Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot, three decades of war and bloodshed, poverty and political strife have eaten into Cambodia's history, but not into the spirit of its people. Boasting of Ankor Wat, the eighth wonder of the world, Cambodia has opened up to tourism as never before. Landmines may still be an everyday reality, but so are tropical islands, awe-inspiring temples, river-bathing elephants, heart-breaking optimism and infectious smiles. This magical land with its sleepy, seaside villages, swaying sugar palms and dazzling paddy fields, is as mystical as it is fascinating. To get under Cambodian skin, read 'The River of Time' by John Swain, watch 'The Killing Fields' and listen to the sound of monks chanting.
Best time to visit: November to January. The average temperature in Cambodia is 27.7°C with an average high of 35°C in April and the average low of 21°C in January.
Tropical fruits and rice form staple fare for Cambodians, though noodles are also popular. Similar to Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, China, and France both influence Cambodian food, as do spices and curries from India.
Silk, marble and stone carvings, exquisite weaves, toys, artwork, handicrafts, purses, furniture, t-shirts.
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