I would like to thank Charli for publishing this article. Her site is a great place for anyone with a lust for travel and adventure. After reading this, I highly recommend you check out her post about her experience of Granada, Nicaragua.
Cambodia was a slightly different vacation destination than I usually travel to, so planning the vacation proved to be a little more of a challenge. I did a little planning beforehand and received plenty of amazing tips from locals and other tourists along the way. Here are 5 things we absolutely loved on our journey to Cambodia that I’m sure you will love too!
SUNRISE AT ANGKOR WAT
This is where we met our first set of tourists that gave us attraction tips. We were actually all there to watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat, which is an extremely popular location at 5:00am. While it’s in the middle of the jungle, there are perfect viewing spots despite the large tourist crowds in the morning. Try sitting on one of the outpost buildings rather than being in the main area with everyone else. You’ll enjoy the sunrise much more!
Angkor Wat was actually the location of the famous Cambodian film, “Lord Jim” that starred Peter O’Toole in 1965. To enhance your visit here, download a tour app that will tell you all about the mysterious history of this fascinating locale. This stop was well worth rising early and it was a beautiful way to begin our day.
RIDE THE FLIGHT OF THE GIBBON
This next one is for the more adventurous. We actually did this on our third day there and I asked my partner if we could go back the next day. Our zip lining adventure took place in Siem Reap, Cambodia and was called the Flight of the Gibbon. While it’s a bit pricier than most zip lines I’ve ever been on, it was easily the best. It’s actually located in Angkor’s Archeological Park, so after your serene sunrise at Angkor Wat, you can head over and zip line to start your day.
When you zip line here, you hover over the mass of jungles at a 150-foot drop. In total, you can take as long as two hours to run the entire zip line course. There are a ton of things to do within the park as well, unlike most zip lining places that only offer one short trip down and that’s it.
ANANTARA ANGKOR RESORT AND SPA
After our day of adventure we decided to treat ourselves by checking into the Anantara Angkor Resort and Spa. This luxury location is a great way to splash a bit of cash. Also located in Siem Reap, you are a good distance away from all the local attractions.
The buildings are designed to resemble a grand Khmer village, so there’s no lack of authenticity, and there’s a “Streetwise Guru” on hand to take you on intimate cultural tours around the local markets. The resort has numerous facilities, including a fitness centre, spa, fine dining and unlimited free WiFi, so whether you decide to spend a day getting pampered or just to have some downtime to catch up on your favourite shows, it’s a great way to relax and take some time out of your busy travellers schedule.
For those looking to learn more about the history of this great region, Khmer Rouge, directed by Angelina Jolie, is a upcoming film about Cambodia’s bloody conflicts and is due to be released on Netflix in late 2016. However, remember that if you plan on accessing Netflix and other streaming websites abroad, then you’ll need to install a VPN to hide your IP address and allow you to access blocked content.
On our last free day, I asked if we could go to the beach. We took turns at different destinations, but Serendipity Beach was one we actually agreed to go to together. Located in Krong Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia, this beach is off of a resort, so the waters are beautiful and the sand is as soft as the clouds. I had read about it online, so I was pretty excited to finally be able to dip my own toes in, instead of living through someone else vicariously.
There are also many places to sit and eat on the shore as well including pizza places, burger joints, the typical seafood and, of course, BBQ. This beach is actually easily accessible, as we only had to go off of the pier at the end of Ocheteaul Beach. We didn’t have to stay at the nearby resort to get to this heavenly destination.
iBALL ADVENTURE PARK
While you’re in Sihanoukville, try your hand at rolling down a large hill in a sphere at the iBall Adventure Park. Yes, you read that right! In these inflatable Zorb balls, you can have a nice upside-down and right-side-up ride with another person, or yourself, in one of these safe and inflatable balls. Enjoy the ride down and the feeling of being invincible! It’s actually located near a zip line as well, so you can make sure to hit up the most heart-racing attractions all in one day.
Cambodia is a land filled with fun and history. There’s a perfect balance between the two if you know where to go. If you were hesitant before, here are 5 new reasons why you should be packing and going right this moment to beautiful Cambodia!
About the Author: Jess Signet is an avid traveller and enjoys writing about her adventures. Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble she lives in makes her want to travel even further. Travelling is her drug, and she’s addicted. (Please, no intervention!)