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Cambodia has an incredibly complex history. On the positive side, there is the historical fact that the Angkor period was one in which the Cambodians ruled a chunk of Asia. On the sad side, Cambodia has also been the home to many wars and the genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s. Let's take a closer look.

In my opinion, Angkor blows away the pyramids in Egypt for pure beauty, scope and stature. Located just outside the small city of Siem Riep, the Angkor complex is definitely one of the wonders of the world. The capital of the ancient Khmer rulers in the 12th century, the area is thousands upon thousands of acres and is simply stunning. For comparison purposes, over 1 million Khmer were living in the capital at a time when only 5,000 inhabited a little town called London. It is simply ancient and in amazingly good shape.

First and foremost is Angkor Wat, the best preserved of the structures. This is the structure you see in advertisements, movies such as Tomb Raider and so on. The structure is the first you see when entering Angkor and is in near pristine condition. The large towers you see are modeled after the lotus flower and you can walk throughout the structure. Interestingly, the stairs are extremely narrow, which forces you to bend over as you ascend. This was the Khmer rulers was of ensuring all visiting dignitaries bowed before the might of the Khmer.

In addition to Angkor Wat, there are hundreds of other structures in the area. Make sure to check out Roluos and Angkor Thom as well as the gate into the Bayon. By the way, Angkor means temple.

Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and a typical Asian city. It is loud, smoggy and crazy. Still, it is definitely worth a few days. You can visit the killing fields just outside of town and the monuments memorializing the victims of the genocide. It is pretty brutal, so prepare yourself to see bones sticking out of the ground. The death camp at Tuol Sleng Prison, a high school turned into a death camp, will stun you. On the positive side, the city is exploding with modernization and the markets are absolutely a steal. You can buy gold, cameras and practically anything for pennies on the dollar. I loaded up in a big way and lugged all around Asia.

These are just the main Cambodia tourist attractions. Places such as Sihanoukville [beaches, diving], Battambang and Ratnakiri are all worth a visit. The Cambodians are very friendly, so get out there if at all possible.

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