The vast majority of Cambodia’s geography consists of the low lying central plains, which include the huge flood plain of the Tonle Sap River. Beyond this the country is dotted with incredible national parks, mountainous forest regions, stunning waterfalls, and untouched beaches and islands.
Cambodia is growing rapidly and continues to offer a greater ranger of amenities and services, yet it still retains its exotic charm and mysticism. As travelers amble through the rural countryside, they will be happily welcomed by beaming locals along the way, only enhancing an active journey that is one of true discovery and escape.
In the west of the country the Angkor Archaeological Park and a myriad of hidden, overgrown temples reveal the awe-inspiring remnants of the ancient Khmer Empire. Home to Siem Reap and the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Tonle Sap, travelers will also discover a unique countryside, learning about the charming ways of life that characterize this area. What makes this region so great for active travel?
- Travelers can connect and explore this region’s countless hidden temple ruins on a bicycle, meandering along off-road countryside trails that are hard to navigate by conventional vehicle, passing remote villages and mysterious forests.
- On the expansive Tonle Sap travelers can enjoy kayaking through its mystical floating forest and floating and stilted communities.
In the lesser-visited east travelers will find the rolling hills of Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri Provinces, the country’s greatest number of ethnic minority communities, gushing waterfalls and meandering rivers, and, if they’re lucky, spot primates and the critically endangered, freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. What makes this region so great for active travel?
- Low-lying hills make for relatively easy trekking and cycling tours for those wanting to take their time in discovering the area.
- Its diverse topography is ideal for various active pursuits, including kayaking and zip-lining.
The south offers a wild gem in the form of the jungle-clad Cardamom mountains. Moving down the coastline, travelers will be greeted by mangrove forests, stretches of white-sandy beaches, turquoise waters and paradise islands. The charming coastal towns of Kampot and Kep offer a backdrop of lush green scenery and a quaint laid-back atmosphere for cycling. What makes this region so great for active travel?
- Travelers can embark on challenging multi-day jungle explorations in the Cardamom mountain ranges.
- Trekking and cycling tours can be easily extended to leisurely beach getaways on one of Cambodia’s tropical islands, with kayaking and snorkeling activities in pristine waters.
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Sopheak is a local of Cambodia, hailing from the eastern province of Kampong Cham. While his personal favorite sports include volleyball, football and swimming, he loves the idea of sharing his country’s cultural and natural sights through active pursuits like cycling and trekking. Being especially passionate about adventure travel in remote areas, he highly recommends venturing deep into the challenging Cardamom mountains in southwest Cambodia.
He believes that cycling is one of the best ways to discover the vast landscapes of Cambodia. It allows for slow-paced exploration of the country’s abundance of cultural relics and rural countryside, and encounters with incredibly warm and welcoming local people. He particularly recommends visitors explore the kingdom’s ancient archaeological wonders by bicycle instead of conventional private vehicle or bus. Meandering along hidden forest trails, travelers can visit lesser-known temples while avoiding the crowds, experiencing a true sense of discovery.
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