From lively cities to ancient cultural monuments that attract visitors from the world over, Cambodia is a country that keeps on giving. Lush landscapes sprinkled with traditional Khmer villages and towns, the almighty Angkor Wat mountain temple, the vibrant capital city of Phnom Penh and the national parks, attractive islands, and friendly faces who inhabit the lands are all big draws for travellers looking to enjoy a stay here.
Though known for its temples, landscapes and bustling cities, Cambodia has a notably rich and varied history encompassing some painful times, especially in recent history, much of which you can learn about throughout your travels. Today, the country welcomes visitors to enjoy its famous tourist attractions, so if you’re interested in exploring all that this southeast Asian destination has to offer, then read on for our luxury guide to Cambodia.
Where to go and what to do
From the iconic Art Deco Central Market in Phnom Penh to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat, the inviting Kirirom National Park – the country’s oldest – to the effervescent city of Siem Reap and the paradisical Koh Rong Island, the attractions and unique places of Cambodia will enthral. Just make sure that you apply for your visa to Cambodia in good time, if you need one so that you can enjoy all of the wonderful sights without delay.
Add to this the up-and-coming Battambang with its flourishing contemporary art scene and elegant French architecture; the possible sighting of freshwater dolphins on the Mekong River, and the French influence due to its 90-year colonial rule and there is much to discover in Cambodia.
Where to eat
When dining out in Cambodia, expect to see the food staples of fish, rice and bread, though don’t for a minute expect that this all you will taste. The spice paste kroeung, made with a base of lemongrass and galangal, makes up many dishes, and the famous tamarind sauce will find its way onto your plate, too. The fish-based curry, amok, is a popular dish that you must try, as are beef Lok Lak, Khmer curries, fresh spring rolls and nom banh chok, to name a few.
If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, then the main cities provide a great selection of restaurants to head to for an elegant and satisfying meal. Malis Restaurant has locations in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and serves up authentic Cambodian cuisine by master chef Luu Meng. Looking to put Cambodia back on the map as a culinary destination, the mouth-watering dishes and elegant settings are sure to impress.
Topaz Restaurant has been serving fine French dishes in the heart of Phnom Penh for over 20 years and uses finely sourced ingredients to create inventive takes on traditional French cuisine. In Siem Reap, Embassy Restaurant is a must-visit if you wish to discover traditional Khmer cuisine with a twist, all in elegant surroundings.
Where to stay
There are plenty of upmarket resorts scattered across Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and the many beautiful tourist hotspots and islands across the country that provide visitors with a luxurious place to relax in between their sightseeing trips. A resort, villa or hotel should provide you with a great location, useful, high-end amenities and enough space to relax and enjoy your time away, and we think the below three offer just this.
In the capital of Cambodia, Rosewood Phnom Penh provides an ultra-luxury experience in the heart of the city, some 188 metres above sea level. The hotel, which inhabits the top 14 floors of the Vattanac Capital Tower, offers six restaurants and lounges, an art gallery, a rooftop bar, Khmer healing therapies and unobstructed views of the Mekong River. If you want your travels to take you to exclusive locations, then surely only the private island resort of Six Senses Krabey Island will do. Take up one of the 40 free-standing pool villas that nestle in the trees and luxuriate in the out-of-this-world spa and dine on delightful authentic cuisine.
Your trip will surely be taking you to the renowned Angkor Wat site, so why not make the trip to the temple a short one and stay nearby in the illustrious Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang? Inspired by Khmer architecture and sitting in 20 acres of lush gardens and rice paddy fields, the 45 private terrace and pool villas are the place to be while you split your time between seeing the local sights and relaxing with an array of lavish spa treatments. With so many incredible things to do in Cambodia, start planning your trip today and experience the best of this Asian country.