Cambodia? The name sends shivers down plenty of spines, associated as it is with the terrible crimes of Pol Pot. But those who have visited the country know that there is much more to it than its horrific recent history. Cambodia is a stunning country full of friendly people, gorgeous beaches, ancient cities and green fields. You won’t forget a Cambodia paragliding flight…
Cambodia’s beaches are attracting growing numbers of western tourists, with Sihanoukville being at the heart of the action. The resort has several beaches, with Otres being the quietest: a largely undeveloped stretch of sand with facilities for coastal paragliding. You can fly along the coast, or go cross-country over the rice paddies.
Near Sihanoukville, the ghost city of Bokor is also an established paragliding site. It sits on cliffs by the sea, backed by mountains in the Bokor National Park. It was built in the 1920s by the French as an escape from the heat of Phnom Penh, but abandoned when the Khmer Rouge attacked. It is a hugely atmospheric place to fly over. The take-off point is up on a mountain ridge, with the landing along the coast. See it soon, though: it’s up for redevelopment.
Cambodia’s star attraction, Angkor, is incredible seen from the air. The huge scale and extent of Angkor’s ruined temples can only really be seen from on high. The area doesn’t offer ideal conditions for traditional paragliding, but a growing number are seeing Angkor from powered paragliders. It’s worth doing, even if that’s not your usual style!
A Cambodia paragliding trip allows you gain a unique perspective on this beguiling, often tragic, but always beautiful country. The paragliding industry there is young, but is likely to grow as the country’s infrastructure does. Watch this space!