Welcome to Cambodia
Cambodia's greatest glory, its UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park, attracts more than two million visitors a year for good reason. But, all too often, the rest of this charming kingdom is overlooked by busy travelers, so don't be afraid to veer off the beaten track. Start in Siem Reap, of course—your base for exploring Angkor Wat—and while you're in town, be sure to hit the night market to sample a few Cambodian delicacies. If deep-fried tarantula isn't your thing, your guide can steer you toward tamer (and tastier) local fare: sweet and spicy noodle dishes or sticky coconut-rice pancakes. Try to catch a performance of the excellent Phare theater troupe, which features Khmer storytelling, dance, and acrobatics, too. Just south of Siem Reap, a lake boat tour on Tonle Sap offers a glimpse into rural life as you glide past floating villages and lush green rice paddies. In Phnom Penh, the lively capital, a day trip to Tluong Suong Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (aka the Killing Fields) reveals the country's tragic past under the Khmer Rouge, a heartbreaking but critical history that is woven into the stories of most Cambodians you'll meet. Hit the National Museum, home to a treasure trove of Angkor artifacts; tour the Royal Palace and the shimmering Silver Pagoda; and visit Wat Phnom. Adventurous types can then head southwest to colonial Kampot, tour the ghostly ruins of Bokor Hill Station by motorbike, and fill up on fresh seafood in the fishing village of Kep.