Amazing Things to Do in Cambodia: Top 12 Attractions to Visit

by Jen
Amazing Things to Do in Cambodia
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Looking to visit Cambodia anytime soon? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Cambodia. These timeless sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Cambodia, a land of timeless beauty, where ancient temples whisper tales of grandeur and where the Mekong River dances through emerald landscapes. If you’re reading this, you’re probably yearning for an adventure that’s as soul-stirring as it is Instagrammable. Well, you’re in luck! Those things to do in Cambodia promise to captivate your senses and enrich your soul.

From the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat to the bustling markets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia offers a kaleidoscope of experiences that are as diverse as they are unforgettable. Imagine waking up to the chants of monks echoing through the dawn mist, or savoring a bowl of authentic Khmer curry as the sun sets over a rice paddy. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking to conquer the Cardamom Mountains or a culture vulture keen to dive into Cambodia’s rich history, this Southeast Asian gem has something for everyone.

So grab your passport, pack your bags, and let’s embark on a journey to discover the amazing things to do in Cambodia. Trust me, this is one adventure you won’t want to miss. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Cambodia.

The amazing places to visit in Cambodia right now
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Best Places to Visit in Cambodia

Ready to jump into all the amazing things to do in Cambodia? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this enriching vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Cambodia places to visit.

Are you looking to immerse yourself in rich cultural experiences by exploring ancient temples, partaking in traditional cooking classes, and engaging with local communities? Or would you prefer to explore lush jungles, visit wildlife sanctuaries, and cruise along scenic rivers? Whatever you’re planning, this Asian gem, Cambodia, can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Cambodia that you should know about.

1. Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is a sprawling city of ancient ruins that tells a story of a civilization long gone. As you walk through the intricate corridors, you’ll feel like an explorer discovering a lost world. The stone carvings, the towering spires, and the vast moats—everything about Angkor Wat screams grandeur.

What are the best things to do in Cambodia, you ask? Well, watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat should be at the top of your list. The sky transforms into a canvas of oranges and pinks, casting a magical glow over the temple complex. It’s a sight so mesmerizing that even your camera will struggle to capture its beauty.

But that’s not all. Angkor Wat is also a paradise for history enthusiasts. The temple complex is adorned with intricate bas-reliefs that depict scenes from Hindu mythology, offering a glimpse into the spiritual and cultural life of the ancient Khmer Empire.

So, if you’re wondering where to go in Cambodia for an experience that’s both visually and intellectually stimulating, Angkor Wat is your answer. Trust me, you’ll be talking about it for years to come.

Angkor Wat is one of the amazing things to do in Cambodia.
Angkor Wat, a grand ancient city, tells the story of a long-lost civilization through intricate ruins and towering spires.

2. Tonlé Sap

Imagine gliding through a water-world where houses float and markets come to you by boat. Welcome to Tonlé Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and one of the most unique places in Cambodia. A boat tour here isn’t just scenic; it’s a window into the lives of the communities that call this aquatic landscape home.

What makes Tonlé Sap one of the coolest activities in Cambodia is its ever-changing scenery. During the wet season, the lake expands, swallowing forests and fields, while in the dry season, it shrinks back, revealing new lands to explore. Either way, it’s a photographer’s dream and a nature lover’s paradise.

Tonlé Sap is also a hub of local culture. As you sail through, you’ll encounter floating schools, stilted houses, and even buoyant basketball courts. It’s a surreal experience that challenges your perceptions of what a ‘village’ can be.

If you’re compiling a list of Cambodia attractions that offer both natural beauty and cultural insights, make sure Tonlé Sap is on it. It’s a destination that captures the essence of Cambodia in the most unexpected of ways. Is this among the most amazing things to do in Cambodia? 100%!

Explore Tonlé Sap, Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake, to discover floating houses and boat markets.
Explore Tonlé Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, to discover floating houses and boat markets.

3. Night Markets of Siem Reap

Ah, the night markets of Siem Reap, where the air is thick with the aroma of sizzling street food and the chatter of eager bargain-hunters fills the night. If you’re wondering what to do in Cambodia after the sun sets, look no further. This bustling bazaar is a feast for the senses and a treasure trove for shoppers.

From handcrafted souvenirs to intricate Khmer sculptures, the market offers a dizzying array of goods that reflect the rich tapestry of Cambodian culture. And let’s not forget the food—spicy, sweet, tangy, and everything in between. It’s a gastronomic adventure that you won’t want to miss.

But what makes this market stand out is its vibrant atmosphere. Street performers entertain the crowds, while local artisans showcase their skills. It’s a place where you can not only shop but also connect with the local community.

Thinking about unique things to do in Cambodia that offer a blend of culture, entertainment, and gastronomy? The night markets of Siem Reap should be high on your list. It’s an experience that captures the very essence of Cambodian nightlife.

Experience the vibrant night markets of Siem Reap, where sizzling street food and bustling bargains await.
Experience the vibrant night markets of Siem Reap, where sizzling street food and bustling bargains await.

4. Cardamom Mountains

Are you on the hunt for cool destinations in Cambodia that offer a break from the tourist trail? The Cardamom Mountains should be on your radar. This untamed wilderness is a haven for nature lovers and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Picture yourself hiking through dense jungles, crossing rivers, and stumbling upon hidden waterfalls. It’s the kind of adventure that makes you feel alive.

The Cardamom Mountains are also a biodiversity hotspot, home to a variety of endangered species. So, as you trek, keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds, rare orchids, and if you’re lucky, even an elusive Indochinese tiger. It’s a naturalist’s dream come true.

The sense of solitude and connection with nature make this destination stand out. Far from the crowds and the selfie sticks, this is where you can truly unwind and recharge.

Looking for the best places to go in Cambodia? Well, if you’re someone who cherishes the great outdoors and seeks a more off-the-beaten-path experience, the Cardamom Mountains are a must-visit. It’s an adventure that promises not just scenic beauty but also a deeper understanding of Cambodia’s natural heritage.

Explore the offbeat beauty of the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia, an untamed wilderness perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Explore the offbeat beauty of the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia, an untamed wilderness perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

5. Banteay Srei

Ah, Banteay Srei, the “Citadel of Women,” a place that feels like it’s been plucked straight out of a fairy tale. Intricately carved red sandstone walls, delicate motifs, and a sense of serenity that’s hard to find elsewhere—this is one of those Cambodia places to visit that you’ll remember long after you’ve left.

Now, you might be wondering, what makes Banteay Srei so special? It’s the level of detail in the carvings. Unlike other temples where grandiosity takes center stage, here it’s all about the finer things. Each sculpture, each engraving tells a story, making it a paradise for those interested in art and history.

And let’s talk about the setting. Nestled amidst lush greenery, the temple offers a tranquil escape from the more touristy spots. It’s the kind of place where you can sit, meditate, and truly soak in the atmosphere.

If you’re making a list of amazing things to do in Cambodia, don’t overlook Banteay Srei. It’s not just a temple; it’s a work of art, a place that offers a different kind of spiritual experience.

Banteay Srei is a captivating Cambodian gem with intricate red sandstone carvings and a serene ambiance you won't forget.
Banteay Srei is a captivating Cambodian gem with intricate red sandstone carvings and a serene ambiance you won’t forget.

6. Koh Rong

Koh Rong, an island paradise that’s as close to a tropical dream as you can get. Picture this: crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and an underwater world teeming with life. If you’re searching for the Cambodia things to do that you shouldn’t miss, diving in Koh Rong should be at the top of your list.

The island offers a range of diving experiences, from shallow coral gardens for beginners to deeper sites for the more experienced. You’ll encounter a myriad of marine life—colorful fish darting between corals, majestic sea turtles gliding effortlessly, and if you’re lucky, even a reef shark or two.

Diving isn’t the only thing that makes Koh Rong special. The island itself is a slice of heaven, with pristine beaches and lush jungles waiting to be explored. It’s the perfect place to unwind after your underwater adventures.

When considering where to visit in Cambodia for an experience that combines both relaxation and adventure, Koh Rong is your answer. It’s not just a diving hotspot; it’s a holistic island experience that you’ll cherish forever.

Koh Rong is Cambodia's top diving destination.
Koh Rong is Cambodia’s top diving destination, making it one of the amazing things to do in Cambodia.

7. Khmer Cuisine in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, the bustling capital where tradition meets modernity, and where the culinary scene is as diverse as it is delicious. From street vendors selling spicy skewers to high-end restaurants offering gourmet Khmer dishes, Phnom Penh is a foodie’s paradise.

Why is Khmer cuisine exceptional? It’s the blend of flavors—sweet, sour, salty, and spicy—all perfectly balanced to tantalize your taste buds. Think of dishes like Fish Amok, a creamy coconut curry, or Lok Lak, a peppery beef stir-fry. Each bite is a journey through Cambodia’s rich culinary history.

More than the food, the experience of dining in Phnom Penh is equally captivating. Imagine sitting in a riverside café, watching the sun dip below the horizon as you sip on a refreshing iced coffee. It’s the perfect end to a day of exploration.

Make sure to dive into Phnom Penh’s culinary scene. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Phnom Penh, a vibrant capital with a diverse culinary scene, including the delicious Khmer dish, Fish Amok.
Phnom Penh, a vibrant capital with a diverse culinary scene, including the delicious Khmer dish, Fish Amok.

8. Battambang

Welcome to Battambang. Often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts, this spot offers an authentic Cambodian experience that’s hard to find elsewhere. One of the ideal ways to explore this charming town is by bike. Cycling through the countryside, you’ll encounter traditional wooden houses, friendly locals, and endless rice paddies that stretch as far as the eye can see.

What makes this one of the amazing things to do in Cambodia? It’s the sense of freedom and the intimate connection with the land. You’re not just a spectator; you’re an active participant in the landscape, feeling every bump, every curve, and every breath of fresh air.

Don’t miss the local interactions. Whether it’s a farmer inviting you to try some freshly picked fruit or children waving as they run alongside your bike, these are the moments that make travel truly enriching.

Battambang  is not just a cycling trip; it’s a journey into the heart of Cambodia that you won’t soon forget.

Explore the authentic Battambang on a bike, where traditional charm and endless rice paddies await.
Explore the authentic Battambang on a bike, where traditional charm and endless rice paddies await.

9. Kampot

Kampot, a sleepy riverside town, is quietly becoming one of the best places in Cambodia for art enthusiasts. The town’s burgeoning art scene is a blend of traditional Khmer influences and modern, avant-garde styles. From quirky cafes adorned with local artwork to galleries showcasing emerging talents, Kampot is a canvas waiting to be explored.

What’s the draw? It’s the town’s relaxed vibe that seems to inspire creativity. Artists from around the world have made Kampot their home, contributing to a cultural melting pot that’s as diverse as it is vibrant.

And it’s not just visual arts. The town is also a hub for musicians, writers, and performers. On any given night, you can find live music, poetry readings, or even a pop-up theater performance. It’s a must-see in Cambodia for anyone with a love for the arts.

So, if you’re asking yourself where to go in Cambodia for a dose of culture and creativity, Kampot should be on your list. It’s a town that offers more than just scenic beauty; it’s a haven for artistic souls.

Kampot: Cambodia's emerging art hub, blending tradition and avant-garde styles.
Kampot: Cambodia’s emerging art hub, blending tradition and avant-garde styles.

10. Mondulkiri

For those who crave a bit of adrenaline, Mondulkiri offers an exhilarating zip-lining experience that you won’t want to miss. Picture yourself soaring through the treetops, the wind in your hair, and the lush jungle below. It’s one of those amazing things to do in Cambodia that gets your heart racing and your spirit soaring.

Zip-lining in Mondulkiri also gives you a bird’s-eye view of the region’s stunning natural beauty. From the towering trees to the hidden waterfalls, it’s a perspective you can’t get any other way.

Many of the zip-lining operators in Mondulkiri are committed to sustainable tourism, ensuring that your adventure has a minimal impact on the local ecosystem.

Make sure Mondulkiri is on your list of best places to go in Cambodia. It’s not just an adrenaline-pumping activity; it’s an eco-friendly adventure that lets you experience Cambodia’s natural beauty in a whole new way.

Mondulkiri is one of the amazing things to do in Cambodia.
Mondulkiri: Get your heart racing with exhilarating zip-lining through lush jungle treetops.

11. Kep Beach

Ah, Kep Beach, a serene escape that feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Imagine lounging on the soft, white sand, the sound of gentle waves lapping at the shore filling the air. Kep Beach is your sanctuary if you’re looking to unwind and relax.

Kep Beach offers more than just a place to relax. You can engage in water sports, take a boat to nearby islands, or even try your hand at fishing. It’s a versatile destination that caters to both the laid-back traveler and the adventure seeker.

Now let’s talk about the stunning sunset. As the sky turns shades of pink and orange, you’ll realize why Kep Beach is one of the unique places in Cambodia for capturing that perfect Instagram shot.

Thinking of what to do in Cambodia that offers a blend of relaxation and activity, Kep Beach should be on your radar. It’s not just a beach; it’s a slice of paradise that offers something for everyone.

Kep Beach is a serene sanctuary for relaxation on soft white sands with gentle waves.
Kep Beach is a serene sanctuary for relaxation on soft white sands with gentle waves.

12. Koh Ker

Hidden deep within Cambodia’s lush jungles, Koh Ker is a true gem that beckons adventurers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. Far from the bustling tourist crowds, Koh Ker offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in Cambodia’s rich history and natural beauty.

Koh Ker is renowned for its stunning ancient temples, including the Prasat Thom, a seven-tiered pyramid temple that provides panoramic views of the surrounding forest. These temples, mostly reclaimed by nature, create an otherworldly atmosphere that’s perfect for history enthusiasts and photographers.

Meanwhile, the jungle that envelops Koh Ker is a playground for nature lovers. Hike through pristine rainforests, keeping an eye out for rare flora and fauna. The area is also home to remote villages, offering a chance to connect with local communities and gain insight into their way of life.

Koh Ker, with its archaeological wonders and pristine wilderness, presents an opportunity to uncover Cambodia’s hidden treasures. Whether you’re a history aficionado, a nature enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, Koh Ker promises an exceptional and unforgettable journey. All these only proves that a visit to this destination is one of the amazing things to do in Cambodia.

Koh Ker is an off-the-beaten-path gem in Cambodia's lush jungles, rich in history and natural beauty.
Koh Ker is an off-the-beaten-path gem in Cambodia’s lush jungles, rich in history and natural beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Amazing Things to Do in Cambodia

Looking for more content on the amazing things to do in Cambodia? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Cambodia:

What’s the best time to visit Cambodia?

The best time to visit Cambodia is during the dry season, which typically spans from November to April. This period offers pleasant weather, making it ideal for exploring the country’s historic sites and natural beauty. However, it’s wise to avoid the hot and rainy months from May to October for a more comfortable experience.

How to spend 7 days in Cambodia?

Spending 7 days in Cambodia offers a chance to explore its rich history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty. Here’s a suggested itinerary to make the most of your week:

Day 1: Phnom Penh

  • Start your trip in the capital city.
  • Visit the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.
  • Explore the National Museum to get an introduction to Khmer art and history.
  • Walk along the riverside promenade in the evening.

Day 2: Phnom Penh

  • Visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21 Prison) to understand Cambodia’s tragic past under the Khmer Rouge.
  • Pay your respects at the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (Killing Fields).
  • Explore the Central Market (Psar Thmei) or Russian Market (Psar Toul Tom Poung) for souvenirs.

Travel to Siem Reap (Day 3)

  • Take a morning flight or bus to Siem Reap.
  • Spend the afternoon exploring the town, visiting the Old Market, and enjoying the vibrant Pub Street in the evening.

Day 4: Angkor Archaeological Park

  • Start early to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat.
  • Explore other major temples like Bayon (famous for its face towers) and Ta Prohm (known for trees growing over the ruins).
  • Consider hiring a guide to get insights into the history and architecture.

Day 5: Angkor Archaeological Park and Surroundings

  • Visit the more remote temples like Banteay Srei (known for its intricate carvings) and Beng Mealea (a less-restored temple giving a ‘Tomb Raider’ feel).
  • In the evening, consider watching a traditional Apsara dance performance.

Tonlé Sap Lake and Travel to Sihanoukville or Kampot (Day 6)

  • Take a morning trip to Tonlé Sap Lake and visit the floating villages.
  • In the afternoon, travel to Sihanoukville (if you’re looking for beaches) or Kampot (for a riverside town with a laid-back vibe).

Day 7: Sihanoukville/Kampot

  • Sihanoukville: Spend the day on the beach, consider a boat trip to nearby islands.
  • Kampot: Explore the town, visit the nearby Bokor National Park, and enjoy the riverside.

Do I need a visa to visit Cambodia?

Yes, most travelers need a visa to enter Cambodia. Tourist visas are available on arrival at the major international airports and land border crossings, or you can obtain an e-visa online before your trip. It’s important to check Cambodia’s visa requirements based on your nationality before traveling.

Is Cambodia safe for tourists?

Absolutely. Cambodia is generally safe for tourists. While petty theft and scams can occur in tourist areas, violent crime against tourists is rare. Travelers should exercise standard precautions, such as safeguarding belongings and being cautious in crowded areas. Staying informed about local conditions and following government travel advisories is advisable.

Traditional Buddhist temple in Cambodia
Traditional Buddhist temple in Cambodia

What’s the currency in Cambodia?

The official currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHR), but the United States Dollar (USD) is widely accepted and used for most transactions, especially in larger cities and tourist areas. It’s advisable to carry a mix of both currencies for convenience, as well as small denominations for local markets and transportation.

Can I use credit cards in Cambodia?

Credit cards are commonly accepted in upscale hotels, restaurants, and larger businesses in Cambodia, especially in urban areas like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. However, it’s advisable to carry cash for smaller establishments and in rural regions where card acceptance may be limited. Notify your bank of your travel plans to prevent any issues with card usage.

What is Cambodia best known for?

Cambodia is best known for its rich history and stunning architecture, most notably the Angkor Wat temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The country also boasts beautiful landscapes, from pristine beaches to lush jungles, and a vibrant culture that includes delicious Khmer cuisine and traditional dance.

Is it worth visiting Cambodia?

Absolutely, visiting Cambodia is a rewarding experience that offers a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From exploring ancient temples like Angkor Wat to relaxing on pristine beaches and savoring Khmer cuisine, the country provides a diverse range of experiences that cater to all types of travelers.

Concluding Thoughts on Exploring Cambodia

So there you have it, folks—a comprehensive guide to the best places to go in Cambodia, from the tranquil beaches to the bustling markets and everything in between. Whether you’re an adventure junkie, a foodie, or someone who just wants to soak up some culture, Cambodia has something for everyone. It’s a country that’s as diverse as it is beautiful, and it’s waiting for you to discover it. So pack your bags, book that ticket, and get ready to fall in love with Cambodia. Trust me, it’s a love affair that’s bound to last a lifetime.

The amazing things to do in Cambodia for all types of travelers
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