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CAMBODIA
 
Cambodia has had a pretty bad run of luck for the last half-millennium or so. Ever since the fall of Angkor in 1431, the once mighty Khmer Empire has been plundered by all its neighbours. It was colonialized by the French in the 19th century, and during the 1970s suffered heavy carpet bombing by the USA. After a false dawn of independence in 1953, Cambodia promptly plunged back into the horrors of civil war in 1970 to suffer the Khmer Rouge's incredibly brutal reign of terror, and only after UN-sponsored elections in 1993 did the country begin to totter back onto its feet. For decades off limits to all but the most intrepid tourists, today Southeast Asia's Cambodia is a popular destination for all kinds of travelers.
 
ANGKOR WAT
 
The ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat is Cambodia's national treasure. Angkor Wat ("City Temple") is a vast temple complex near Siem Reap, about 200 miles from the capital of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Built in the 12th century by the king of the prosperous Khmer empire, Angkor Wat was built as a royal temple dedicated to a Hindu deity. After the city of Angkor fell to invaders, Angkor Wat receded into the jungle but continued as a Buddhist temple and a pilgrimage site over the centuries. Angkor Wat is the best preserved example of Khmer architecture in Cambodia and is so grand in design that some rank it among the seven wonders of the world. It appears on the Cambodian national flag, a very rare instance of a flag incorporating an image of a building. The "lost city" of Angkor first attracted the interest of Europeans in the 1800s after Cambodia was colonized by the French. Today, Angkor Wat continues to draw thousands of visitors anxious to see this remarkable ancient temple in the jungle.
 
SIEM REAP
A cluster of villages along the river of the same name, Northern Cambodia's Siem Reap (which means "Siam Defeated") is a gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park. The impressive park is home to the Khmer temple ruins of Angkor Wat. Siem Reap has developed dramatically since the days Angelina Jolie filmed Tomb Raider here and fell in love with the nation. While some lament the discovery of Angkor by the masses, the site is still breathtaking and Siem Reap offers all the comforts one could wish for on any budget.
PHNOM PENH
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia. It is a great city with lots of things to do and see. The town is spread out on the banks of two rivers. The main sights in town include Wat Phnom from where you have great views over the city, the Silver Pagoda in the Royal Palace complex, where you can see the emerald Buddha and a Buddha made of solid gold. The National Museum is also worth a visit. Other sights include the Phnom Temple, the Orchid Garden, the central market and a 15th-century pagoda or you can take a boat ride on the Mekong River to see the floating villages and a crocodile farm.