Cambodia is one of those countries that people want to visit for many reasons. If it’s not Cambodia’s world-famous Angkor temples, then there is the dark history of the killing fields as well as relaxing on the beaches and going island hopping.
There are stunning places and sights around Cambodia worth visiting from its rich history, temples, culture, and beautiful scenery. These include the smaller towns and villages that will give you a chance to experience a more traditional Cambodian way of life.
In this post, we will go through the best places to visit in Cambodia. So let’s get started!
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Quick Information on Cambodia
- Currency: Riel and the US Dollar
- Language: Khmer
- Population: Over 16 million
- Capital City: Phnom Penh
- Best time to visit Cambodia: Dry season is between October to April with an average temperature of around 23°C. While the rainy season is from May until September with an average temperature of around 35°C.
- How to get there: You can enter by land through Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. Or you can fly into Siem Reap or Phnom Penh.
Where To Stay In Cambodia?
Cambodia is fairly cheap but this depends on the standard of the hotel or hostel. Basic hotel room prices can start from $8 per night. And a hostel sharing with others can be as low as $1 per night.
Best Places To Visit In Cambodia
Cambodia has plenty of places to explore from islands, and temples, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. There are fun things to do in Cambodia that will keep you busy for a few weeks.
Here is our list of things to do in Cambodia.
Visit Siem Reap
Siem Reap is the gateway town to the world-famous Angkor temples. Besides the Angkor temple, there are other things to do in town such as going on a food tour, museums, or visiting the floating village.
As well as plenty of things to do in Siem Reap, the town has a good range of restaurants, bars, 5-star hotels hundreds of budget guesthouses, local markets, food tours, and more. You can enjoy the night on pub street with a few drinks.
Explore Angkor Temples
The Angkor temples are near Siem Reap and are definitely one of Cambodia’s biggest tourist attractions. The main Angkor Wat temple lies in Angkor and is one of the largest religious monuments. Angkor is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There are loads of Temples with the main ones being Angkor Wat, the Bayon, Angkor Thom, Preah Khan, and Ta Prohm. Angkor Thom was made famous by Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider movie.
Relax In Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville is a coastal seaside town, it does have a chilled vibe and white sand beaches. This town is a decent little tropical getaway but in recent years the Chinese have been building casinos in Sihanoukville. Which has had a negative impact on it.
You can still spend the day on the beach and enjoy the local food. Sihanoukville was popular with backpackers as a town used as a layover before moving onto the islands.
Explore Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capital city and it has been the capital since the colonial days of the French. Phnom Penh’s top attractions include the Royal Palace, the National Museum the killing fields outside of the city.
There are a number of night markets in Phnom Penh where you can buy sample local food, handcrafted souvenirs, and more. Phnom Penh was also a vibrant nightlife.
Chill On Koh Rong Islands
There are a number of small and big islands in Cambodia with Koh Rong being one of the most popular ones. It has some amazing beaches with white sands, pristine waters, and a good range of resorts and hotels.
You can go snorkeling and see marine life such as diamond fish, seahorses, sergeant fish, parrotfish, jumping fish, diamond fish, blue-spotted ribbon tail rays, and squids. You can go hiking or just relax on the beach.
Visit S-21 aka The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
This is the dark side of Cambodia’s history. During the Pol Pot’s reign, the Khmer Rouge was responsible for the deaths of nearly three million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979.
This was a High School, S-21, but was converted into a torture-interrogation center from which just a handful survived.
They targeted, clergy, doctors, professors, and pretty much anyone with education was rounded up and shackled, electrified, dismembered, and beaten to death.
Those who survived were taken to the killing fields for final extermination. S-21 is now Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, in memory of those tortured here.
See The Killing Fields
This leads on from the S-21. The killing fields are located outside Phnom Penh about 15 km. Today, it’s a monument filled with skulls and other bones unearthed from just one of the hundreds of Cambodian Killing Fields.
The government chose to leave most mass graves alone, so this is both cemetery and hallowed ground. You can explore the grounds and learn firsthand why it is called the killing fields.
Battambang is Cambodia’s second most populated city. And it was been going on recently as a tourist destination. There is a variety of reasons to visit Battambang such as taking a trip on the bamboo train, there are historic sites in the area, and the chance to experience rural life
Battambang is a well-preserved colonial-era town mixed with Cambodian culture and temples waiting to explore.
Explore Kampot And Kep
Kampot province has also been growing as a tourist destination thanks to a hard-to-beat combination of old colonial architecture, abundant natural attractions, and easy intra-regional transport. Kampot offers beautiful natural scenery particularly Bokor National Park and historical buildings with a French influence.
Nearby Kep province is a short trip away. The province was honeycombed limestone caves, some providing shelter to centuries-old brick temples from the pre-Angkorian period. While Kep town is a small coastal town offering a chance to relax by the beach.
Kratie is a small town located on the banks of the Mekong River and is dominated by a central marketplace surrounded by old, French colonial buildings.
And is home to the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. It is estimated that there are between 66 and 86 dolphins left.
Kratie is more of a stopover when traveling by land between Phnom Penh and northeastern Cambodia or southern Laos. It is worth a stopover for a few days if even to see the Irrawaddy dolphins as these dolphins are rare and endangered.
Finally, these are only a few things to do in Cambodia. It is definitely worth visiting the Angkor temples and visiting the killing fields. To visit the other places on the list takes a bit of planning but it’s important to be prepared. Like any trip, you’ll get the most out of it by learning all you can before you arrive.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the best places to go in Cambodia has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there are any more places to visit in Cambodia.