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North-western Cambodia

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Revision as of 04:26, 23 February 2012 by Dom wave (talk | contribs) (Understand)

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North-western Cambodia

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Sunrise at Angkor Wat

North-western Cambodia is a region of Cambodia and includes the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Siem Reap and the part of Stoeng Treng to the west of the Mekong.


  • Siem Reap - the largest city of the region and gateway to Angkor
  • Anlong Veng - grim reminders of the Khmer Rouge including Pol Pot's grave, and Ta Mok's derelict house
  • Poipet - an interesting squalor of a town known for it's infamous border crossing
  • Sisophon - a transport hub in the middle of nowhere, with it's own quirky attractions

Other destinations


The north is dominated by the Dangrek Mountains which form the natural barrier between Cambodia and Thailand. Much of the southern part of this region is very flat and fertile leading towards the Tonle Sap - Cambodia's great lake.

Siem Reap is by far the largest city, Sisophon and Poipet both small towns, while Anlong Veng just feels like a large village.

Much of north-western Cambodia live in abject poverty, with the province of Siem Reap being one of the poorest in the country, despite the valuable Angkor Archaeological Park being located within. Like the other regions, infrastructure is a new concept in North-Western Cambodia, with only the national highways paved. Out of the towns, electricity is obtained by using car batteries, at a high cost. Despite the obvious negative effects that a lack of development can have, an advantage (if there was one) would be that the region has been largely left alone by tourists, so those who do tread off the tourist trail get an insight into Cambodia's beautiful struggle.

Get in

By plane

The region is served by Siem Reap - Angkor International Airport [1] (IATA: REP | ICAO: VDSR) which has has frequent domestic flights from Phnom Penh and is internationally linked from the following destinations:

By land

The region is linked by road to several Thai border crossings.

National Highway 5 and 6 were completely re-surfaced in 2009 and run from the Thailand/Poipet border crossing to Sisophon (1 hour), and Sisophon to Siem Reap (90 mins), respectively.

National Highway 67, re-surfaced in 2009 runs from the Thailand/Anlong Veng border crossing, south to Siem Reap (2 hours).

National highway 68, re-surfaced in 2011 runs from the Thailand/O'Smach border crossing south to Kralanh (2 hours), where it joins National Highway 6 for Siem Reap

National Highway 6 from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (5 - 7 hours) is a popular route by bus.

By boat

Hydrofoils ply the route across Tonle Sap Lake from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (6 hours), stopping stopping at Kampong Chhnang, UDS20-25/person.

One boat a day leaves Battambang in Cardamom and Elephant Mountains, destined for Siem Reap (5 - 8 hours). The duration of the trip depends on the level of the river and lake.

Get around


The magnificent ruins of several ancient Khmer cities at Angkor Archaeological Park cover some 400 sq km and this is one of the world's great monuments. These include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations. Angkor was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992 and UNESCO has set up a wide-ranging programme to safeguard this symbolic site and its surroundings.

Angkor itself has no accommodation and few facilities and the nearby town of Siem Reap is the tourist hub for the area.

If Angkor does not fill your appetite for ancient ruins, then there are more at Koh Ker to the north.

Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in south-east Asia and a site of major conservation importance.




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