Two weeks to take on Thailand, Laos and Cambodia - lucky you! An artwork of relaxation, culture, culinary delights and life changing experiences, this trip is an eye opener and a heart pounder. See Buddhist temples, visit night markets & use enough modes of transport to keep things well above interesting
|R29,614 p.p. Land only|
For many travellers the allure of an unspoilt and little-explored country is irresistible. Emerging from a violent past of human rights atrocities, war and political instability, Cambodia is recovering from its past and slowly becoming a top destination on the South East Asian travel map. The magnificent temples of the 'Lost City' of Angkor are an irresistible attraction that, despite the dangers of unexploded landmines and the threat of rural banditry, are a must-see for any determined traveller.
Modern day Cambodia is the successor kingdom of the powerful Khmer Empire which ruled most of what is today Vietnam, Laos and Thailand from the 9th to 14th centuries. Although the country does not have the same volume of attractions as some of its neighbours, the Cambodian people are incredibly friendly, providing a warm welcome for travellers.
This friendliness is amazing in itself given the suffering that Cambodians had to endure during the three-and-a-half year reign of Pol Pot, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated two million people. The Khmer Rouge period, under Pol Pot's leadership, altered the face of the country. Overnight cities were emptied and property destroyed, the economy was left in tatters, and so were the lives of countless families. This period between 1975 and 1979 represents a particularly dark one in the nation's history.
Travellers to Cambodia can now enjoy many wonderful aspects of this country. Pleasurable moments can be had in the snatches of friendly conversations, in the tranquillity ushered in by Buddhist prayer, or in the sounds of workers in the rice paddies. One can also search out the charms of the French-era capital city Phnom Penh, visit the tragic horrors of the Killing Fields, or drift past sleepy riverside locations on a boat.
The scenery is beautiful and abundant, shaped by landscapes of lush green forests and jungles, banana plantations, agricultural fields and mighty rivers. People here live modest and simple lifestyles and the populace is largely rural. It is not a place of fast and efficient transport or luxurious hotels and resort living. Infrastructure is basic (much of it having been destroyed) and travelling between destinations can be quite an experience - fun for some and frustrating for others. The country's world-class attractions and less-explored reaches, golden beaches and islands beckon the enterprising traveller, and make this unique destination the equivalent of a pearl in an unopened oyster.