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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

While the majority of the best-known and, of course, most frequently visited, Angkorean temples are situated in Siem Reap province and northwestern Cambodia, the well-preserved, hill-top sanctuary of Phnom Chisor, located in the opposite – southeastern – region of the country, is a reminder of the geographical extent of these fabulous ancient temples. Spectacular and often still intact, ancient Khmer…

The Phimai National Museum in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, (commonly known to locals as Khorat), was actually, officially closed for renovation during our recent visit although, fortunately, sympathetic staff allowed us to wander the museum grounds nonetheless. Many of the larger artefacts are on permanent display in outside areas anyway and a lot of exhibits had been temporarily moved out of…

The Hindu god Indra ought to be very familiar to anyone who’s undertaken even the briefest of visits to any of the famous Angkorian temples, whether it’s Angkor itself, Wat Phu in Laos or Khmer temples such as Phanom Rung or Phimai in northeastern Thailand. His likeness is carved into myriad lintels over eastern doorways, ensconced on his ubiquitous 3-headed…

We have covered this topic in earlier posts but, with several Southeast Asian sites having been added to UNESCO’s list in recent times, here’s a brief update of Cambodia World Heritage Sites, as well as some of the candidates on its Tentative List. Current Sites Considering the wealth of unique archaeological and historical sites across the kingdom we can’t help…

The now rather remote and rarely visited site of Koh Ker was for a brief period in the early 10th-century the capital of the vast Khmer empire. Lying in the Cambodian province of Preah Vihear, around 3 hours’ drive from Siem Reap Town, this extensive complex of forest ruins is what remains today of the imperial city of Lingapura constructed by…

The vast, ruined temple complex of Banteay Chhmar is well off the regular beaten Angkor path and although only 3 to 4 hours’ drive from Siem Reap sees very few visitors. The somewhat remote location – close to the Thai border in the far northwest of the kingdom – does mean that the elaborate 12th-century site had been, until very…

Surprisingly, some of the most spectacular and best-preserved of all Angkor period temples aren’t even in Cambodia. The magnificent 11th and 12th-century sites of Phnom Rung and Muang Tam – the former spectacularly perched atop an ancient volcano, the latter surrounded by delightful lily ponds – are actually situated in northeastern Thailand’s Buriram Province. Furthermore, one of the most attractive…

Coming up, and based on nearly 20 years of leading tours to Cambodia’s UNESCO World Heritage site; a few small Angkor tips and suggestions on how to optimise your temple visit. Firstly though one very big tip! Try and time your visit for the low season. The awesome, often jungle-clad, temples in Western Cambodia are obviously today a huge draw…

Sambor Prei Kuk; – the earliest known Khmer city in Cambodia is a superb site, yet one that’s largely overlooked by visitors to the kingdom. Dozens of decorated brick towers dating from the 6th and 7th centuries – some ruinous, some still remarkably well preserved, are scattered through picturesque forest some 30 kms north of the provincial town of Kompong…

Bagan sunsets and sunrises. The harsh light of Bagan can make temple photography during the middle of the day somewhat hard work and for your more atmospheric and photogenic opportunities, you’ll be restricted to those relatively short early morning and late afternoon times. Don’t worry during the intervening period there are more manageable village and rural life subjects since villages,…

Photographing Bagan – a few tips. Estimates of the precise figure vary but suffice to say there is the best part of 2,000 temples, pagodas, stupas, chedis and monasteries scattered across the wide plain between the Irrawaddy to the east and the range of low hills to the west. Differences between the categories of religious sites can also be somewhat…

Traditionally the kingdom’s 2nd largest city, the western town of Battambang Cambodia has surely been overtaken by now by booming Siem Reap and although still relatively prosperous from the Province’s fine farming land, (indeed it’s sometimes known as ‘Cambodia’s rice bowl’), it has been largely bypassed by the country’s tourism boom. Well until recently that is but these days Battambang’s…

In 2008 Cambodia’s magnificent mountain top Angkor period temple, Preah Vihear received UNESCO World Heritage status and to our minds justifiably so, even if it did provoke some serious bickering between the neighbours Thailand and Cambodia as to exactly which side of the border the surrounding area belonged to. Whilst Thailand’s Khao Pra Viharn public toilets, snack bars and car…

Came across this nameless Angkor period ruined temple whilst poking around in some villages outside of Siem Reap recently: even the locals didn’t have a name for it and though these days the few remaining stones scattered across the grounds of a contemporary Buddhist watnf don’t really merit the term ‘temple’ it’s interesting to think that even these meagre remains…