Top Travel Destinations in 2023

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Because It’s Not Just About Temples Anymore

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Al fresco dining at Cambodia’s Shinta Mani Wild, opening this month.KRISHNA ADITHYA PRAJOGO

For decades Cambodia has been a quick hit trip to Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat tacked onto a longer stay in Thailand or Vietnam. But new lodgings are making the former Khmer Empire a destination in its own right. Set in a wilderness corridor between Bokor and Kirirom national parks, spectacular Shinta Mani Wild has 15 platform tents perched over a rushing river (the creation of uber–resort designer Bill Bensley). The property’s look is inspired by luxury safaris of a bygone era, but its mission is thoroughly modern: to provide employment and protect flora and fauna. You can help out on poaching patrol, go mountain biking, or hit the spa. Farther south are the Gulf of Thailand’s tranquil island resorts. The rustic-luxe villas at Song Saa Private Island Resort (a longtime favorite) are now being joined by more modernist digs on neighboring islands, including Alila Villas Koh Russey and Six Senses Krabey Island. For cruise fans, Aqua Expeditions has four-night river trips between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh aboard the deluxe Aqua Mekong (20 suites, floor-to-ceiling windows, outdoor pool). In the capital, the historic Raffles drips with French Colonial charm, while the towering new Rosewood hotel anchors the city firmly in the 21st century.

TO BOOK: AndrewBooth can help you beat the crowds at Angkor Wat, introduce you to lost culinary traditions in Phnom Penh, and arrange other unique experiences. A.BOOTH@ABOUTASIATRAVEL.COM. (K.F.)

Song Saa Private Island Resort READ REVIEWS



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