Rising from the depths of a brutal and terrifying history, the current success of the magical county of Cambodia is a testament to the tenacity of the people. For a country that has been to hell in a hand basket, people that have suffered the worst, most horrific crimes against humanity, weathered storms of immense poverty, political instability and strife, they have emerged victorious and it is their genuine warmth, infectious zest for life and effervescent optimism that is gaining the attention of travelers from all over the world.
|Photo courtesy from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Angkor_Wat.jpg|
As the country slowly gains momentum, waiting patiently for its time for international shine, the tourism industry is experiencing an unparalleled boom. With people flocking to the country, intensely fascinated of what lies beyond the gateway to this incredibly magical land.
Cambodia in itself is an intoxicating and alluring blend of historic sites all dipped into the backdrop of the most breathtaking scenery. Other worldly temples, an entire forgotten empire and evidence of its depressingly intriguing past are everywhere. Every corner of this truly surreal country can be considered a hidden secret; everywhere and everything with a deeply moving story to tell.
Tucked between neighbors Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodia is located in the Indochina region and runs all the way from the border of Laos right to the fringes of the Gulf of Thailand, where it is perched on a breeze ruffled coast. Considering that Cambodia was kept far from the average traveler’s eye until it was given the opportunity to embrace freedom in 1993, Cambodia has risen from strength to strength, with an economy that is growing faster than a runaway train.
|Photo Courtesy from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Buddhist_Stupa_at_Choeung_Ek_killing_fields,_Cambodia.JPG|
Siem Reap, which means Siem Defeated, is one of the most popular tourist hot spots in the country – largely because of its famous site nearby – The Angkor Archaeological Park. Home to the Temple of Angkor Wat and the largest pre industrial city in the world among other stunning examples of 9th century empires, the Angkor Archaeological Park stretches out over a whopping 400km which includes thousands of temples amid lush forests. It is now a listed UNESCO site, which has put together many programs to protect and preserve this unbelievable site.
The bustling capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is slowly regaining its confidence after being released from the horrific clutches of the Khmer Rouge by their good neighbors the Vietnamese in 1979. The roads are being rebuilt and it is regaining some of its former status as the once magnificent Pearl of Aisa. Modern high rise buildings and the sweeping hand of modern infrastructure are making their way into the city, taking up space between huge French colonial estates and buildings.
You could spend months in this country and never even scratch the surface, with back packer hiking trails, national parks, hidden temples, ancient ruins, floating villages, hip seaside resort villages and tucked away hamlets that very much appear to be completely trapped in time, so far removed from modern civilization it’s astounding. The poverty in this country is harshly evident throughout, and with many of the people living well below the bread line, it is difficult to ignore. However things are changing and they are changing fast as booming textile, tourism and agricultural sectors are getting this country back on its feet faster than you can say table for two please.
Tourism is on the rise, thanks to some excellent PR work from major Hollywood celebs like Angelina Jolie and movies like Lara Croft, which allowed people from all over the world to get a sneak peak at what is truly a forgotten and once forbidden land. Many rural areas don’t have anything resembling modern infrastructure just yet, but that will be changing right before our very eyes, as more and more interested visitors start exploring this incredible paradise.
At the moment the country is attracting travelers on a budget, as it is still very affordable, excellent value for money and in some instances, downright cheap. But for those who have been before, they have likened their travels as a truly spiritual experience. Surrounded by the most incredible nature, a culture trapped in time with religious, historical and tumultuous facets all swirling around in them in a magical lure.
But for one of the most soul restoring journeys of your live, a place to really evaluate all that life means and stands for – a real rebirthing experience – Cambodia can touch even the most ravaged of broken souls. Meditation, solid family values, small town sincerity and a quiet reflection of self-assurance are just some of the lessons the stunning people of Cambodia can show the rest of the world.
And the recent discovery of oil and natural gas means that the spiraling chain of poverty may very well be broken forever. So whether you are looking for a true eco adventure holiday, the chance to see some of the rarest river dolphins in the world, are wanting to experience the culture, entire ancient empires, see thousands of temples or feast on the local cuisine or the explore the history of this remarkable country – prepare to be whisked away on a journey that you will never forget.
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