visitor numbers attest, Cambodia is in that tourism sweet spot.
It’s global enough for foreigners to easily navigate: U.S. dollars are widely accepted and English is common in tourist centers. A beguiling rusticity still permeates the jungle-like landscapes, ramshackle fishing enclaves and open-air markets, but the cities — and the well-trodden hot spots — are cosmopolitan enough that you can unwind in wine bars and sleep in boutique-chic hotels, if that’s your speed.
You can even mingle over Shabbat dinner at the eight-story Chabad center in Phnom Penh, where more than a hundred area Jews now gather for holidays and support Cambodia’s first Jewish preschool.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope embarks on its 10th season exploring Asia and celebrating Christmas around the globe. “We are always looking to bring our viewers the best of travel so the entire world is on our list,” says Joseph. “We are pleased with the wide range of adventures we have this season.” Presented by KQED and distributed by American Public Television, Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope is the recipient of 6 Emmy® wins and 18 Emmy® Award nominations. Through authentic experiences that not only cover landmarks and attractions, but also delve into the heart and soul of its people, Travelscope is one of the most entertaining, informative and thoughtful programs available.
Keep an eye out for Joseph’s 10th season airing on KQED and on other public television channels across the country in April 2018.
ASIA’S significant historical and cultural landmarks Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China dominate the list of the best Unesco world heritage sites among tourists.
They occupy the top three spots when it comes to the TripAdvisor’s list of Unesco cultural and natural heritage sites.
First overall was the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia – one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia.
Angkor Wat’s immense intricate detail includes more than 300 individually carved Celestial nymphs, as well as carvings that depict stories and myths for by-gone times. “The best views are at dawn or dusk when the crowds have gone, and the lighting reveals its true majesty,” TripAdvisor said.
In second was the Taj Mahal in India. In 1632, the reigning Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan, commissioned the majestic white marble mausoleum in Agra to commemorate his late wife.
2017 has marked a new height in the relations between Romania and Kingdom of Cambodia in the fields of cultural, development and tourism cooperation with the climax being the visit of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation Presidential delegation (IRICE) in Cambodia between 1 to 11 December 2017.
The visit of the presidential delegation headed by IRICE President, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea has come in recognition of the incredible strides obtained by Cambodia in the field of tourism in 2016 and 2017 as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION.
The Kingdom of Cambodia has become the leading country in tourism development with more than 1,6 million tourists growth in only a year from 3,5 million tourists in 2015 to over 5 million tourists in 2016.
With a 40% year to year increase in incoming number of tourists Cambodia leads in world tourism development.
ASIA’S significant historical and cultural landmarks Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China dominate the list of the best UNESCO world heritage sites among tourists.
They occupy the top three spots when it comes to the TripAdvisor’s list of UNESCO cultural and natural heritage sites.
First overall was the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia – one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Angkor Wat’s immense intricate detail includes more than 300 individually carved Celestial nymphs, as well as carvings that depict stories and myths for by-gone times. “The best views are at dawn or dusk when the crowds have gone, and the lighting reveals its true majesty,” TripAdvisor said.
Here are some of the UNESCO World Heritage sites that travel buffs swear by.
The importance of preserving our cultural and natural heritage is crucial, and groups like the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) are key in this endeavour. As travellers, we can visit these locations which are a true legacy from the past, helping preserve and protect them. TripAdvisor presents the UNESCO cultural and natural heritage sites best rated by travellers around the globe.
ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA
Whilst one could be in danger of being ‘templed out’ due to the sheer number of them in Siem Reap, Angkor Wat should not be missed and is best toured with a knowledgeable guide to provide you with fascinating facts on the building process, history of it and Cambodia generally. The best views are at dawn or dusk, when the lighting reveals its true majesty.
The Taj Mahal, India’s iconic ivory-white marble mausoleum in Agra, is the second best UNESCO world heritage site in the world, according to a new survey.
With over 8 million visitors per year, the monument of love built by mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, is rated after Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.
Conducted by online travel portal TripAdvisor, the survey lists the UNESCO Cultural and Natural heritage sites best rated by travellers around the globe. “You can find hundreds of tours and experiences to visit this mesmerizing site, from a private tour with guide and visit at sunset or sunrise, to a visit including a home cooked meal at a local home in Agra,” the travel portal said.
Best toured with a knowledgeable guide, Angkor Wat has in store fascinating facts about its building process as well as history.
I was walking with tour guide Suon Chhavirak across a hilly field framed by orchid trees, just 5 miles south of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh. The verdant beauty created a chilling contrast to what came next, when Suon pointed to the ground, dotted with the human bones, teeth and clothing that still surface after rain storms.
“My father was killed here,” he said softly, as we took in the ghastly Choeung Ek Genocidal Center, one of more than 300 killing fields where the Pol Pot regime massacred between 1 and 3 million Cambodians (out of a population of 8 million) between 1975 and 1979. “We just want to know why,” he said. “Why?”
Four decades after the Khmer Rouge’s brutal reign, the fault lines suffused nearly every exchange I had while touring Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The country’s trauma is profound, and so is its magnificence.
Acrucial piece of the jungle-swathed jigsaw that is south-east Asia, Cambodia (tourismcambodia.com) has stepped increasingly into the tourism spotlight since the turn of the millennium, pushing away (to an extent) the darkness which swallowed it during the second half of the 20th century.
It is a fascinating country to visit, offering epic heritage as well as dark history – plus flashes of luxury which make it a surprisingly chic place to stay for those with the budget.
Today (November 9) is Cambodia’s Independence Day – which seems a splendid enough reason to run through 15 fascinating facts about the country. Read on…
1. Its independence was from France
Paris ruled Cambodia as a colony for the best part of a century, between 1867 and 1953 – taking charge of it as a protectorate via clever exploitation of the country’s ongoing fears about aggression from its neighbour Thailand.
Cambodia, heir to the ancient Khmer Empire, is a land of many facets. It boasts awe-inspiring heritage sites such as Angor Wat, the world’s largest religious structure ever built. It offers impressive natural wonders like the Cardamom Mountains, a fresh water lake with floating villages, and massive rainforests with endangered animal species like tigers, sun bears, and leopards.
Cambodian traditions date back many centuries, such as the unique Apsara dances and funeral, fortune telling, and ancestor worshipping practices — combining Buddhist, Hindu, and animist beliefs. The influence of a nearly century-long French rule is still noticeable in Cambodia’s colonial architecture, café’s, and cuisine.