Browsing Asian destinations on Orbitz.com reveals destinations characterized by unique blends of old and new, as well as East and the West. Cambodia is an excellent example of this, with its historical sites and hip, energetic cities. As the successor to the once mighty Khmer empire, Cambodia's most impressive attraction is the temple complex at Angkor, the ultimate expression of the Khmer's architectural genius. The main temple, the Angkor Wat, is its most important feature, displaying a scale and grandeur unrivaled in Southeast Asia.
Cambodia also attracts visitors to its Cardamon Mountains in the southern part of the country. This protected forest, which showcases wetlands, lowland evergreen forests and riparian forests, has become a launching pad for ecotourism adventures, with its elusive wildlife and lush tropical forests.
Like most parts of Southeast Asia, the weather in Cambodia ranges from warm to very hot, with alternating wet and dry seasons. With average daily temperatures ranging from 85 degrees Fahrenheit to the mid-90s, the best time to plan a trip is during the cool and dry season from November to February, after the rains have stopped and before the worst of the heat hits. Alternatively, travelers can visit Cambodia towards the end of the rainy season in October. At this the time the temples at Angkor are at their most beautiful and less crowded, and prices are more reasonable.
Located 45 miles from Siem Reap, the sprawling ruins of this sandstone temple are nearly as big as Angkor Wat and never get too crowded with visitors.
Shop for Buddhist trinkets and souvenirs, and sample local food at cheap prices from the numerous food stalls in the Old Market.
Eat authentic French fare on immaculate white linens right across from the temples at this French-owned, open-air restaurant.
Sample local flavors such as stir-fried frogs' legs at Meric's, where the excellent seven-course Khmer menu changes daily.
Sign up for a day trip, or a 12-day dirt bike adventure through impassable roads from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap in the Cardamon Mountains, and explore hidden temples, camp in the jungles, and share meals with the locals for an entirely different Cambodian experience.
Twenty miles northeast of Siem Reap, this museum allows visitors a look at another portion of Cambodia's history, focusing on political upheavals such as the Khmer Rouge insurgency.
Two and a half hours from the mainland, this island features 30 miles of breathtaking, picture-perfect, white-sand beaches and a calm aquamarine surf.
To see more of the breathtaking coast, arrange to visit the islands off Sihanoukville's shore: Koh Rong Samloem, Koh Thmei, Koh ta Kiev and Koh Totang.
Meet the ghosts of Cambodia's Khmer past in Bokor Hill, an abandoned former French colonial outpost, which played host to the Khmer Rouge.
Avoid traffic by taking the Asian rickshaw, the tuk-tuk, the Cambodian version of which features a motorbike that pulls a cabin-style trailer.
Cambodia's Wild West, which used to be the center of smuggling activities, now offers ecotourism destinations such as Koh Kong Island, Peam Krasaop Wildlife Sanctuary and Botum Sakor National Park.
Explore more of Cambodia's untamed wilderness through eco-adventure treks to hill tribe villages located near this town.
Get up close and personal with endangered animals such as elephants, gibbons and hornbills at this National Park in Cambodia's northeast sector.
A city-focused trip need not be uneventful with hands-on cooking classes featuring the local cuisine held on a picturesque terrace overlooking the river.
Score good bargains on Western clothing from the local garment factories as well as unique souvenir items to take home.