Brimming with experiences, Cambodia is a dream come true for travelers of all kinds. A country exceptionally raw in beauty and welcoming in spirit, this region offers encounters that are both soulful and adventurous. Even better, you can easily crossover to neighboring countries such as Vietnam!
And, you’ve probably seen Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, a movie starring Angelina Jolie. Parts of this adventure-filled movie, filmed in Cambodia’s ancient city of Angkor, specifically in Ta Prohm, put this magnificent country prominently on the tourism map. About a decade later, because of the location’s popularity, Ta Prohm is still commonly referred to as the “tomb raider” temple
If you are looking for temples and destinations with stories, here are the five reasons why Cambodia and Vietnam have to be on your traveler’s must-visit list:
Built during the rule of the Khmer Empire, shortly after 800 A.D., the City of Angkor is one of the most sought-after destinations in Cambodia. Home to over one thousand temples, including Angkor Wat, Angkor is considered to be one of the largest and most beautiful UNESCO Heritage Sites, picture-perfect from every angle! It gets even better at the daybreak when the sun rises, behind Angkor Wat, painting the skies with different shades of dawn.
The Mekong, considered the soul of Southeast Asia, flowing all the way from China to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and finally, Vietnam, is more than just a river. It is a life force that sustains the towns thriving on its banks and the forests that house many species of animals. Sail through the canals of the Mekong Delta, as the locals do! Get a glimpse of traditional floating markets, and the life of the locals who live on its banks.
Nicknamed the “Jewel of Khmer Art,” by travelers, because of its unique size and intricately designed stone carvings, the Banteay Srei Temple is truly a celebration of architecture and art. It is the only temple in Angkor that wasn’t built by a monarch, but by a Brahman, who dedicated it to the Hindu god, Shiva. This temple is particularly unique because of its small structures but makes up for it through its complex and detailed carvings “too fine to be carved by men,” as the story goes. Hence it is called Banteay Srei, meaning the Citadel of the Women.
This 75-mile-long elaborated set of tunnels in Vietnam, the Cú Chi Tunnels, became a legend after the Vietnam War in 1968. It was the hiding spot of Viet Cong soldiers, and served as their living quarters, food and ammunition storage, and even their hospital! It has now been turned into a war memorial site often visited by the locals in memory of the people they lost in the war.
The tunnels have been renovated, to accommodate tourists, in fact, you can even have a meal similar to the ones the Viet Cong soldiers had while living in the tunnel.
Cai Be, is a river-land town, on the banks of Mekong Delta, famous for its floating market. It is believed that the floating market started about 17 centuries ago, as people began moving closer to the shores of the river. The floating market has everything from restaurants to fresh fruits and vegetables, usually sold wholesale.
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