Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ – 4 adventure travel stars

The mystery of Angkor Wat

The mystery of Angkor Wat

Cambodia is one of the emerging adventure travel favorites for Southeast Asia. They’’re relatively new to the scene after the devastation done by the Khmer Rouge in the ‘70s, but Cambodia is now finding its place on the world tourism stage.

This exotic land of mystery and intrigue has its share of steamy jungles, vibrant cities and ancient culture ready to be explored by those with an eye for the unusual and an adventuresome spirit.

There’’s a magical quality about Cambodia, and you’’ll be drawn to the unique rhythm of this land as you experience jungle life from the back of an elephant, observe the Mekong dolphins at Kratie and explore the natural beauty of the magnificent waterfalls and unspoiled crater lakes.

Just so you know, you do need to be careful in Cambodia because it does have its dangers.

Landmines are a problem in many areas, especially along the border with Thailand, and there are extremist groups that don’’t like Westerners. They will sometimes attack tourist areas, clubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, outdoor recreation venues, beach resorts, and other places frequented by foreigners. So, be careful.

The bottom line: While Cambodia is no longer a secret, this little adventure travel gem isn’’t yet run over by tourists either. So, now would be a good time to go before others discover this emerging adventure travel treasure.

Exotic Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – 5 adventure travel stars

When Cambodia comes to mind chances are you think of the colorful garb of ethnic hill peoples and ancient temples visible through a light mist. But that’’s just the beginning of the exotic adventures waiting for you there.

You’’ll find river expeditions to remote areas that will seem to take you back in time, witness unusual religious ceremonies and taste strange and exotic flavors as you experience this land of an ancient civilization.

The exotic nature of Cambodia has both an inspiring and a very dark side to it as you learn about the fascinating culture of the Khmer Empire and then descend into the hell of the Khmer Rouge.

For those looking for new and exciting experiences, Cambodia is filled with intrigue and mystery just waiting to unfold before your eyes and imagination.

Cultural Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ – 4 adventure travel stars

Cambodia’’s culture has been greatly influenced by China and India going back many centuries.

Much of the culture draws on religious inspiration as evidenced in the stunning Hindu temple at Angkor. Buddhism is the predominate religion, but Hinduism and a unique Khmer belief system come into play as well.

During the 1970’s Cambodia was decimated by the despotic rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. That left an ugly scar on the culture, but Cambodians have overcome the devastation to the point where the country is now becoming one of the bright spots in Southeast Asia.

There are many things to learn about the fascinating Khmer Empire, which was one of the most powerful empires in Southeast Asia from about the 9th to the 13th century. It stretched far and wide to cover areas of Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Malaysia.

The Cambodian cuisine, while not as spicy or diverse as neighboring Thailand, is both delicious and inexpensive. They do like flavors that tend to sway to the sour side, so be ready for some interesting dishes that may shock your taste buds.

One culinary favorite that should agree with you is called amok, and it’’s a combination of chicken, fish, or shrimp, plus some vegetables. You might want to give that one a try.

Adventure Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ – 3 adventure travel stars

Cambodia is a great adventure travel destination for backpackers, trekkers and hikers. The national parks, beaches and exotic tropical areas keep them coming back year after year.

Eco tourism is on the rise in the spacious tropical wilderness of the Cardamom Mountains where you can also do some exciting wildlife watching for the Indochinese tiger, Asian elephant and clouded leopard.

You’’ll also find some of the traditional hard adventure travel experiences like white water rafting, scuba diving and paragliding.

Cambodia is opening up a little more every year to adventure travelers seeking new places to go and things to do. If you like the Southeast Asian experience, add Cambodia to your list.


  • Canoeing
  • Elephant riding
  • Four wheel drive trips
  • Hunting
  • Jungle exploring
  • Motorcycling
  • Mountain biking
  • Paragliding
  • Rock climbing
  • Scuba diving
  • Sea kayaking
  • Skydiving
  • Snorkeling
  • Spelunking (caving)
  • White water rafting


  • Bird watching
  • Cultural tours
  • Eco tours
  • Nature trips
  • Walking tours

Could be either

  • Backpacking
  • Bicycling
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Flying
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Quad-biking / ATVs
  • Safaris
  • Sailing
  • Trekking
  • Wildlife watching