Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cambodia off the beaten track

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Mention you’re going to Cambodia and chances are you’ll end up comparing notes on the glorious temples of Angkor, among the most awe-inspiring – indeed, mind-blowing – monuments ever conceived by the human mind.

It is hardly surprising that so many travelers from around the globe dream of gazing upon the towers of Angkor Wat, walking through the root-strangled gateways of Angkor Thom, and staring back at the enigmatic smiling faces that have made the Bayon famous.

But Cambodia has a great deal more to offer than its headline sights. Travelers at first drawn by the spectacular temples around Siem Reap often end up enchanted – and determined to return – thanks to the friendliness of the Khmer people, the sublime beauty of the countryside and the botanical exuberance of the country’s still-pristine tropical rainforests.

Parts of Cambodia’s south coast are fairly well-known to travelers. Beaches, nightlife, restaurants and a backpacker vibe make Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s main port, the country’s third-most-popular tourist destination. Kampot, with its run-down French-era buildings and mellow spirit, is popular as a starting point for Bokor National Park and its grand, colonial-era Casino, now an eerie ruin.

Friday, June 3, 2011

USA today recommends adventure travel tours to Cambodia


Trekking in Cambodia offers a chance to meet local residents and experience the countryside firsthand. Active Travel Cambodia offers a trip called Trek Rattanakiri that features walking on jungle paths and on roads through towns. Rattanakiri is a rural area in northeast Cambodia known for its natural beauty, and trip activities include swimming in the shadow of pristine waterfalls. You also camp in villages and enjoy cultural interactions with ethnic minority tribes.

Trekking Rattanakiri

If you love the water, you can take a kayaking trip with companies such as Adventure-Cambodia. Tours range from one-day to multi-day outings. One trip features bird watching as you kayak on wetlands in the north, and others involve jungle or ocean kayaking. On an ocean trip, you kayak to islands, snorkel and stay in a beach bungalow. Adventure-Cambodia also has multi