Fantastically alluring and mysterious, yet tinged with a sombre past, Cambodia can be a tricky nut to crack for travellers. With Ampersand’s expert guidance we can make sure you see the best she has to offer – from the worlds most atmospheric temples shrouded by jungle at Angkor Wat, to a new top-class eco-luxe island retreat and a stunning coastline rich with palm-fringed beaches.
Cambodia is still finding its feet after over 30 years of turmoil initiated by the Vietnam War and prolonged by the Khmer Rouge, who wished to create a peasant-led, agrarian cooperative and killed one in five Cambodians trying. Cambodia's landscape is a blend of rice paddies, sugar palm plantations and remote jungles. While most visitors come to see the marvels of Angkor Wat, Cambodia offers plenty of natural beauty for those willing to explore. Bordering the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, Cambodia has some lovely remote beaches, while the north and northeast are mountainous. Life in Cambodia has always revolved around two great bodies of water: the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake. To the south of Tonle Sap Lake is the capital, Phnom Penh, which retains its faded French colonial splendour, with wide, tree-lined boulevards and impressive architecture set amongst the busy traffic and commerce of an emerging Asian city. The official religion in Cambodia is Theravada Buddhism. However, until the 13th Century, Hinduism - introduced by Indian invaders - was the religion of the Angkor Kingdom. The Khmers believed in "god-kings" and built their religious sites to worship them. Located to the north of the Tonle Sap and in various stages of disrepair, these once majestic temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and quite deservedly so.