Sihanoukville was hacked out of the jungle in the late 1950s to create Cambodia’s first and only deep-water port, in an effort to expand international trade. Today it offers golden beaches and Ream National Park, for bird watching and boat trips through the mangrove channels. Most importantly, this is the gateway to the charming capital of Phnom Penh, with its Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda; and Siem Reap, home of the Khmer civilization that flourished from the 9th through the 15th centuries, and built the celebrated temples of Angkor, some now restored to their former majesty, others resting silent and mysterious in the stillness of their jungle settings.
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