So you want to visit Cambodia, but other than Angkor Wat you don’t know where to start? Here are ten of our favourite things to do and see in this wonderful country. Some are a little off the beaten track like Chi Phat in the Cardamom Mountains or Mondulkiri in the North East but all are well worth the journey.
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1. Angkor Archaeological Park
At the top of any 'must do' list in Cambodia or South East Asia for that matter. Angkor is the jewel in Cambodia's crown.
2. Idyllic Tropical Islands
Off the south coast of Cambodia are some beautiful and relatively untouched islands. Those with accommodation include Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samleon, Koh Ta Kiev, Koh Russei (Bamboo Island), Koh Thmei, Koh Totang and Koh Thonsay. The most popular are those closest to Sihanoukville; Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samleon and Koh Ta Kiev but aside from Koh Rong they are still pretty undeveloped with just a few places to stay. The picture on the left was taken on Koh Rong Samleon.
Koh Ta Kiev - Island Paradise
3. The Cardamom Mountains
Nestled in the Cardamom Mountains is the small village of Chi Phat which runs a Community Based Eco Tourism Project that provides income for the local community whilst protecting the diverse ecosystem and wildlife here.
Chi Phat Community Based Eco Tourism
4. S21 Prison & the Killing Fields
Located in Phnom Penh the S21 Prision and Killing Fields are sombre but important places to visit to understand Cambodia's turbulent recent history. The Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre (Killing Fields) is a memorial centre for those who lost their lives during the Pol Pot regime from 1975 – 1979 and you can take an audio guided tour through the centre. The audio tour costs $6 and you can get a tuk tuk to take you the 20 minutes outside of town for around $15, which can also include a visit to the S-21 Genocidal Museum.
5. Otres Beach
White sand, calm waters and a beach hut a couple of metres from the sea. What more could you want? We particularly love Otres 2 which is even quieter than Otres 1. Don't miss Otres Market in Otres Village every Saturday evening.
Sihanoukville City Guide
6. The Mighty Mekong
Much less visited than elsewhere in Cambodia, rural towns line the incredible Mekong River in the east. The likes of Kampong Cham and Kratie are well worth a visit to watch life on the Mekong unfold. Visit Kampi Pool near Kratie and you could see one of the last remaining populations of the critically endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin. Tourism here is now helping to conserve the species.
Kampong Cham City Guide
7. Mondulkiri Province
The Mondulkiri Province in Cambodia is home to one of the largest populations of both wild and domestic Elephants in the country. Responsible tourism initiative's here are helping to conserve the species and provide rescued elephants with a better life. Visit the Hefalump Café in Senmonorom to see how you can interact with these amazing animals and give back to a great cause at the same time.
Responsible Elephant Encounters in Mondulkiri
8. Kep by Bike
Kep's compact size makes it ideal to explore by bike, peddle powered or motorised. There is so much more to this coastal town than its famous crab dishes, and if you travel by bike you can see it all. The salt fields, abandoned French villas with walls that boast some great graffiti, the National Park with its stunning views, and the caves and rock-climbing at 'Climbodia' in between Kep and Kampot.
Kampot & Kep City Guide
If you're looking for some peace and quiet then Kampot is the place to go. Kampot's main attraction is its relaxing riverside setting; whether its watching the daily sunset flotilla, going on a boat ride or taking part in paddle board yoga, there are numerous easy going riverside activities to enjoy. Also famous for its pepper, take a trip to one of the local farms and get a glimpse of rural Cambodian life on the way. Bokor National Park is also situated in Kampot Province.
5 Alternative things to do in Kampot
Kampot & Kep City Guide
10. Siem Reap City
In addition to the magnificent temples, the city of Siem Reap has much to offer visitors including an array of fantastic restaurants and cultural experiences from the amazing Phare Circus to a visit to the silk farm, traditional Apsara dancing or a wide array of cooking classes.
Siem Reap City Guide