Our colleagues Britta and Anne travelled to Cambodia in September 2019. Below you can read 6 of Britta’s highlights from the tour. You can also read Anne’s travel journal here.
The majority of the Cambodian population is Buddhist. Despite the obvious poverty, the people were very welcoming and always smiling. It was a really great experience for us.
Here are the highlights of our tour:
The river with its 1,000 Lingas (cone- or cylinder-shaped stones carved out of sandstone) made quite an impression on me.
The amazing light gave the Lingas a magical quality in the sparkling water. The waterfalls are beautifully framed by the bright green foliage of the trees and plants, and people bathe here (some in their colourful clothing) in the holy water to “cleanse” themselves. Visiting the temple in the heart of the forest and Siem Reap’s largest reclining Buddha was also really special. If you’re a nature lover, you’ve come to the right place!
My colleague Anne was impressed by the Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm temples.
Ta Prohm, where enormous trees have taken root around the temple, really blew her away. The place oozes mystery. Did Angelina Jolie feel the same thing when shooting Tomb Raider there I wonder?
We spent the night on Koh Trong and got to know this beautiful and very natural island.
The wonderful resort is surrounded by nature, and on this still tranquil island, you can experience the “real Cambodia” (the majority of Cambodians live in the countryside).
The excursion to see the dolphins was one of the absolute highlights of the tour. Despite the high tide, we saw the dolphins many times (at least 20 times). At one point, 3 dolphins even appeared right next to our boat. It was really amazing.
The atmosphere is fantastic. You meet the elephants in their natural surroundings. The safety and well-being of both parties is paramount here, so there is no elephant swimming or riding as such.
The project focuses on the animals and the locals, for whom jobs and a health care system are to be provided – not the tourists. It’s an exemplary project!
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and the country’s largest city. The city buzzes with life, with throngs of people wherever you look. The mix of Cambodian style and French colonial architecture was fascinating. It dates right back: Cambodia was under French rule for almost 100 years.
Since then, Phnom Penh has evolved into a modern metropolis with some huge skyscrapers combined with wide avenues dating back to the French colonial era.
The city’s main attractions are the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. The temple complexes and tropical gardens adorn the grounds of the royal palace and are well worth a visit.
Wat Phnom: The temple was erected on a hill and is perhaps the best known of its kind in the capital. Phnom means “mound” in Khmer.
And “Penh” was the name of the woman who in 1372 found five Buddha statues on the banks of the Mekong River and placed them on this mound.
There’s a lot to do on Koh Rong: island hopping, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing, trekking, cycling, kayaking, sailing, admiring fluorescent plankton, riding and relaxing.
We chose to spend our four days on Koh Rong relaxing – on the perfect beach.
After breakfast, we lay on the white beach and swam. Then we had a nap, and in the afternoons, we went for walks. Along the way, we passed home-made swings and shell chains hanging in the trees several times – and there was hardly a soul to be seen. At sunset, we had dinner. In the evening, we listened to the lapping of the waves and admired the clear starry sky.
Conclusion: Sok San Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen!