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Sunrise Over Angkor Wat, Angkor, Cambodia
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Cambodia - The Happiest Country in Asia
The Splendor of Angkor Wat 

Featured Hotels in Cambodia

The Kingdom of Cambodia is a country in Southeast Asia with a population of almost 15 million people, with Phnom Penh being the capital city. Cambodia is the successor state of the once powerful Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire, which ruled most of the Indochinese Peninsula between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries.

A citizen of Cambodia is usually identified as "Cambodian" or "Khmer", which strictly refers to ethnic Khmers. Most Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists of Khmer extraction, but the country also has a substantial number of predominantly Muslim Cham, as well as ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese and small animist hill tribes.
The country shares a border with Thailand to its west and northwest, with Laos to its northeast, and with Vietnam to its east and southeast. In the south it faces the Gulf of Thailand. The geography of Cambodia is dominated by the Mekong river (colloquial Khmer: Tonle Thom or "the great river") and the Tonlé Sap ("the fresh water lake"), an important source of fish. The low geography of Cambodia's fertile areas means much of the country sits nearly below sea level, and consequently the Tonle Sap River reverses its water flow in the wet season, carrying water from the Mekong back into the Tonle Sap Lake and surrounding flood plain.

Cambodia's main industries are garment and tourism. In 2006, foreign visitors had surpassed the 1.7 million mark. 

Chong Kneas Village, Tonle Sap Lake, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Indochina, Southeast Asia
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In 2005, oil and natural gas deposits were found beneath Cambodia's territorial water, and once commercial extraction begins in 2009 or early 2010, the oil revenues could have a "profound" impact on the future of Cambodia's economy.

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Cambodia - The Happiest Country in Asia   by Rick Chapo

Given the recent history of Cambodia, you might wonder why I refer to it as the happiest place on earth. Well, there is a real reason if you understand what happy means in Cambodian slang.
Smiling Girl at Preah Khan Temple, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
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Cambodia - The Happiest Country in Asia

Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Thailand to the west, Laos to the north and Vietnam to the east. As you may know, some very nasty things happened in Cambodia in the 1970s and 1980s. During this period, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge ruled the country or were fighting to do so.

Reign of terror is a phrase often over used, but not when it comes to the Khmer Rouge. The group implemented what can only be called bizarre policies and managed to starve and murder roughly twenty percent of the total population of Cambodia.

The reign of terror was eventually ended when the Vietnamese invaded and pushed the Khmer into a small, isolated pocket of land in the far north.

A few years back, I had the urge to travel. I get it every two or three years. I get it bad. I usually sell off whatever I have and travel for as long as I can. In this case, I flew into Thailand because I didn't have a lot of money and the flight from Los Angeles was cheap, cheap, cheap! Thailand was pretty touristy, so off to the wilds of Cambodia I went.
To be honest, Cambodia is not as wild a place as you might think given its recent history. These are some seriously strong people from a mental perspective. If you walk around the major city, Phnom Phen, it looks like nothing happened. In fact, you keep seeing signs for happy this and happy that just about everywhere. I am not kidding. The signs literally say "happy dinner", "happy pizza" and so on. Gee, these people are happy.

As you might imagine, happy has a particular connotation in Cambodia. Do I even need to tell you? Yep, it refers to that funny tobacco that so many in the hippie generation liked to enjoy. Simply put, the Cambodians mix marijuana with just about any type of food stuff - pizza, cake, shakes, tacos. It is used like a spice, to wit, it isn't obvious it is in the food. 

Queen Monineath Sowing Rice Seed During the Royal Ploughing Ceremony, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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If you don't know what happy means, you can be in for a BIG surprise an hour or so after eating! It was not uncommon to see tourists giggling and staggering around the sidewalks.

At the end of the day, I found Cambodia to be a great place to enjoy notwithstanding its past and the happy food. Angkar Wat and the surrounding Khmer structures are stunning and definitely should be on your list of things to see. So go ahead and take off to Cambodia, but make a mental note regarding the happy food!

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About the Author: Rick Chapo is with - makers of journals that are great travel gifts. 
The Splendor of Angkor Wat   by Oudam Em
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Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia, constructed for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. As the best preserved temple in Siem Reap, Angkor Wat has continued to be a major Buddhist center. The temple is the apex of the classic Khmer architecture. It has become a prominent symbol for Cambodi, adorning the nation's flag, and is the country's primary tourist destination.
The name Angkor Wat means "city temple". Angkor is a vernacular form of the word nokor which is derived from the Sanskrit word nagara meaning capital. Wat is the Khmer term for temple. Previously, the temple was known as Preah Pisnulok, after the posthumous title of its founder, Suryavarman II.

Angkor Wat brings together two fundamental plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian Hindu architecture, with features such as the Jagati. It is created to signify Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology. The temple is adored for its size, splendor and architecture, its bas-reliefs, and for the vast guardian spirits carved on its walls.

Angkor Wat at Dawn., Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
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Angkor Wat is just one of the many structures in the vast Angkor complex some 40 square kilometer in size, geographically the size of modern day Los Angeles. At its height Angkor was a major population center in the mighty Khmer Empire and is believed to have a million residents. 
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
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Besides Angkor Wat, prominent subcomplexes within the Angkor complex include Angkor Thom, Ta Phrum, and Bantei Srey.

Angkor lies in the modern town of Siem Reap, the provincial capital. With the recent construction of luxury hotels, restaurants, golf courses, tour agencies, and other many other amenties, Siem Reap has become a major tourist destination. Visitors might hire trained tour guides to help them explore Angkor Wat and the many other temples in the Angkor complex.

Angkor Wat is truly a place that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. It easily belongs among the Seven Wonders of the World, along with the Taj Mahal, Great Pyramids of Egypt and Great Wall of China. 

Once there, the visitor is overwhelmed by the grandeur and mysticism of the temple. Neither words nor pictures can do Angkor Wat justice. Without visiting the site first hand, it's hard to gauge the breath-taking size and splendor of the monument.

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About the Author: Oudam Em is Cambodian American writer who publishes the popular blog,, a site devoted to Khmer music, culture, and issues. He also maintain, a Khmer online community that brings together Cambodians from all over the world.


Search for Phnom Penh Hotels
Cambodiana, Phnom Penh
Hotel Cambodiana is located in Phnom Penh, close to Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument, Silver Pagoda, and Royal Palace. Nearby points of interest also include Independence Monument and National Museum.  There is a large swimming pool on the banks of the river. Only riverside hotel in Phnom Penh. The exterior is a 5 storey rectangular white provincial style building with a huge central pagoda on the top. The lobby is large but offers limited seating area. There are lobby bar, bakery shop and souvenier shop. Colour schemes in the executive rooms are rich and are offset by light coloured woods. Bathrooms are very good and brightly lit with baths.  The Hotel offers a choice of restaurants with a range of cuisines.
Holiday Villa, Phnom Penh
Located in central Phnom Penh, Holiday Villa Phnom Penh is near the airport and close to Phsar Thom Thmei, Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium, and National Museum. Nearby points of interest also include Wat Phnom and Independence Monument. The modern low-rise building in mixes Cambodian and French architecture. Lobby is medium in sized with warm Khmer welcome atmosphere.  Rooms are a mixture of standard and superior and suite. Hotel has many restaurants. The cuisine served are Asian, Western and Middle East.There is only one hotel in Phnom Penh offering Halal food.
Juliana Hotel, Phnom Penh
Located in central Phnom Penh, Juliana Hotel Phnom Penh is near the airport and close to Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium, Phsar Thom Thmei, and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Nearby points of interest also include Independence Monument and National Museum. Hotel offers nice outdoor swimming pool and Thai massage. The conference room with standard equipped can combine guests for business and leisure trip. The low-rise resort nested amidst lush garden. Lobby: The beautiful lobby greeting guests with comfortable seats.  Hotel offers wide range of cuisine such as Thai, Chinese and Continental. The buffet lunch is recommended here.
Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh
Raffles Hotel Le Royal is located in Phnom Penh, close to Wat Phnom, Phsar Thom Thmei, and National Museum.  Hotel has beautiful outdoor swimming pool, spa, business center, children club, high-class tailor and souvenir shop. This is traditional luxury property in the heart of the city. It is an inspired blend of khmer, art deco and French colonial architecture, the hotel has been restored by the raffles hotel group of Singapore in the spirit of a tropical palatial residence creating a historical grand hotel. Rooms are to be found in several wings, all faithful to the original design, with high ceilings as was the norm. 
Sunway Hotel, Phnom Penh
Sunway Hotel Phnom Penh is located in central Phnom Penh, close to Wat Phnom, Phsar Thom Thmei, and National Museum. Nearby points of interest also include Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.  Facilities are included fitness center, spa, steam baths, sauna, massage and jacuzzi. Recommend for travellers who looking for hotel with International standard service and reasonable rates. A 6 storey modern concrete building in light pink. Rooms are medium in size, taste fully furnished with bright modern fabrics and wooden furniture. Deluxe balcony room has big balcony overlook the street in front of the hotel. 
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Search for Siem Reap Hotels
Angkor Palace Resort & Spa - A SUMMIT Hotels & Resorts, Siem Reap 
Hotel offers various of facilities included Spa, sauna, steam room, beautiful outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts. The conference room can cater up to 200 people. It has excellent resort atmosphere. Perfect for all types of travelers who looking for a nice and peaceful place away from home, yet with easy access to the major tourist attraction.  The low rise resort style 2 storey overlooking the landscaped garden and swimming pool. There is also private villa with private pool.  The decoration are the blend of modern and Khmer style. Facilities included all you would expect from a five star hotel including a hair dryer and self-service tea and coffee.
Mekong Angkor Paradise Hotel, Siem Reap
Mekong Angkor Paradise Hotel offering 169 beautifully appointed rooms for relaxing in serene comfort and provide breathtaking view from your private balcony. The 169 spacious rooms and suites meet the highest international standards, with rich woodwork and balconies offering stunning views, each room have their own balcony.  The restaurant is located on the ground floor, serving Khmer, Asian & Western a La Carte dishes and Continental cuisine in relax casual atmosphere. Breakfast buffet is available everyday and enjoy the excellent and delicately favored lunch or dinner from our a la carte menu.
Borei Angkor Resort & Spa Hotel, Siem Reap
Hotel's pool area is at the back of the hotel, large in size and are equipped with pool facility such as sun bathing, chairs. Other recreational facilities include Jacuzzi, badminton court and Petanque pitch. Room service and Business center is also available. A white concrete three storey buildings facing the city view. Lobby: Lobby is in medium size with air-conditioning. It is fully furnished with traditional style Khmer furnitures.  The hotel is comprised of standard, deluxe and suite rooms. Standard rooms are all located in the front building and are simply furnished with wooden furniture in Khmer Style. All rooms are clean and properly carpeted. All other suite rooms are available with larger space and finer details of decoration.
La Residence D'Angkor, Siem Reap
Swimming pool area is large and peaceful, guest is able to relax and enjoy the fresh air and take refreshment drink after daily adventure tour from temple complex and local markets. This is high class superior first class hotel in town.Hotel is built in Khmer low rise resort style 3 storey overlooking the landscaped garden and rectangular swimming pool. A boutique charming resort with artful design.  All 55 rooms are spacious and built on parquet floor, modern Khmer style wooden furnitures, bamboo, stone and cotton materials.  Hotel has one main restaurant on the Garden Terrace offering traditional Khmer, similar Thai and western cuisine
Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor, Siem Reap
35 metre lap pool and family fun pool, with poolside pavilion. Exercise par course with ten stations which follows a trail within the compound. Two tennis courts. Fully equipped spa, unsurprisingly the premier one in the country. Library and map room, which also house the business centre. A Sugar Palm Club, children play room. Shops such as Treasure Chest Thai Silk, Lotus room for antique souvenir and beauty salon. A reserved traditional style elevator gives full fun and pleasant atmosphere yet convenience to valuable guests. Unrivalled luxury in the heart of the city, and one of the great hotels of the Orient, also a Raffles property. It is gracious four storey building, a renovation of the original opened in 1931.
Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, Siem Reap
Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort is located in Siem Reap, close to Psar Chaa Market and Angkor Wat. Additional area points of interest include Phnom Bakheng and Angkor Bayon. Dining options at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a golf course. Also located on site are an outdoor pool, a children's pool, a spa tub, and a sauna. The property's full-service health spa has massage/treatment rooms. Guest parking is complimentary. Additional property amenities include a library, a poolside bar, and a coffee shop/café.
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