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Angkor Wat – Cambodia

Angkor Wat – Cambodia

Millions of tourists visit Cambodia every year to gape at Angkor Wat, which is often equated with the entirety of the Angkor Archaeological Park, however it is just one of many within the confines of the park. And as Angkor Wat is equated with the Angkor Archaeological Park, so Angkor itself is equated with Cambodia as a whole. Neither equation does justice to the rest. Don’t go to Angkor only to visit Angkor Wat, because you will miss out. And don’t just go to Cambodia to visit Angkor, because you will miss out as well.

Many travellers put aside 2-3 days for Cambodia, enough to visit the park, or so the conventional wisdom goes. Don’t put such a time restraint on yourself for this country, or for Angkor for that matter. A week (or even two) could easily be spent visiting Angkor itself if you include the outlying temples. That is if you don’t get “templed out.” Moreover, Cambodia is worth a longer stay for many of its other unique sites and activities.

Activities like travelling between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh by boat through Tonlé Sap Lake wherein lay stunning mangrove forests and a chance to visit the floating villages. Or watching the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong. Or simply relaxing on the beach outside Sihanoukville, or one of offshore islands. For some more introspective sights, the Killing Fields outside Phnom Penh are highly recommended to get an insight in the evils of the Pol Pot regime and the Khmer Rouge.

The dry weather with perfect blue skies and cumulus clouds extends from December to April. In May through December, monsoons can lead to heavy flooding.

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