SISOPHON, called Svay (mango) by the locals in these parts (no one seems to know why), and Banteay Meanchey by the bus companies, is the jumping-off point for a day-trip to the massive Angkorian temple ruins of Banteay Chhmar and Banteay Tuop. Though there’s nothing much to do in the scruffy, dusty town, it’s something of a diamond in the rough, being one of the friendliest places in Cambodia.

Banteay Chhmar apart, you can also use the town as the base to visit a few minor attractions on the border with Siem Reap province: the stone-carving village of Choob; Phnom Sarok, a traditional weaving village where they produce their own silkworms; and Ang Trapaeng Thmor, a reservoir rebuilt by forced labour under the Khmer Rouge and now designated a nature reserve for rare Sarus cranes.