Cambodia is the land of heritage, culture, temples, beaches and games. There are quite a casinos on the beaches and seaside gambling spots that you can enjoy in the little Sihanoukville coast in Cambodia.
Highlights – Almost all the casinos in Sihanoukville are open 24hours a day unlike other casinos that operate only during the evening and night hours. Most of the hotels apart from offering luxury accommodation also have luxurious casinos that have games like Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack and the like. Free drinks, snacks and cigarettes are provided when you take up gaming packages at any of these casinos. Owing to the large number of tourists coming here, casinos at Sihanoukville employ people who are adept at speaking many languages.
Location – About 4.5km from South Cambodia.
Timings – Open all through the day.
Price – Casino games are available from USD4 per game if you are looking only for gaming and not staying at these hotels.
A fairly small national park, Kep National Park is just a short drive from the town centre. Head up into the hills and enjoy hiking, photography, and nature spotting. The lush jungle is home to a diverse array of birds and insects, as well as lizards, monkeys, butterflies, and others. A well-marked lopped trail takes a couple of hours to complete on foot.
Check the Koh Kong chapter for information on the fried from Koh Kong to Pailin, which cuts through the Cardamom Mountains on the western edge of Pursat province. The Cardamom Mountains of Koh Kong and Pursat provinces are said to be the most pristine wilderness area remaining in Southeast Asia. This ride takes you through the area.The Cardamom Mountains are located in southwest Cambodia. The western edge of the Cardamom region abuts the Thai border, while the easternmost part ends about sixty miles northwest of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The region's area is 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares). The highest point in the range (and in Cambodia) is Mount Aural, at 1,813 meters (5,946 feet). There are five main rivers that run through the Cardamoms, creating dozens of waterfalls. About 25,000 people live in this region, some of whom are ethnic minorities, such as the Porr.
There are two wildlife sanctuaries in the Cardamoms, both of which were decreed by King Norodom Sihanouk in 1993 solely on the basis of aerial photographs. Mt. Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary is in the western part of the range, and Mt. Aural Wildlife Sanctuary is in the east. These are "paper"parks only: they exist only by law, with none of the active management necessary for a wildlife preserve.Khmer Rouge guerrillas retreated to the Cardamoms after losing power in 1979, and for the next twenty years, no one wanted to enter that area for fear of the KR and the mines they placed in it. As a result, the region remained untouched and undeveloped. Thousands of Cambodians left the country before and during the KR holocaust by walking over the Cardamoms into refugee camps in Thailand.Today, the Cardamom Mountains region is the largest wilderness in mainland Southeast Asia, preserving a remarkable number of species that are endangered (and in some cases extinct) elsewhere in the world. However, without proper conservation and protection, this area and its inhabitants are now at the mercy of logging interests, as well as poachers.
Densely covered with lush virgin rainforest and rising to it's highest point at over 1,770m, the Cardamoms extend over an area of 4,420,000 hectares (10,922,060 acres) covering a large portion of SouthWestern Cambodia. The Cardamoms are considered to represent Southeast Asia's greatest natural resources in terms of virgin forest and wildlife habitats that have never been fully explored and/or catalogued. In 2000, Fauna and Flora International, Conservation International, and the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Protection Programme conducted a joint survey that covered only a small part of the vast expanse of unexplored land. Despite the minimal area under observation the survey identified 30 large mammal species, 30 small mammal species, more than 450 birds, 64 reptiles, 30 amphibians, and many other plants and insects. To name just a few of the animals indigenous to this area would include elephants, tigers, clouded leopards and a variety of other mammals such as the Malaysian sun bear, pleated gibbons, and Siamese crocodiles all of which are high on the endangered species list and the only significant population thought to exist anywhere.
Fauna & Flora International was the first to conduct extensive field surveys in the Cardamom Mountains of south-west Cambodia. These established the area as one of the last forest wilderness areas in mainland south-east Asia. Isolated by their remoteness and rugged terrain and forgotten during years of conflict in Cambodia, the Cardamoms have at their core a virtually undisturbed forest covering over 10,000 square kilometres. The Cardamom Mountain Wildlife Sanctuaries Project, a joint venture of Fauna & Flora International and Cambodia's Ministry of Environment, aims to ensure the long-term conservation of a landscape of global importance and its biodiversity while reducing poverty and ensuring essential national development. The focus is to establish and maintain management systems in two protected areas in south-west Cambodia: Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary and Phnom Aural Wildlife Sanctuary.The Cardamom Mountains are now known to contain almost all the country's known mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. This is partly due to the very high diversity of habitats, some of which occur nowhere else in Cambodia, such as large expanses of fire-regulated ferns, upper montane forest, high elevation marshes and blackwater rivers.
The Bak Tra Resort, Pursat is a very popular destination in the area and it should not be missed. The beauty of the place will surely amaze you like none else. You can reach the Bak Tra Resort, Pursat with ease as there are numerous means of transport available and you can avail hem to reach this spot.
The Bak Tra Resort, Pursat is a natural resort that is worth paying a visit to. You need to travel for about 16 kilometers if you are staying at the provincial capital of Pursat. You need to take the Road Number 56 to reach the Kra Vanh District.
The Bak Tra Resort, Pursat is indeed very beautiful with a small mountain that is about 50 meters in height. There is a forest area as well that has a rich foliage of Thlong trees. There is also a canal and a perennial well in the area. All of these adds to the charm of the place and you should not miss it.
Preah Khan temple is located 2 kilometers north-east of Angkor Thorn on the Grand Circuit. The temple was built in the second half of the 12th century in AD 1191 by King Jaya-varman VII, dedicating to his father Dharanindravarman. The Buddhist complex covers 56 hectares served as the nucleus of a group that includes Neak Pean and Ta Som, located 4 kilometers long Jayatataka Baray—the last of the great re¬servoirs to be built in Angkor.
The inscription indicates that Preah Khan was built on the battle site where King Jaya-varman VII finally defeated the Chams. In those days it was known as Nagarajayacri which mean the city of Preah Khan.
Four concentric ramparts subdivide Preah Khan. The outer or fourth wall, which is encircled by a wide moat, today en¬closes a large tract of jungle, formerly the living quarters of the monks, students and attendants of Preah Khan. The second rampart delineated the principle religious compound of about four hectares within which there is a dense concen¬tration of temple and shrines. The central complex is Bud¬dhist. The northern and western sectors are dedicated to
Brahmanism— Vishnu (west) and Shiva (north), whilst the southern sector is a place of ancestor worship. The eastern sector forms the grand entrance to the central shrine.
A place for a king located near Preah Khan temple is called Veal Reacheak or Preah Reachea Dak. It is 1,500 meters long and 1,200 meters wide. Nearby about 700 meters north of Preah Khan temple along the road to Angkor Thorn district is another small temple called Ptu. The temple was made of laterite.
Kampong Khleang is located on the northern lake-edge about 55 km east of Siem Reap town, more remote and less tourist than Kampong Pluk. Visitors to Kampong Khleang during the dry season are universally awestruck by the forest of stilted houses rising up to 10 meters in the air. In wet season the waters rise up to one or two meters of the buildings. Like Kompong Pluk, Kompong Khleang is a permanent community within the flood plain of the Lake, with an economy based in fishing and surrounded by flooded forest. But Kompong Khleang is significantly larger with nearly 10 times the population of Kompong Pluk, making it the largest community on the Lake.
The area can be reached by charter boat from the Chong Khneas dock takes about two and a half hours or by a combination of road to Domdek on Route 6 takes one and a half hour reach to dock and then meet a boatman drive another one hour to the village, the best method depending on the time of year. During the dry season, boats cannot get all of the way to the main villages. Consult with our tour operator about current conditions. Many travel agencies have very little experience in this area, our Tour operator is specialized in this area.
Salt products are among the items Cambodia produces for export. Cambodia can produce enough salt for use inside the country and also for export. Most of products are made in Kampot district nearby the sea.
Lazy beach, just like its name, makes everyone lazy by giving a perfect and cosy weather. It is considered as one of the best tropical hideaways. The picturesque view of this beach makes it very romantic and a hot honeymoon destination. There are beautiful resorts and tourist bungalows that face the beach. These are booked well in advance. This beach is also quite secluded making it more peaceful and serene for tourists who want to have a good time during their vacation.
Special features - The sands of the beach are a unique mixture of gold and silver with fine texture, thus making it one of the best attributes of the beach. The bungalows that provide scenic view of the beaches are quite costlier than their other counterparts; however it is worth every dime. Beach activities can be done from 9AM to 8.30PM on all days.
Experience a journey through beautiful and authentic rural Cambodia, far from the tourist crowds. Start with sunset cocktails as the sun sets over the rice paddies at the charming villa Chandara and then discover Khmer celebratory cuisine, 9 dishes served over 4 course, prepared onsite by a chef using local ingredients and methods. Book this exclusive romantic dinner here.
Sambo Preykuk is a cultural and historical site located in Sambo village, Sambo commune, Prasat Sambo district, about 25 kilometers northeast of Kampong Thom provincial town. The site was once an old capital named Isanapura and a religious center for the worship of Shiva Brahmanism.
Many temples were built in Sambo Preykuk during the reign of King Isanavarman I (AD 616- 635) in the 7th century. The temples of Sambo Preykuk constructed of solid brick, laterite and sandstone and decorated by bas-reliefs. The lintel, pillars and the door frames are all made of sandstone. So far, 140 temples have been discovered in the forest.
Sambor Prei Kuk, located near Kompong Thom, 150km south-east of Siem Reap, lies off the main road towards Cambodia?s capital Phnom Penh.
Kompong Thom is a sleepy little town. The only hive of activity was the market place next to the Stung Sen River where we bought some brown palm sugar and Cambodian fragrant rice. The local ?taxi? was actually an open-air wooden cart pulled by an antiquated motorbike. Its owner was an elderly man wearing spectacles with thick lenses.
The journey to Sambor Prei Kuk was interesting in itself. We saw no other vehicles other than a lone villager cycling into town, his bicycle laden with hand-made straw baskets. Our van kicked up thick red dust as we sped on the laterite road. A woman scrubbing her clothes nearby was oblivious to the dust that swept over her.
Lest you entertain images of grand temple ruins akin to the grandeur of the awesome Angkor Wat, you?d be disappointed. Sambor Prei Kuk is a group of ancient temple ruins scattered within a shady forest. Originally called Isanapura, it pre-dates Angkor Wat and was the capital city during the reign of King Isana Varman 1, the son of King Citrasena.
Few tourists know of it. The only ?horde? here was a group of Cambodian kids who rushed to our bus, hawking brightly-coloured homespun scarves at US$1(RM3.50) each. Built at the end of the 6th century, the ruins are touted to be some of the oldest structures in the country, covering an area of 5sq km.
About 100 small temples are scattered throughout the forest. Left in the open and not maintained, some of the structures are just mere remnants of their original building ? perhaps a broken wall here, a vine-choked edifice there. There are 52 temples in recognisable condition, and another 52 sites where the original structures are now buried in the ground, visible only as small hills.
All is not lost. The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts together with the Waseda University, supported by The Foundation for Cultural Heritage and the Sumitomo Fund have started the Sambor Prei Kuk Conservation Project to restore these ruins.
The main temple group known as Prasat Sambor is dedicated to Gambhireshvara, one of Shiva?s many forms. Some of the towers still retain their carvings. Many are mere ruins now covered by vegetation.
As we walked further, enjoying the cool serenity of the shady trees, the small group of child peddlers had grown to 20. The original band selling scarves had been joined by older children hawking bracelets and trinkets. They were very persistent, dropping their prices to almost a quarter of the original as we neared the end of our visit. Sambor Prei Kuk does not match the splendour of Angkor Wat. Yet its serene forests and solitude make a much welcome change from the human masses of its famous cousin.
The Bakan temples are located in Ta Siang village, Ronakse commune, Sangkum Thmei district, about 105 kilometers southwest of the provincial town. on a plain that was a former worship place of the king. The temple is surrounded by two ramparts-inside and outside rampart. Inside each rampart, there are many other temples such as Neang Peou and Dangkao Baodos temples.The temple was likely a royal palace and worship place. According to historians, the site used to be a hiding place of King Jayavarman VII before he ascended to the throne in AD 1181 because the style of some construction is similar to the style of Bayon and Ta Prohm temples.
Outside the rampart, there are many other temples such as Preah Damrei, Preah Thkaol, Ta Prohm, Muk Buon and Preah Stung temples.Looking through into the large area beyond the wall of Prasat Bakan (Bakan Temple) in Preah Vihear province, laterite stone refracts the bright sunshine, enveloping the temple in a heavenly light. The towers of the temple have long since collapsed and the hundreds of pieces of stone which once made up Bakan are now a less-than-glorious pile of rubble. Even in this sad state destroyed in part by war, and in part by greed the fallen Bakan can still provide us with evidence of the once important place this temple held in the history of the Angkor period, but looters have other plans. In 2003 after a botched robbery, the central area collapsed and apsara and Buddha statues were stolen.
Prasat Bakan is off National Route 6, 75km north of the Kompong Thom town, Stoung. According to the director of the Department of Culture and Fine Arts Ros Samphal, in ancient times, Prasat Bakan, or Preah Khan Kompong Svay temple as it sometimes called, was originally named after a victorious and well-loved general: Jey Srey. This general, was a man renowned for defeating the Cham and forcing them out of the Angkor capital. "Jey Srey is better known as Jayavarman VII," Ros says. "Angkor?s mighty architect and warrior king."He says that while the Angkor capital was occupied by Cham soldiers, one of the then Angkorian king?s sons, Jey Srey, fled the country to live in the Champa Kingdom (now central Vietnam). While living there, he studied this neighboring Kingdom, and in particular Cham military tactics. After 14 years, he returned to his beloved Angkor and created his own army, training them in secrecy in the jungle.
"While living in the jungle," Ros says, "he completed Prasat Bakan. He also built an iron foundry where swords, knives, axes and other weapons were made by the thousands.""Each day, more and more soldiers were enlisted for military training." "Once trained," Ros continues, "Jey Srey led his army through Kompong Svay province [now part of Kompong Thom and Preah Vihear provinces] direct to the Angkor capital, where he fought and defeated the Cham soldiers for the liberty of his father's kingdom.""Jey Srey's name held great meaning. Jey means victory and successor;Srey means happiness, harmony and good luck."Deputy director of the Preah Vihear Provincial Tourism Department Kit Chanthy says Prasat Bakan was the second capital of the Angkor kingdom during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. "King Suryavarman I began the construction of the Hindu temple Bakan between 1002 and 1050. The temple was completed by King Jayavarman VII," Kit explains. Prasat Bakan is situated in Ta Seng village, Sangkum Thmey district, Preah Vihear province."
Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts H.E. Khim Sarith says since the beginning of 2006 the Ministry has been cooperating with provincial authorities to set up a team to protect the temple. "However what makes this difficult are the current road conditions leading to the temple. During the rainy season we can?t even get into the area," Khim says. The main group of temples were built in the 12th century when Preah Khan was home to both King Suryavarman II and later, the future King Jayavarman VII, before the latter defeated the invading Chams, claimed the throne and moved his capital back to Angkor in 1181. The story of his victories are celebrated in bas-relief carvings on the walls of the Bayon and Banteay Chhmar.
Located 100 kilometres east of Angkor, the site was studied in the 1870s by Louis Delaporte, who shamefully looted and carried off a number of substantial carvings that are now housed in the Guimet Museum in Paris. However, one masterpiece remains in the National Museum in Phnom Penh and that's a finely sculpted head, believed to be of Jayavarman VII. A millennium celebration at Preah Khan attracted hundreds of locals and vegetation was cleared from the site for the occasion, but it remains a complex very much in its natural state, inundated with trees, scrubs and dense foliage throughout. With the re-emergence of Cambodia's remotest areas from years of inaccessibility.
The Veal Achaut Waterfall, Koh Kong with its stunning locales is sure to make an ideal ambiance for the travelers. The tourists will have a wonderful time while enjoying the lush green landscape surrounding the Veal Achaut Waterfall in Koh Kong. Everyone wants to spend some time amidst nature as the bustling city life becomes boring after a certain point of time. The cool waters of the waterfalls and the rich flora and fauna in its adjoining areas attract the tourists from across the globe. The idyllic environment makes the Veal Achaut Waterfall in Koh Kong a perfect place for excursions.
You will come across the Veal Achaut Waterfall placed conveniently at a distance of about 45 km from the provincial town of Koh Kong. The whole journey to the Veal Achaut Waterfall, Koh Kong takes about one hour as it is situated away from the heart of the town in the Dong Tung Commune of the Smachmeanchey District. The surrounding areas of the VealAchaut Waterfall, Koh Kong acts as nature and wildlife reserves as many animals have made it their natural habitat. While planning your trip to the province of Koh Kong make it a point to include the Veal Achaut Waterfall as it offers a Rare beauty!
The National Museum of Cambodia not only is the nation’s premier collection of the Cambodian cultural history, it also serves as the largest architectural and historical museum as well. Before visitors enter the building, they are greeted with spectacular, rich gardens and the vibrant terracotta pavilion which stretches into four wings full of treasure to discover. Specially featured is the collection of art from Cambodia’s largest ethnic group, the Khmer. It also contains prominent and important statuary pieces for both the Buddhist and Hindu faiths.
Prasat Kuhak Nokor is located in Trodork Poung Village, Pong Ror Commune, Baray District, Kampong Thom Province and is in the complex of Wat Kuhak Nokor (Buddhist Pagoda). To reach there, passenger can take all kinds of vehicle on National Road 6, then turn west through the gate of Kuhak Nokor pagoda in a distance of 2km. It is 79km from Provincial Town of Kampong Thom. These sanctuaries were built on the flat ground, on a square terrace made of laterite and sandstone facing to the East with the rampart surrounding. This rampart has a 35m-length (East to West) and a 25m-width (North to South). There is surrounding rampart of one meter height and 0.8 meter thick with two gateways: Eastern gateway is 9m height divided into 3 rooms, and western gateway is small and has square shape.
The structures of the buildings are mixed, made of laterite and the decoration of sandstone. East of the temple, there are 2 ponds-the small one has about one-meter depth,45-meter length and 20-meter width, and the big one has 160-meter length, 88-meter width and more than one-meter depth.
Prasat Kuhak Nokor comprises:
- The throne is square shape, made of sandstone and decorated by lotus flowers and pointed-diamond style, and has square hole at the middle.
- A male standing statue remains from thigh to shoulder.
- A male standing statue remains from thigh to the navel.
- A male coiling statue is difficult to be identified as the statue broke the end of the arm and the sole of the foot (local people called the statue ?Neak Ta Bark Kor?.
Prasat Kuhak Nokor was built in 10th -11th century by the king Suryavarman I (1002-1050). But in the same year (1002), another document said there was a king named Preah Bat Jayviravarman who who was also on throne (1002-1010). The two kings claimed that they were on throne at the same year, this leading to war between king and king until 1006. Then the king Suryavarman I conquered Yasodharpura city, however the war still lasted for 04 years to end. In 1010, the king Suryavarman I gained success over the entire territory and had full power in the country.
This is one of the most important tourists spots in Battambang. Dedicated to Lord Buddha, this temple blows away the minds of tourists with its excellent architecture. Compared to the other Angkor temples in Cambodia, this is quite a new temple, as it was constructed in the mid of 19th century. However, certain parts of the temple are slowly getting destroyed.
Highlights – White Elephant Pagoda, also known as Wat Tahm –rai-saw, is a temple which has huge, life-size sculptures of white elephants carrying portraits of a prince, as depicted in the story of Lord Buddha. This is one of the modern temples that need to be visited for the sheer architectural brilliance employed here.
Location – Battambang, Cambodia. Timings – Open throughout the day, but best visited during day light. Price – Admission is free of cost.