Not far from the ancient temples of Angkor, in the heart of Cambodia, lies the huge Tonle Sap lake, the largest in Southeast Asia. The Tonle Sap is connected to the Mekong by a short river also called Tonle Sap. During the rainy season, from May to October, the river reverses its flow into the lake causing it to expand to more than six or seven times its normal size of approximately 2,600 square kilometers. It becomes a vast inland sea.
Each year, millions of fish come to spawn in the seasonally flooded forest surrounding the lake, attracting myriad waterbirds. Villages along the shores live with the rhythm of the season and the floods. Prek Toal is one of the most attractive floating fishing villages on the Tonle Sap lake, with a school, hospital, restaurants, shop and even a pagoda. Just behind the Prek Toal village are flooded forests with bird sanctuaries. Every year, between December and March, thousands of birds come to fish and to breed here.
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.
Kbal Spean is an ancient Angkor ruin that is a 90-minute bumpy ride from Siem Reap, on the same route to Banteay Srei. The tarred road ends at Banteay Srei, after which the roads become either very muddy or very dusty, depending on the time of the year. Upon your arrival at the foothills, get ready for another 45 minutes of moderately easy uphill climb. All this for the sake of viewing the carvings of lingas on the riverbed of the Siem Reap River, making it a "river of 1000 lingas". The belief is that the lingas "fertilize" the water that feed the East Baray and irrigates the rice fields.
Kork Beng Temple is located in Wat Prasat Chey Preuk on Kork Beng Village, Kampong Pranak commune, Tbiang Meanchey district. The leterite amd sandstone temple was built between AD 936 and 951 by a commander name Kork on ordered from King Jayavarman IV. There is a hug Beng Tree near the temple. Therefore, the king named the temple Kork Beng. Today only a few stones of the ancient temple remain. The temple, however, was reconstructed with concrete in 1988. The new temple is 8 meters high and 12 meters square. There is a statue of Bodhisattva in temple center, where the worship place is.
As mentioned before Angkor Wat is a must visit place in Siem Reap, but the Angkor National Park is so much more than just Angkor Wat. There you will find famous temples, from Tomb Raider Ta Prohm (the temple slowly being overcome by majestic trees) and over 400 other temple ruins.
To visit this UNESCO heritage site, you can buy tickets for 1,3 or 7 days. It’s a good idea to join a guided tour for at least one of the days to see the main sites or to hire a vespa , seat back and relax while your driver is taking care of the road. All you need to do is enjoy the ride to explore the World famous Angkor.
It is visited by both locals and foreign tourists. The scenic beauty of the Leach Village, Pursat matched with the rich rustic tradition has made it a very popular tourist spot.Travelers also undertake excursion trips to the Leach Village in Pursat. Travelers and nature lovers from all over the world visit the place to have a feel of the pastoral atmosphere. The Leach Village, Pursat is also easily accessible. It is around 27 kms from the main town center of Pursat.
Leach Village is also a well known center of sandalwood production in the country. The nearby forests close to the Cardamom Mountains are home to sandal trees which serve the wood for the industries. The sandalwood is used for perfumes. Travelers can visit the local sandalwood firms and have an experience of the local production techniques. Travelers can also experience the local houses which are wonderfully designed.Various travel agencies organize trips to the Leach Village, Pursat. The trips are mostly done in shuttle buses or cars. The route is very charming and enjoyable. Useful information about the trip can be obtained from the travel tips and the tourist office.
Kampong Luong is a natural site located on the Tonle Sap in Kampong Luong commune, Krakor district, about 35 kilometers east of Pursat provincial town. The site is a sand cape suitable for swimming during the dry season. During the rainy season, especially during Pchumben, many cambodians gather there to play Chaol Teuk Leak (a traditional Khmer game, played by throwing water on one another) on the river. The game can be dangerous, however, because it is often played while in small boats.
There are four other sites that Pursat residents prefer to visit. They include:
-Kampeng: located in Pro Ngil village, Por Ngil commune, Kravanh district, about 20 kilometers from the provincial town.
-Phnom Dak Preah: located in Roleap village, Roleap commune, Pursat district, about 10 kilometers from the provincial town.
-Koh Sampeou Meas: located in front of the provincial hall in the middle of Pursat Island. It covers 2 hectares. Preah Theat: located in Sre Sdok village, Sre Sdok commune, Kan Deang district, about 20 kilometers from the provincial town.
This sites in Pursat province cater mostly to local people who visit them, especially on holidays or during the traditional festivals.Once past the mouth of the Tonle Sap, the floating village of Kompong Luong is found 30 kilometers into the lake, on its southwest shore. It's truly a floating village, with a large population of Vietnamese fishermen.Almost totally overlooked by tourists because of its remoteness and difficult access, the village is completely self-sufficient. A floating school, factories to make ice for fish preservation, church, pagoda, service stations, pigsty, stores, boat or television repair shops, video club, karaoke bar, police station... everything is on the water. All trades are represented and everybody from children to grandparents goes by boat through the network of canals that cross this little town
If you are visiting Asia you need to zip line at least once! Flight of the gibbon is the most renowned company for Ziplining with the highest possible safety and the most creative ziplines, suitable for the whole family. While there are many zip line locations, who could pass up ziplining past Angkor Wat?
Within easy reach of Kep, Bokor Hill Station is filled with history. Now abandoned and disused, with the buildings shadows of their former selves, this was once a thriving hotspot for holidaymakers. Explore the decaying structures, learn more about the area’s sad past, and enjoy sweeping views of the countryside.
I didn’t visit any, but there are three large caves close to Kep that are said to be well worth exploring. One even has a swimming hole inside. Nearby, there’s also Kep Plantation, a horse ranch. For relaxation, there are massage services in town. There’s certainly enough to keep you more than busy in charming Kep for a few days, and you can make your trip as active or as low key as you like.
Koh Ker was once an ancient capital of Cambodia, located in Srayong Cheung village, Srayong commune, Kulen district, about 49 kilometers west of the provincial town. The Koh Ker complex is on the Chhork Koki highland. It was built by King Jayavaraman IV (AD 928-942). Koh Ker temple is 35 meters high, and its design resembles a seven-stepped stupa. The temple faces west toward Angkor city. It was built to worship Treypuvanesvara, the god of happiness.
So far, 96 temples have been found in Koh Ker: Dav, Rumlum Bey, Beung Veng, Trapiang Prey, Dey Chhnang, Srok Srolao, Lingam, Kuk Srakum, Trapiang Ta, Sophy, Krahom, Andoung, Ang Khna, Teuk Krahom, Damrei Sar, Krarab, Banteay Pichoan, Kuk, Kmao, Thneung, Thorn Balang, Rohal, Chamneh, Sampich, Trapiang Svay, Neang Kmao, Pram, Bat, Khnar Chen, Klum, Chrab, Dangtung, Prang, Kampiang.... These temples were not constructed near each other. Today, many of them are no longer standing, and some are buried in the ground. The followings are locations and descriptions of some of the Koh Ker temples:
. Neang Khmao Temple
The Koh Ker complex is along a trail that is about 3 kilometers long. The first temple, Neang Khmao sits atop a small hill on the east side of the trail. The temple, which faces west toward Angkor city, is made of sandstone. It is 20 meters high and resembles a stupa. The temple terrace is 2 meters high and divided into three decks. The temple is surrounded by a laterite rampart, 44 meters square and 2 meters high. The rampart has only two openings; one on the east side, and the other on the west. The temple once housed lingam and yoni, but only yoni remains. The lintel sculpture has been damaged, but otherwise, most of the temple is in good condition, while nearly three-quarters of the rampart is good condition.
. Pram Temple
About 700 to 800 meters north of Neang Khmao temple is another temple called Pram temple. Constructed of laterite and sandstone, it sits on a small hill surrounded by bushes that block the lingam and the lintel. The main body of the temple is in good condition.
. Chen Temple
Farther down the trail is a three-peak temple made of laterite and sandstone. It faces east and is called Chen temple. Inside the temple there is a piece of lingam and remnants of a statue of King Jayavarman IV. A sculpture of garuda's head on the south lintel is missing. The temple is overgrown by forest.
. Preng Well
About 800 to 900 meters farther, there is the Preng well, which is similar to a pond. Surrounded by stone, it is 20 meters square. The terrace is about 8 centimeters high. The water in the pond is clear, and a nearby tree provides shade for weary visitors looking for a place to relax.
. Rampart of Koh Ker Temple
Another kilometer down the trail is the rampart of Koh Ker temple. 1 kilometer long and 2 kilometers high, it is made of laterite. Koh Ker temple is the middle of a rampart, surrounded by 20 more temples. Some of the temples are:
. Kuk Temple or Gopura
Kuk temple or Gopura is made of sandstone and has a sculpture of lotus petals on the temple fronton. Although the door frame is damaged, most of the temple is in good condition. A Shiva lingam that once was housed inside has been looted. . Prang Temple
Prang temple is constructed of sandstone and bricks. There are five separate parts of this temple. About 70 percent of the temple is still standing.
. Krahom Temple
About 10 meters farther is Kramhom temple (The red temple). Constructed of brick and shaped like a seven-level pyramid, the temple is decorated with a 20-meter-tall sculpture of lotus petals. Inside the temple, there is a 3-meter-tall statue of Shiva with eight arms and four heads. The statue is supported by a l-square-meter base. The statue is seriously damaged, only some parts remain.
. Khmao Temple
Farther down is Khmao temple. On the wall and door frame of the temple, there is a partially damaged inscription. Near the temple is a rampart gateway to Kampiang temple. The gateway is a 2-meter staircase. Some sculptures of lotus petals, seven-headed nagas and garudas remain.
. Koh Ker Temple
About 300 meters farther to the west is Kampiang or Koh Ker temple. From a distance, the temple looks like a small hill, because it is covered by forest. Up close, however, it is actually a 35-meter-high stupa made of sandstone. It has seven levels, each level about 5 meters above the other. Each deck has a 2-meter-wide terrace, and there is a 55- step staircase to the top. At the top of the temple, there are large statues of garudas supporting Shiva lingam Treypuvanesvara. Nearby, there is a 4-meter square well, now completely covered by grass. According to local villagers, if a coconut is dropped into this well, it will appear in the pond near Neang Khmao temple. There is vegetation growing on top of the temple, and from there visitors have an excellent view of the surrounding landscape, in particular, Phnom Dangrek, Phnom Tbeng, and Kulen district.To the north of Koh Ker temple is another temple, Damrei Sar temple, but it is heavily damaged. To the northeast, is Iingam temple. This temple once housed three Shiva lingams, but some are now damaged.
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.
This is also one of the famous yet fearful hill temples of Battambang, as it is located in the notorious location of Killing Fields. This was the area where innocent citizens were tortured to death during the nasty Khmer Rouge rule between 1975 and 1979. On top of the hill, one can find recently-constructed temples in traditional Khmer architectural styles, providing a panoramic view of Battambang city.
Highlights – Visit the hill during the early morning or late evening hours so that you don’t feel the scorching heat of the sun. As you go up the hill, you will find a canyon filled with a canopy of greenery. The way that leads into the hill summit is filled with various macaques. In the evening, witness thousands of bats fly off from the caves at the base of the hill.
Location - Found at a distance of about 12km towards the southwest of Battambang. Timings – Open all through the day.
There is a crocodile farm on the south end of Siem Reap and they have about 300 crocodiles of various sizes and dispositions.They charge US$ 1 admission for foreigners and 1,000 riel for Cambodians. You can buy stuffed crocs on the premises. Just head south on Sivutha Street, cross the bridge and it's down another km from there.
Floating Village of Lake Tonle Sap is heading east from Pursat town, about one-third of the way to Kampong Chhnang town is the town of Krakor. Just a few kilometers to the north are Lake Tonle Sap and the floating village of Kampong Loo-uhng. It?s a complete village on the water populated mostly by Vietnamese fishermen. You can arrange for a small non-motorized boat to show you.
Teuk Chhu is located in Snomprampi village, Makprang commune, Kampot district, about 8 kilometers north of Kampot provincial town. Its main attraction is a stream that flows from Phnom Damrei via Phnom Kamchay. The cool, clear water flows over large rocks year round. This is a good place for swimming or bathing.
There are many kinds of decicious fruit available, including durian, mangosteen, rambutan, mak prang, pineapple, grape fruit, custard apple and coconut. Only the durian, however, is available year round. Not far from Teuk Chhu is a zoo and plantation organized by His Excellency Nhim Vanda. The zoo raises animals, while the plantation grows a variety of fruit trees, including durian, rambutan and other fruits.
The Tekcchou Resort, Kampot is a well known tourist attraction in Kampot in Cambodia. Kampon is a small town in the country of Cambodia. This town is a known tourist destination in this country. It is renowned for its limestone caves and other sightseeing spots which are worth visiting. This town is visited by several vacationers and holidaymakers who visit this country from all parts of the globe. You will have a good time exploring the beauty of this region. The Tekcchou Resort, Kampot is a good place to hang out with your family when you are in Kampot in Cambodia.The Tekcchou Resort in Kampot is a popular picnic place close to the town. The Tekcchou Resort in Kampot is set on the Prek Chha River. This resort in Kampot is famous among the local people. On weekends you will find the Tekcchou Resort in Kampot very crowded. People in the nearby regions enjoy spending their weekends here.
Many tourists also flock to this resort. The rapids here are very beautiful. The kids can play nearby and have a nice time. The cool river breeze will refresh you and will make your trip to this place a pleasant experience.
Near the Tekcchou Resort in Kampot you will find various stalls. These stalls generally ell drinks and food. The food is decent and fresh. Various local as well as international cuisines are on offer at these stalls.
There is a small zoo near the Tekcchou Resort in Kampot. Many animals and birds are kept here in enclosures. You can go with your family and friends and visit this zoo. Your kids will simply love watching animals at such a close distance.
Transportation in Kampot is also conveniently available. You will find several modes of transportation which will take you to the Tekcchou Resort in Kampot in no time. The roads leading to this resort are very good. You can take a car on rent and drive down to this place or hop onto various buses which ply to the Tekcchou Resort, Kampot.
This pleasant bathing spot is a major hit with locals. Waterfall enthusiasts should prepare themselves for a disappointment, however as these falls, 8km northwest of town, are really just a series of small rapids that don?t even move all that rapidly in the dry season. There is a proper waterfall 18km further up a dirt track from Teuk Chhou, but access is not straightforward, as the trail is pretty bad.
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.