Cambodia is the new Thailand. Cambodia is not only known as the Kingdom of Wonder, it is the Kingdom of Wonder! In the past Thailand was the place to go for those seeking adventure and experience an inspiringly different culture. Cambodia is better than Thailand now, here’s why…
From the moment you set foot in Cambodia, you know you are somewhere special. The Khmer culture is rich with traditions that date back centuries. Their roots are firmly fixed in ancient Buddhist and Hindu customs that are evident throughout the Kingdom. The multitude of temples are a testament to this fact. Angkor Wat is definitive evidence of these ancient roots and is recognized as the world’s largest religious monument. The temples at Angkor are adorned with stone carvings from ancient times and are a magnificent site to see.
But it doesn’t end there. There is so much more to see and do. If you haven’t been to Southeast Asia before it will be super-food for the eyes and senses from the second you arrive. You’ll be amazed to see how many people manage to travel on a single scooter, a family of five all squeezed onto one bike is quite the norm here. Tuk tuks are in abundance and are the usual mode of transport for locals and tourists alike. They are also a wonderfully atmospheric way of getting around town without being confined to the inside of a cramped car or bus.
Cambodia trumps Thailand on price also. For travellers on a budget $25 a day is enough to pay for pleasant accommodation plus three good meals a day. There are also other more luxurious alternatives if your budget allows it. Cambodia is an irresistible destination when you combine the low costs with all the fascinating historical sites, the natural beauty of the national parks, beaches and tropical islands. Not only that but also having the opportunity to volunteer in a number of projects that range from tree planting to caring for rare and amazing animals.
11 Reasons why Cambodia is better than Thailand
1. Real smiles, warm hearts and a unique experience
You really are welcome in Cambodia. The people are genuinely kind and will always welcome you with a warm heart. The Thai people will greet you with a smile but in Cambodia the people are so much deeper than that. They are generous and gentle by nature and will always be happy to see you and go that extra mile to help you feel at home. Without a doubt, the people of Cambodia will make your travels more enjoyable.
So many people have been to Thailand but not so many have been to Cambodia. This makes a trip to Cambodia truly unique. You will return home with a wealth of wonderful stories to tell your friends which they haven’t all heard before.
2. Many More Monuments and Cultural Landmarks to Explore
It is true that Angkor Wat is the highlight of any trip to Cambodia. But, without a doubt, there are a multitude of other attractions and countless places of historical interest to see in Cambodia.
3. Volunteer Work and Behind the Scenes Tours
Volunteering is a great way to contribute to restoring Cambodia to its former glorious past. Cambodia is working hard to overcome the shadows of its recent history. We offer ways for you to be part of the transformation.
For example, our Reforest, Not Deforest project specifically aims to make your impact on Cambodia a positive one. Planting trees helps to reverse the disastrous effect deforestation. Not to mention the equally devastating effect on its wildlife.
Or perhaps you would like to help care for endangered animals? Take an exclusive behind the scenes tour with Wildlife Alliance.
Wildlife Alliance offers tours at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center where they care for and rehabilitate animals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. All tour profits go directly back to the animals!
4. The National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries
Ream National Park, Virachey National Park, Kirirom National Park and the Cardamom Mountains, to name just a few, are exceptional.
Cambodia is perhaps not well known for its mountains and trekking holidays although it is home to some of the world’s most untouched forests and wilderness in South East Asia.
These territories are rich in dense forests spread over huge areas. The land is preserved and maintained by the authorities. The national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are breathtaking and well worth a visit.
5. Southeast Asia’s Largest Freshwater Lake – Tonle Sap
The Tonle Sap lake is one of the most ecologically rich regions in the world. It is of immense importance to Cambodia due to its food provision. The lake is one of the richest inland fishing grounds in the world. The lake stretches over a radius of 3-4kms on each side. The surroundings of the lake are covered with freshwater mangroves, evergreen forests, seasonal tropical forests or natural bamboo plantations.
These forests, mangroves and grasslands jointly combine to provide a habitat for a large number of wild species that range from underwater animals like fish and turtles, to on-land creatures.
You can hire a guide and a boat from a number of places such as Siem Reap, Kompong Khleang or Phnom Penh to explore and experience the floating villages and marvel at countless birds, reptiles, fish and plant species.
6. Rare Nature
Cambodia is home to a considerable amount of endangered species. For example, the Irrawaddy dolphin, that can be found in Kratie on a stretch of the Mekong River. Nearby is Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtle. In Siem Reap and Preah Vihear you will find the rare Giant Ibis bird and a vast range of protected marine life.
7. Phnom Penh’s Central Market
This beautiful Art-Deco building has been a Phnom Penh landmark since its completion in 1937. The Central market was originally built on the site of an old lake that was drained for the project. There are many entrances to the market which is full of vendors selling souvenirs, clothing, electronics and handicrafts. Not to mention a huge variety of food stalls and restaurants.
The building itself is a wonder to behold. Its colossal architecture is quite astounding. It is built in the French colonial-style and shouldn’t be missed. Undoubtedly, this is the place for a great deal. And finally, it’s way easier to bargain in Cambodia than it is in Thailand.
8. Island Hopping off the coast of Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville Province’s natural assets are a magnet for tourism. The coastal islands are immaculate with pristine beaches. Equally, The National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty which attracts visitors from around the world.
Sihanoukville acts as a gateway to a number of tropical islands that dreams are made of. Koh Rong and Koh Kong Sanloem are two of the most popular. However, more and more islands are becoming accessible, all of which are strikingly beautiful with crystal clear waters.
Sihanoukville offers accommodation that ranges from backpacker hostels to luxury resorts. More importantly, all at a fraction of the cost of Thailand.
9. More People Speak English
Communicating is much easier when negotiating your way around the country because so many people, especially the younger generation, speak English. So, asking a tuk-tuk driver to take you somewhere is no problem. Also, ordering food or finding information is likely to be much simpler a task than in Thailand. While this may change if you head out of town and into the provinces, you’ll still be hard pressed not to find at least somebody who is happy to translate for you.
10. More Visa Friendly
Visas for Cambodia for long-term visitors are much easier to come by than in Thailand. Visas are also easily extended unlike in Thailand. And you don’t even have to leave the country to do it!
11. Great WiFi in Cambodia
And finally, the WiFi. You’ll have no problem staying in touch with friends and family due to the fact that Cambodia has some of the best WiFi in Southeast Asia. This means using social media, downloading music or streaming a movie is easy for modern-day travellers. Fear not because Cambodia has some of the best WiFi in Southeast Asia. WiFi is now available almost everywhere from coffee shops to restaurants and even some buses.