Phnom Penh is the starting point for a special journey through Cambodia, an exotic land that is gradually transforming itself from a traditional way of life into modern times.
The royal palace and the southern sanctuary of the Wat Preah Keo is one of the most important sights in Phnom Penh. The temple monastery was completed at the beginning of the 19th century and symbolises the religious section of the splendid palace complex that also features a reception area as well as the royal living quarters.
It takes around five hours for the Royal Express Boat to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and after around a hundred kilometres, the boat reaches Tonle Sap Lake. The inhabitants of the Tonle Sap Lake area have adapted to the annual change in the water level when, amazingly, the river reverses itís flow. For many centuries, fishing has been vital to the local people and the lake contains more fish than any other in the world.
Most of the inhabitants of the rural areas around Siem Reap have a very relaxed lifestyle. For tourists, the local scenery is like a great natural paradise but for the regionís farming families, it mainly means hard work.
The highlight of any journey across Cambodia is most certainly to be found within the historic monuments of the Angkor region, such as the Womenís Citadel of Banteay Srei, an extraordinary temple complex.
For the people of Cambodia, the main temple of Angkor Wat is a unique national monument and an imposing sacred building that is to be found on Cambodiaís bank notes, as well as on its national flag.
The boat cruise on the Royal Express is the perfect way to view Cambodiaís scenery and to experience the age old traditions and lifestyle of a land that is slowly saying farewell to its tragic past while optimistically beckoning a bright new future.