I have heard many contradicting things about Cambodia, but I believe the country is beautiful and its people remarkable.

Angkor Wat - Ta Prohm TempleAngkor Wat - Ta Prohm Temple | photo: Hunkichunki (cc-by-nc-nd)

Cambodia is a beautiful travel destination in Southeast Asia. The country is bordering Vietnam to the East, Laos to the North and Thailand to the West, while in the South it lies at the Gulf of Thailand and features a selection of wonderful island paradises.

Students in Cambodia on the Way to SchoolStudents in Cambodia on the Way to School | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

Once the richest, biggest and most advanced civilisation of the Indochina peninsula, the Kingdom of Cambodia lost almost all of its influence in the recent 500 years since the fall of Angkor in 1431. The country has suffered various foreign raids since then, but the biggest terror came from within with the rise of the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979. Even then, after the intervention of Vietnam ended the bloody reign of Pol Pot, a lasting guerrilla war terrorised the people until around 1994.

Ice Anyone?Ice Anyone? | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

The greater it is to witness a slow but steady stabilisation and increase of wealth in the region. The Khmer discovered that tourism is a valuable source of income, and you can have an awesome time exploring the rediscovered temples and palaces that marked the peak of the Khmer empire around 1200.

Mekong Ferry in Phnom PenhMekong Ferry in Phnom Penh | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

The two main strains of income of the now stable economy of Cambodia are the textile industry and tourism. Around 2 million visitors arrived in Cambodia in 2007 and in 2015 the numbers are stunning: 4,775,231 international arrivals, mostly to the regions of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap according to the Cambodian Ministy of Tourism.

Two Girls and a Flower in CambodiaTwo Girls and a Flower in Cambodia | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox

New construction of infrastructure and one of the best investment climates in ASEAN countries drives a slow but steady development. Even if 60% of the people still live under very basic conditions, there is progress and I love to see that.

There will be more information about Cambodia on FoxTravels, but first we need to focus on out country of residence, Vietnam, before we can spend more time on our awesome neighbours. Expect a few articles about Cambodia soon though.

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