There is the endless list of places you must see or things you must do in Cambodia, which is dotted with an array of unforgettable views, people and experiences that will ensure you have a memorable time visiting the Kingdom of Wonder. Many flock to Cambodia for the prospect of witnessing its spectacular temples, timeless ruins, undisturbed beaches, and for experiencing its rich, cultural heritage.
Discover a land that is inherently spiritual and deeply traditional. Visit Southeast Asia’s religious centres, from Chiang Mai to Yangon, Luang Prabang to Siem Reap. Participate in time-honou...More
An enchanting land steeped in history, Cambodia beckons the intrepid traveller. Focus on Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to connect the country’s intriguing past with its present charm. See the icon...More
Get a look at two of Asia’s most complex but beloved countries. In Cambodia and Myanmar explore sites that echo of glorious former kingdoms and of tragic recent events. Experience pristine sw...More
Tap in to Cambodian culture and history with guided, insightful tours. See the blend of old and new in the capital and venture along the Mekong to charming riverside towns. Get an in-depth look at...More
Khmer Empire ruins and history, centuries-old temples, and warm local hospitality make a tour to Cambodia a truly authentic adventure for experienced travelers. This Essential Cambodia trip will br...More
Hit the road and discover the wonderful diversity of Cambodia with this Highlights of Cambodia Tour. Loop around the country from temple-laden Siem Reap to the glittering capital of Phnom Penh. In...More
No trip to Cambodia is complete without a stop-off at Angkor Archaeological Park. The sprawling UNESCO World Heritage site is peppered with hundreds of ancient temples...
More than just a circus, Phare performers use theater, music, dance and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories; historical, folk and modern. The young c...
For the lovers of art, theatrics, & dance, the Apsara Show, or the traditional Khmer performance, is one of the best things to do in Cambodia. This cultural dance...
One of the major attractions of Cambodia that drive people to visit this paradise is its food. A typical Cambodian meal consists of rice and a fish item. Often called...
If you can stomach it, then go really local with your food and sample some of the insects Cambodians love to eat. The town of Skuon in Kampong Cham is famous for servi...
Cambodia has some of the most relaxed, laid-back beaches in Southeast Asia. Among the varied popular Cambodia tourist attractions are the sandy, pretty beaches of Siha...
The beauty of Cambodia isn’t just limited to what one sees on the surface, but also in the vast, vibrant world underneath. The diving sites in Sihanoukville are...
With its massive variety of inexpensive handicraft products, shopping in Cambodia is a natural therapy for shopping freaks.
Some of the best things to buy in Ca...
Another of the enlivening Cambodia attractions are its spa therapies that are rather different from the usual Southeastern spa. The traditional Khmer spa has a distinc...
Battambang isn’t the most popular destination for travellers passing through Cambodia, but those who do make it to the northwestern part of the country know abou...
The Mekong River is a Southeast Asian icon, slicing through six countries as it makes its way from Tibet to Vietnam. In Cambodia, it enters the northeastern province o...
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A playground for locals, Phnom Kulen (literally Mountain of the Lychees) is a gorgeous day out. The main attraction is the waterfalls at the top of Kulen Mountain and it’s also a great picnic spot; well set up in Cambodian style with hammocks and shelters to keep you shaded from the sun. It’s around 1.5-2 hours drive from Siem Reap and if you go all the way to the top by van or car, you need to get there early, as the road is one-way traffic only.
Additionally, it is a very sacred site with multiple temples easily accessible. Two sites most noted are the Thousand Lingas at Kbal Spean, within the Kulen National Park site and Preah Ang Thom pagoda with its giant reclining Buddha. The area is a magnet to “kru khmer” (natural medicine doctors), and attracts people seeking blessings from its holy waters, particularly the potent life-giving waters at Kbal Spean, that are said to help couples conceive.
Preah Vihear Temple (Prasat Preah Vihear) is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-metre (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over ownership, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the temple is in Cambodia.
Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-century-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire's spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles.
Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north–south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the Khao Phra Wihan National Park which borders it in Thailand's Sisaket province, though it is no longer accessible from Thailand.
On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Deep in the forests of Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, the elegant spires of an ancient stone city soar skyward above the sprawling complex of Angkor Archaeological Park.
The Khmer Empire’s various capitals thrived here from the 9th to 15th centuries, while their rulers presided over an empire that stretched from Myanmar (Burma) to Vietnam. Including forested areas and newly discovered “suburbs” Angkor covers more than 400 square kilometers.
Though just one of hundreds of surviving temples and structures, the massive Angkor Wat is the most famed of all Cambodia’s temples - it appears on the nation’s flag - and it is revered for good reason. The 12th century “temple-mountain” was built as a spiritual home for the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is an architectural triumph laden with artistic treasures like the bas-relief galleries that line many walls and tell enduring tales of Cambodian history and legend.
In other parts of Angkor such art depicts scenes of daily life - offering scholars a precious window into the past.
Reading the below epic guide for Angkor Archaeological Park, you will have all the information you need from its history, maps, best time to visit and so on to have the best out of your Angkor tours
Banteay Kdei Temple (Prasat Banteay Kdei), meaning "A Citadel of Chambers", also known as "Citadel of Monks' cells", is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom.
Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII (who was posthumously given the title "Maha paramasangata pada"), it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister.
This Buddhist monastic complex is currently dilapidated due to faulty construction and poor quality of sandstone used in its buildings and is now undergoing renovation. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries till 1960s.
Just east of Angkor Thom’s Victory Gate is Chau Say Tevoda. It was probably built during the second quarter of the 12th century, under the reign of Suryavarman II, and dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. It has been renovated by the Chinese to bring it up to the condition of its twin temple, Thommanon.
Thommanon Temple is a Hindu temple site that's covered in intricate carvings and surrounded by forests in Angkor. The temple is in relatively excellent condition, thanks to extensive restoration work in the 1960s.
It was constructed about the same time as Angkor Wat. The style of architecture is quite evident in the towers and carvings, which are in very good condition. During the rainy season, the dampened sandstone offers great photo opportunities.
Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the complex dates back between the 11th and 12th centuries. It is about 600 metres east of the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom, just opposite Chau Say Tevoda. Even before restoration, Thommanon was in much a better condition than Chau Say Tevoda. Unlike the latter, which was built using wooden beams enclosed in stone, Thommanon Temple's entire structure was made out of stone.
No trip to Cambodia is complete without a stop-off at Angkor Archaeological Park. The sprawling UNESCO World Heritage site is peppered with hundreds of ancient temples, religious structures and crumbling relics dating back to the Khmer Empire. Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm are the main draws, with tens of thousands of tourists flocking to them daily.
However, their allure comes with the downside that is mass tourism. These three sites are overcrowded, to the point of being unbearable at times during peak season. However, a simple shake-up to your itinerary can ease this. For example, the typical trail starts with sunrise at Angkor Wat, spending a few hours exploring before moving onto Bayon and then Ta Prohm. Do things a little differently and you may be able to find a slice of peace.
More than just a circus, Phare performers use theater, music, dance and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories; historical, folk and modern. The young circus artists will astonish you with their energy, emotion, enthusiasm and talent.
Phare artists are students and graduates from Phare Ponleu Selpak’s (www.phareps.org) vocational training center in Battambang. The association was formed in 1994 by 9 young men coming home from a refugee camp after the Khmer Rouge regime. They were greatly helped during that time by an art teacher using drawing classes as therapy and wanted to share this new skill among the poor, socially deprived and troubled youngsters in Battambang. They founded an art school and public school followed to offer free education. A music school and theatre school were next and finally, for the kids who wanted more, the circus school. Today more than 1,200 pupils attend the public school daily and 500 attend the alternative schools. Phare Ponleu Selpak also has extensive outreach programs, trying to help with the problems highlighted in their own tales.
Phare The Cambodian Circus offers these students and graduates somewhere to hone their skills and a place to earn a decent wage. Money that will take them out of poverty and give them self-respect and freedom.
For the lovers of art, theatrics, & dance, the Apsara Show, or the traditional Khmer performance, is one of the best things to do in Cambodia. This cultural dance form draws its roots from the mythological courts of kings and Gods, from where it has developed into its modern, unique form that we see today. The Khmer dance revolves around a storyline which it narrates through the attractive, flexible movements of the performers and their colourful, eye-catching attires, which is why it is among the top things to do in Cambodia.
One of the major attractions of Cambodia that drive people to visit this paradise is its food. A typical Cambodian meal consists of rice and a fish item. Often called the ‘cuisine of contrasts’, Cambodian food involves a lot of variations which travelers fall in love with. Among the range of dishes one must try here is Fish Amok (steamed coconut fish in banana leaves), Samlor Machu Trey (sweet and sour soup with fish), Nom Banh Chok (Khmer noodles), and the Num Anksom Sach Chrouk (sticky rice cake). Also, with its vast range of seafood, Cambodia is one of the best places for seafood lovers.
If you can stomach it, then go really local with your food and sample some of the insects Cambodians love to eat. The town of Skuon in Kampong Cham is famous for serving spiders and is dubbed ‘Tarantula Town’. Situated mid-way between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, villagers head into the jungle to catch the spiders before defanging them with their bare hands and selling them onto the vendors. They are deep-fried in chilli and garlic before being served as a roadside snack.
If deep-fried tarantulas don’t tickle your fancy, then how about a buffet of grasshoppers, silkworms and crickets – they’re packed full of protein.
In Phnom Penh, street vendors selling edible creepy crawlies can be found on Riverside in the evenings, or at Pub Street in Siem Reap. After about 5pm, many Siem Reap locals head to Road 60 on the outskirts of town. Here, the road is lined with stalls selling a wealth of food, clothes and other items until about 10pm, and makes for a fun local experience.
Cambodia has some of the most relaxed, laid-back beaches in Southeast Asia. Among the varied popular Cambodia tourist attractions are the sandy, pretty beaches of Sihanoukville, Kep, Koh Rong, and Ream which provide travelers with every bit of comfort and splendid views. Travelers can bask in the sun lying comfortably on hammocks and recliners, get a massage, dine at the beach shacks, go snorkeling in Cambodia, fishing & boating, among other things. Travelers looking for a rather relaxed holiday must check out the islands and beaches in Cambodia. Also, island hopping in Cambodia is considered to be one of the most adventurous things to do in Cambodia for all the travelers alike.
The beauty of Cambodia isn’t just limited to what one sees on the surface, but also in the vast, vibrant world underneath. The diving sites in Sihanoukville are blessed with crystal clear water, favourable water temperature, colourful corals, and a diverse range of marine life including seahorses, whale sharks, sting rays, eels, triggerfish, barracuda, nudibranch, starfish, and many more. The world’s adventure seekers find scuba diving in Cambodia to be one of the most fun things to do in the country. With an year-round favourable climate for diving, except a little less visibility in monsoons, the seas of Cambodia attract divers from all over the world every year. Exploring the underwater world is one of the best things to do in Sihanoukville.
With its massive variety of inexpensive handicraft products, shopping in Cambodia is a natural therapy for shopping freaks.
Some of the best things to buy in Cambodia include silver trinkets, precious gems and stones, betel nut boxes, rice paper prints (imprints of Angkor temples), checkered Krama scarves, weaving silk, carved wooden items, and more.
Travelers can buy quality Cambodian items at reasonable prices from Angkor Night Market, Made in Cambodia Market, Angkor Handicraft Association, Old Market, and the Russian Market in Phnom Penh.
Another of the enlivening Cambodia attractions are its spa therapies that are rather different from the usual Southeastern spa. The traditional Khmer spa has a distinctive approach to health and relaxation, which is reflected in its unusual variety of spa treatments and therapies. The major cities of Cambodia house many certified massage and spa centres. The spa and massage therapies of Cambodia popular among visitors include the Khmer Traditional Herbal Spa, Aroma Spa, Hot Oil Massage, Deep Tissue, Slimming Massage, Hot Stone, and various types of facials and scrubs.
Battambang isn’t the most popular destination for travellers passing through Cambodia, but those who do make it to the northwestern part of the country know about the notorious bamboo train.
Located in the outskirts of town, the bamboo train, or nori, is essentially a bamboo flatbed on wheels, which is powered by a small motorcycle or tractor engine.
The rail line stretches all the way down to the capital of Phnom Penh, but the tracks lie in complete abandon and disrepair, meaning the bamboo ride only runs 7 kilometers in length to a nearby village and back.
You can jump on board for a return trip for a few dollars and enjoy a 45-minute ride including a stop at the far end to turn your ‘train’ around.
The Mekong River is a Southeast Asian icon, slicing through six countries as it makes its way from Tibet to Vietnam. In Cambodia, it enters the northeastern province of Stung Treng from Laos, passing through Phnom Penh on its way to Vietnam.
Trans-country cruises are available that take passengers along the Mekong from Laos to Cambodia and onto Vietnam, or a mix of the countries. These tend to span several days, or a few weeks, depending on the itinerary.
Alternatively, a sunset cruise along the Mekong is a must while in Phnom Penh. At dusk, the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers light up with boats of varying sizes hitting the water for an evening of cruising. Many include food and drink options. Kanika Boat is a popular choice. Of course, if there’s a group of you, then there’s the option of hiring a private boat, bringing along your own booze and refreshments and sailing solo.