It is easy to underestimate Cambodia due to how tiny it seems on the map but one must be aware that it can give any South-east Asian country a real run for its money. Tourists are in for a real treat for they can explore lush dense jungles, walk around dusty temple ruins, lounge around on stunning sandy beaches, stay in luxurious hotel chains, eat delicious gourmet and experience colourful and ethnic shopping.
When in Cambodia, be sure to head over to one of the most majestic and biggest of all Angkor Temples and certainly the top tourist attraction in Cambodia. The temple's balance, composition and beauty make it one of the most exquisite structures in the planet. A massive rectangular reservoir is fringed by Angkor Wat which increases through a line of three rectangular terraces to the central shrine and tower which rises as high as 213 meters (669 feet). The next temple to visit is the Bayon temple, home to sea of over 200 huge stone faces looking in all direction. Housed at Angkor, it is not only well-known but also adorned and decorated in a stunning manner. It is constructed at the epicenter of the royal city.
Even though it is officially part of the Angkor complex, Banteay Srej is 25km (15 miles) away from the main group of temples, and thus regarded as a separate attraction. It is constructed largely of red sandstone with intricate decorative wall carvings that can be seen even today. Koh Kher used to be the capital of the Khmer empire for a short time. During this brief stint, there were numerous magnificent buildings and sculptures that were constructed. A specific highlight from this place is Prasat Thom, a 30-meter (98ft) tall temple pyramid overlooking the luscious jungle. Be sure to catch a glimpse of the massive Garuda (mythical half-man, half-bird creature).
Want to see dolphins? Then be sure to take a trip to Kratie, a small town housed on the banks of the Mekong River. It is spruced with ancient, French colonial buildings and a central marketplace. Viewed as a haven for backpackers, it is the destination in Cambodia where one can hope to catch a glimpse of the rate Irrawaddy dolphins, which is housed in the Mekong River. It is unfortunately dwindling very fast and there are hardly any dolphins left in the upper Cambodian Mekong area.
Don't forget to head over to the Royal Palace compound in Phnom Penh for the Silver Pagoda is home to several national treasures such as gold and jewelled Buddha statues. Some of the highlights from this place are the small 17th century baccarat crystal Buddha (the Emerald Buddha of Cambodia) and a life-sized Maitreya Buddha adorned with 9584 diamonds. The internal wall of the Silver Pagoda courtyard comprises of the colourful and elaborate mural of the Ramayana myth.
Need to relax and laze around? Then take a trip to Sihanoukville - beach resort famed for its soft-sandy beaches, tropical islands and the mangrove jungles of Ream National Park. Perched in Southwest Cambodia, it is a deep-water port on a peninsula jutting into the Gulf of Thailand. It is a major entertainment hub and party capital with its beach bars and dance clubs.
When it comes to shopping, be sure to visit the Phnom Penh Central Market or Angkor Night Market to get a taste of the local flavour. Don't forget to haggle to procure items at reasonable rates. Be on the look-out for souvenirs ranging from silk, textiles, statues, carvings, silverwork and Buddhist artworks.
As for cuisine, it would be a shame to visit Cambodia and not dig into their local delicacies. Be sure to sip the local Khmer drink - soda water with a squeeze of lemon and try the Angkor beer. The stay options in Cambodia are abundant with the best luxury hotels, private apartments and cheap accommodations are available for tourist to decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget and taste.
The weather for Cambodia is warm all year around. The best time to visit the country would be during the cool season from November to February for the temperatures are relatively pleasant.