Oudong is the former capital of Cambodia, it is built on a hill of the same name. Oudong (also spelt Oudong) was the capital from 1618 until 1866, when the French convinced King Norodom to move the royal court to Phnom Penh. Oudong is in Kampong Speu Province that is a small town 40km Northwest of Phnom Penh. It is located at the basis of the twin-hill Phnom Penh, which is crowned by historical Buddhist stupas, being the main attraction of this World Heritage Site.
There a new stupa which also is a beautiful attraction, like Buddhist mausoleum, was designed according to traditional Khmer architecture and adorned with authentically reproduced Angkorian decoration. Explore the local life is another interesting aspect of your Cambodia trip. Among them, Kompong Luong ( Silver Craft Village ) has been famous for its handcrafted products of pure silver which will be distributed to both local and foreign markets.
The best time to visit Oudong is during the dry season (from November to February) when the countryside is still green from previous rain but there is less chance of rain ruining your trip.
2. Koh Kong - an eco tourism province
Koh Kong is the southwestern province of Cambodia. This is a home of Cambodia’s remarkable spot undeveloped coastline, natural landscape and habitats including deserted islands, beaches, thundering waterfalls, mangrove-lined rivers, which embraces part of the Cardamom Mountains as the second largest virgin rainforest in Southeast Asia.
Peam Krasaop Wildlife Sanctuary located in southwestern Cambodia. The area is known for its mangroves and numerous islands separated by a maze of bays and channels. Peam Krasaop Wildlife Sanctuary consists of 23,750 hectares and has around 10,000 people living within its borders. The main gateway to Peam Krasaop Wildlife Sanctuary is the settlement of Boeng Kayak (Bankayak), where the local community has built a one-kilometer mangrove walk that consists of a series of elevated walkways, a suspension bridge and a 15-metre observation tower offering fantastic bird-spotting opportunities, or hire a boat to explore its myriad of canals and small villages.
Tatai waterfall is a must see (destination) when visiting Koh Kong. As you sail down to the Tatai river, you will explored with the beauty all around. At the final bend along the river, you are set to peek around the corner where the Tatai waterfall is situated. This is the heart of the Cardamom jungle to the far-off sounds of exotic birds and its secretive wildlife, alternating with a discovery in the mangroves to meet the fishing families in Koh Kong village. After leaving the falls, you can paddle your kayak to a traditional Cambodia farm to see the rice paddy-fields and some fruit trees.
Located in Koh Kong’s conservation corridor, Koh Kong Island is one of nature’s brightest gems located along the Gulf of Siam. There are six white powdery beaches each stretching kilometre after kilometre, while a canopy of coconut trees shade the glassy-smooth aqua waters. This is a good place to relax around beaches and jungle, so you can do some snorkeling or trekking into the jungle and reach the island by boat from the mainland in 40 – 120 minutes. Then head down to the island’s only settlement at the fishing village of Alatan, just near another of Koh Kong’s natural wonders - Botum Sakor.
3. Kep - The mysterious national park in Cambodia
Angkor Wat is known such as historical temple, Koh Rong Samloem is likely an paradise island. And what about Kep? The natural charm and beauty of the national park stands out as being one of the greatest attractions of the country.
The tropical forest of Kep National Park covers 50 square kms of the centre of the Kep Province and consists of three main Phnoms (Khmer for mountains) – Krasaing, Kep Toch and Kep Thom. So, this area is definitely for walking - the main eight-kilometre trail takes about three hours. A number of smaller trails of varying difficulty can be followed instead.
The adventure trails with beautiful panoramic views, fascinating flora and fauna and even some cooler air for those venturing here during the summer months. The moderate hike along the main path is an 8km circle around the park. However, those looking for a more challenging workout can take the transverse path or check out the various trails to sites such as Nun’s Pass, Stone Horse, and Little Buddha. For refreshments along the way, stops can be made at The Led Zep Café or, when further into the jungle, the Jasmine Valley Eco-Resort.
If you want a best sunset view in town, be sure to make the 182 meter climb to Sunset Rock and watch the setting sun as it lights up the sky before disappearing beneath the horizon (don’t forget to bring a torch to navigate your way back).
4. Bokor mountain - The beauty of the Bokor national park
Bokor Mountain is located in Kampot Province of Cambodia. The Khmer named this mountain is Bokor because the mountain looks like the hunchback on the back of the cow at a distance. The mountain of Bokor has 1080 meter-high, the pristine woodland, beautiful natural view and fog throughout the year have made Bokor is a hot destination for travelers who are looking for adventure with a sprinkle of eeriness. By the 1920s, the top of Bokor mountain was built into a resort including airports, restaurants, hotels, casino, bar and church.
At the top of Bokor Mountain is the Bokor Hill Station - the Cambodian abandoned resort town. In the French colonial period, this place became the resort for French senior officials in the first Indochina war of the 1940s. The main feature of the resort was the Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino. Besides the Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino there was a post office, shops, church and royal apartments. These areas have an already creepy vibe, but when the fog and clouds roll in, it makes for an even eerier setting than can run chills down your spine.
There are a number of additional sites worth visiting depending on your interests. You can head over to the Popokvil Waterfall. The falls are not safe for swimming, but it is a good spot to have lunch and enjoy the view. There is the spiritual destination- the temple of the Wat Sampov Pram that next to the highest mountain edge. In front of the pagoda, there have 5 large rocks look like sailboats and a shaped rock likes the alligator. Finally, a stop at the Lok Yeay Mao Monument will provide amazing views of the Gulf of Thailand & in the distance Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island. If you look carefully you can see the sun glimmering off of the salt fields in the valley approaching the ocean.
5. Banteay Chhmar - The hidden treasures in Cambodia
Banteay Chhmar is one of the most important national treasures in Cambodia. It consists of a XII century Angkorian temple complex. One of its masterpieces is the so called “Temple of the cat” which is to be renovated by the Global Heritage Fund. It also contains both barays (rectangular water reservoirs) from ancient times and from under the Pol Pot regime.
Banteay Chhmar temple is amazing and attractive for travelers who want to visit here. This area is rich in historical structures that are surrounded by lush vegetation and in an area that is largely untouched. This is also one of the few temple complexes that include the face towers with the enigmatic smiles. Travelers to the Banteay Chmar Temple can expect to find plenty of well preserved carvings that are lost among the broken colonnades and ruins. Other smaller temples in the local area in a ruinous state include the Prasat Ciem Trey, Pranang Ta Sok, Yeay Choun, Prom Muk Buon, Ta Prohm and Prasat Mebon.
The countryside is so peaceful so it’s very worth to explore. You can hire a bicycle or scooter and spend hours enjoying the rural scenery. Another choice is the local slik center. You will have the chance to meet and interact with the local people to learn about the drastically different lifestyles. In the morning, you can take part in one of some activities in here such as: listen to traditional music, make a scrumptious meal with a local family or join in one of the many Cambodian festival and ceremonies. At night, enjoy a traditional dinner by wooden torches by staying in a homestay, which make an interesting experience to envelope into the Cambodian culture.