Best Things to Do and See in Cambodia

A glimpse of Cambodia’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty can be had by travelling there, which is a singular and fascinating experience. The ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat, which is regarded as one of the world’s wonders, is the most well-known destination in Cambodia. Visitors can explore the numerous temples and ruins from the Khmer Empire and discover more about the intriguing history of the place.

Stunning beaches, beautiful jungles, and dynamic towns are just a few of the attractions that Cambodia has to offer in addition to its temples. Phnom Penh, the country’s capital, is a thriving center of trade and culture with a wide range of marketplaces, dining establishments, and entertainment venues. Visitors can also enjoy traditional rural life and explore the countryside, especially the Mekong Delta.

A highlight of any trip to Cambodia is the cuisine, which offers a wide variety of mouth-watering options to sample, including fish amok, traditional curries, and Khmer noodles. Many cafes and shops serve locally sourced and roasted beans, and the nation is also well-known for its coffee and tea.

In conclusion, everyone interested in history, culture, or adventure should visit Cambodia. Cambodia is a travel destination because of its beautiful natural surroundings and friendly people. This article, we will give you our list of what you should do and see in Cambodia.

  1. Explore Phnom Penh

The capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is a thriving metropolis with a rich cultural heritage. Phnom Penh offers a wealth of attractions, from strolling through the local markets to visiting the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn about the country’s terrible past.

The Royal Palace, a beautiful complex of buildings and gardens that dates back to the 1860s, is one of Phnom Penh’s most well-known attractions. The palace’s numerous temples and halls can be explored by those who are interested in learning more about the royal history of the nation.

The National Museum in Phnom Penh, which has a sizable collection of Khmer artwork and artefacts, is another well-liked tourist destination. Visitors can witness some of the finest specimens of Khmer art as well as learn about the country’s lengthy history.

Fish amok, a typical Khmer curry, and kuy teav, a noodle soup, are just a couple of the mouth-watering traditional meals you may enjoy in Phnom Penh. The city’s numerous marketplaces are excellent locations to try regional street food and browse for trinkets.

In conclusion, seeing Phnom Penh is a must-do activity for anybody travelling to Cambodia. It is a city that has a lot to offer tourists of all interests and is rich in culture, history, and tradition.

  1. Visit the Temples of Angkor Wat

Some of the most stunning and impressive ancient buildings in the entire world can be found at the temples of Angkor, which are situated in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The temples, which were constructed between the ninth and fifteenth centuries under the Khmer Empire, are currently included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The greatest religious structure in the world and the most well-known temple in Angkor is Angkor Wat. Visitors can wander through the various temples and ruins that make up the Angkor complex and take in the elaborate architecture and carvings.

Other important temples at Angkor include Bayon, which has enormous stone faces etched into the walls, and Ta Prohm, which is well-known for the enormous trees that have grown around and through the temple.

An unique experience that provides a window into the rich history and culture of Cambodia is touring the temples of Angkor. The temples are encircled by verdant forests and stunning scenery, making it an unforgettable vacation spot for photographers and environment enthusiasts.

  1. Relax on the Beaches of Sihanoukville

The most gorgeous beaches in Cambodia may be found in Sihanoukville, a charming coastal city. It is a well-liked vacation spot for people looking for peace, sun, and water.

Otres Beach, Independence Beach, and Sokha Beach are a few of Sihanoukville’s busiest beaches. These beaches include white sand, waters that are crystal clear, and a variety of water sports and activities.

Tourists can also explore the surrounding islands Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, which have some of Cambodia’s most pristine and remote beaches. These islands are a fantastic location for diving, snorkeling, and wildlife exploration.

Along with its beaches, Sihanoukville is renowned for its mouth-watering seafood, which can be found in the cities numerous eateries and markets. Sihanoukville has a thriving nightlife with numerous bars and clubs that welcome both tourists and locals.

Sihanoukville, in general, is a must-visit location for visitors looking to unwind at a beach in Cambodia. A place will leave a lasting impact on any tourist with its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and friendly residents.

  1. Experience the Floating Villages of Tonle Sap Lake

The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Tonle Sap Lake, supports a distinctive environment and a way of life for many Cambodians. The floating villages, where homes and markets are constructed on stilts and boats are the main form of transportation, are one of the lake’s most spectacular sights.

Visitors can take a boat excursion to explore the floating communities, where they can observe inhabitants’ daily activities up close and even visit a crocodile farm and a market. The villages give a singular and intriguing glimpse into the customs and way of life of the Cambodian people.

The opportunity to see the stunning sunsets over the lake from the floating villages is another amazing and unforgettable experience. Additionally, tourists can sample some regional specialties, such as freshly caught lake fish cooked over an open flame.

Overall, for those looking for a distinctive and immersive experience in Cambodia, the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake are a must-visit location. This is a chance to observe a traditional way of life that is quickly vanishing and to observe the resourcefulness and resiliency of the Cambodian people.

  1. Explore the Koh Ker Temple Complex

About 120 kilometers north of Siem Reap is the ancient archaeological site known as the Koh Ker Temple Complex. The Prasat Thom is the primary temple among the complex’s more than 40 others.

Between the ninth and tenth centuries, the Khmer Empire produced the Koh Ker Temple Complex, which briefly served as the empire’s capital. The temples are distinguished from the more well-known Angkorian temples by their distinctive style and architectural design.

The Koh Ker Temple Complex offers visitors the chance to explore the ruins and discover more about the Khmer Empire’s past. The Prasat Thom, with its seven-tiered pyramid and stunning vistas of the surrounding forest, is one of the complex’s most impressive temples.

Despite being less popular than Angkor, the Koh Ker Temple Complex is a must-see for anyone with an interest in ancient history and architecture. Verdant forests and picturesque scenery, making it an idyllic getaway for photographers and environment enthusiasts, surround the complex.

  1. Take a Cooking Class in Cambodia

A great approach to get a taste of the local cuisine and culture in Cambodia is to take a cooking lesson. The use of fresh herbs and spices like lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves, as well as strong flavors, are hallmarks of Cambodian cuisine.

Local families or chefs frequently host cooking workshops in Cambodia where they teach students their family’s traditional recipes and methods. Cooking classes are available for tourists who want to learn how to prepare meals like fish amok, lok lak, and Khmer curry.

The cooking lessons frequently start with a trip to the neighborhood market, where guests can choose fresh products and spices while learning about the elements used in Cambodian cuisine. After that, the session goes to a kitchen where participants are taught how to make the dishes with the instructor’s assistance.

Participants can eat the meals they have made and dine with the instructor and other students at the end of the class. It is a wonderful chance to learn about Cambodian culture, meet new people, and bring back new abilities to wow family and friends.

Overall, attending a cooking class in Cambodia is a great way for tourists to learn about the local cuisine and culture while also having fun.

If you would like to book a cooking class in Cambodia, click here or on the Klook image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Watch Traditional Dance Show

For everyone travelling to Cambodia, experiencing a traditional dance performance is a must. The beautiful dances, elaborate costumes, and traditional music of Cambodian dance have a long, illustrious history.

The Apsara dance, which takes its name from the celestial dancers of Hindu mythology, is the most well-liked traditional dance form in Cambodia. The Apsara dance is a traditional form distinguished by its graceful attire and languid, fluid motions.

In Cambodia, there are several places where tourists can watch traditional dance performances, including theatres and dining establishments. For its visitors, several hotels and resorts also provide traditional dance performances.

A wonderful method to explore Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage and comprehend the history and traditions of the nation is to attend a traditional dance performance. Visitors to Cambodia will get a profound impression of Cambodia as a result of this immersive and visually appealing encounter.

If you would like to book a Cambodian Traditional Dance Show, click here or on the Get Your Guide image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Explore the Cardamom Mountains

For lovers of nature and those looking for adventure, Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains are a stretch of rough, uninhabited wilderness that offers a singular and breath-taking experience. One of Southeast Asia’s most biologically varied regions is the mountain range, which is situated in the southwest of the continent.

Asian elephants, tigers, clouded leopards, and sun bears are just a few examples of the diverse fauna that may be found in the Cardamom Mountains. To experience the region’s breath-taking natural beauty and its abundant wildlife, tourists can go on guided treks and jungle hikes.

Additionally, there are chances to travel to nearby communities and discover how they still live traditionally. Local cuisine can be tried, visitors can engage with residents, and they can learn about their customs and traditions.

For those seeking adventure and a deeper appreciation of Cambodia’s natural beauty and cultural heritage, the Cardamom Mountains provide a distinctive and off-the-beaten-path experience that is ideal. It is a chance to unplug from the contemporary world and immerse oneself in the breath-taking scenery and diverse cultural experiences of this isolated area of Cambodia.

  1. Visit the Bayon Temple

In Cambodia’s Angkor Thom, there is a magnificent temple complex called Bayon Temple. The temple, which dates back to the late 12th century, is well-known for the various stone faces carved into its towers, which have come to represent Khmer art and architecture.

The temple, which was constructed during the time of King Jayavarman VII, has a distinctive fusion of Buddhist and Hindu elements. Originally constructed as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine, the temple underwent a Hindu conversion during the reign of King Jayavarman VIII.

Bayon Temple is a maze-like temple complex that guests can tour while taking in the beautiful sculptures and bas-reliefs that adorn the walls and towers. The temple is well-known for its enormous gallery of bas-reliefs showing daily life in 12th-century Cambodia.

Thousands of tourists visit the Bayon Temple each year because it is one of the most well-known and well-preserved temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park. The temple is a must-visit location for anybody travelling to Cambodia due to its mysterious and mesmerizing stone faces and rich history.

If you would like to book a tour to see the Bayan Temple, click here or on the Viator image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Festivals in Cambodia

Cambodia, a country rich in spirituality and ancient history, has a vibrant tapestry of festivals that combine custom, religion, and community. In addition to being colorful spectacles, these festivities offer a glimpse into the Khmer culture and its intense respect for Buddhism.

The nation’s most significant holiday is the Khmer New Year, or Choul Chnam Thmey. It takes place in April and entails going to the temple, playing customary activities, and splashing water to wash away the sins of the previous year. The sounds of music, dance, and fun fill the streets.

The Water Festival, also known as Bon Om Touk, is a spectacular event held every November. It comprises boat races with artistically built, lit-up boats to commemorate the Tonle Sap River’s flow being reversed.

Ancestor’s Day, also known as Pchum Ben, is a somber religious celebration where Cambodians honor their departed family members by giving food to monks and spirits. It’s a season for introspection and respecting one’s heritage.

Sacred cows choose among a variety of crops to anticipate the year’s agricultural prospects during the Royal Ploughing Ceremony, also known as Veal P’chou. It highlights the nation’s close agricultural relations.

These festivals, along with others, serve to highlight the people of Cambodia’s sense of unity, spirituality, and rich cultural legacy. They give visitors and locals alike the ability to fully immerse themselves in the traditions and practices that make up this captivating country.

  1. Visit Siem Reap

The lovely city of Siem Reap is situated in Cambodia’s northwest. It serves as the entrance to the renowned Angkor Archaeological Park, one of Southeast Asia’s most important historical and cultural monuments. There are many things to see and do in the city, which has a dynamic and vibrant environment.

Visitors can browse the crowded night markets in Siem Reap, enjoy the native cuisine, and shop for trinkets and handicrafts. Visitors can discover more about Cambodia’s past by visiting museums and galleries that include traditional artwork and artefacts in the city, which also has a rich cultural legacy.

Adventure and outdoor pursuits including bike excursions, jungle treks, and boat cruises on the Tonle Sap Lake are also very popular in Siem Reap.

Overall, Siem Reap is an intriguing city with attractions for everyone. It is a fantastic location for anyone interested in discovering Southeast Asia’s beauties because of its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes.

In conclusion, travelers can enjoy a variety of activities in the intriguing nation of Cambodia. In this stunning nation, there is something for everyone to enjoy, from touring ancient temples to unwinding on the beach.