Visitors from all over the world are drawn to the stunning scenery and mystical culture, steeped in history and tradition, of Southeast Asia. Laos and Cambodia are a true travelers’ dream. If you need to get away, these two nations are as “away” as you can get. Forget the smartphones, computers, tablets, and gadgets: in Laos and Cambodia, you can get lost in the beauty of the land and in the hospitality of its pleasant people.
Cambodia is rapidly becoming a prime tourist destination, particularly at its most famous site, Angkor Wat. The Buddhist temple complex is not only a stunning feat of architecture; it has great religious and cultural importance as well. As much as visitors love the ruins, natives respect and revere it. In the middle of the jungle, the connection between man and nature is deeply felt; despite a crowd (over half a million people visit Angkor Wat each year), it is an ideal place to reflect and enjoy a quiet sunset.
Laos, too, offers an exceptional experience at its Pha That Luang temple in Vientiane. Dating from the third century, the gold-covered stupa has been kept up, and its striking appearance is a source of great pride for the Lao people. Another stop worth taking: the Patuxay Monument, also in Vientiane. It is often referred to as Laos’s “Arc de Triomphe.” It is, in fact, modeled after the French monument, but it is embellished with Buddhist mythological characters.
Many of Laos and Cambodia’s greatest attractions are similarly connected with spirituality and religion and invite the guest, if he or she wants, to reflect. The pace of life is much slower than in the Western world, and in many areas, it is untouched by digital gadgets and constant connectivity. Disconnecting from our phones gives us the chance to connect with the wonders of these two unique nations.
You have a gold mine of natural beauty and cultural sites at your fingertips. One of the best aspects of visiting Laos and Cambodia is that it is budget-friendly. Accommodations, food, attractions, and souvenirs are cheap, especially compared with many European, central Asian, and North American destinations.
Why not stay a day or two, or a week or two, longer? In this corner of the world, it is possible to get lost in the history and the beauty –in fact, you’ll find it very difficult to leave!