Cambodia by Day

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Explore Cambodia By Day...

For a day spent ashore amongst the charisma of Cambodia, these are the places to be pampered, the sights to see, the shopping districts to delve into, the activities to indulge in, and the gourmet treats to discover.

Pampering
Amansara

Esteemed by Condé Nast in taking its place for the second year in a row on the Gold List, the sumptuous Amansara resort located in Siam Reap is an extraordinary location, not least because of its unheard-of five-to-one staff ratio.

 

With four treatment rooms overlooking a reflection pond backed by sandstone bas-relief whose theme was inspired by the majesty of Angkor, the Spa at Amansara is an unimpeachable destination for rejuvenation. Making use of traditional Cambodian techniques and natural products, the Amansara Spa is a place of peace and tranquil refuge. The four-bed Frangipani offers a full menu of treatments, which include hot stone massage and aromatherapy, all executed by experienced therapists. Housed with an old French Colonial shop, Body Tune is a destination of riverside ambience for their signature massages, manicures and scrubs.


Sights

Angkor Wat
Visit the twelfth century temple of Angkor Wat, touted as the national symbol of Cambodia. Full of epic bas-relief such as the Churning of the Ocean of Milk, this is a heavily touristed place of ancient beauty; be sure to enter through the less-used eastern gates.


The Bayon
54 stone towers bear four smiling faces and are intricately carved with bas-relief panels: such is the majesty of the Bayon, the exact centre of the walled city of Angkor thom, the final capital of the Khmer Empire. For the full experience take either the west or east unpaved paths leading from the Bayon through the forest to the hidden gates, also crowned with carved faces.


Ta Prohm
A jungle-choked temple of old, this glorious crumbling façade is hidden deep within a forest of silk-cotton trees and exudes a certain Indiana Jones feeling. Be sure to enter through the eastern gate, as it is the ceremonial entrance and sure to enchant.


Shopping
Silks & Homegrown Products
Cambodia is a very poor country and, as such, shopping isn’t as highly developed as in more affluent areas. Homegrown silk dyed with natural products such as lychee and indigo can be purchased at the Institute of Khmer Traditional Textiles, while the Artisans d’Angko produce silk clothing, lacquerware and sandstone sculptures. For homegrown products such as coffee, oils and spices, visit the Senteurs d’Angkor.


Activities
Phnom Bakheng
Journey to hillside temple Phnom Bakheng to enjoy a breathtaking sunrise or sunset: perfect for experienced trekkers, who would reach the top within ten minutes, or amateur enthusiasts who would finish the hike in just under a half hour.


Srah Srang
Head five miles east of Phnom Bakheng to the landing terrace of Srah Srang in order to catch the suns first, or last, rays in the reflection of the ceremonial pool.


Tonle Sap

Journey south of Siam Reap to experience Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Hire a small boat to take you to the floating village of Prek Toal, or simply motor around the perimeter in order to see the stilted houses and crocodile pens. There is also a UN Biosphere Reserve where rare species of birds take shelter.


Bites
Madame Butterfly
Set in a traditional raised building of teak, this venerable Khmer home was recently converted to a restaurant and offers a sprawling and unpretentious menu of Thai and Khmer specialties amid low rattan chairs and old-world décor.

Cambodia

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