This beguiling country in Southeast Asia has captured the hearts and imaginations of travellers from all over the world. Travel photographer Fiona Campbell is one of many entranced by its magic; here she shares 11 of her favourite photos. 

What makes Cambodia extraordinary is its cheerful, smiling people. Despite the fragility of this country, these are broadly some of the most relaxed, happiest people I have ever encountered.

There is an irresistible sense of freedom in this delicately drawn country. In a place where you can carry a wardrobe on a moped and no one bats an eyelid, you feel you can do anything. The coast near Sihanoukville, where islands the size of Hong Kong are almost entirely, blissfully undeveloped, is a last outpost of wilderness; staring out to Koh Rong you feel a palpable sense of adventure.

This is a creative place. The great Angkor temples, with their twisting cotton trees and multi-hued sandstone buildings are said to be presided over by Vishnu, god of creation. Look out for the many Apsaras, or angels, carved dancing and almost disappearing in the rock face, surrounded by half ruined temples stacked like fallen dominoes. In Phnom Penh there is a thriving art scene, too, revolving around the Java Arts Café.

And then there are the joyous sunsets, frivolously yellowish gold, like the earth of Cambodia. Perhaps it is simply the beauty of the place that makes everyone smile.

Huts off the coast of Koh Rong

A watermelon seller at the market on stilts near Tonle Sap lake

Kids play in the ruins of Angkor Wat

A village on stilts near Tonle Sap Lake

Novice monks play with their phones in the Angkor Temples

Sunset on the coast of Cambodia

A temple at sunset

A Buddhist water blessing at the Hotel Residence d’Angkor, Siem Reap

A street stall in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fishing boats off the coast of Sihanoukville

A gorgeous view of the coast in Sihanoukville

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