Cambodia is a country of extremes, inspiring and depressing all at once: the kindest people full of unbreakable spirit and optimism with a strong sense of family, the fabled temples of Angkor, the horror of the Khmer Rouge and the richness of unwavering faith. It’s impossible to leave Cambodia with any of the preconceived notions with which you arrived. This is a country unlike any other, where everyone has a story to tell if you are willing to listen.
If you only plan on visiting one place in Cambodia, it must be Siem Reap, the closest town to the ancient Khmer temples of Angkor. These temples have the same magnitude of Machu Picchu or Petra, and you will need to stay at least three nights to have enough time to explore. Angkor Wat at sunrise is a must, offering fantastic photo opportunities. Banteay Srei, the little pink sandstone temple a bit further away, is also magic in the early morning light. As the temperature rises, spend the rest of your day exploring the smaller temples. Bayon is still our favorite, with all the faces watching over you while you climb over the ancient stones.
Further afield, visit the capital of Phnom Penh, the crossroads of Cambodia in every way, the quiet beaches of Sihanoukville or Kep, or the freshwater dolphins near Kratie.