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  • Top 3 Cambodian villages for rural holidays

    Cambodia, photo by missmei

    The first thing that comes to mind at a mention of Cambodia are temples in general, and Angkor Wat in particular, or if you are the type to look on the gloomy side of things, Cambodia pretty much equals Khmer Rouge and a depressing history of being dominated by other nations. But Cambodia is so much more than ancient temples and memorials dedicated to the victims of the reign of terror.

    Cambodia might be poor and still rebuilding itself, but it is imbued with a kind of magic that is difficult to resist. One way to enjoy this magic is to spend some time in the countryside, and get to know the culture, the people, and experience the small pleasures of day to day life, like sunshine, good food and friendly people. Here are top 5 Cambodian villages for rural holidays.

    Wat Amphil

    photo by ND Strupler

    Wat Amphil, not far from Siem Reap, is a jewel of a Cambodian village surrounded by fresh green rice paddies, The centerpiece of village life is a small and modest temple that glows with life, and allows you to observe the mundane bustle of the villagers.

    While the village is too small for any actual attractions, the village and the area surrounding is incredibly scenic and walkable. There are rural tours that can arrange the trip from Siem Reap as well as accommodation and activities, but traveling to Wat Amphil on your own (camping or on a day trip) is possible and really fun.

    Banteay Chmaar

    The commune of Banteay Chmaar in northwestern Cambodia is a popular destination for those who want to experience rural Cambodian life at a homestay. The fourteen villages that make up the commune are well known for the Banteay Chmaar temple complex, one of the most mysterious and fascinating ruins dating back to the Angkor period. You’ll not only be able to experience village life and local cuisine, but you also get to leisurely explore the temple and surrounding shrines as well as the pleasant countryside.

    Treak Village

    photo by missmei on Flickr

    Treak Village is a great favorite of various eco and responsible travel tours, and it provides and unmissable opportunity to meet and talk with locals about their lives, and to visit the age-old rice paddies surrounding the village.

    Treak is very close to Seam Reap, and most travelers who visit it do so on day trips. Although it’s easy to visit the village independently, tours are the best way to get the most out of the experience, and to get in touch with locals.

    Seeing as many tour agencies give their tour revenues to an enrichment fund that goes towards village projects, visiting Treak is the perfect activity for responsible travelers.

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