Introducing the country

The Kingdom of Cambodia is exactly that, an ancient land of stupas, temples and shrines. Its swinging seasons are a dramatic rendition of the circle of life, leaving little wonder ...

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The Kingdom of Cambodia is exactly that, an ancient land of stupas, temples and shrines. Its swinging seasons are a dramatic rendition of the circle of life, leaving little wonder to animist roots in Buddhism and Hinduism. Disused schools of Phnom Penh seem to silently weep for lives all too recently lost but Cambodia's on her feet again, repairing what the Khmer Rouge regime damaged and emerging as a unified country once more.

The Khmer landscape alternates between dusty-dry roads and parched bracken fields to impossibly green wetlands that bloom with temple reflections and an abundance of aquatic life.

Its 181,035 square kilometres are cradled by Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and the Gulf. The warm, yeasty smell of Khmer baking and the marvellous Summer Palace are salient pointers that this neighbourhood was once part of France's Indochina. Angkor Wat is something else; the largest pre-industrial community ingeniously manipulated the Tonlé Sap Lake to devise this network of irrigation and worship.

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Best way to get around

Bus

Local routes are few and far between but inter provincial ones are well established. Landslides in the wet season cause delays.

Train

The train from Phnom Penh to Bangkok is a picturesque journey and routes to Sihanoukville have recently reopened.

BICYCLE

Catch an otherwise non existent breeze at Angkor Wat in the dry season and explore the vast temple complex surrounding it.

CAR

Hire a car to explore off-the-beaten-track destinations. Note that main roads are paved, local roads are dirt tracks. Landslides are common.